Tag Archives: Standing Seam Metal Roof

Metal and Coatings Are Important: But the Paintline and the People Who Run It Will Make the Difference

Everyone always talks about the quality of their aluminum and steel in metal construction and the importance of using a high end coating.

But very rarely do you hear anyone talk about a third key element in the manufacture of a quality metal roofing or wall product—the paint line on which it is made. Virtually every aspect of a paint line plays a critical role in the final quality of the product. Following is a quick visit to a modern paint line with a look at why a state of the art manufacturing operation is critical to the production of a superior product and to the economies of cost in producing it.

Paint line systems built within the past few years are environmentally superior. They capture 100 percent of solvent fumes from painting, drying and curing operations and recover virtually all of the heat from the burning solvent for return to the process in an ultra-clean system.Metal coil paintline.

Newer paint lines have systems  that can heat their ovens and metal cleaning and pretreatment operations with no cost, saving  a substantial amount of energy which otherwise would have to be built into the cost of the product. Their environmental systems burners destroy volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and solvents in their incinerator. The heat from there is passed through for heating ovens and the boiler which creates steam heat for the cleaner and rinse tanks. Then fresh air from the coater rooms is passed through the heat exchanger and into the incinerator to be burned to complete the loop. Any excess heat is then pumped out through the stack.

Modern paint lines have an oven and incinerator with one burner along the entire line, producing the highest grade of painted metal possible. Oven heat in these modern systems is better balanced internally to give a better product with color that is uniform across the entire roll. Samples of whites produced in older, multiple-burner manufacturing systems can have a yellow cast across the width of the strip because the heat is stronger on one side of the burner than the other. The new systems set the highest standard in the industry for quality, color and consistency. Continue reading

Metal Roofing Contractors Can Avoid Cinching AKA Friction Scratches With These Simple Rollforming Tips

Cinching, sometimes also referred to as “friction scratches” or “pickoff,” is the result of the movement or slipping of painted coil laps against each other on a rollforming machine.

This phenomenon can be frustrating to metal roofing contractors because it causes the removal of paint in the shape of small or medium sized scratches on metal roofing coil formed in the same direction of the slipping or movement of the coil laps.

Some clear signs that cinching is the cause of these short longitudinal scratches are:
•    Worn or broken pieces on the spools, idler rolls and guides,
•    Gaps or air spaces between sections of the laps of the coil
•    The ability to move the laps of coil with hand pressure, a sure sign that coil has unraveled.

Cinched metal roofing panel.The vast majority of cinching incidents are caused by improper brake pressure on the un-coiler spool or the expandable arbor brake on the rollforming machine.  For portable roll formers, the improper brake pressure on the un-coiler spool is by far the source of most cinching. And new machine operators not familiar with the use of the brake or trained incorrectly are responsible for most of the problems.

To avoid cinching, the rollforming machine operator must make sure there is proper tension to allow the coil to uncoil without tightening the laps or without loosening the coil so it does not unravel. If either of these actions occurs, the laps will rub against each other and cause cinching. Continue reading

Standing Seam Metal Roofs: Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

Quick! What color is the standing seam metal roof on a Home Depot? Barnes & Noble? How about a Lowes Home Improvement store?

We’ll bet you knew all three of them-orange, green and blue. And not any orange, green and blue because each of those retail giants has a custom name for its colors. They know their colors play a key role along with signage to brand their companies and ultimately help customers identify and remember their stores in the great clutter of America’s malls and roadside retailers.Metal roof on IHOP restaurant.

They are not alone. Scores of fast food chains, national and regional gas stations, hotel chains and the like have signature color standing seam metal roofs that serve as beacons to customers. The color in essence becomes part of their brand.

Why? Because color possesses an inherent ability to stimulate an aesthetic consciousness simply by the visual satisfaction that it creates. Used intelligently, color and colored light can add distinctiveness and appeal to any project. Continue reading

Hurricanes and Mega-storms in the Northeast: Is it time to take a new look at the building codes?

Hurricane Sandy was the ninth such devastating storm to hit the Northeast in the last five years, and it raises the question “Will the impacts of climate change only make such storms worse.”

