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Metal Roofing Vs. Mother Nature: 6 Ways a Metal Roof Will Protect Your Home From the Elements

Between the sun, rain, hail, wind, hurricanes and more, your roof battles mother nature on a daily basis. Growing up, I used to think trees were these huge, strong structures. And they are, right? But consider how many times you see fallen tree limbs versus how many times you see a metal roof blown off. It's kind of crazy to think that a metal roof can last 40-70 years; and, when installed properly, have uncompromised protection for your home.


So, how can a metal roof really "go to bat" for your home each day? Let's talk about how some common elements can put your house at risk and how a metal roof will protect your home from mother nature.



1. Metal Roofing Vs. The Sun


Metal roofs are extremely durable. They won’t corrode, crack, or peel like other roofing materials. When battling the sun, you want your roof to not only perform with protection, but also with aesthetics. At True Metal Supply, our metal roofing systems are coated with Sherwin Williams WeatherXL® paint coatings, which are backed by a lifetime warranty. We also offer textured finishes that can further aid in scratch resistance, but we're getting off topic - let's get back to the sun.


The sun doesn't just affect your roof, it affects the temperature in your home. Luckily, metal roofs are extremely energy efficient, saving homeowners up to 40% in energy expenditure. To quote Mason Burchette,

"Metal roofing is also energy-efficient, making it an excellent option for homeowners who want to reduce their energy bills. Metal roofing reflects solar heat, reducing the amount of heat that enters your home during hot summer months. This means that your air conditioning system won’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool, resulting in lower energy bills."

For more information on how metal roofing's energy efficiency, check out this article and the independent studies by Oak Ridge National Laboratories.



2. Metal Roofing Vs. Mold


This one is pretty straightforward. Because metal roofing has a natural ability to wick away water and moisture, unlike other materials that are liable to absorption, metal is actually one of the best preventative roofing options for condensation and mold. However, if you are in an area that is more prone to algae, the Watts Crossover® Chalking & Stain Remover also works great for removing biological growth. You can find this product, the Metal Roof Maintenance Kit, Cleansweep® Wipes and more on our online shop.


Also, to further protect against condensation and mold, it's a good practice to invest in a moisture barrier, ventilation system, underlayment and, of course, ideal insulation. All in all, with proper installation, metal is one of the best roofing materials to fight against mold, but you can take additional steps to further prevent biological growth.



3. Metal Roofing Vs. Wind


Have you ever noticed how after a big storm you'll often see asphalt shingles laying in the front lawn, but you never see metal roofing panels doing the same? That's because metal roofing peaks in wind performance compared to other roofing systems. As we dive into how a metal roof can protect your roof from wind, let's first define wind uplift and break down the related testing.


Defining Wind Uplift

Wind uplift is the suction created by wind forces as the air moves parallel to the roof's surface. As a gust of wind meets the side of a structure, the part of the air is directed upward then across the roof, creating a pressure differential. The air pressure atop the roof is less than that below, and as the differential attempts to equalize, a suction is created that pulls at the roof panels. The faster the wind, the more forceful the uplift will be. In extreme wind events, uplift can pull panels and shingles off buildings.


Wind uplift pressures vary depending on the location on the roof, meaning not every point on a roof experiences the same uplift pressure at the same time. The roof corners and perimeter, which are not fastened directly to the structure, are the weakest points.


UL 580 - Wind Uplift Rating

UL 580 tests a sample of roofing material that has been installed on a test platform. The material is subjected to static uplift pressure for five minutes and oscillating pressure in 10-second intervals for over one hour. The material may be awarded one of three ratings (Class 30, 60 or 90) based on how it performs.

  • Class 30: Material resists nominal static pressure of 30 psf and range of oscillating pressure between 22 and 42 psf.

  • Class 60: Material resists nominal static pressure of 60 psf and range of oscillating pressure between 44 and 83 psf.

  • Class 90: Material resists nominal static pressure of 90 psf and range of oscillating pressure between 66 and 90 psf.

For reference, 90 psf converts to approximately 187.50 mph, while 30 psf converts to 108.25 mph. Note, wind speed is normally measured on the ground and will almost always be greater at roof height. It is also important to specify that this test does not determine material failure in rapidly changing wind speeds and direction or show the failure rate of screw or anchors used in construction.


At True Metal Supply, both our Through Fastened Tuff-Rib and Concealed Fastened DuraLock Standing Seam metal roofing systems are UL580 Class 90 Wind Uplift Compliant (recall that 90 psf = 187.50 mph).



4. Metal Roofing Vs. Rain


While rain doesn't sound like a devastating element, it certainly can be for the integrity of your roofing system. If not installed properly, a roof can lead to leaks, rot and failure of your roof system if not treated accordingly. The best way to protect against rain is proper installation.

