Archive for March, 2014

A Brief History of Copper Roofing, Zinc Roofing, and Aluminum Metal Roofing

Monday, March 31st, 2014

The most exciting history lesson you will ever experience.

With copper roofing, zinc roofing, and aluminum roofing increasingly becoming some of the more common home improvement endeavors in the New England area, many wonder if history has actually proven the multitude of positive statements spoken about these sorts of lifetime metal roofing systems.  Many homeowners ask us, “Isn’t metal roofing a new industry? Have we actually seen these aluminum metal roofing systems last the ‘oh-so promised’ 100 years?” As progressive as we may think New England and United States homeowners are, remember that the United States certainly is not the entire world. Hop into our aluminum time machine (it only makes sense – if it were steel, it would rust by the time we made it anywhere) and cruise and learn with us through time and space as we ride down the metal roofing memory lane of aluminum roofing, copper roofing, and zinc roofing.

In The Beginning

Metal is actually an ancient technology, and is has been used continuously for roofing and for many other forms of architecture and technology, all the way up to today. It has always been notorious for its function as a superior roofing option as opposed to other materials, regardless of which metal is used.  However, due to its higher cost, it never really grew popular as a mainstream home option until the past few generations. “The Dome of the Rock” – the establishment which sits on the area “Temple Mount” in Israel, where certain religious groups believe the prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven and where God intervened on Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaac – is believed to have originally been protected by gold metal roofing. It currently sports gold-leafed aluminum metal roofing.

domeofrock

The Dome Of The Rock

Aluminum Metal Roofing

Aluminum Metal Roofing – /əˈlo͞omənəm/ – our favorite. Like the representatives at the Classic Metal Roofing Systems factory like to say, “Centuries old, forever new …”

First, this material is astonishingly ancient. That said, it has been estimated that 73% of all aluminum ever used is still in use, through recycling. Read more on why we like aluminum. The earliest form of aluminum compounds, known as alums, were used by the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians as early as 2000 B.C. As described earlier, there is a reason the sacred “Dome of the Rock,” completed in 691, is sporting an aluminum metal roofing system over asphalt roofing.  Can you imagine asphalt roofing on the Dome of the Rock? Yikes. Don’t you want your home to look like The Dome of the Rock? Okay, perhaps not … because we would destroy the sacredness of the Dome of the Rock if it suddenly sprouted up all over New England. The point being, you should now be convinced that aluminum metal roofing can interface with practically any type or form of architecture.

sydney

Chief Secretary’s Office, Sydney, Australia

Similar to other materials that have been utilized for metal roofing, aluminum metal roofing has been very prominent in a variety of European cultures for centuries, which have evolved some beautiful designs. Even though it is only made its big break in the United States over the past century, there is an aluminum roofing system over 100 years old still standing flawlessly in the land down under. The Chief Secretary’s office building in Sydney, Australia had an aluminum roofing system installed on it in 1880. It is still there. And guess what? It is still in great condition.

Copper Roofing

mahamyat

Sri Lankan Loha Maha Paya Temple

Copper roofing, arguably the oldest form of metal roofing, has been around for thousands and thousands of generations.  In around ~300 B.C., copper roofing was installed on the Sri Lankan Loha Maha Paya Temple, also known as the Mahamuni Buddha Temple. We know that around 27 B.C., the Romans used copper metal roofing for the Pantheon. The oldest European medieval structures – churches – from around the 14th century, also utilized copper roofing. A St. Mary’s Cathedral, known as Hildesheim, had a copper metal roofing system installed on it in 1280 A.D.; the same exact roof is still there to this day. You may be thinking “Sure, right. That that system is 734 years old!”  Well, it’s true!

Kronborg, one of Europe’s most notorious castles from the Renaissance era, had a copper roofing system installed on it 1585 A.D. It was just renovated in 2009 – at the ripe old age of 424 years – not bad longevity for a roof! According to the December 2002/January 2003 issue of Metal Roofing Magazine, tests on a lot of European copper roofing systems from the 1700s exhibited results proving that this type of roofing can theoretically last up to 1000 years – an entire millennium!

