Cedar Roofing – Old World Charm, New World Challenges

January 8th, 2015

If you are thinking of having a new cedar roof installed in order to create that Old World charm, or replacing an existing roof with cedar, you may wish to reconsider. Cedar does evoke a warm feeling of simpler times and cottage-like qualities as no other building material does. Cedar siding and roofing blends well into the countryside landscape and compliments the natural beauty of its surroundings. However, time is cedar’s mortal enemy. And like everything else, the Earth eventually reclaims what belongs to it.

There are three types of cedar in use: Western Red Cedar (the most common), White, and Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Preparing cedar for installation can be handled in one of two ways: It can be installed “green,” meaning freshly cut and installed without a drying process, or it can be installed following a drying process using an air or kiln dried method. A majority of cedar is dried prior to installation, and due to the flammable nature of cedar a fire pressure-treated option is commonly used in areas where wildfires are prevalent. Fire ratings of Class C and B are common for cedar, but can achieve a Class B over A when a fire retardant underlayment, such as a fiberglass cap sheet underlayment, is used. In less wildfire-prone areas the cedar can be installed green.

Wood naturally swells when green, alive, or wet, and then shrinks in size after it has cured. Installing green cedar before it has fully cured requires special finesse and expertise. Adjustments for uneven weathering and drying of the cedar must be taken into account in order to achieve a proper fit and finish once the wood naturally shrinks following its exposure to the elements.

Some of the other benefits of cedar, besides being aesthetically pleasing to the eye, are its durability and ability to withstand strong storms. It provides higher insulating R value in colder months and energy efficiency in the warmer months, due to this natural material not absorbing and transferring heat to the home, unlike other roofing materials. Cedar is an eco-friendly material upon disposal, as compared to petroleum-based products – principally asphalt – which offer little insulating value and energy efficiency during the course of their lives. The case for cedar is strong, no doubt, but the New World desires more.

Counting the Costs of Cedar

Cedar has been used in building applications for centuries, primarily because the benefits of local old growth cedar sourcing and availability. Today, cedar is becoming one of the most expensive building materials to use due to availability and quality. Cedar is a hardy natural material, making it more resilient to the elements than other roofing materials if properly maintained. While the Old World charm is there at the beginning of its life on a roof, cedar can weather unacceptably, making it look dirty and old rather quickly. The fibrous surface of cedar when used on roofs encourages plant growth, such as moss, black algae, and mildew. Once this happens, cedar can deteriorate quickly if not rigorously maintained.

Wood is Good, But Not on A Roof

The initial costs of a cedar roof are usually significantly higher than for other roofing materials, and the costs do not diminish once the roof is installed. Annual maintenance treatments are required if the wood is not preserved and left in its natural state. These treatments involve accessing the roof for the application and rinsing off of chemical commercial-grade algaecides and detergents. These maintenance treatments will remove and temporarily inhibit further plant growth that will otherwise naturally occur on cedar roofing. Moreover, this maintenance may be necessary for cedar roof warranties to stand. As is the case with many roofing material warranties only the product itself is warrantied, not the labor involved in installing it.

cedar roof being treated

When a cedar roof is ready for replacement, there are also some more added costs to calculate. Re-roofing over a layer of existing cedar shingles or shake is not possible due to the nature of the material and its installation. State building codes here in New England allow installation on top of up to two layers of roofing materials before a roof needs be stripped off prior to a new one being installed; however, you can rule out plans to re-roof over an existing layer of cedar to save some money: the roof has to come off. Cedar is one of the more difficult roofing materials to remove due to its brittle nature, hence there is more time and labor involved in its removal and disposal. At least disposal charges can be avoided. Old Cedar shingles make great firewood, and you can always burn them.

Cedar Styles and Colors

Cedar roofs come in two looks or styles, but color options for cedar can vary depending upon the species, natural weathering, and if staining is involved.

Each style or look is determined in the manner from which the cedar is cut. A “hand split” cedar block provides a rougher more rustic look, referred to as a shake. A “taper sawn” cedar block provides for a more finished or refined look, called the shingle. Cedar requires yearly maintenance regardless of style and color, as previously explained.

