Category Archives: Contractors

Meeting Standards for Metal Wall Panels: An Important Consideration in Building Design

There are thousands of building materials and products globally and virtually all of those used in a manufactured environment are subject to some form of testing and standards.

There are a host of international standards organizations that set standards for and test all kinds of products. There are de facto standards which means they are followed by informal convention or dominant usage, de jure standards which are part of legally binding contracts, laws or regulations and voluntary standards which are published and available for people to consider for use.

Picture of metal wall panels used in construction.The people who use an item (architects, engineers, contractors, etc.) or specify it (building codes, government, industry, etc.) have the responsibility to consider the available standards, specify the correct one, enforce compliance, and use the item correctly.

By the end of the 19th century, differences in standards between companies, was making trade increasingly difficult and strained. Hence the establishment of professionally supported standards organizations.  Progress was nevertheless slow. Suppliers in many industries including construction objected to standard material specifications and testing procedures because they feared that strict quality controls would make customers more inclined to reject items and default on contracts.

There was plenty of back and forth on the issue but the demand by material end users like the powerful railroad industry finally led to the formation of the American Society of Testing and Materials in 1898.

To this day, the ASTM remains one of the key standards organizations in the world. And in the area of wall panel, it provides some of the key standards for materials used in building design and construction. Continue reading

Accurately Replacing a Historic Roof Can Be Done with the Right Research and a Metal Roof

From the earliest days of our nation, many of America’s important buildings have had metal roofs made from copper, lead and tin-coated iron. Americans knew then as we know now that metal enhances the look of these buildings while providing roof protection that will last for many generations to come. Many of these historical buildings were built in an age where the aesthetics of the roof were an important part of the look of a building. Patterns in the roof and ornamental treatments such as steeples, spires, finials, collector heads and other decorative but functional outcroppings brought beauty and elegance to the buildings of an earlier time.Walter Reed Hospital Restoration with Metal Roof

Today, it is expensive and difficult to replace both the roofs and the roof decorations made from metals like copper and terne-coated steel that were prevalent during that period.  Because so much of the restoration involves public buildings, entities like the National Park Service have websites that can provide technical guidelines for restoration. Another good source is Traditional Buildings Magazine with editorial content and advertising that can help find the materials and restoration companies needed to tackle an historic building renovation. They are good resources for researching roofing characteristics of an historic building project including color, texture, historically accurate materials, durability and performance and even some of the roof configurations, many of which were peculiar to the specific project. Continue reading

Snow Loads A Real Safety Issue In Winter of 2014 – May be Time to Consider A Metal Roof

Looking for another reason for considering a standing seam metal roof system – well check this out?

Over a 36-hour period in Massachusetts last month, there were more than 70 reports of roof collapses or buildings with potential structural damage from the weight of snow and ice loads on roofs.  The majority took place in eastern Massachusetts but they could have been almost anywhere in the continental United States given the severity of the weather we’ve been experiencing.Snow load collapsed roof

In many instances, homes and businesses were evacuated as a result of collapses or safety concerns resulting from indications of structural weaknesses from rooftop snow loads.  These conditions are directly attributable to prolonged cold weather and repeated snowstorms punctuated by short periods of rain that are absorbed into the snowpack adding more weight.  The threat can be alleviated by removing the rooftop snow on homes and commercial buildings.  That’s one short term solution. Continue reading

Englert Introduces New Mobile App

Englert is pleased to announce the development of a new mobile Roofing App for Apple and Android devices.

Englert Inc mobile app for iOS devicesThis new App contains easy to access PDFs of all Englert brochures and catalogs as well as a section that displays all of the standing seam metal roof panel profiles and simulates how each profile is installed using very vivid animation.

In addition the new App includes an easy to use color selector for both roofing and gutter colors allowing the user to click on each color to see a larger version of the color swatch along with an explanation of which materials the colors are available in.

The Apps are available in the Apple store and also in an Android version.

For more information on Englert products please feel free to contact your local Englert Rep or visit the Englert website at www.englertinc.com

Steel and Aluminum—Two Great Metal Roofing Materials, Each Have Their “Strengths”

If you are a designer or builder considering a standing seam metal roof you may be asking the question what is the difference between aluminum and steel as a choice for the metal roof.

