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Standing Seam Metal Roofing Pros & Cons

July 31, 2020
Standing Seam Metal Roofing Pros & Cons

Standing seam metal roofing is defined as a concealed fastener metal panel system that features vertical legs and a broad, flat area between the two legs. It’s also described as having raised seams, or vertical legs, that rise above the level of the panel’s flat area. Standing seam systems have fasteners that are hidden, whether the panel is attached to the roof deck using a clip or is directly fastened to the deck under the vertical leg utilizing a fastener flange. The standing seam is considered a higher quality system that is commonly used on architectural and commercial buildings.

Advantages of Standing Seam Metal Roofing


Easily one of the most significant benefits of standing seam metal roofing is that no fasteners are visible on the surface, which means they aren’t exposed to UV, moisture, wind, and other elements that can cause a fastener to wear or fail over time. Also, standing seam systems don’t put holes in the panels that are protecting your structure. Plus, some people see fastener heads as unsightly, which is why using a standing seam system to hide them is common.


When you restrict the expansion and contraction needed for proper thermal movement of a metal panel, you can run into problems, such as oil canning, fastener withdrawal, increased noise, and more. In standing seam roofing systems, the panels generally aren’t double pinned, meaning they can expand and contract better. This is especially true if slider/expansion clips are installed or if it’s a snap-lock system where the metal can move freely with a clip.


Metal roofing lasts significantly longer and requires less maintenance, especially when compared to other roofing types, such as asphalt shingles or concrete tiles. Since fasteners don’t penetrate the surface of the metal on a standing seam system, regular maintenance to check for withdrawing, loose, or damaged fasteners is even less frequent. Standing seam metal roof systems typically offer a PVDF paint system, which will increase the lifespan of the appearance of your roof.


Engineered standing seam metal roof systems are tested to the high standards set forth by industry leaders, including ASTM, UL, and FM Approvals. Requests for engineered construction materials are becoming more and more popular, especially with commercial structures in a hurricane and high-wind zones. Engineered standing seam metal roofing systems typically adhere to testing standards for wind uplift, air leakage, water penetration, fire/combustion resistance, and impact resistance.

Disadvantages of Standing Seam Metal Roofing


One of the most significant drawbacks to standing seam metal roofing is the fact that is can be more expensive when compared to other metal roofing types, especially exposed fastener systems. However, it’s not always the highest price, as metal shingles and other stamped metal materials tend to come in at a higher price, even though stamped materials are often made from 26 gauge or thinner substrates.


For exposed fastener systems, it’s a relatively simple process of putting the material on the roof deck and nailing/screwing it down. For standing seam, it’s much more complex and labor-intensive, and may include:

  • Forming the metal panels using portable (on-site) roll forming or buying from regional manufacturers
  • Correctly spacing the clips on the panel legs and fastening each one down
  • For snap-lock systems: Aligning the panels and snapping the legs together
  • For mechanically seamed systems: Aligning the panels and hand or mechanically seaming the panel legs together
  • Making any necessary slits in the metal to account for roof plans, geometry, and flashing areas

Mckinnis Roofing Omaha, Lincoln & Surrounding areas

McKinnis Inc. has been providing quality roofing services in the greater metro Omaha, Lincoln, and Blair NE area since 1981, offering 24/7 emergency service and repair. Contact us today to speak with a qualified Omaha roofing professional and find out if a metal roofing system is the right one for you!