Tag Archives: Galvalume

Caution to Contractors: Bending Techniques for Aluminum Differ from Steel

When metal roofing manufacturers first introduced aluminum material for standing seam roofing, much of the aluminum produced was .032 thickness.

However, over the years the building products industry has been gravitating to thicker roofing and trim material, especially in aluminum. And, Dade County Florida enacted new wind uplift rules for metal roofing that required the use of .040 aluminum for roofs and .050 thickness for trim material to meet the rule requirements.

Consequently, contractors were transitioning from the use of .018 to .024 thick Galvalume or Hot Dipped Galvanized steel roofing and trim products to .032 to .050 thick Aluminum. Many contractors assumed aluminum bent the same as steel and therefore thought little adjustment was needed to make crisp bends on aluminum as they had done with steel. This resulted in some contractors bending these heavier aluminum products beyond their tensile strength limits resulting in cracking of the metal and paint as well as leaving a silver look from the crazed aluminum under the paint. Continue reading

Compelling Data that Supports Metal Roofs Offer Longer Service Life

New industry research shows that metal roof systems can last at least 60 years, longer than the average commercial building’s service life.

“The study provides third-party, scientific data that backs up the long held belief that 55% aluminum zinc coated steel standing seam roofing systems offer economic longevity and can be better for the environment.

Non-metal roofing systems require one or more full replacements within a typical commercial building’s 60-year service life, which is more expensive over the long run and usually adds to the solid waste stream in landfills.Metal roofin gon the Wilkes Barre Terminal

The study, sponsored by the Metal Construction Association and the Zinc Aluminum Coaters Association, was conducted with oversight of three independent consulting firms which analyzed low-slope, unpainted 55% Aluminum-Zinc coated steel standing seam roofing, in a wide range of environments across the U.S.

The material tested is commercially known as Galvalume and Zincalume and is commonly used on low rise commercial buildings such as warehouses, schools, distribution centers, shopping centers, government structures, sports and exposition facilities and other structures. 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

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

Architects’ Notes: The Differences Between Galvalume And Galvanized In Metal Roofing Projects

Englert’s nationwide team of architectural sales reps spend a considerable amount of time each year counseling architects on which standing seam metal roofing products and profiles might work best for their design projects.  One of the questions most frequently asked by architects is: What are the differences between  Galvalume and Galvanized Steel when used in roofing. It comes up so often, we thought we’d take a few minutes and use this week’s blog to explain those differences.

First, a little bit of background. Galvalume® was invented by Bethlehem Steel in 1972. It is a trademarked name, but many people use it as a generic term to describe a metal roofing product consisting of  steel coil coated with a metal alloy. That alloy is 45% zinc and 55% aluminum and looks similar to galvanized steel, but the visible crystals are smaller and close together, giving it a smoother appearance.  Galvalume has a cousin, Galvalume Plus. The only difference is Plus has a thin, clear acrylic coating. Because Galvalume Plus can be roll-formed dry without vanishing oil, it is very easy to form and install safely.Galvalume metal roof peak with snow guards.

The combination of zinc and aluminum in Galvalume enhances both the positive and negative effects of aluminum.  Galvalume has barrier corrosion resistance and heat resistance similar to aluminized material and good bare edge galvanic protection and forming qualities like galvanized material. Consequently, Galvalume  and Galvalume Plus will resist rust, the elements and fire while providing a sturdy and protective covering.

Galvalume® is more corrosion-resistant than galvanized steel, but because aluminum provides barrier protection instead of galvanic protection, scratches and cut edges are less protected.  Galvalume is offered in both bare and pre-coated versions. Most Galvalume®–like galvanized steel– is coated. But Galvalume has an excellent performance life in bare exposures as well.  Both galvanized steel and Galvalume® weigh 100 to 150 pounds per 100 square feet and contain about 35% recycled materials. The cost of Galvalume and Galvalume Plus are about the same as that of galvanized steel. Continue reading

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