The Pros And Cons Of A Standing Seam Metal Roof

Metal is a roofing material that is quickly growing in popularity due to its durability and environmental benefits over asphalt shingles. In fact, it's estimated that 750,000 metal roofs were installed in 2015, while asphalt roofing numbers have dropped. Those numbers for metal roofing continue to grow every year. However, once you decide on metal as your material, the options don't stop there.

Standing seam metal roofing is one choice that is growing in popularity because of the benefits of durability over other metal systems. It differs from other metal roofing in that there are no exposed fasteners. Instead, standing seam roofs are attached to the roof deck with clips or the fasteners are hidden under the signature raised vertical legs or seams that rise above the flat metal panel. Here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of this roofing system.  


Increased Durability

Some of the weakest areas on an exposed fastener metal roof are the actual fasteners used to connect the material to the decking. An under-driven or crookedly drilled fastener can allow water penetration to the wood decking underneath the panel. Additionally, exposure to the elements causes the metal on a roof to expand and contract, and that can slowly push on the fastener and cause it to back out of the hole, also allowing for water penetration. With a standing seam roof, all of these issues are eliminated because there are no exposed fasteners at all. A standing seam roof is estimated to last around 50 years.

Allows For Natural Movement

One reason this system is so durable is the clipping attachments. As mentioned, when temperature and humidity changes from season to season, the metal on the roof will naturally expand and contract. The clipping attachment system allows for this thermal movement without causing any issues or creating any areas where water can penetrate.  

Long Lasting Aesthetics

Another benefit of a standing seam roof is an improved finishing system: typically a PVDF or polyvinylidene fluoride coating. PVDF is a chemically inert and stable fluoropolymer resin that provides excellent weather resistance. These coatings are desirable high-end architectural finishes. This means that the metal will be protected from corrosion. It also means that the color finish you choose for your metal roof won't fade, and that ensures a long-lasting aesthetic appeal.  

Energy Efficient

The metals and finishes used on a standing seam roof create a system that is excellent at repelling the sun's rays and the resulting radiant heat. If energy efficiency is one of your goals, choose a color that has the most effective reflective properties to cut down on excess radiant heat.



A product with high performance and durability often comes at a cost, and a standing seam roof is no different. You can expect to pay more for this product than many other roofing options because of the materials used, the enhanced high-end finishes, and also the additional skill required to install it. On average, this material costs between $8 and $14 per square foot or about $23,000 to $30,000 in total, depending on the roof's size, pitch, features, etc.  

No Flat Roofs

One drawback of the standing seam system is that it cannot be installed on a flat roof because the system requires some amount of pitch in order to allow for proper drainage to eliminate any standing water. Standing water will cause the system to weather prematurely and ultimately fail.

Requires Experienced Installers

Because the installation of this roofing system is labor intensive and complicated, it requires specific skill and knowledge of the product. Therefore, it's vital that only top-rated roofers with previous experience should install it.

Contact a roofer in your area to learn more.