Metal roofs are becoming more and more popular in Florida, and this is a good thing. They’re durable, highly resistant to leaks and pests, energy-efficient, and can withstand wind and projectiles without being compromised.
That is, if they’re installed properly.
Metal roofs are becoming...
"Metal roofs are becoming more and more popular in Florida, and this is a good thing. They’re durable, highly resistant to leaks and pests, energy-efficient, and can withstand wind and projectiles without being compromised."
As with anything that becomes popular, metal roofs are now much more numerous than the experts who know how they work, and there’s always a temptation for do-it-yourself-ers to grab the materials from the hardware store, hop up on a ladder and try to accomplish the task on their own.
Metal roofs tend to be more expensive, so people want to cut corners. But an improperly installed metal roof can cost exponentially more in the long run. You lose all the value when there’s shoddy craftsmanship.
One thing that I’m looking for when I inspect a metal roof is the screws used to fasten roofing. First of all, they should be gasketed—though most novice installers will understand this, because the gaskets are vital for water-proofing.
However the location of the screws is also a major factor in the roof’s durability. Metal roofing has a varying profile to help water flow, but that profile is also important for aerodynamics—how the wind flows over the building.
Typically, novice self-installers will try to fasten the roofing at the highest point of its profile. They may mistakenly believe that the alignment of the taller peaks in the profile are the most secure locations.
However, the screws should actually be placed on the lowest point of the roofing profile, where they will encounter much less wind.
Roofs fastened on the elevated portions of the profile will quickly loosen in the wind, making the roof much more susceptible to compromise, allowing more and more wind to get underneath the roofing and further loosening it. In areas that only experience moderate wind, a home inspector might recommend that the improperly placed screws be regularly tightened to prevent compromise.
But this is Florida. In a hurricane, improperly fastened metal roofing can quite simply tear away from the house. Here, when I encounter high-point fastened metal roofs, I recommend the addition of fasteners at the proper location in order to better secure the material and prevent loosening.
Or better yet, make sure an expert installs your metal roof. It saves everyone in the long run.