Standing Seam Metal Roofing
There's metal roofing, and then there's a particular type called standing seam metal roofing.
Houses in your neighborhood with metal roofs most likely are of the standing seam variety. Continuous panels run from the ridge of the roof all the way down to the eaves. Between the panels are seams connected by fasteners which are raised above the level of the metal roofing. This is where we get the term standing seam, because the seam is raised or standing, as opposed to flush-mounted.
Seam Fasteners: These seam fasteners might be anywhere from 0.5" to 1.5" high. Because these fasteners are concealed, you only see a smooth continuous ridge extending from top to bottom.
Pre-Formed vs. Site-Formed: Roof panels can come either pre-formed or site-formed. Pre-formed panels are created in an off-site factory. Site-formed panels are created from rolls of metal that are run through mobile forming machines which crimp the metal into rigid panels.
Composition and Width of Panels: 12 to 19 inches wide, panels are usually made either of Galvalume-coated steel or aluminum.
Roofing tile is a good choice for homes with Southwestern, Italian, Spanish Mission, Terracotta designs or even for homes with a modern, clean look.
Tile lasts a long time with an expected lifespan greater than the material on which the roofing rests. Tile will not rot or burn and it cannot be harmed by insects. It requires little maintenance and comes in a variety of colors, types, styles and brands.
Terracotta Roofing tiles have a long lifespan, but are heavy and may require extra roof support. Additionally they are fragile and can break if walked on.
The biggest drawback to tile by far is its weight. Depending on the material used to make it, tile can be very heavy, so heavy that extra roof support may be required. Originally made from clay, new tiles are being made from lighter materials and lightweight metal tiles can be installed over existing roofs. However, keep in mind that with some new materials color is added only on the surface of the tile which can fade over time.
Also be aware that some types of tile are fragile, so walking on them can and will often break them thus making it more difficult to accomplish maintenance like painting or cleaning rain gutters and fireplaces. Initial installation can be complicated and tile can cost more than other roofing materials but it does have a very nice look.
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