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Different Parts Of A Metal Roof (& Things To Know)

Posted on : June 12, 2024

Different Parts Of A Metal Roof (& Things To Know)

Metal roofs have been a common choice for commercial buildings for ages. However, they are also gaining popularity among homeowners. Metal roofing systems are durable, energy-efficient, and have a long lifespan.

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we are known for our high-quality metal roof installation services in Pittsburgh, PA, and the nearby areas. Roofs are a significant investment in your home, and we believe that homeowners should have access to accurate information before they schedule a roofing service. 

In this blog post, we'll explore the different parts of a metal roof system and provide the average cost to help you plan your roof replacement and protect your home for years to come.

10 Major Parts Of A Metal Roof

Here are ten different parts of a metal roof that everyone homeowner should know:

#1 Roof Deck

Roof Deck

The roof deck is the primary layer in any roofing system and forms the base structure that supports the metal roof system's various components. It is generally made of plywood planks laid over the structural framing members, such as trusses or rafters. The roof deck must be sturdy enough to bear the weight of the roofing materials, vents, and potential live loads like snow or maintenance personnel. Proper installation of the roof deck is important for the overall integrity and longevity of the metal roofing system.

#2 Underlayment


Underlayment is an important part of a metal roof that safeguards the roof deck from moisture intrusion. This essential barrier, typically made of durable materials like synthetic polymers or asphalt, is strategically positioned between the roof deck and the metal roofing panels. Its major task is to protect the architectural durability of the roof and the interior spaces from potential water damage. In areas prone to snow, it is important to add an ice and water shield underlayment to prevent water infiltration and damage caused by ice dams. By acting as a moisture barrier, the underlayment contributes to the overall performance of the metal roofing system. 

#3 Metal Panels

Metal Panels

Though there are many types of metal panels available, standing seam is one of the most popular options. Standing seam metal panels use interlocking mechanisms to create a weatherproof surface. These panels are designed to overlap and connect seamlessly, forming a strong, watertight barrier against the elements. The raised seams allow for thermal movement and provide exceptional durability. Available in various materials like steel, aluminum, or copper, these panels offer long-lasting protection, energy efficiency, and a stylish architectural aesthetic for both residential and commercial buildings.

#4 Fasteners

Fasteners securely hold the various components of a metal roof system together. They secure the panels to the roof deck, ensuring a sturdy and durable installation. The correct type, size, and quantity of fasteners are crucial for maintaining the roof's structural integrity, preventing leaks, and ensuring long-lasting performance. Proper fastening techniques and patterns are also essential for a successful metal roof installation.

#5 Flashing

Flashing is a piece of material, usually metal, that seals joints and areas where objects penetrate the metal roof surface. Its pliable nature allows it to conform to these gaps, creating a watertight barrier that prevents leaks. Flashing is an essential component in the overall structure of a metal roof, ensuring that water cannot seep through vulnerable points and cause damage.

#6 Ridge Cap

Ridge Cap

Ridge cap trim is a crucial component of metal roofing systems, designed to shield the topmost points of the roof from harsh weather conditions. Made from durable materials, these caps flawlessly cover and safeguard the ridge, ensuring a watertight seal and preventing moisture infiltration. By providing a protective barrier against rain, snow, and wind, ridge cap trim enhances the overall roofing structure's longevity and integrity, offering homeowners peace of mind.

#7 Insulation


Insulation minimizes heat transfer, helps maintain a balanced temperature inside the building, and reduces overall energy costs associated with heating and cooling. Fiberglass insulation is an excellent choice for metal roofs as it enhances energy efficiency and easily fits below the metal panels. This insulation material effectively slows down the movement of heat through the metal roof components, keeping the indoor spaces cooler in summer and warmer in winter. 

