Video /
May 13, 2020

How To Install a Metal Roof on a Home

Builder shares tips for installing a metal roof and mistakes to avoid

If you’re looking for ways to set your project apart, a metal roof can add extra shine. Logan Parker, CEO of Heirloom Builders, shares his method of leak-proofing, insulating, and venting a metal roof that will last through the decades.

The North Carolina-based builder chose to install a metal roof on one of his residential projects and had to make sure the roof was accurately measured, insulated, and vented to avoid rot. By using quality materials and proper installation techniques, Parker could also include solar technology and rainwater collection features. 

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“We're gonna install solar panels on the south-facing roof that you can see right behind me, and we don't want to worry about leaks or replacing this roof for at least 30 years,” Parker says.  “We're also going to be collecting rainwater off of this roof surface, so we want our rainwater to be as clean as possible and definitely avoid the petroleum residues that you might get from asphalt shingles.”

With 20 years of experience, Parker says that he wants to share the tips he’s learned and the mistakes he’s made so builders can build a better home.

Watch the video to learn more. 

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Transcript: “How to Install Standing Seam Metal Roofing”

What's up y'all? Logan Parker heirloom builders welcoming you back to another episode on our series “Building it Better.”

Today we're installing a standing seam metal roof. We're gonna install solar panels on the south-facing roof that you can see right behind me, and we don't want to worry about leaks or replacing this roof for at least 30 years. We're also going to be collecting rainwater off of this roof surface, so we want our rainwater to be as clean as possible and definitely avoid the petroleum residues that you might get from asphalt shingles. I've learned a lot from the mistakes I've made over the last 20 years, and I wanted to share that wisdom with you so that you can avoid those same mistakes and build a better home.

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Installing a waterproof underlay for metal roof

So here we go. Let's talk about roof underlayment for a minute. The purpose of roof underlayment is to provide a waterproof layer that drains water away from your wood roof framing. Typically most underlayment installation is simply a layer 30 pound felt paper. We go above and beyond to extend the life of the roof: It's cheap insurance. We install grace select as it seals around fasteners to keep a leak-free roof. 

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All right so now we dive into measuring and layout. Knowing how to measure and lay out your roof is super important. After all, you don't want to stop in the middle of your project and realize you're way short of a critical material. We want to make sure that we have the same distance between the edge's roof and the first rib on one side as we have on the other side. So what we're gonna do there is shift the panels and split the difference so that we have a 10-inch-wide rip on the right and a 10-inch-wide rip on the left. You might be thinking, hey hold up, Logan, how do I even know when to install a metal roof? To that I would say install roofing after your roof framing is complete and ideally when you're finished fascia and underlayment is installed like we have here. You also want to have your roof penetrations and vent flashings figured out and on-site. Plumbing vents and other vents like chimney pipes can and should be cut in after you have a chance to lay out your panels so they don't land on a rib or in any other awkward spot to waterproof. So make sure that you order striations on your metal panels. It'll keep the roof looking really good and keep it from bubbling up and doing that oil canning that nobody likes to see.

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How to avoid rot under a metal roof

So will your roof require venting? That's a really important question to ask. In this case we're spraying eight inches of open-cell spray foam insulation in the roof deck typically with that kind of installation you won't need to vent the roof because it'll be all sealed up from that spray foam. However, we're using a product called Techshield that has an aluminum face on the bottom which reflects all the radiant heat from the roof, and that needs a 1-inch airspace. So we have to put vent baffles up in the rafter bays to create some airspace and have that breathe. Essentially, we're creating a vented roof. So we've got a vented soffit that's gonna allow air to get in from the low end of this roof right down below and travel up the rafter bay through that 1-inch airspace and out the roof. If that moist air gets trapped inside of our roof framing, and it gets really cold outside, that moist air is gonna condense into little water droplets and where is it gonna go but rot our wood framing so we really have to make sure that we vent this roof.

See the full transcript here.

 

Annie Cebulski

Annie Cebulski is the associate editor of PRODUCTS.

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