Monthly Archives: September 2012

Sorting out the Necessary Test Requirements for Metal Roofing Projects

We know that the metal roofing tests and standards an architect must include in a project specification can sometimes be confusing.

For example, we see  some architects—and particularly designers new to the profession — specifying  ASTM E 1592  for a plywood or B-Deck and B-Deck with ISO when, in fact, 1592 is the test method for structural performance of a metal roof for open framing such as a purlin application.
Image showing fire testing of a metal roofing surface.
Often, we’ll see architects using a Factory Mutual test specification for fire resistance when first, an FM designation is really only for projects to be underwritten by Factory Mutual (FM) Insurance and second, the FM specification is far more stringent than the project requires and consequently will be a lot more expensive for the builder to meet.  Besides, Factory Mutual offers RoofNav, a simplified and very specific means of determining a roofing product’s and roof system’s compliance with FM Approvals’ guidelines and standards.

Some architects even submit metal roof specifications with information drawn word-for-word from the specs of an earlier metal roofing project that had similar requirements—but was not exactly the same.  This is a bad idea because the specification information often differs dramatically even though the projects seem similar.

How can architects and builders avoid these problems? Two ways…. Continue reading

Got A Metal Roof —Time to Think About Snow Guards… And Not Just For the Snow

Winter is just around the corner and in locations that see heavy snow; metal roofing has always been the choice of homeowners for years.  Its smooth coated surface sheds snow faster than other kinds of roofing materials, inhibiting snow buildup and protecting the structural integrity of the roof.

If you are designing in areas with heavy snow accumulation, then you’ll also probably want to think about the use of snow guards and snow rails to control the shedding of snow from the roof.

Snow guards on curved metal roof.There are plenty of different kinds of snow guards and rails out there designed for use with standing seam metal roofing products.  The most effective seems to be the systems that are mechanically attached with brass or aluminum clamps using round-point setscrews that will not “pin” or “fix” the metal roof panels to the building.

Snow guards can even enhance the aesthetic appearance of the building, offering  colors and finishes matching standing seam metal roofing panels and coated to last as long as the roof itself.

If you are considering a snow retention system on your metal roof then get one designed and engineered on a site-specific basis. They’re made for your roof and they will also carry a performance guarantee.

Mechanically attached snow guards are about six times stronger than adhesively-mounted devices that can degrade with time and exposure.  In addition mechanically attached guards require less time and labor expenses than soldered snow guards.

And just when you thought snow guards were just for snow, we’ve found some enterprising architects who have found some interesting uses for these kinds of guards and rails not even remotely associated with snow! Continue reading

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