Metal Roof Repair Round Rock

The Ultimate Guide To Metal Roofs

Metal roofing is very popular here in Round Rock and the surrounding area. We get a lot of requests for it. They give the home or business a real “hill country” feel. You could choose to go with either a metal shingle or sheet metal.


Here we’re going to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of metal and then we’ll talk about some of the kinds of metal that are available.


Our objectives here is to inform the building owner what metal is, how it is installed, know what goes wrong and why. And lastly, how to look for problems.



  1. Lightweight yet strong
  2. Less expensive than slate or clay
  3. Applied on either steep or flatter roofs as well
  4. Non-Combustible
  5. Sheds snow and ice easily
  6. Usually fewer joints than other materials


  1. Metal rusts
  2. Expands and contracts
  3. Some metals like zinc and aluminum can be expensive


Metal Shingle

The typical modern metal roof you see is either steel or aluminum. The steel will have protective coatings applied to prevent corrosion. Usually a zinc or aluminum coating. They can also come with baked on enamle paints, acrylic coatings and/or stone granules to give it some aesthetic qualities.


They also come with material warranties that range from 25 to 50 years and are made to look like wood shingles, wood shakes or clay tile. They really look great when you look to combine aesthetic options with these options.



When it comes to installation there are a few things to point out. If these are overlooked, you will have problems down the road. These will also vary among manufactures.


The typical sizes in inches are:

  • 12 x 24
  • 9 x 12
  • 10 x 60
  • 12 x 120
  • 45 x 16


Depending on the manufacture, the minimum slope is 2 1/2 inches every 12 inches to 6 inches every 12 inches. And typically the entire shingle is exposed, except for a perimeter interlocking joint. Your contractor will make these decisions.


(Have I lost you yet?)


The metal shingles can be fastened with nails, screws or even clips that are hot dipped galvanized. The important thing to remember here is to use aluminum fasteners when installing aluminum shingles. Each manufacturer will have its own recommendation when it comes to the number of fasteners per shingle which will vary from two to eight.

One advantages of metal roofs is that it weighs less than the other materials such as the traditional shingle. If you are worried about the load on your roof, metal will weigh from 35 to 255 pounds per square while the traditional shingles weighs from 200 to 400 pounds per square. And requires no underlayment materials.


A square is defined as 100 square feet of space, and 1,500 square feet equates to 15 squares. (1,500 / 100 = 15).


As the metal roof ages, you can expect to see rust, denting, and fastener failure. Resulting in pieces becoming loose. Buckling will occur if an allowance for expansion or contraction wasn’t properly made.


So if you already have a metal roof and are having issues, here are some areas to inspect.


  1. Rust
  2. Fastener failure
  3. Loose or missing shingles or flashing details
  4. Installation problems
  5. Dented
  6. Buckled  roofing


The rust of course comes when exposed to the elements and it may be more severe in areas along coastal waters from salt. Refinished materials have better corrosion protection than paints used on site. Trouble starts during careless installation. Damage occurs when the preventative coatings are scratched off. Also, the rust may or may not be visible.


If fasteners are failing, it may be caused by either poor installation or corrosion of the fasteners. Wind uplift forces that exceed the design will also cause havoc.


Loose or missing pieces are caused when the roof is poorly installed. It also may be from fastener failure, rust, mechanical damage or wind uplift. Poor installation is a workmanship issue, and hiring a quality contractor mitigates most of these problems. Ask for references.


Dented shingles may come from falling tree branches. People walking on the roof may be another cause. Some of these metal roofs were never designed to have someone walk on top of them. Inspectors should be cautioned if you have one out to inspect damage.


Buckling is caused by expansion and contraction. Its important during installation that an allowance is taken into consideration. The larger the metal shingles or tiles, the more allowance has to be made for natural expansion and contraction.


This is usually the result of poor workmanship and will eventually cause leakage.


Sheet Metal

Sheet metal roofing, similar to the metal shingle, has many of the same properties. You’ll usually see this on old barns and other out buildings. They age very well if you like the rustic look, unpainted galvanized roofs allowed to weather and rust. This image is the one that usually turns people off when they imagine their home with these roofs. They usually don’t want to have anything to do with it.

But I can suggest some very attractive metal roofs as options.



Copper is usually referred to as the top shelf option of roofing metals. It starts out as a nice copper color, like a the color of a penny. Then it turns dark brown or green as a patina. It can last over 100 years, and is usually found on high end commercial buildings rather than homes. A word of caution, copper runoff will stain painted surfaces, and copper is corrosive to almost all other metals. An example is steel. Steel will corrode quickly when in contact with copper.


Stainless Steel

These are rarely found on homes and more on commercial structures. Stainless steel does not have to be painted and naturally retains its shiny appearance.


Galvanized Steel

This is a very common option since it is less expensive. It has the protective qualities of the other high end options, protected by a layer of zinc or a zinc aluminum alloy inhibiting rust accumulation. It can also take paint, either applied on site or at the factory.


Terne Metal

The name means dull metal and is a steel containing tin and lead. This option has to be painted, but is another very common option. We do a fair number of these.



Zinc is expensive, but it lasts a long time. It expands and contracts more than other metals, and is very soft. It will be negatively impacted when it comes into contact with other metals due to galvanic reaction. Not good. Not very common as a residential option.



Most are familiar with the qualities of aluminum. Its light, it doesn’t rust and holds up well in most environments. Other metals are mixed in to increase the strength of the aluminum roofs, but still will have a lot of expansion and contraction from the changing temperatures of the seasons.


Metal roof systems should be considered high quality option. If you are dealing with leaks, it often occurs through fastener failure. Check for rust and check for fasteners that have pulled through the metal. Another area to check is if there are any open or failed seems.


If you have any questions, I would encourage you to give us a ring.

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