Different species of cedar acquire a cured or dried color tone over time from weathering. Knowing what color tone a cedar roofing material will develop should be considered in the design process. Any cedar that is not properly maintained following the aging process can result in brittle, dark, and cracking shakes or shingles. As you can imagine, different climate zones will also create varying effects on cedar as it ages. Cedar can be stained prior to installation, which may take some of the guesswork out of which color the roof ultimately reaches. Maintaining a uniform finished look of stained cedar on a roof may become challenging, depending on your climate and the various roof sides and orientations.

Cedar Alternatives

Classic Metal Roofs, LLC installs lifetime, energy-efficient, hurricane-rated metal roofs. We work exclusively in aluminum, zinc, and copper. Classic Metal Roofs, LLC has the answer to the dilemma of providing a cost effective, long lasting, worry-free roof.

A simulated look of cedar shake or shingle can be obtained via Classic’s Rustic and Oxford shingle. These aluminum roofs mimic the look that cedar roofs provide without the hassle and costs of yearly maintenance and early replacement. Further, these lifetime, energy-efficient, hurricane-rated metal roofs are available in numerous color choices for both the Rustic (Shake) and Oxford (Shingle).

Antique cape, cedar shingles replaced with the Rustic “shake”

Contextually, sometimes a period home – contemporary or modern – will benefit from one of our standing seam roofs, or a combination of standing seam and shingle, where a faux cedar metal roof alone would not be appropriate.

The bottom line is that we have numerous design options at hand via our many metal roofing products. If you would like to consult a roofing professional about your project, please contact us today.

Classic Metal Roofs, LLC Announces Popularity of Latest “Slate Rock” Aluminum Metal Shingles

August 25th, 2014

Architects, designers and homeowners throughout southern New England are turning to aluminum metal roofs as the superior alternative to traditional asphalt shingles.

This year Classic Metal Roofs, LLC is experiencing increased interest in aluminum metal roofing for new residential construction. The company announced that their newly-released metal roofing material, “slate rock” aluminum metal shingles, has grown in popularity over the summer. The shingles feature the form factor of traditional asphalt shingles, with the appearance and durability of metal roofing.

With summer traditionally being the busiest season for roofing companies, the management team at Classic Metal Roofs believes metal roofing has made its way into the new home construction market in New England and is now becoming the popular choice for homeowners. The “slate rock” shingle option is now the number one seller in New England for the company.

For the average homeowner, many roofing companies find that the roof is typically the last home repair project that they want to spend money on. With the creation of new materials, like the “slate rock” aluminum metal shingles, the experts at Classic Metal Roofs believe that trend is changing.

“Homeowners are seeking a permanent, maintenance-free building envelope,” explained Mike Gonet, senior partner of Classic Metal Roofs. “Metal roofing gives them that, while also being the environmentally-conscious roofing option. Aluminum metal roofing is made up of a high percentage of post-consumer recycled material and is energy star rated. If given the choice, most homeowners will choose a product that is more compatible with the environment.”

Classic Metal Roofs’s latest project features the installation of “slate rock” metal shingle roofing in Hopkinton, MA. The new “Slate Rock” Oxford aluminum shingle is sourced from Classic Metal Roofing Systems located in Piqua, Ohio. Unique to this project, the house has a large, handmade French mansard-style bay window that that team field fabricated in copper. The second story flat deck roof was finished with PVC roofing manufactured by IB Roof Systems of Eugene, Oregon. All of the roofs installed are considered lifetime residential roofs that the homeowner will never have to replace.

About Classic Metal Roofs, LLC: Classic Metal Roofs, LLC is one of the premier installers of metal roofing in New England. They specialize in the installation of lifetime residential metal roofing systems for people who want Energy Star rated, environmental, sustainable, or long term solutions for their roofing needs. They believe their metal roofs are “The Best Roofs under the Sun” and are in business to provide their customers with a worry-free roofing future. Their service area includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Southern New Hampshire. Classic Metal Roofs, LLC works with contractors, architects, and homeowners.

Metal Roofing Reviews: How to Avoid the Long-Standing Seamy Underside of the Metal Roofing Industry.

