Archive for February, 2017

Painting and Protecting Metal Roofing: Anodized vs. Paint vs. Powder Coating

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Any roof, no matter the product type or color, is only a good one if it is durable and does not leak. Versatile and malleable, aluminum roofing is a wise, cost-effective option for your home. There are three good options for protecting metal roofing. Paint protects surfaces and adds color, but metal roofing is different from other materials. To protect the material from the elements and to visually enhance the result, metal roofing can be anodized, painted with liquid, or powder-coated.


Anodized aluminum roofing has a protective surface coating of aluminum oxide that is applied via an electrochemical process. Because it is durable and weather-resistant, anodizing is a common, effective, and long-lasting protection for applications like standing seam metal roofing. The thicker the anodic coating, the longer it lasts.

Anodized coatings may be dyed almost any color. They will also take on bronze overtones naturally due to a diffraction phenomenon the coating itself produces over time. Anodized metal does not lose its coating, which grows integrally from the base aluminum and thus neither peels nor flakes, permanently sealing the aluminum roofing underneath against the elements.


Painting or powder coating also protects and colors metal roofing. However, these paints and powders should be factory-applied rather than completed DIY. Of the many resin options, PVDF performs exceptionally well on metal roofing in harsh weather environments. PVDF-coated aluminum roofing generally outperforms anodized metal. It is not only resistant to extreme weather, but also to chemicals, UV light, flaking, and chalking. Also contributing to PVDF’s popularity is the nearly limitless range of color possibilities.


Kynar500® and Hylar5000® are the two leading products, virtually identical in all but name. Both yield the same superior-quality finishes; what is more, these products are usually warrantied for 30 years up to five Delta E units, which is the measure of the smallest perceptible color shift.

Powder Coating

Powder coating, on the other hand, is essentially “paint without the solvent.” Powder paints encapsulate pigment inside powdered resins. When composed of the same resins, the powder and liquid versions perform similarly by comparison. Because they are applied electrostatically after the product has been made, these “post-forming” double coatings not only beautify, but they also help correct any potential flaws or fissures in the base protective coating applied by the manufacturer.

A significant environmental benefit accrues due to less air pollution from the oven-curing manufacture process for powder coatings as compared to liquids. Kynar powder coatings are leaders in this innovative product category. When reflective metallic pigments are integrated into Kynar powder coatings, the stunning results are also money-saving. Reflective powder coatings deflect significant UV radiation away from the attic, keeping the house cooler and in turn reducing energy costs. When combined, Kynar paints and powder finishes provide superior color quality and long-lasting protection.

Aluminum Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

There are many pages and blog posts on this Classic Metal Roofs website which contrast the merits of aluminum metal roofs versus asphalt shingle roofs – to the advantage of the former, of course. We do not claim to be unbiased on this matter! Below we lay out the pros and cons of each in succinct table display form, for those who just like to cut to the bottom line, or for those of you who are just starting to educate themselves on the subject.

aluminum metal roof aluminum metal roof
recyclable aluminumAluminum metal roofs are manufactured with up to 95% recycled post-consumer metals.

landfillThe National Association of Homebuilders Research Center has estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 BILLION pounds of asphalt shingles are thrown into American landfills every year.

Aluminum roofs when properly installed need no maintenance service. It is a good idea to inspect the roof to make sure that no damage has occurred from falling or blown debris after a significant storm. This is common sense and should be done regardless of your roofing material. Asphalt shingle roofs need to be inspected on a regular basis. Damage can occur on several fronts. It is best to stay ahead of problems in order to minimize the cost of repairs.
reflective metal roof surfaceThere is a reason that aluminum metal roofs are Energy-Star rated: They can keep a house significantly cooler in the summer. Tests have shown 25% savings in cooling costs when a house has an aluminum roof. In the winter, an aluminum roof will keep a house marginally warmer due to the reflectivity back into the house of heat that would otherwise escape.

energy absorbing dark asphalt roofStandard asphalt shingles have no cooling- or heating-related advantages. The opposite is true. One can expect a large heat gain in the summer and no retention of heat in the winter.
Aluminum roofs are made to last. Hurricane-rated wind, ice, snow, hail, and sunshine will not affect a properly installed aluminum metal roof.

Asphalt shingle roofs are effectively manufactured to fail. “Planned obsolescence” is the key concept here. Usually failures are in high wind, and when ice dams form and water infiltrates the home due to the inherently flawed design. Sun causes asphalt shingles to break down and cup. Hail is the number one destroyer of asphalt shingles in the United States.
low stress aluminumDepending on the profile of the roof and the thickness of the aluminum, these roofs typically weigh between 50 and 75 pounds per 100 square feet of coverage. high stress asphaltDepending on the style and manufacturer of the shingles, asphalt roofs weigh between 240 and 400 pounds per 100 square feet of coverage.
Aluminum metal roofs are available in multiple shingle styles including a traditional shingle, a slate, a shake, and a Mediterranean barrel tile design. Standing seam in several widths are also a very popular choice among architects, homeowners, and builders. All are available in many colors.

The product is available in a wide variety of colors and several styles.
long lived aluminumAn aluminum roof can last over 100 years when properly installed. There are aluminum roofs still in service in the U.S. that are well over 100 years old. short lived asphaltAsphalt shingle roofs here in New England last an average of 15-20 years, based in location conditions.
Black streaks are a type of algae that live off the minerals in some types of asphalt shingles. Algae thrives in moist conditions, so it is most commonly found on shaded or noth-facing roof slopes that do not get a lot of direct sun. There is no place for the algae to get a foothold on the aluminum to cause black streaks. Bug infestation is also a non-issue, as there is no place for the bugs to go because the roofs are interlocked together. And, it is impossible for squirrels to chew through a metal roof to gain access. Black streaks are everywhere on asphalt shingles. It is true that algae do not damage roofing, but it certainly looks bad. It attaches to the granules and indentation of the shingle roof. Asphalt shingles overlap each other on the roof, which holds moisture and attracts bugs. Squirrels love asphalt roofs; they can chew right through them and gain access to the house interior.

high ROA aluminumWith all the advantages of aluminum as a roofing material you would expect to pay more. They do have a substantially higher up-front price but the cost of ownership and return on investment over the roof’s lifetime cannot be beat. The long-term cost is very low.

high maintenance cost asphaltIf you want a roof where the up-front price is cheap, then this is the way to go. But high long-term costs are what you get with asphalt, in the form of repair, maintenance, and – ultimately – replacement costs.

Aluminum metal roofing is one of the best home improvement investments you can make to enhance the value of your home. Recent statistics here in New England assert that you can expect to recover 85% or more of your investment when the house is sold. Of course, then there are all the other benefits you reap every year that your house has an aluminum metal roof.

No return on investment, just depreciation of investment. This type of roof is considered a liability and is often a point of negotiation for lowering the offering price at the time the house is resold.
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