What's the Best Gauge for a Residential Metal Roof?

What’s the Best Gauge for a Residential Metal Roof?

August 15, 2020

Metal roofing can be an attractive choice for homes as well as commercial and industrial buildings. Not only do they look nice, but they’re incredibly durable. Your metal roof is likely to last 40 to 70 years, making it a great investment for any type of building. All you need to do is pick the type of metal roof you’d like, then choose the best gauge for your project. Read on to learn more about residential metal roof installation before you call your roofing contractor in Traverse City, MI.

What kind of metal roof do you want?

There are two main types of metal roof, and the kind you pick will determine which gauges are available. Standing seam metal roofs are the best choice for metal roofing—the seams and fasteners are concealed, which makes them more weatherproof than exposed fastener metal roofs. While more expensive than the exposed fastener variety, they offer better performance and durable paint finish. When you pick this type of metal roof, you’ll choose 24 gauge or heavier. (The lower the number, the heavier the metal.)

Exposed fastener metal roofs are less expensive. As the name suggests, their fasteners are visible, which means they’re also subject to wear and tear from the elements. However, they’re also about half as costly as standing seam. These roofs are usually in the 26 gauge range or lighter.

How will it be installed?

How your roof is installed also makes a difference. If you’re installing the roof over solid wood substrate, it’s common to choose 29, 26 or 24 gauge roofing. While you might be tempted to pick 29 gauge, since it’s 10 to 20 percent cheaper, we recommend 26 or 24 gauge. 29 gauge is too flimsy, and you’re more likely to see damage from a hailstorm or when the wind lifts the panels.

If you’re installing over metal purlins, it’s crucial that you pick a gauge strong enough to handle the load and wind uplift. This rules out 29 gauge completely. For best results, pick something in the 26 to 20 gauge range. You’ll probably want to talk to an engineer about which roofing material can handle the job, as exposed fastener and standing seam roofs have different qualities that will affect installation.

Do you want a painted roof?

Finally, the paint type will factor into your decision, too. You have two basic choices: PVDF paint, such as Kynar 500® or Hylar 5000®, or silicone-modified polyester (SMP). PVDF paints are considered the “best,” but they require a minimum of 24 gauge steel. SMP paint, which is also of a high quality, is seen on 29, 26 and 24 gauge metal roofs. If you want bright colors, PVDF is the way to go. SMP paints tend to be light or neutral, since they’re more prone to fading over time.

When you’re ready for metal roof installation in Traverse City, MI, call Qualified Roofing today. We offer 5 to 7 percent discounts if you agree to flexible scheduling, so get in touch to learn more!

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