July 31st, 2014

When the time comes to select a metal roofing contractor, doing in-depth research on multiple contractors prior to meeting with any of them is a step in the selection process that should never be skipped. Provided that you conduct extensive research, it is essential that the quality of such is not skimped on.

Like many industries, slimy metal roofing sales representatives resort to subterfuge by publishing dishonest advertisements, misleading buzzwords, and “metal roofing calculators.” Based on our years of experience in this industry, this problem has grown to the extent in which it has become difficult for homeowners to differentiate true from false. This is hit dead on at every angle – the installation, the “sales presentation,” the websites, the literature, the consultants, the material, the coupons, the “sign our contract now” discounts, and so on.

Let’s make this clear: An aluminum, zinc, or copper metal roofing system is the absolute best roofing product that can be installed onto a home. The long-term roofing and environmental benefits have been documented time and time again. This is not the goal of our message here. The goal of our message is that many metal roofing companies do not contain the true knowledge, expertise, or experience to install this product correctly. We cannot stress this enough: The ability to install a metal roofing system correctly takes years of training and experience – it is not easy. Correct preparation prior to the installation is not easy, and determining the correct product suitable for the homeowners direct and concrete needs, again, is not easy. None of the steps in this process should be easy for the contractor – it never should be. The only individual the process should be easy for is the homeowner; however, the lack of truth in this industry can make it very difficult for this to happen.

Standing seam metal roof

How can we say this in simpler terms? Discover if the given roofing contractor specializes in metal roofing, knows exactly what he is doing, and can prove it to you before you buy anything.

How can you do that, though? Why do we say this? It cannot be that much of a problem can it? The up-front investment for a metal roofing is not small, and  we want you to get your money’s worth. We also don’t want you to only be happy now, we want you to be happy years down the road as well.

We are going to talk about how difficult finding the truth can be. Everything conveyed from a given representative or published on a certain website can be so wrong that false content will be supported by further false sources down an endless rabbit hole of lies. What content can be trusted?  Why should you trust us?

Let’s talk about metal roofing reviews, testimonials, and metal roof company references; and find out which of these are actually important, and which of these verify whether or not a contractor is reputable.

Metal Roofing Reviews: When Were They Written?

Reviews and testimonials should always be taken with a grain of salt. Everybody is very different (as you probably know), and a review is a block of text full of opinion; so a lot of personal and emotional bias is going to be involved in a written review. We love reading metal roofing reviews and testimonials, but unfortunately, these are often more useful for the contractor than the homeowner.

Man sitting at computer

Metal roofing reviews function as an evaluation of the installation so the contractor understands what they can improve upon for their future installations. What are they reviewing? They are wording out pieces of concrete bias towards a contractor, and will generally favor them once the installation is finished as long as (based on our experience): there was a rapid installation, the crew was not interruptive, they kept the property clean, were polite, and the new metal roof looked pretty.

Metal Roofing Testimonials: What Was the Motivation of the Writer?

A testimonial is very similar to a review, but there is a catch. Have you ever wondered how metal roofing contractors get their testimonials? In many situations, we have seen contractors offer homeowners a price reduction if they write a testimonial following a strict guideline. The guideline will basically insure that every homeowner is regurgitating the same exact scripted content with just different wording. Again, these usually do not prove whether or not the roof lasted over time. Although this is not always this case, this is still something you must watch out for.

Please note that improperly installed metal roofing systems can still look beautiful after installation. This is when many metal roofing reviews and testimonials are written. It only makes sense, right? A book review is usually written shortly after the book is read, not years later. Though this is a benefit, nobody purchases a metal roof for the sole reason of improved aesthetics for their home. The most important factor behind a properly installed metal roofing system is that it is installed by a reputable metal roofing installation team (no sub-contractors) with proof of no failures years down the road. Where do you find this proof? Are you figuring this out when reading metal roofing reviews and testimonials? In some cases, yes; but, in most cases, absolutely not. In many cases, the only aspect a review will prove is that the homeowner paid for the metal roof and the metal roof is now on the home.

What can you do?