Zinc Roofing

stcatherine

St. Catherine’s Church in Reutlingen, Germany

Zinc roofing, generally formed with copper and titanium, has been made very popular in Germany as well many other countries for about 300 years by European architects. Being one of the more recent metal roofing technologies, history has still proven that it provides a distinguishable long-term option for a metal roofing system. Zinc roofing is estimated to last over 70 years. That said, the German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel serviced zinc metal roofing throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and many of his historical buildings with zinc metal roofing are still there to this day. Keep in mind that we say over 70 years, because, accordingly, a recent article published by Construction Magnet recently found that the majority of a zinc metal roofing system was still serviceable after over 120 years. This zinc metal roofing was for the 1890 St. Catherine’s church located in a cemetery in Reutlingen, Germany. The building “has now been preserved to nearly its original state in 1890.”

Conclusion

What about the other types of metal roofing? What about steel metal roofing? We do not care about those metal roofing systems, and neither should you. Other metals are not durable enough for this industry and they should never be used as metal roofing material. Any architect or metal roofing contractor who suggests installation of anything other than zinc metal roofing, copper roofing, or aluminum roofing ultimately does not care about you or your home.

Remember, if there is one way to prove anything, it’s history.

Why We Recommend Aluminum Metal Roofing for Most Roofing Projects

Monday, March 24th, 2014

There are a variety of different metals and chemistry’s that many aluminum metal roofing contractors both install and recommend. When the consultants on our team speak with homeowners looking for information on metal roofing systems, one of the most common question they are frequently asked is, “What type of metal is best for my home?” Our top three recommendations are aluminum, zinc, and copper. The most practical metal, which fits well with most homes both in terms of long term investment and affordability, is aluminum.

The application of aluminum metal roofing can be considered the most green roofing option on the planet. Interestingly, approximately 73% of all aluminum ever manufactured is still in use world-wide. What makes this highly malleable metal so efficient and durable? Besides having very high energy efficiency, aluminum alloy has highly advantageous and peculiar characteristics: it is incredibly lightweight and easy to work with, it has immense durability, and it exhibits beneficial thermic and electric conductivity. That said, aluminum is highly superior to other metals, such as steel. Unlike steel, aluminum metal roofing is less susceptible to corrosion. In fact, the term “corrosion” immediately brings steel to mind, doesn’t it? Regardless of where it is located or utilized, steel will tend to rust; aluminum won’t. The application of aluminum has the potential to drastically lower emissions and waste products throughout the life of a given structure, and it is infinitely recyclable. The following corresponding terms “recycled” and “aluminum” may make certain homeowners cringe because of the “already-been-chewed” stereotype of recycled products; but, know that recycled aluminum actually has the exact same chemistry and functional performance as primary aluminum metal.

Though aluminum metal roofing will typically be about 2 ½ to 3 times the cost of conventional asphalt roofing, this type of metal roofing is manufactured to last up to 100 years with many long term investment benefits included. Besides the many benefits for the home and the roof, aluminum scrap metal recovery programs aid many communities and cities. These recovery programs not only help protect the environment, you, and your home – they create a significant amount of jobs, which generate income. This additional income will obviously produce many funds for the greater and valuable economic, political, and social missions of society. It can be said that in a number of ways, aluminum recycling runs through several threads of the cycle of commerce as we know it, not only in New England and the United States, but Worldwide. That said, Aluminum can even be considered one of the most “patriotic” American metals in the industry.

