Metal roofing is growing in popularity as a choice for homeowners all across the country, especially in Fort Wayne, IN. Today’s metal roof panels go beyond the classic barn or cabin roof. The styles, colors, textures, and possibilities are endless. 

Our Fort Wayne, IN expert metal roof installation team is here to break down the types of metal roofing, how they are each installed, and help you explore your options in styles, colors, and installation details to find exactly what you’re looking for.

How Metal Roofs are Installed

New metal roof installation is a specialized process that can’t be done by any roofer. The process is different from traditional shingles or tiles. The process is slightly different based on the specific manufacturer, but it generally follows the same basic steps.

Step 1. Remove Old Roofing

The first step to metal roof installation is removing the old roof. Metal roofing can be installed on top of any other type of roofing, but this isn’t recommended. 

Most building codes only allow two layers of roofing materials on a building at a time, and if you already have shingles – they can curl and buckle underneath the metal. It is always best to start the project with a clean and clear surface.

Step 2. Inspect the Decking

Once all of the old roofing material has been removed, it’s important to inspect the wooden base. If you notice any type of water damage, cracking, or any other problem, it is important to fix these before a metal roof installation.

Step 3. Underlayment

Metal roof job starts with a waterproof layer and a layer of felt or other fabric for the underlayment to protect from water and ice. Your building codes dictate how much protection you need.

Step 4. Metal Roofing Panels

The next step is to install the metal roofing itself. Metal roofing typically comes in panels, which are installed step-by-step. The methods vary based on the type of roofing (exposed fastener vs. standing seam) and the manufacturer of the panels. 

No matter what, you will need to screw in each panel, with screws specially intended for the roof. You may also need to apply sealant tape, clips, or other fasteners. 

Typically, the manufacturers require installers to be certified in their specific roofing material before they can install it correctly.

Step 5. Inspection

Once the roof is complete, it needs to be inspected. The roofing contractor is responsible for looking over their work and ensuring everything was done properly.

There are many types of metal roofs – these are just the basics of metal roof installation for the two most common types of metal roofs. 

Exposed Fastener Installation Process

Exposed fasteners are one of the quickest metal roof installation methods, it follows the steps above, including the following four basic steps:

Step 1: Start Square

It’s important to start square when you are installing a metal roof. This is critical to a correct installation because if the first panel is tilted even just a little bit, all the panels that come after are going to be tilted as well. 

Square off the edge at the very beginning so you start off right.

Step 2: Cut Panels to Length & Add Eave Trim

When doing an exposed fastener metal roof installation, you need to overhang the eave by one and a half or two inches at most. 

Measure carefully and cut the panel to length. You will also need to cut through the male and the female rib to get to the flat of the panel. Now you have a panel that is ready to install.

Step 3: Apply Sealant Tape

One row of sealant tape goes between all layers of metal. Apply the sealant tape along the center of the entire eave and remove the tape backing.

Step 4: Installation and Exposed Fasteners

Making sure the panel is square, the panel is screwed along the face using a pancake head fastener. The fasteners should be spaced 12 inches apart and be screwed in tight, but not too tight. Over-tightening draws the panel down and puts tension into the panel. 

Next, you will install exposed fasteners which are painted fasteners along the center. Continue to attach and install more panels until the roof is covered.

How Hidden Fastener Metal Roofs Are Installed

Hidden fasteners or standing seams are installed similarly to exposed fastener metal roofing but have a few additional steps. Each metal roof installation is unique based on the type of metal roofing and also the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 1: Install Offset Cleats

The offset cleat is what allows us to create a true hidden fastener metal roof installation. This must be installed first before you can continue with the panels. Installing offset cleats requires specific training and expertise.

Step 2: Bend Panel Edge

Hidden fasteners are prepared by cutting up one inch on either side, folding under, and removing these two ribs. Then the panel is installed and clipped to the offset cleat, making the fasteners completely hidden.

Step 3: Installation Using Hidden Fasteners

Next, the panel is installed by clipping it into the offset cleat. It’s important to make sure that the panel is sitting back from the edge of the roof by half an inch so that any jogging is not visible from the ground.

Commonly Used Materials in Metal Roof Panels

Although the metal roof installation process for each type of metal roof is different, the materials used are very similar. Some metal roofs require more fasteners and accessories than others, but most will use three or more of the following:

  • Fasteners and Clips These are used to attach the roofing panel to the decking. They may be exposed or hidden. 
  • Trim and Flashing – These are the components that are installed at the intersections of the roofing to seal the roof and keep it waterproof.
  •  Sealants and Caulking – Tapes and sealants are used for any metal-to-metal connections, to provide some elasticity as the metal expands and contracts with the changing weather.

Cost to Install a Metal Roof

The cost of a metal roof installation is higher than asphalt shingles or tile. Industry statistics estimate that the national average cost of metal roof installation per square foot is anywhere between $10.00 and $13.00. 

This is about twice the cost of an asphalt shingles roof. Of course, these prices may fluctuate based on several factors.

What Determines a Roof’s Installation Cost?