Become as informed as possible. The front-end cost for a metal roofing system is not going to be cheap. If you are serious about getting a metal roof, which you must be in order to make that initial investment, the intelligent homeowner will learn as much as they possibly can about metal roofing as well as the installation. The only way to find out if you can trust a contractor to install a metal roof is if the contractor is able to answer every single one of your questions without hesitation, discuss with you the installation process in accordance to your research and questions, and can genuinely prove to you the given company’s experience.

But this still is not enough. The contractor’s claims must be proven.

Ask for Customer References

When a metal roofing contractor is meeting with you, consider it an interview. You, the homeowner, are the employer. “Joe” is there to prove to you why you should hire him, why his crew should put on his metal roof, and why you should be picking him over Jane. Utilizing your notes and research, everything you heard from Joe sounds just like what you were looking for. Joe presents to you with a quote and offers you a coupon if you “sign today.” You are ready to bite the bullet (and save some money too!) so you sign a contract.

You really, really messed up.

What is needed to validate the authenticity of a résumé? Let’s shift this scenario. You are the employer, and “Joe” is the kid you are considering to hire to work for your business. Who will be contacted before you hire “Joe”? It better be some names with contact information from a list of references that “Joe” left on your desk subsequent to the interview. What if “Joe” were a potential renter thinking of renting a room in your house? In such a case, you had definitely do background checks and ask for references.

Joe should have left you with a list of references, because you should not hire any metal roofing contractor without speaking with some names from the list of references.

Absolutely *nothing* speaks more than experience. A contractor that can provide an extensive list of references whom you can personally contact can prove to you whether or not this contractor’s roofing system passed the ultimate test. This ultimate test, this deciding factor regarding whether or not this system actually does the job, is time.

You can now move past all of the lies polluting this marketplace, because the only truth that can pierce through this veil of lies is experience over time. A reference is an individual who is willing to personally share with you their experience with the contractor, their number of years of having the roof, and their current life with a metal roof.

Get More than One Opinion!

Metal roofing references are not those mediocre experiences reworded to sound awesome that you find on your best friend’s Facebook page. References are not reviews written with no indication of the time frame between the date of the installation and the date of the review. What you need to do is have multiple conversations with homeowners who have metal roofs – metal roofs that were installed by the contractors you are interested in – and can personally share with you their experience with a metal roof throughout the years. If a metal roofing contractor “Joe” cannot provide a list containing at least a dozen references, why should you trust a single word he has to say?

Solar Panels and Metal Roofing: The “Green Dream Team”

June 10th, 2014


Imagine this … a solar panel system mounted onto an environmentally friendly, lifetime aluminum metal roofing system. For starters, just saying that already sounds like a cool bragging right; and yes, this is totally possible – solar panels interface very nicely, effectively, and efficiently with lifetime aluminum metal roofing. With that in mind, let’s delve into the topic of why solar panels and an aluminum metal roof are a dream team, how to initially approach this type of system, and what to avoid.

Classic Metal Roofs, LLC has worked with solar companies all over Southern New England in attempt to fulfill the needs of homeowners looking for options to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Check out some of our past aluminum metal roofing system installations with integrated solar systems …

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solar metal 106

Why Solar?

A solar panel is a set of photovoltaic modules electrically connected, and in most cases, mounted onto a structure. In this case, a structure that they interface very nicely with is an aluminum metal roof. Solar systems generate electricity, practically pay for themselves, significantly lower the cost of energy, provide clean energy, and nearly instantly produce free energy. Solar panels harness the suns energy, providing a non-polluting energy alternative to coal and oil. They typically have a lifespan of over 30 years and are designed to outlast other nonrenewable energy sources. Ultimately, solar panels interfacing with an aluminum metal roofing system provides for an incredibly environmentally friendly system for you and your home.

solar metal 061

Don’t Install Solar On Asphalt – Do Use Aluminum, Zinc, or Copper

Before you even begin to ask yourself – do not even consider having solar panels installed onto your asphalt roof, if you have one. The warranty for your roofing system must absolutely outlast the solar panels. Unlikely with an asphalt roof. Therefore, you will be wasting your time and money putting a 25-35+ year (most solar manufacturers have a warranty of 25 years) solar system on lackluster asphalt roofing material. Something to take note of is that contractors who claim to install a 30-year asphalt roof are very tricky with their wording (asphalt roofs last, on average, 16-years), regardless of the contractor’s “promises” or warranty.