With regard to a through fastened system, your fastener can be a game changer. At True, we provide the Atlas Bolt and Screw #10 Wood Ultimate® metal roofing fastener. This fastener features a fully encapsulated head with a lifetime warranty against red rust, as well as a multi-seal washer. This technology can protect against leakage when the screw is not fastened at the perfect angle. The embedded video further explains how this fastener can prevent rain leakage.

True Metal Supply's Tuff-Rib Anti-Siphon Groove
Tuff-Rib Anti-Siphon Groove

Now let's focus on the metal roofing panels themselves. True Metal Supply's Tuff-Rib, exposed fastener system features a unique engineering design that creates an anti-siphon groove on the lap side. This technology prevents any wind-driven or pooling water from "siphoning" under the panel lap and reaching the roof deck.


Concealed fastened metal roofing systems will provide even more outstanding results regarding rain, as there is no exposed fastener to create a leak pathway. Again, with proper installation and the right materials, a metal roof should ease any rain concerns you may have.



5. Metal Roofing Vs. Hail


Metal roofing is superior to traditional asphalt shingles when considering hail. To understand how metal roofing beats this extreme element from mother nature, we need to take a look at the UL2218 test.


UL 2218 - Impact Rating

UL 2218 test to rate the strength of roofing materials. The test uses steel balls that range in size from 1.25" to 2" in diameter. The steel balls are released from a height of 12' for the 1.25" ball, and a height of 20' for the 2" steel ball. The roof structure being tested is impacted twice in the same spot for each size steel ball.


In order to meet the criteria set by the UL 2218 standard, the roofing material, reverse surface, and underneath layers must not tear, fracture, crack, split, rupture, craze, or exhibit any evidence of opening of the roof covering layer. The roofing material will then be categorized into one of four categories (Class 1, 2, 3 or 4) based on how it performed.

  • Class 3: Awarded if the tested roofing material does not crack when hit twice in the same spot by the 1.25" steel ball from 12'.

  • Class 4: Awarded if the tested roofing material does not crack when hit twice in the same spot by the 2" steel ball from 20'.

True Metal Supply's metal roofing systems are UL2218 Class 4 Impact Resistance Compliant. While that doesn’t mean the panels will never be dented by hail, it does mean that where a traditional asphalt shingle roof may fail entirely, your metal panels will continue to last for the lifespan of your roofing system. Also, it's important to note that while we don't typically associate dents as "good" news, it is better to see hail damage on a metal panel than to miss hail damage on an asphalt shingle. Because it's often difficult to identify hail damage on asphalt shingles, determining if a shingle has compromised the entire roof is not only tedious, it's dangerous to the integrity of the entire roofing system. Finally, a visible, aesthetic imperfection that's easy to identify with insurance companies is far preferred over possibly system-altering damage to an asphalt shingle that may be missed entirely.



6. Metal Roofing Vs. Fire


Fire has caused some unique confusion about metal roofing, so this is the perfect time to clear things up. We have been posed the question, "In the event of a fire, is it too difficult to create an area for smoke to escape in a metal roof?" While metal is extremely durable, impact resistant, crack and fade resistant, etc., it isn't axe-proof. Luckily, a metal roof will not compete with a fireman relentlessly slicing into it, so if you're concerned with this myth, you can put it out of your mind!


While metal roofing can't compete with that fireman and axe, it can resist the fire itself quite well. Let's take a look at the fire resistance ratings.


UL 790 - Fire Resistance Rating

UL 790 requirements test the measurement of the relative fire characteristics of roofing material that is subjected to simulated fire sources originating from outside a building on which the material is installed. The material is awarded one of three ratings (Class A, B or C) based on how it performs.

  • Class A: Material is effective against severe fire test exposures. Under such exposures, roof coverings of this class afford a high degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are not expected to produce flying brands.

  • Class B: Material is effective against moderate fire test exposures. Under such exposures, roof coverings of this class afford a moderate degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are not expected to produce flying brands.

  • Class C: Material is effective against light fire test exposures. Under such exposures, roof coverings of this class afford a light degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position, and are not expected to produce flying brands.

Tuff-Rib and DuraLock Standing Seam from True Metal Supply will both rank at the highest level with Class A fire resistance ratings. When it comes to this serious condition, you can feel better protected knowing your roofing has a preferred fire resistance classification.



Conclusion:

Whether your geographical region sees wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes & heavy winds, blistering sunshine, (or all of the above), a True Metal Supply metal roofing system will protect your roof from the extreme tests mother nature throws its way.


Interested in getting a quote for a metal roof on your home? Get a free online quote by clicking here.







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