That region has had hurricanes and Halloween snowstorms.  So the questions must be raised–Are these coincidence or is climate disruption affecting this region and other parts of the country? And what do government, the insurance industry and private sector developers have to do to protect against future devastation?Sea Girt NJ During Hurricane Sandy

More than a decade ago in the wake of destruction of Hurricane Andrew, Southeastern elected officials, state, county and municipal engineers,  building department officials and the insurance industry finally bit the bullet and imposed stringent building requirements to thwart the impact of future storms.  The Florida Building Department and Miami-Dade County launched stringent building codes to ensure new construction could survive the high winds bred by hurricanes and tropical storms.  Other states and their counties and municipalities throughout the region began adopting the provisions of those codes as well. The result has been a significant reduction in damage in high wind situations. Continue reading

Now is the Perfect Time to Replace an Aging Flat Roof with a Retrofit Standing Seam Metal Roof System

Aging building stock and demands for energy efficient buildings makes now the perfect time to suggest a retrofit standing seam metal roof.

A sloped retrofit metal roof system incrementally extends the life expectancy of a building, reducing roof maintenance costs. It also improves its aesthetic and economic value and may even decrease insurance premiums inflated by past problems.Flat roof being retrofitted with metal roofing.

According to recent studies, about 25% of U.S. commercial, institutional and public buildings are now 55 years old or older. Right now, there is roughly 71.6 billion square feet of aging commercial buildings in America. With another 10.6 billion square feet in industrial space and more than six billion in pre-1980 school construction you’ve got more than 24 percent of all structures in the U.S. ready for renovation. In a tough economy, the need to refurbish and give new life to these buildings should be an architect’s dream.

Installing a standing seam retrofit metal roof system will eliminate the disruptive loss of business and building use that occurs if you replace the old roof with another flat roof. Continue reading

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

Metal Roof Coatings: What to Look for When Choosing a Durable Topcoat

When architects and building owners are looking for specific performance characteristics in choosing a metal roof, they are inevitably looking for its coating to act as a continuous barrier, adhere tightly to the substrate, and not fade, peel or chip over its life. They expect it to be hard enough to resist incidental scratches from transportation, installation, and roof traffic and impact. They do not expect it to be so brittle as to crack during metal forming. They want it to resist damage from atmospheric chemicals and salt and not chalk, fade, lose gloss, or stain. In other words, they want the coating system to be durable, enhancing the life of the metal roof underneath and extending the guarantee that the product will perform effectively for many years.

There are dozens of tests that paints can undergo to determine their performance characteristics for durability (See National Coil Coating Association Tool Kit #8). There are falling sand erosion tests, acid tests, adhesion after impact and bending tests and acid rain and salt spray simulations.  Fade, chalk and gloss are the most important characteristics measured in weathering tests.

Paints are usually identified by a resin type such as polyester, urethane, latex, etc. Tradeoffs in creating these systems are made to meet different price points for different needs. But, paints should also be considered as complete systems, rather than as a simple addition of a better or cheaper part of the product.Metal roof coating colors

Let’s dig a little bit more deeply to see what makes the difference in a superior metal roof coating. There are several coil coating topcoats available but only three are used primarily for coil coating exterior metal like that which is found on a standing seam metal roof system. Polyesters have traditionally occupied the low end of the market. They offer a hard, scratch-resistant finish and a wide range of gloss. But polyesters are prone to chalking when exposed to UV or sunlight. Since their introduction in the 1960’s, polyesters have been greatly improved with higher molecular weights and longer polymeric chains that create stronger, more UV-resistant bonds.

Silicone-modified polyesters (SMP), also known as silicone-protected and siliconized polyesters, use polymerized silicone to improve polyester chalk performance and gloss retention. But one disadvantage of silicone polyesters is lower flexibility due to the highly crosslinked and branched structure of these polymers. Continue reading

Manufacturing Metal Roof Systems More Efficiently On the Job Site With Portable Roll Forming Machines

Standing seam metal roof panels are formed for a project in one of two ways— directly at the job site using a portable roll former or off site at a factory and transported by truck to the job site.