There is already a high possibility for roofing failure with asphalt, integrating solar with asphalt will only make it fail sooner due both to increased load and roofing penetrations. The roofing penetrations required for the installation of a solar panel mounting system increase the likelihood of leaks later on down the road – ultimately shortening the already short lifespan of the asphalt roof. That being said, solar panels and asphalt roofing are, conclusively, a recipe for overall roofing disaster. Do you want to deal with paying for the removal and re-installation of the solar panels when (not if) your asphalt roof fails? Not to mention that during re-roofing, the process for the re-integration of the solar panels with an asphalt roof must be coordinated in order for the panels to be re-installed simultaneously by the roofers and solar company. Something else to keep in mind is that roofers are paid to put on roofs, not solar panels; thus, the roofer will usually be removing the solar panels, creating a high possibility for the roofer to make errors dismantling the panels, negligently causing serious damage to them.

The roofing material that will interface best with solar panels is going to be a material that, at the very least, outlasts the 30 year lifespan of the solar panel system. This is why we recommend aluminum with solar: aluminum outlasts the solar panel systems by a lifetime. Solar panels can be installed on standing seam metal roofing with attachments that do not penetrate the roof or add ballast, lowering the cost and labor of the system. Therefore, if you want solar panels on your roof, you are best off with a metal roof initially. Since the service life of an aluminum metal roof will outlast the life of the solar panels, you will be able to install new solar panels after many years of the roof. However, do keep in mind that the roof’s warranty usually does not cover damage to solar components; as in most cases, the solar company will differ from the roofing contractor.

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STOP! What You Really Need To Know

If you have done research on the web regarding solar panels and metal roofing, we advise you to be very cautious. Classic Metal Roofs, LLC has years of experience in the field, and many homeowners have intimated to us upon meeting that they are planning on getting solar panels subsequent to the installation of the metal roof. Understand this: If you want solar on your metal roof, the metal roofing contractor absolutely must know this.

Marketing can be very evil and sometimes marketing goes as far as promoting blatant lies. Based entirely on our years of industry experience of installations all over New England, if solar panels are envisioned, a metal roof must be installed with solar in mind. We cannot stress this enough! Do not think that just because you have a standing seam metal roof, you can freely have solar panels attached. Well, you can … but, the results could and most cases will be disastrous, especially in a scenario involving wind uplift. Again, standing seam DOES NOT mean you can “seamlessly” just go ahead and attach a solar system. When the metal roof is being installed, the roofing must have the proper fastening so it can be substantially reinforced with solar in mind.

Basically, do not consider solar unless the metal roof installation has been beefed up to withstand solar. In most, if not all cases – if you already have a metal roof and did not have solar taken into account during installation, your roof may not be able to withstand solar panels successfully.

Field Experience in Context: We have seen standing seam metal roofing systems with a 20 foot long solar panel being only being held with 4 clips and 4 screws – some with only 3 of each. The not-so-funny thing about this is that it should have 20 clips with 40 screws. This fault is not uncommon. Become aware of the possibility that many people installing these metal roofs, especially if they know that solar is in mind, do not know what they are doing. Do your research, do it once, do it right …


Don’t Use Thin-Film Solar

The notorious “thin-film” solar approach is slowly slipping out of the industry and should not be considered a desirable solar solution for a standing seam metal roof no matter what the solar companies attempt to advertise. First and foremost, they produce roughly half the amount of energy as crystalline does. Though, as advertised, these thin-film panels are very flexible and can be applied to curved metal panels, making them a “good idea” for structures that cannot handle additional weight, a good idea does not necessarily result in a good system.

As discussed earlier, if solar is in mind, the roofing system must be purposely installed in a fashion capable of handling the additional weight.