#8 Vents

Roof Vent

Roof vents are another important part of a metal roof. They facilitate air circulation, preventing condensation buildup in your roofing system that could lead to mold growth, rot, or rust. Excess moisture in your roofing system can lead to major problems and costly repairs. These vents help regulate temperature and humidity levels, ensuring your metal roof's structural integrity and energy efficiency. 

#9 Sealants

Sealants help to maintain the metal roof's watertight integrity. Durable sealants are meticulously applied around roof components, effectively sealing gaps and joints. This process maximizes waterproofing, prevents water infiltration, and protects the underlying structure from potential damage caused by moisture. The sealants are a reliable barrier, enhancing the roof's overall performance and longevity.

#10 Closure Strips

Closure strips help seal gaps between metal panels, preventing pests and debris from entering the metal roof components. These closures effectively block unwanted animals from gaining access, ensuring a secure roofing system. By keeping pests and other nuisances at bay, they contribute to your metal roof's overall functionality, longevity, and protection.

Why Are Metal Roofs A Popular Choice?

Metal roofs are durable, known for their long lifespan, and offer a unique appearance to your home. Metal roofs are often made from materials like aluminum and steel, which provide fantastic performance. If installed and maintained correctly, they can last 40-70 years, significantly outlasting traditional asphalt shingle roofs.

Metal roofs are also highly energy-efficient, reflecting a significant portion of solar radiation, which can lead to reduced cooling costs during the summer months. Their ability to shed the snow quickly also minimizes the risk of damage from accumulated weight on the roof.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Metal Roof?

On average, metal roof replacement costs $1 to $25 per square foot for materials and another $2 to $14 per square foot for labor and installation. However, the overall expense is influenced by the size of your roof. Larger roofs, due to their size, often cost less per square foot, while smaller roofs may incur higher per square foot charges due to overhead and setup costs. 

Consequently, an accurate estimate requires considering not only material and labor rates but also the size of your roof and its complexity.

Call McClellands Contracting and Roofing for Your Metal Roof Replacement in Pittsburgh, PA

If you are looking for a reliable metal roof replacement for your property in Pittsburgh, PA, we are here to assist you. At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we aim to deliver high-quality roofing and home improvement services. 

Our skilled roofers will use industry-certified materials and practices to ensure a successful and long-lasting metal roof installation for your building. Whether you are searching for someone to install a new roof on your building or replace an existing one, we have you covered. Don’t hesitate to call us today at (412) 353-5660 for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

A.Common problems with a metal roof include corrosion and leaks. Extreme exposure to moisture can cause metal roofs to rust or corrode, which can weaken the structure and lead to water infiltration.

The common causes of leaks in metal roofs include damaged flashing, improper installation, and gaps in the seam. Additionally, metal roofs can expand or contract with time, leading to loose panels or flashing. Ensuring proper installation and routine inspections are very important for maintaining the integrity of your roof.

A.Metal roofs can be noisy during heavy rain or hail due to the sound of drops hitting the metal surface. However, there are ways to minimize this noise:

  • Installing insulation or a soundproof underlayment helps absorb sound waves.
  • Ensuring proper installation and fastening of the metal panels also reduces rattling noises.
  • Using a thicker metal or installing a solid roof deck beneath also helps dampen sound transmission.
  • Sealing gaps and cracks prevents sound from escaping.
  • Incorporating structural barriers like additional roofing layers or air spaces further dampens noise.

A.Yes, metal roofs are incredibly durable and can withstand hail, high winds, and even fire extremely well. They are made from tough materials like steel or aluminum that are not damaged easily.

When it comes to hail, metal roofs can take a beating from hailstones without denting or cracking like other roofing materials.

Metal roofs are also very wind-resistant. They are installed with tight fasteners that keep them securely attached to your roof, preventing wind uplift and blow-offs during strong storms and hurricanes.

Additionally, metal is non-combustible and has a Class A fire rating, meaning it's highly resistant to catching fire and spreading flames. This makes metal roofs an excellent choice in wildfire-prone regions.

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