Commercial and residential metal roofing is primarily made of steel or aluminum. Both products are initially produced in giant rolls at a mill. All steel roofing has a protective barrier on both sides of the sheet called a metallic coating which protects against rusting. This is underneath and separate from any paint which imparts color to the product. There are two types of metallic coatings used: galvanized, which uses 100% Zinc in various thicknesses depending upon the product usage, and Galvalume, a mixture of aluminum and zinc. These metallic coatings “sacrifice” themselves to protect the iron in steel from oxidation when exposed to air and moisture. Zinc is a more “active” metal than iron so it oxidizes first and forms a protective barrier — zinc oxide, before the iron in the steel can become Ferric Oxide (rust). When zinc is combined with aluminum to form Galvalume there is even more protection in most circumstances.Metal roofing coil in various colors.

Steel residential roofing is made in thicknesses designated by gauge and is generally 24 to 26 gauge, with the higher gauge being thinner than the lower. These gauges are appropriate since most residential metal roofing applications are over a solid substrate. Aluminum residential metal roofing is designated by decimal thickness and ranges from .023 to .040 thickness.

Steel and aluminum both perform well as a metal roofing material. However, aluminum roofing, depending upon the exact product chosen, can run up to 20 percent higher in price compared to steel roofing. Continue reading

Concealed Fastener Systems More Expensive but Proven to Last in Standing Seam Metal Roofing Systems

Over the past several months we’ve talked a lot about standing seam panels and their ability to resist all kinds of weather-related challenges as well as fire, hurricanes and salt air. We’ve compared Galvalume to galvanized steel, polyester to PVDF coating and different metal and aluminum gauge thicknesses.

But the one thing we haven’t talked about are the two different types of metal roofing fastening systems—a very important topic that involves economics, aesthetics and maintenance.

Concealed metal roofing fastenerThe two most common ways of attaching a metal roof to a structure are exposed fasteners and concealed fasteners. Exposed fastened panels use a screw or nail to secure the metal roofing to the roof deck or purlins whereby the nail or screw actually penetrates an area where two panels overlap.  This can involve hundreds and even thousands of fasteners which must be spaced and driven to maintain the integrity of rubber grommets which serve to prevent precipitation from gaining access through each hole.

Conversely, concealed clip fastened panels use a system where the fasteners are driven through the clips into the roof deck with no connection or piercing of the metal panels. The clip and fasteners are concealed beneath the standing seam panel material. The panel is then laid over and attached to the clips and then mechanically or hand locked to them.
Granted, exposed fastener metal roofing panels are a less expensive alternative to concealed fastener standing seam roofs. They work best in simple roofs like gables or shed roofs but get difficult to work with on structures with dormers, valleys and complex architectural features. Continue reading

There’s No Place Like Home for a Standing Seam Metal Roof

If you think of metal roofing as being a utilitarian cover for buildings like barns, rustic hideaways and tool sheds, think again. Or, if you’ve presumed the opposite–that metal roofs are only for luxurious new homes hidden in the mountains or on spring-fed ponds–you’ll want to rethink that belief as well.

Whether it’s sufficiently scientific or not, I was curious and did a quick study of 512 residential projects where installation contractors filed for paint finish warrantees with Englert between January and December of this year. Most of the projects were new roofs but a large percentage were reroofs as well. Projects were located all over the United States. I was curious to find out how many square feet of metal roofing had been installed on these homes —and by whom.

The results tell the story of the kinds of homes and the owners who are choosing a standing seam metal roof for their home. Continue reading

Revolutionary New Aluminum Composite Wall Panel Changes the Way ACP is Made and Installed

Aluminum Composite Panels or ACP have been around for more than 30 years and their primary benefits have always been pretty much the same—faster to install than other surfaces like precast, granite or brick. They’re also light weight, thus saving money by reducing structural steel requirements, since less support structure is needed.
PVDF coatings used today guarantee these panels will retain their original luster for decades, ensuring their aesthetic appeal and maintaining property value without the need for rehab. They are specifically designed to resist the elements and protect against air and water infiltration and… most of an aluminum composite panel is comprised of recycled content.Englert Aluminum Composite Panels on building.