  • Labor Cost – Approximately 2/3 of the cost of roofing is labor. The price of labor in your area determines a huge portion of the overall cost of roofing. 
  • Roof Size, Pitch, and Slope – When you have a complicated installation, like a large roof, steep pitch, or increased slope – this adds to the time and labor costs of installation.   
  • Material Costs – The raw metal roofing materials account for approximately 1/3 the cost of your new roof. Thicker metals cost more than thinner gauges – and price can vary between different types of metals (i.e., copper is more expensive than aluminum). 
  • Painting Cost – After your roof is installed, it is sealed and painted. The type of paint and labor involved contributes to the metal roof cost of your roofing project.
  • Type Of Roofing System – An exposed fastener system is the cheapest to install because it is the quickest. Other types like a standing seam, hidden fastener, or others are more time-consuming, and in turn more expensive. 
  • Removing the Existing Roof – On your request metal roofing contractors will install metal on top of an existing roof, but this is not recommended for several reasons. 
  • Accessibility of the Roof – If you live in an area that is particularly difficult to access, you may be charged a premium to compensate for the time and labor involved in accessing the roof itself.

Top Mistakes Often Made by Metal Roof Installers

Metal roofing is not a DIY job. It requires specialized training, hours of practice, and expertise by a qualified roofing contractor. 

There are several reasons why it’s important to find a qualified professional. If you choose a roofer without adequate experience, you fall victim to these common mistakes.

  • No Basic Preparation – Many homeowners attempt to throw a metal roof on top of their existing roof with little to no preparation. Metal roofing requires careful measuring and preparation for each panel to avoid imprecise cuts and rough edges leading to rust and roof coating failure. 
  • Poor Use of Fasteners and Clips – Any sign of leaking in a metal roof is almost always due to over-tightened, under-tightened, or off-center fasteners. Fasteners should be screwed in easily with little resistance. If you have little or no experience with metal roofing, this can be tricky to detect and do correctly. 
  • Incorrect Flashing, Seams, and Sealants – Flashing, seams, and sealants are all areas that must be carefully installed to avoid water getting into the roofing system. When poorly installed, these areas can blow off during a windstorm or expose the entire roof deck to moisture. 
  • Expose Metal for CorrosionWhen metal roofing is cut, it begins the rusting process. As soon as the sealant is applied, it stops the metal from rusting any further. However, if the sealant isn’t applied correctly, or thoroughly, or areas are left exposed – it can lead to corrosion over time. 
  • Oil Canning – Oil canning is a waviness or buckling across the flat areas of metal panels. While this doesn’t affect the roof’s structural integrity, it also doesn’t look great. Most of the time it is caused by under- or over-tightening roof fasteners and causing the metal to stretch. 

The expert installers at Perfect Steel Solutions have the experience and knowledge to properly install a metal roof and they back up their installation with their lifetime warranty.

Choosing the Right Metal Roof?

There are dozens of reasons why homeowners opt for metal roofing. But with so many benefits and so many metal roof options, choosing the right type can be overwhelming. What benefit is most important to you?

  • Popularity – Metal shingles are what most people opt for. If you’re looking for what is most popular, metal shingles are the way to go. 
  • Budget – A high-quality corrugated metal panel system is the best option if you’re on an extremely tight budget. 
  • Curb Appeal – If you want something that provides stunning curb appeal, go for stone-coated metal shingles if you are looking for unique curb appeal. 
  • Contemporary or Modern Look – If you are looking for a high-end look, standing seam panels are your best bet. 
  • Coastal Living – Homeowners living in coastal regions should consider installing aluminum shingles or panels that are resistant to rust and corrosion. 
  • Save Energy – Any metal roof will save energy but select a light color metal roof to optimize efficiency.

FAQs About Installing a Metal Roof

Technically no, but most homeowners have it. As long as the interior of your roof is protected from moisture accumulation, underlayment is not required. Despite this, many homeowners plan to insulate their house heavily, and will choose to install plywood to protect their investment.

Yes, this one is non-negotiable. Your metal roof needs an underlayment. This is critical to metal roof installation because it is responsible for making your roof waterproof. Without underlayment, water can seep into your decking and down the walls of your home.

Yes, a metal roof can easily be installed directly over open rafters.

Ready For Your New Metal Roof!

As Fort Wayne’s best metal roofing contractor, we want to empower our customers with everything you need to know about metal roof installation and selection. Knowledge of the industry and the options available to you help our customers to make the best decisions for their families. 

Whether you’re building a new home, researching a new roof for your business, or just checking out the new technology in roofing materials, we’ve got you covered. 

If you’re ready to transform your home, it’s time to call a trusted name in the industry. Perfect Steel Solutions is here for you. 

When you work with our team, not only will you reap the benefits of metal roofing, you’ll also reap the benefits of becoming a member of the Perfect Steel family.

Everything we do is backed by our core values of quality, integrity, loyalty, and family. For every metal roof installation, we also offer our Lifetime Limited Transferable Warranty. 

If you’re looking for a local and loyal roofing partner for your new metal roof, give us a call today.