In accordance with the contributing factor that most aluminum products in the United States contain recycled aluminum, a common argument is that the energy source for the production of primary aluminum metal is electricity. To refute this with some factual information: over 70% of the electricity used in this given production process is actually from renewable hydro power sources itself. Also, despite what outdated sources imply, the sum of energy usage associated with both primary and secondary aluminum production processes has actually been drastically reduced over the past couple of decades – also reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Not only is aluminum the go-to metal for metal roofing, it also has many other practical uses. Modern automobiles are now being manufactured with aluminum which reduces weight and saves fuel, while still maintaining safety and performance standards. Aluminum is great for a wide range of architectural flexibility, such as: curtain facades and walls, windows, doors, sun screens, solar energy applications, and, of course, metal roofing. Aluminum has a high strength-to-weight ratio, which is one of the primary reasons it’s so useful in so many fields. Because aluminum can be the jack of all trades, it can reduce the usage of plastic, cement, and steel. In fact, as it has been said: “The modern skyscraper was only made possible by aluminum metal.” Ultimately, aluminum metal has continued to serve its function for decades on end. Usually, the aluminum will last as long as the building it’s applied to, ultimately reducing maintenance costs associated with any refits that were avoided by having it in place.

Now that we have learned about all of the phenomenal characteristics of this super-metal, let’s apply this knowledge to aluminum metal roofing. First, aluminum interfaces very well with the industry’s highest standard of coatings and colors. Even with a wide selection of different gradient colors available for aluminum metal roofing, these colors are typically not susceptible to fading. In addition to the durable properties of aluminum, these recently developed specialized coatings only increase that durability – realistically making it possible for a roof to actually be “maintenance free.” Whether or not a given structure provides a steep or a low pitch, aluminum metal roofing provides radiant heat reflectivity- it reflects the sun’s radiant heat, resulting in lower energy costs over the summer.

Because aluminum is roll formed, it can be crafted into a plethora of creative shapes. In this regard, a humorous question recently directed to us from a homeowner was, “How long are your aluminum metal roofing panels?” Our response? “As long as you want them to be!” That said, call our office with your questions at (866) 660-6668 (and you just might be featured on the Metal Roofing Blog). As discussed earlier, aluminum does not rust, unlike steel, galvanized steel, and galvalume. Like anything however, nothing is perfect; in this case, no metal is absolved from the possibility of potential oil canning – even aluminum. Oil canning is a slight ripple in the metal around certain areas of the roofing that is only apparent after installation. As perfectionists with high standards, we notice the near unapparent imperfections that can result from a near perfect installation. Keep in mind that Classic Metal Roofs, LLC is one of the few contractors in the New England metal roofing industry that has a method to actually *mitigate* oil canning. Finally, do not forget that aluminum is going to be 100% recyclable after the end of its life span and probably long after the end of yours.

We cannot stress this enough at the Metal Roofing Blog – if you are considering a roofing project, contact a metal roofing contractor for a free consultation. What do you have to lose? Your home needs a metal roof, and the question is not if – it is when. Aluminum metal roofing is the future – say goodbye to asphalt!

Spring Cleaning: “I’m In New England, When Is The Best Time To Get Metal Roofing?”

Friday, March 21st, 2014
New England Spring

Boston Public Garden, Boston, MA. Credit to: MOTT.
http://www.discovernewengland.org/seasons/spring/

The Northern Hemisphere is beginning to tilt towards the sun as we are approaching warmer weather. The snow is melting, and homeowners all over New England are simultaneously beginning to do work on their homes. A common question among homeowners is when the best time is to replace their roof with metal roofing. Though it is much easier for most homeowners to do their home improvement when the weather is warmer, most experienced metal roofing companies will have the endurance and expertise to work in most cool or warm conditions. Believe it or not, residential metal roofing is actually a four-season industry. Most contractors in this industry will have their crews working all 12 months out of the year, installing aluminum, zinc, or copper roofs year-round.

The spring and summer seasons are when this industry is approaching it’s “busy season”. Because of this, the backlogs of projects under most metal roofing contractors are going to be much longer than they are during the cooler seasons. Homeowners will have to wait quite a bit longer to get their new roof put on than they generally would during the cooler, slower seasons.

“So, when is the best time to install metal roofing?”

A quick answer to that question is, truly, “Whenever you can.”

There are, however, positive and negative aspects for each season regarding when a metal roof should be typically installed on a home. Summer may seem to be an appropriate time to have a roof installed, but believe it or not, it can be considered among the worst. Why? The sun is out, it is warm, the conditions are fair – there is no better time to put a new roof on the house! This is absolutely wrong. Can you imagine being on a roof for 10 hours at a time in near 100 degree weather?

