commercial roofing Philadelphia
March 29, 2022

Most Common Types of Metal Roofs

You don’t care if your roof looks pretty, you just want it to do its job — we get it. A metal roof is a popular choice for businesses because if it’s installed correctly, it can offer a long lifespan, few problems, and minimal repairs. However, there are multiple types of metal roofing solutions on the market today — each with different advantages and weaknesses.

Whether you’re trying to figure out what type of metal roof your facility has, what maintenance it needs, or if you’re deciding on the right style to get a quote for, J. Smucker Contracting can help. We have decades of experience repairing and installing all of the most common types of metal roofs — start the conversation today!

Your Metal Roof Options: R-Panel vs Standing Seam Roofs

To most business owners and facility managers, all metal roofs are basically the same. Generally we see well-maintained metal roofs outlast their rubber roof counterparts, but metal roofs also typically come in at a higher cost to install in the first place.

Learn more about common flat roof materials

The 2 most common types of metal roofs are r-panel roofs and standing seam roofs — here’s what most often goes wrong with each and how we fix each type of metal roof.

  1. R-Panel Metal Roof

    This type of metal roof is built with 36-inch-wide interconnected metal panels. These metal roof types feature overlapping seams which limit water infiltration, but the exposed fasteners can be a point of weakness. While the metal panels themselves last about 30 years, we often see the screws and seams begin leaking at the 15-year mark. The Achilles heel of an r-panel metal roof, however, is rust and corrosion destroying the exposed fasteners. This damage allows water infiltration across the entire system.

    To restore the lifespan of r-panel roofs, we apply a special roof restoration system that strengthens all of the weakest areas. This includes caulking all fasteners, coating any areas of rust, and painting the roof white to make the roof reflective, and thus energy-efficient. This metal roofing solution adds a warranted 18 years onto the roof lifespan.

  2. Standing Seam Roof

    In contrast to an r-panel, the seams between panels on a standing seam model are located at the highest point of the roof. This design feature limits the water infiltration that can destroy other commercial options, both metal and otherwise. The standard metal roof type for very large projects, standing seam roofs are very well regarded in the commercial roofing industry.

    While this roof generally has a long lifespan, there are several weaknesses that can allow water infiltration to undermine that. One of the weaknesses of this metal roof style is that it is built of uncoated metal panels. Over years being exposed to the elements, the metal panels that make up the roof can begin to rust and pit, a process which is exacerbated by acid rain. One downside of this type of metal roof is that it is the most time-consuming — and thus most expensive — to tear off and replace.

    Learn more about roof replacement costs.

Due to the expense of replacing standing seam and other roof types, we generally find that restoration is the preferable option for most decision makers. Our metal roof solution for a standing seam system involves washing the entire roof, caulking all seams and fasteners, and finally adding a coating to the galvanized metal. The white coating addresses the biggest weakness of the roof as well as makes it reflective and energy-efficient. Our solution adds 10 to 20 years onto the lifespan of the standing seam roof.

Solutions for the Most Common Metal Roof Types

metal roof restoration lancaster

Protecting your metal roof prevents one of the largest capital expenses most businesses have to make — tearing off and replacing their building’s roof. Our roof restoration solutions actually make your roof stronger and better able to handle the elements than when it was new. That’s why metal roof solutions that extend the life of the roof are becoming the preferred answer for both r-panel and standing seam systems.

Learn more about the advantages of roof restoration.

Whether you know which type of metal roof your building has, or you’re not certain, J. Smucker Contracting can help. We perform repairs, restoration, and replacements on all different styles of flat roofs. Start the conversation today to learn more about our services or to schedule the preventative maintenance you need.