With the exception of better coatings, little however has changed with ACP – until now.
Architects, builders, general contractors and building owners may find it interesting that this month a new and revolutionary ACP product has entered the marketplace—one that will change forever the way ACP is made, specified and installed. This revolutionary new “snap and go” aluminum composite wall panel system installs in less than half the time of conventional ACM products that have been around for more than 30 years.

Unlike existing ACP products, the new ACP is a randomly installed wall panel system where grids of tough PVC attachment strips are attached to an exterior or interior wall and multiple panels are quickly snapped into place along the grid.  Installation can begin anywhere on the wall surface and allows workers to install the PVC grids while others are snapping in the panels. The process takes less than half the time of traditional sequentially installed systems—already faster than other materials–where each panel must be positioned and installed one at a time. Continue reading

What Contractors Should Know When Buying Metal Roofing Coil

Contractors looking for a good deal on galvanized steel and aluminum roofing coil should always be careful—if it looks too good to be true then it probably isn’t.

There are some tools and “rules of thumb” for them to be sure they’re at least getting what they paid for.

Contractors order metal roofing coil by the square foot and most, in turn, charge their clients the same way.

So the number of square feet a coil is going to yield will dictate how much they are going to pay and how much they are going to earn.

There are a few unknowns in the process. Let’s use 24 gauge steel coil as our example. One coil of 24 gauge material can be different from another. That’s because industry standards permit “tolerances” in what constitutes a 24 gauge thickness. For example, we’ve know of one widely used “standard” that allows the thickness of 24 gauge galvanized steel to be anywhere from .0236 to .0316 inches thick. We know another one that only allows it to be from .0236 to .0296. A lot of contractors know this and realize that the yield of a coil may differ to some degree based on those tolerances. The only way to figure how many square feet the coil will accurately yield is to use a micrometer to measure the thickness of the material. And only a handful of large contractors and distributors have micrometers. Continue reading

New Solar Thermal Technology Saves Install Labor and Boosts Heat Output from Solar Thermal Standing Seam Metal Roof Systems

In an earlier blog this month, we talked about rooftop solar systems integrated with standing seam roofs.  We noted that the most widely employed rooftop solar technology isn’t electric, it’s solar thermal for heating air and hot water. We discussed four different systems, including an under the roof technology that takes heat from the metal roofing components and heats a water/glycol mixture that is circulated through cross-linked polyethylene tubing attached to a structure of purlins that are laid down piece by piece across the roof sheathing.Solar Thermal Install Thermal Lock Module

Well, since our blog appeared, a new under the roof technology has been emerging that uses the same heat principal but eliminates a lot of the manual labor, time and cost using the old system.

Known informally as the thermal lock module, this new under-the roof-system replaces complex 300 to 500 foot warrens of interlocking components of purlins, tubing, insulation material and aluminum foil with four by eight foot modules factory-fabricated and ready to install. Each module is 1 ½-inch thick and is connected to another by a simple coupling, eliminating a lot of the components and labor needed to install older systems.

The modules are installed as quickly as you would install a piece of plywood sheathing on a roof. It takes less than five minutes to couple them together.

There’s no need for the foil or foam and the system’s creator contends the new glycol system harvests two to three times more BTUs than the older glycol-based ones. In a recent in-plant test with 40 gallons of water, the creators say a single module was able to heat the temperature of the water from 50 degrees F in the morning to 105 degrees F in the afternoon. The new system must still undergo testing at the SRCC™, the non-profit organization which provides authoritative performance ratings, certifications and standards for solar thermal products required in most government and many commercial solar contracts. And its producer will only provide the factory made modules with plans to connect them to a manifold. But a certified solar installer must hook it up to the heating system.

Nonetheless, it appears to be a major step forward in under the roof solar thermal technology and one worth watching for architects, contractors and builders interested in marrying standing seam metal roofs with solar thermal installations.

Free Englert Roofing Mobile App Download:

Easy access to all Englert brochures and catalogs, a color selector for both roofing and gutter colors, standing seam metal roof panel profiles, and a convenient coil calculator to assist in estimating and completing your particular project.

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