Just how it can be too cold for metal roofers to work in the winter, it can also be too hot. The relaxing summer days are when the family is leisurely lounging around their house and yard; especially when the children are playing in the yard with their beloved pets. Though most reliable contractors will have their crews do a simultaneous job clean-up while installing the roof, there is a much higher risk of landscaping around your home to potentially suffer minor damages. Before the warmer part of the spring season – before you begin doing your yearly yard clean up – is the ideal time frame for metal roofing to be put on the home. That way you will not be seeing any potential mess from the installation crew after you have cleaned up your yard. This reason is why later fall is an excellent time for installation as well.

The other side of the spectrum, the winter, is also not the best time for an installation. However, keep in mind that you will be beating the “spring and summer rush” that most New England metal roofing contractors face if you decide to get your new roof during this season. Installing a metal roof in the winter can be a struggle and usually takes a lot of patience. There are a lot of variables that can slow down an installation during the winter, such as conditions being too cold for the installation crew, heavy ice, wind, and snow. These variables can be restrictive to the installation process; so in some cases, homeowners may have to wait a bit longer than they initially expected. That being said, planning a new roof for a winter installation will put the homeowner before the warmer season rush, so your roof will be all set for the warmer season and will not prevent or restrict any other additional home improvement endeavors.

“When should I get metal roofing, then?”

As outlined earlier, as soon as you can. Because installing metal roofing is a long term investment for you and your home; the sooner, the better. You must also keep in mind that if additions are being planned for the home that will tie into the roof line, save yourself the trouble and get the addition at the same time as your new metal roof.

Keep in mind that winter is generally considered to have the harshest weather conditions out of all of the seasons in New England, and one of the primary reasons to get a metal roof is to protect your home. Throughout the New England winters, ice damming can be a problem on most homes with conventional asphalt roofs. Homeowners say to themselves that they can wait because they are going to replace their roof anyway. This is a common fallacy. Ice damming not only does damage to the roof, it can actually do damage to the home as well. The reason is that when there is poor ventilation in the attic, the warm air will melt the snow on the roof; that in which can leak under the shingles and into the house. This can cause internal damage, mold growth, rotting, and unhealthy air that you are potentially inhaling every day and night. Read more on how dangerous ice dams can potentially be…

In conclusion, there is no better time to get a metal roof than now. Regardless of when this is being read, the answer is still now. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing an installation during each season, and these factors are always going to be subjective to each homeowner. Do what applies best to you and your home. Initiate the process and speak with a metal roofing contractor today to get your free estimate and ventilation analysis.

Mother Nature: Protect Yourself, Your Home, and The Environment With A Metal Roofing System

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Advanced metal roofing technology that has sprung up over the last few decades includes reflective paints to increase energy efficiency, solar shingles that actually captures the sun’s energy and convert it into electrical energy, and metal roof components that interlock. Metal roofing on a home, in a way, can resemble a knight in armor … metal roofing provides armor both to the home as well as its occupants.

Storms have historically and continually caught many off-guard. On the summer morning of August 29, 2005, the Gulf Coast was struck with a category 3 hurricane. Winds blew between 100 and 140 mph, stretching up to 400 miles across. The impact from these winds infiltrated levees and caused severe flooding in many areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. This storm became known as “Hurricane Katrina.”

A Metal Roof is Like a Personal Suit of Armor

Whether or not your home is off the Gulf Coast, in Florida, Cape Cod, or any coastal area in New England, it is important to have a roof that can protect your home. You may not live in an area prone to hurricanes, but who knows if it eventually will be? Your home needs a personal suit of armor. Metal roofing is hurricane rated up to 120 mph. One of the reasons this system is so resistant to wind is because the panels interlock. Metal roofing is very light weight, and with the roofs ability to interlock to itself on all four sides, this system will withstand numerous environmental situations, such as: hurricane winds, heavy snow, and rain.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