When on-site portable roll forming first appeared on the scene more than 25 years ago, the sellers of factory formed panels saw the threat of losing business to metal roofing companies that formed the metal roof panels at the job site using portable roll forming equipment that provided greater flexibility and job control.  These in plant manufacturers began to make a lot of noise about the perceived disadvantages of on-site manufacturing.  Their unfounded claims were that on-site roll forming was too new and lacked a proven track record.   They focused a great deal of time and effort trying to disparage and eliminate the competition from on-site metal roofing fabricators.

Despite their great protestations, job site roll forming has thrived and millions of metal roofs have been installed using portable roll forming machines.  In fact, during the intervening years metal roofing projects completed using portable roll forming equipment have not received any more complaints than those projects that were completed using factory formed panels.  In many cases the advantages with respect to flexibility and increased job control resulting from the more efficient on-site roll forming process drew raves from GC’s, Architects and Building Owners.

Recently, times have been tough in the building industry—we all know that. And twenty five years later the sellers of factory-made panels are feeling the pinch and protesting again—from their factories, hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles from the job site where their roofing panels are being installed.

Twenty five years later, they’re still obsessed with the competition and still complaining about product reliability issues which were clearly never an issue in the first place. Meanwhile, job site roll formers have proven to have several distinct advantages over factory-made panels.

Unlike sellers of the factory formed panels, they don’t store piles of standing seam metal roof panels at the job site only to wait until other crafts have completed their work before roof installation can begin. They don’t leave panels exposed to inclement weather. They don’t have to worry about possible shipping and job site damage.  And they never have to worry that the panels will be too long or too short or that there weren’t enough panels manufactured and sent to the job site in the first place.


Conversely, job site roll formers are able to accommodate last minute changes in plans without waiting several days for the factory to take the order, make the new panels and ship them back to the job site.  Meanwhile, sophisticated roll forming machines allow contractors to punch in 50 different programs and get a series of different panel lengths in sequence.  Today’s contractors produce panel lengths in batches—without touching the unit.

Polyurethane drive rollers drive all materials up to 24 gauge steel through a machine with ease.  A wide variety of materials are run through the machine, with little or no adjustments.

The use of AutoCAD and CAD in the machine design process has resulted in shorter machines that produce finished panels and gutter systems in record time.

And… due to the resulting quality and efficiency more and more architects and GCs are turning to on site metal roof fabricators as the preferred choice to manufacture their clients metal roof systems.

Standing Seam Metal Roofs – An Ideal Choice for Rainwater Harvesting

In my last blog we talked about wildfires and what you can do to guard against them.  We suggested a Class A fire resistant standing seam metal roof for obvious reasons and a leaf protection system to keep leaves, pine needles and other natural debris out of your gutter so it doesn’t become kindling.

Studies by the University of Texas, the Texas Water Development Board and other universities have emphasized that a standing seam metal roof snares more water for reuse than any other roofing material—up to 95%. Those same studies also say a metal roof delivers the highest quality water for indoor domestic use.  Other roofing materials can spawn bacteria and high levels of dissolved organic carbon which can be unhealthy.  And while harvested rainwater that goes into a cistern is nearly always recommended for secondary uses like toilet flushing, landscape watering and car washing, the water taken from a metal roof is considered the safest.Harvesting rainwater allows you many uses for the collected water.
The same type of leaf protection system we recommended for keeping flammable debris out of the gutter in wildfire areas will also serve as the first step in filtering harvested rainwater. A standing seam metal roof and a leaf protection system are superior, effective and economically efficient designs for fighting wildfire AND capturing rainwater.
For the balance of the system, which  includes a pumping mechanism to pump the water back out for reuse and the storage system to hold the rain water that is captured – what you choose will be dictated by how much water you’re trying to capture. Englert rainwater harvesting system.You can choose from a list of professionally designed products ranging from a 100-gallon, inexpensive rain barrel with spigots for watering and drainage on up to a large in-ground system capable of storing 2,000 gallons of water or more.  We recommend that you contact a rainwater harvesting professional to discuss the type of system that best suits your specific needs.
Rainwater harvesting systems are a relatively inexpensive way to reduce long term water costs while conserving water and protecting the environment.

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