Even if that were not the case, we would still suggest avoiding the thin-film all together. These solar solutions are advertised with the buzz word “simplicity” repeatedly – and they are exactly right. They really are too simple to work well with the complexities of a metal roofing system. Thin-film is attached as an adhesive with a “peel-and-stick” method, an advertised healthy alternative to the weight and penetration from the traditional crystalline systems. Are they efficient? Not really. It is generally made to fit particularly standing seam, which will not require any penetrations, regardless of the system. The defining problem for thin-film is that its surface is inconsistent with the natural expansion and contraction of an interlocking standing seam metal roofing system – which will gradually create many, many problems. Ultimately, we recommend that thin-film systems be avoided entirely.

Do Use Crystalline

The glass paneled “crystalline” silicon modules have many benefits associated to its integration with a metal roofing system. These modules will generally boost energy productivity because the mounting hardware will allow for the panels to cover more of the roof’s surface. They are very mobile, so if the roof, for some reason, needs to come off, they can be removed and re-installed when done correctly. Utilizing crystalline correctly, twice the amount of electricity will be generated compared to thin-film; and, compared to thin-film, roof penetrations are only required if interfacing with the traditional metal shingle, not standing seam.

The crystalline solar panel’s mounts can be attached to the seams on a standing seam metal roof with no penetrations required whatsoever. However, roofing penetrations are not necessarily negative for the metal shingle because the posts of the solar system will usually be attached to the rafters, making them very secure.

There are two primary options for installing solar on a metal shingle: the first is to do the attachment on the posts before the roof goes on, then flashing the metal shingles around the posts, while the second way is to install plates and posts after the installation of the metal shingle roofing system. In both cases, the posts that hold the solar systems are safely and securely attached to the rafters of the house. Again, the only way to avoid roofing penetrations is with standing seam by attaching the solar panel brackets to the raised seams of the metal roof. Remember, the roof must have been installed with the extra clips in order to withstand the solar panels regardless of the metal roofing product.


Overall, when speaking with a metal roofing contractor, decide whether or not you want to get solar panels prior to the installation so proper coordination can be made in effort to avoid roofing failure. We cannot stress this enough.

Interested in a solar system but do not know where to go? We highly recommend you visit these websites for more information on solar:



Interested in an aluminum metal roofing and crystalline solar system dream team for your home in the near future but concerned about the cost? Read more on how much a metal roofing system costs …

Why Metal Roof Snow Brakes Should Be Thought About In the Spring and Summer

May 20th, 2014

The flowers beginning to bloom are only one of the many beautiful manifestations of the calm, tranquil, and spring-defining month of May. As the summer is approaching, we are seeing warmer and sunnier afternoons. The metal roofing industry is beginning its yearly cycle and homeowners all over New England are simultaneously looking to get a new metal roof. It has been frequently said that getting a metal roof is essential for the lifetime protection for a safe, worry-free future of a home; so, with this level of ease in mind, let’s talk about a worrisome topic that may not be top of mind this time of year: snow!

Ice Dams Review


Ice Dams

Some of the most common roofing problems we hear from homeowners across New England are almost always concerning ice, snow, and ice dams. Sure, these conditions resulting from the many winter elements are troublesome at that given time; however, you should consider the long-term damage that ice and snow can typically do to roofing and how this damage can be prevented.

Let us consider why your asphalt roofing had ice dam issues last winter. If there is poor ventilation in your roofing, heat from the house probably rose up into the attic and melted the snow that was over the given heated areas. Snow that had piled up over your unheated overhangs, such as your porch roof, did not have the same effect. When the ice on the higher parts of your roof began to melt from the heat, it probably began to seep down to the overhangs and freeze into ice. This ice could have backed its way into the roofing material and entered your structure. This is a notoriously endemic issue, and neglecting extra snow that is on your roof can cause serious internal damage of your home.

Pro-tip: If you are not investing in a metal roof, invest in a snow rake, at the very least.

Understand that any type of roofing can be susceptible to ice dams, especially when there is an environment of extremely freezing temperatures and no sun. It can happen on a metal roofing system when snow builds up from the ground or gutters and makes its way up onto the roofing system. This, however, usually is not an issue with a metal roofing system – just be cautious.