Interlocking Roofing Panels

Though New England has not been hit with many hurricanes lately, who can predict when one will eventually have a significant impact in this area? Consider that anywhere with reasonably high winds or the possibility of any potential hurricane is present, you can benefit from a metal roof to protect your home from that potential impact. Know that if the roof suffers from a hurricane, your home will suffer too. This is not to be played off as something minor – in the worst case, a hurricane could completely destroy your home. It is smart to learn from your own mistakes, but it is even wiser to learn from others. You do not need to learn after your home is already destroyed. Look at the damages faced by the hurricanes in Louisiana and Florida, for example. Most of the roofs that remained throughout those storms were the ones with aluminum metal roofing with panels that interlock – these homes were protected by their own personal suit of armor.

Environmental Friendliness

Metal roofing is the most environmentally friendly roofing option for most homes. Choosing aluminum over asphalt makes you a part of the solution, not the problem. Did you know that over 95% of the base metal for aluminum metal roofing is actually from recycled aluminum? Roughly 20 billion pounds of asphalt is dumped into US landfills every year. Unlike asphalt, this material is very advanced metal roofing technology. Metal roofing material does not use oil as its base resource. One may ask that if asphalt shingles need to be stripped anyway for the installation of metal roofing, aren’t we still contributing to the landfills? Wrong. As a matter of fact, in many situations, metal roofing can be installed over existing asphalt shingles without stripping them.

Reflective Capability

A metal roof will keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The reason is that metal roofing has radiant heat reflection, meaning the heat from the sun will reflect off of the roof, keeping the home cooler. Because of this, the excessive use of air conditioning during hot summer days will be drastically reduced. How does this affect the environment? The production of electricity used for air conditioning causes smog and pollution.

With a metal roof, you will not be producing as much electricity. However, the dead airspace between the metal roofing and roof deck provides great insulation. The metal gets hot, but the heat will not transfer into the house. In addition, your house will be able to retain heat much better during the winter. Most commonly, metal roofing with shinier metallic surfaces or milder colors are better at reflecting the radiant heat. Though, keep in mind that aluminum metal roofing will have natural emissivity, regardless. Special reflective paints, originally developed for military applications, have made great strides in increasing the reflectivity of metal roofs and is probably the most advanced metal roof technology to impact the market in recent years.

Besides the very environmentally friendly benefits of this roofing, metal roofing generally interfaces very nicely with solar panels. All of these benefits from a metal roof can actually fit into “cool roof” criteria, which means that in certain states, homeowners may be eligible for tax benefits. This said, here are a few frequently asked questions and misconceptions about metal roofing:

Isn’t metal roofing a new industry?

False. Although metal roofing seems to be gaining a lot of recent popularity, it has been widely used since the early 1800s. Even so, with many modern architects implementing metal roofing, homeowners figure their traditional home will not match with a metal roof. This, as well, is untrue. These products have become very advanced. Metal roofing comes in a variety of different styles and colors, such as the common “shake” style that mimics a wood shingle. Find out which metal roofing product suits your criteria.

Can’t Most Contractors Install a Metal Roof?

Absolutely not. In fact, you should steer clear from any roofing contractor that claims to install metal roofs but does not specialize in the field. Installing metal roofs is not an easy task. The craftsmanship is very specialized and advanced. Metal roofing requires many installation and bending techniques that only a specialized and experienced metal roofer exhibits. A common problem in this field is that many people receive an array of quotes for a metal roof, from a multitude of contractors and conclude by choosing the lowest price bidder. This usually leads to continual difficulties and problems due to a faulty installation which can ruin the promise of a “lifetime roof” with a plethora of repairs – often eventually adding up to the price that the reputable metal roofing contractor originally quoted, or more. In some cases, contractors have unknowingly installed agricultural metal roofing on homes, which later have had to be re-roofed with an architectural product. Save yourself the trouble; work with a reputable metal roofing contractor.

Metal roofing is too expensive!

It can be expensive, yes. But, like many investments, it will pay off. Along with the many environmental benefits and reducing your electric bills, a metal roof will increase the value of the home, and actually make the homeowner eligible for many tax benefits. Along with “cool roof” criteria in certain states, the wind and fire resistance of metal roofing, insurance companies will give discounts.

