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Your Guide To Aluminum Roofs & Best Uses

Posted on : June 24, 2024

Your Guide To Aluminum Roofs & Best Uses

Aluminum is one of the lightest metals used for roofing systems, making it an attractive choice for both commercial and residential properties. Aluminum is a sustainable and eco-friendly material that offers numerous benefits as a roofing solution.

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we understand the importance of providing property owners with high-quality and reliable roofing solutions. If you are looking for roofing services in Pittsburgh, PA, we are your trustworthy partner.


In this complete guide, we will go through everything you need to know about aluminum roofs, including their advantages, costs, design options, installation process, and ideal applications.

Why Are Aluminum Roofs A Popular Choice?

Here are a few reasons why aluminum roofs are a worthy choice to consider:

Aluminum Roofs

Durable and Long-Lasting

Aluminum roofs can last up to 40-60 years and withstand harsh weather conditions. These roofs resist cracks, rot, and insect infestations, making them a low-maintenance option. 

Relatively Lightweight

Aluminum is a lightweight material that doesn’t put pressure on the structure of your home compared to heavier roofing materials like concrete tiles or slate. This makes aluminum roofs suitable for older homes or those in areas prone to earthquakes.

Energy Efficient 

Metal roofs are excellent at reflecting sunlight, making them suitable for homes in areas with hot weather conditions. This can lead to less reliance on air conditioning, saving money on your energy bills.

Fire Resistance

Aluminum roofs are non-combustible, meaning they won't catch fire or spread flames. This can provide peace of mind, especially in areas prone to wildfires or where building codes require fire-resistant roofing materials.

Recyclable

When it's time to replace your aluminum roof, the old material can be recycled, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Aluminum roofs reduce waste and conserve natural resources. Choosing an aluminum roof is a smart way to go green.

Where Are The Best Usage Scenarios For Aluminum Roofs?

We often receive the question of where aluminum roofs are most suitable. The durability of aluminum roofs makes them ideal for most regions. 

Here are the four best usage scenarios for aluminum roofs:

#1 Residential Roofing

Aluminum roofs are excellent for homes because they are durable and require minimal repairs and maintenance. Homeowners often enjoy long-lasting protection at a reasonable cost. These aluminum roofs are reflective and energy-efficient, lowering utility bills. Aluminum roofs can last for decades with proper installation, providing excellent value for homeowners.

#2 Commercial Roofing

Aluminum roofing sheets offer many advantages for commercial buildings. As mentioned, they are easy to maintain and can resist harsh weather, reducing the need for frequent aluminum roof repair. Aluminum roofs are also lightweight, making them suitable for large commercial buildings. Their reflective nature can help reduce cooling costs, benefiting businesses financially.

#3 Coastal Areas

In coastal regions, aluminum roofs are an excellent choice due to their resistance to saltwater corrosion. Unlike other materials, aluminum roofs do not corrode or degrade when exposed to salty air and water. This durability ensures minimal roof repair needs, making aluminum roofs a wise investment for coastal properties.

#4 High-Wind Regions

Aluminum roofs excel in high-wind areas known for extreme weather conditions. These roofs can toughly withstand strong winds and hurricanes, reducing the risk of damage. With proper installation, aluminum roofing sheets can remain securely in place, protecting buildings and minimizing the need for costly repairs after storms.

How Much Does It Cost to Install An Aluminum Roof?

Getting an aluminum roof is a significant investment. The cost can vary, but on average, you'll pay anywhere between $8 and $18 per square foot. This price includes labor and installation charges. 

So, what factors influence the total cost? The overall size of your roof plays a big role. A larger roof means more materials and labor, driving up the price. The complexity of the roof design also matters. Simple designs are cheaper than intricate ones. 

Additionally, your location can impact the cost. For example, some areas have higher labor rates than others. Overall, an aluminum roof is a durable and low-maintenance option, but it comes with a higher upfront cost than other roofing materials.

What Design Options Are Available For Aluminum Roofs?

Here are some popular styles of aluminum roofs:

Shingles

Aluminum shingles are generally between 12-18 inches long and come in varying thicknesses. They are comparatively lighter than traditional shingles. 

  • These shingles offer great resistance to fire.
  • Aluminum shingles provide a classic appearance to the roofs. They can also be painted to match the specific style of your home.
  • This metal roof type is durable and long-lasting compared to traditional shingles. 
  • Aluminum shingles are resistant to rust, corrosion, and extreme weather conditions. 

Corrugated Panels

Corrugated aluminum roofing panels feature parallel ridges and grooves that run along the entire roof panel.

  • The ridges add strength and rigidity to the lightweight aluminum.
  • Corrugated roofs have a distinctive wave-like appearance that is visually appealing.
  • This classic and affordable design has been used on barns, sheds, and industrial buildings for decades.
  • Corrugated aluminum roofs are very low maintenance and extremely durable.

Standing Seam Panels

Standing seam aluminum roofs are another popular style for residential properties.

  • These aluminum roofs feature raised seams that run from the ridge to the eaves where the panels connect.
  • This creates a sleek, modern line design across the roof's surface.
  • Standing seam aluminum roofs are incredibly sturdy against high winds, shed snow easily, and require little maintenance.
  • The raised seams also allow for movement as the roof expands and contracts with temperature changes.

How Do You Install A Metal Roof?

To install a metal roof, you first need to ensure that you have all the necessary materials and tools. This includes underlayment, aluminum roof panels, fasteners, safety gear, and sealants. Now, to install an aluminum roof, you’ll need to follow certain steps: 

  1. First, you need to ensure the roof surface is clean and free from all dust and debris.  
  2. Next, install an underlayment over the entire roof deck. This provides an extra waterproof barrier beneath the metal panels.
  3. Now, you're ready to install the metal roofing panels. Start at one edge of the roof and work across, overlapping and interlocking the panels according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Use the recommended fasteners to securely attach the panels to the roof deck along the raised seams or battens. Apply a durable sealant at overlapping seams to prevent leaks.
  5. For roof edges, ridges, hips, and valleys, install appropriate metal trim pieces and flashing. Seal all joints thoroughly with caulk or butyl tape.
  6. As you work across the roof, ensure each panel aligns properly, and the seams interlock tightly. The metal expands and contracts, so allow small gaps for thermal movement.
  7. Finally, install vents, skylights, or other roof penetrations using compatible flashing kits made for metal roofing systems.

Is It Recommended To Install An Aluminum Roof Yourself?

No! Installing or replacing any roof is not a DIY task. Replacing a roof is not a simple project that homeowners should try themselves. 

Climbing up on a roof, removing old materials, and lifting heavy bundles of materials is very hazardous. Roofers use secure systems like safety harnesses, railings, and scaffolding to prevent dangerous falls from heights. They have experience working on steeply-pitched roofs and following important safety protocols.

Another big risk of DIY roofing is making mistakes with flashing, sealants, underlayment, and ventilation details. One small error can lead to water leaks and expensive damage inside your home over time.  

You Might Also Like: Can You Paint Aluminum Siding?

Call McClellands Contracting And Roofing For Metal Roof Replacement And Installation In Pittsburgh, PA 

If you are looking for metal roofing services in Pittsburgh, PA, and the nearby areas, we are here to assist you. Our team of roofing experts will ensure that your roof is replaced, installed, or repaired successfully. We only use industry-certified practices and high-quality materials. Our commitment to excellence means you can expect nothing less than a flawless metal roofing solution tailored to your specific requirements. To learn more about our comprehensive services pricing and to schedule a consultation, feel free to contact us at (412) 353-5660. Our friendly and knowledgeable professionals are ready to assist you every step of the way.

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