Underlayment / Roof Deck Protection

In case of any potential ice dam issues on a metal roof, find out what your hired contractor is planning on using for roof deck protection.  An “underlayment” is a type of rubber membrane, such as Ice and Water Shield, which will provide additional protection to the roof deck, not the shingles. This will protect your home from any potential water infiltration.

When the question, “Will a metal roof avoid ice dams?” is asked, the answer is, for the most part: yes! It is very rare to see an ice dam on a metal roof. In fact, it is so nonexistent that, ironically, we actually need to utilize a method that will *prevent* the snow from falling off the roof too quickly. Metal roofing has a very smooth surface. Metal roofs also have high radiant heat reflectivity, meaning that when the sun’s rays strike the roof, they reflect outward. Radiant heat passes through the snow as soon as the sun comes out, spreading throughout the entire roof. The bottom of the snow starts to become slippery, causing it to slide off of the roof very easily and quickly. Subjectively speaking, a potential issue with a metal roof is not that the snow piles up; it is that it can come off too quickly! How is this prevented?

Metal Roof Snow Brake Systems: Known as Snow Guards, Snow Rails, or Snow Fences

*Classic Metal Roofs, LLC, unlike many other metal roofing contractors in New England, includes the cost of snow brakes in every quote.

Why is it important to utilize metal roof snow brakes?


Aluminum Snow Brakes

Large chunks of snow falling off of a metal roof at once could be dangerous due to a steep pitch over doorways or vital areas of landscaping. Understand that if the pitch is not very steep, too-frequent spacing of the snow brakes could prevent snow from sliding off to too much of an extent to where it is not shedding any snow at all. In this case, or any other troublesome circumstances, a heat tape can be used on the overhangs to melt the snow. However, understand that the gutters and downspouts must also be lined with the heat tape to ensure that the melted snow can leave the roof efficiently.

There are a variety of styles for metal roof snow brakes, most of which interface very well with most products offered. Be sure to discuss with your contractor which type of snow brake will function and interface with your product most efficiently. Metal roof snow brakes can come in steel, aluminum, copper, and polycarbonate. Keep in mind that the material of the snow brake must match the metal of the roof. Therefore, an aluminum metal roof would require aluminum snow brakes. However, a stainless steel snow brake system can be used with just about any type of metal roofing system because it is nonreactive.


Snow Fence

If you have done some research on a manufacturer’s website regarding snow brakes, here is an insider tip: the recommendations they give on spacing and placement are often angled towards generating more revenue. Based on Classic Metal Roofs’ experience, for most areas, placing the snow brakes from 12” to 18” apart is adequate. During installation, be sure that the crew is keeping snow brakes away from valleys where snow tends to collect as opposed to escape.

If a contractor neglected to install snow brakes on your already-installed metal roof, there is still hope. Though aluminum snow brakes are installed structurally due to how durable they must be to withstand heavy chunks of ice and snow, a polycarbonate snow brake can be implemented after installation of the roof in case of any possible mistake. Polycarbonate snow brakes have special adhesives which stick them to the roofing material as opposed to being fastened into the roof. The reasoning for using polycarbonate snow brakes is, because they can be done in a retrofit, this can help avoid the potential of nullifying the factory warranty of the roof. Remember, putting a fastener through a panel will typically void your metal roofing system’s warranty.


Pay attention to what your prospective metal roofing contractor is planning on doing and whether or not that contractor meets your criteria. Add to your written criteria the utilization of snow guards and underlayment and be absolutely sure that the contractor you’re meeting with discusses these details with you.

For more information, check out how to select a metal roofing contractor …

Classic Metal Roofs, LLC Classic Metal Roofs, LLC Classic Metal Roofs, LLC Classic Metal Roofs, LLC
264 Gleasondale Road
Stow, Massachusetts 01775
Telephone: 978-562-7770
(toll-free: 866-660-6668)
1 Tara Blvd.
Nashua, N.H. 03062
Telephone: 603-324-7187
(toll-free: 866-660-6668)
1224 Mill Street, Building B
East Berlin, Conn. 06023
Telephone: 860-828-2050
(toll-free: 866-660-6668)
88 West Warwick Ave
West Warwick, R.I. 02893
Telephone: 401-821-0024.
(toll-free: 866-660-6668)