I live in a high wind area. Isn’t this a dangerous place for a metal roof?

As outlined earlier, the opposite is the case. There are many building codes that a roof must abide by in certain areas; hurricane regions in particular. Also, because the systems will generally interlock, metal roofing will be able to withstand high winds and prevent water from leaking in to the home. Remember, this roof is that of a suit of armor.

Metal roofing actually lasts long?

You will never have to re-roof again; because this industry has drastically advanced, metal roofing systems are expected to last up to 100 years. Because of the long term investment, the environmental benefits, and the incredibly specialized manufacturing and installation process, your roof will last you a lifetime.

Conclusion

Do yourself and Mother Nature a favor and get a metal roof. You will both protect the environment and protect yourself from the environment with this efficient shield of armor. Metal roofing has a come a long way, and you can make your home go a long way as well.

Metal Roofing Contractors: How to Select One

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Evaluating metal roofing contractors and selecting one should involve extensive comparative research between the top contractors in the industry in your location. The many factors involved in comparing metal roofing contractors include, but are not limited to: cost, experience, reputation, and flexibility.

Red Flags to Avoid

Because a metal roof is such a large investment for you and your home, simply signing a contract with the first contractor you meet with is the worst possible route. Beware of sales representatives who urge you to sign one during the meeting. Being pressured to sign a contract during your first meeting is not a reasonable way to be treated. These representatives care about you signing a contract, not you. If you fall into this trap, keep in mind that you will generally have three days to cancel it. After meeting with a few contractors, do not base your decision on the lowest price – that is often a major mistake. Many homeowners have found that paying just a small amount more is definitely worth the investment for a metal roof.

Metal roofing contractors with the most qualifications, highest level of experience, and largest number of glowing references are much more likely to give you a much better product worth your money. You will ultimately not spend much more long-term, and will very likely save money – by preventing any problems that come with choosing a less experienced or reputable contractor. As in most walks of life, “You get what you pay for.”

Flexibility

Other factors such as the shape and pitch of your roof, will have a significant impact on the price for a metal roof, as well as the style you decide to go with. A standing seam roof could quite possibly be a bit more than the various profiles of metal shingles; but keep in mind, there will usually not be much of a discrepancy in price from the metal shingles. That said, the contractor who is willing to do the work should have many options that meet your criteria.

Experience

Doing business with a contractor who specializes in metal roofing in particular is vital. Do the background research. Be sure any metal roofing contractors you consider have all of the licensing and proper certifications for the type of material they are installing. Verify the legitimacy of the business; don’t be afraid to ask for their tax identification, verification of their worker’s compensation, and liability coverage. Confirm that their insurance covers the entirety of the workers on your property. The importance in such situation is that, in case any of the workers get injured on your property, you want to be sure that you are protected from any potential lawsuits. Be sure to understand the logistics, the number of workers, and the time frame and length of time that workers will be on the property.

Lastly, be sure the company has a viable warranty so there is an understanding of any actions you as the homeowner could perform that could potentially void the warranty.

Reputation

How reliable is this contractor? Be sure to understand their reputation. Check out their listings on: BBB (Better Business Bureau), Angie’s List, GuildQuality, and Yelp – these are all fairly common websites for metal roofing contractors. Be wary if the contractor has no presence on any of these platforms. Read through these reviews and ensure that this company is legitimate and truly specializes in this field. Double check on their office locations, coverage, and phone numbers. Verify that the company has a list of referrals, references, and drive-bys. An experienced metal roofing contractor in this industry should have a list of at least two dozen references that you can personally call for a referral. Utilize the “drive-by list” provided by the contractor and check out previous installations they have done of the products you are most interested in.

Conclusion

Putting a metal roof on a home can be a great way to prevent problems, increase energy efficiency, and increase the resale value of the home. Always be sure to select a metal roofing contractor with a great reputation that has demonstrated that they do a solid job, and who is willing to stand behind their work.