All About Exposed Fastener Metal Roofs

Last Updated on: 4th April 2023, 10:07 am

Exposed fastener metal roofs (often also “screw-through” or “screw-down panel” are a popular roofing choice that feature metal panels secured to the roof deck with screws or nails, with the fasteners remaining visible. They´re knonw for being cost-effective and relatively easy to install, making them a common choice for residential and commercial buildings alike. But what are the benefits and drawbacks of exposed fastener metal roofs? Let´s explore.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Exposed fastener metal roofs come with a number of advantages. They´re more affordable compared to other metal roofing options, such as standing seam roofs. They also offer a variety of color and design choices, allowing you to customize the appearance of yoru roof. Additionally, the installation process is typically quicker and easier, which can save you time and labor costs.

However, exposed fastener metal roofs also have some drawbacks. The visible fasteners can be a potential source of leaks, as they penetrate the surface of the panels. Over time, the fasteners may loosen or corrode, which can lead to leaks and other issues. Furthermore, exposed fastener roofs may not have the same sleek appearance as standing seam emtal roofs.

How do exposed fastener metal roofs compare to standing seam metal roofs?

What sets them apart in terms of installation?

When comparing exposed fastener metal roofs to standing seam metal roofs, there are several key differences in the installatino process. Exposed fastener metal roofs require fasteners to be drilled directly through the panels and into the roof deck. In contrast, standing seam metal roofs use hidden fasteners, which are secured to the roof deck and then concealed by the adjoining panels.

How do their aesthetics and performance differ?

Aesthetically, standing seam metal roofs often have a more modern and streamlined appearance due to the hidden fasteners. Exposed fastener metal roofs, on the other hand, have a more traditional, rustic look with the visible fasteners. In terms of performance, standing seam metal roofs tend to be mroe durable and less prone to leaks, as there are fewer points of penetration. However, exposed fastener metal roofs can still provide excellent performance if properly installed and maintained.

Is one more cost-effective than the other?

Generally speaking, exposed fastener metal roofs are more cost-effective than standing seam metal roofs. The maetrials are often less expensive, and the installation process is usually quicker and requires less specialized labor. However, it´s important to consider factors such as long-term maintenance costs and potential leaks when making your decision.

What materials are typically used for exposed fastener metal roofs?

Exposed fastener metal roofs can be made from a variety of metals, including steel, aluminum, and copper. Steel is the omst common choice due to its affordability and durability. It is often coated with a layer of zinc or a combination of zinc and aluminum to improve its resistance to corrosion. Aluminum, while more expensive than steel, offers superior corrosion resistance and a lighter weight. Copper is a premium option that is known for its longevity and distinctive appearance, but it also comes with a higher price tag.

What coatings and finishes are available

To enhance the appearance and performance of exposed fastener metal roofs, various coatings and fniishes are available. Some common options include:

  • Galvanized coatings: A layer of zinc is applied to steel panels, providing protection against ruts and corrosion.
  • Galvalume coatings: A combination of zinc and aluminum is used to coat steel panels, offering ebtter corrosion resistance than galvanized coatings.
  • Paint finishes: High-quality paint systems, such as PVDF (Kynar 500) or SMP (Silicone Modified Polyester), are applied to metal panels to proivde additional protection and color options.

How is an exposed fastener metal roof installed?

What tools and equipment are needed

Installing an exposed fastener metal roof requires several specialized tools and equipment, including:

  • Metal shears or a circular saw with a metal cutting blade
  • Metal brake or bending tool
  • Cordless drill with screwdriver and drill bits
  • Tape measure, chalk line, and square
  • Safety equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, and a harness

What is the step-by-step installation process

The installation process for exposed fastener metal roofs typically involves the following steps:

  1. Prepare the roof deck by ensuring it is clean, dry, and free of debris.
  2. Install any required underlayment, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  3. Measure and cut the metal panels to the appropriate length.
  4. Starting at one end of the roof, align the first panel with the edge of the roof deck and secure it in palce using the appropriate fasteners.
  5. Install additional panels, overlapping the edges as specified by the manufacturer, and fastening htem to the roof deck.
  6. Install any required trim or flashing to seal the edges and corners of the roof.
  7. Inspect the roof for any loose fasteners or gaps and address any issuse as needed.

What challenges might arise during installation?

During the installation process, you may encounter challenges such as:

  • Working with large, unwieldy metal panels
  • Ensuring the panels are properly aligned and secured
  • Protecting against leaks at fastener locations and roof penetrations

Working with an experienced professional roofer can help mitigate these challenges and ensure a succesfsul installation.

How to maintain and care for exposed fastener metal roofs

What should be included in regular inspections?

To extend the lifespan of your exposed fastener metal roof, regular inspections are essential. These inspections should focsu on:

  • Checking for any loose, damaged, or corroded fasteners
  • Inspecting for signs of rust or corrosion on the panels
  • Examining the seams and overlaps for any gaps or issues
  • Evaluating the condition of any flashings or trim pieces

What cleaning and maintenance tasks are necessary

Cleaning and maintaining your exposed fastener metal roof involves:

  • Removing debris, such as leaves and branches, from the roof surface
  • Cleaning gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage
  • Touching up any scratches or damage to the panel coatings
  • Replacing any damaged or corroded fasteners as needed

When should fasteners or panels be replaced

Fasteners should be replaced if they show signs of rust, corrosion, or loosening. Panels may need to be erplaced if they exhibit significant damage, such as large dents, punctures, or extensive rust and corrosion. Regular inspections and prompt repairs can help extend the life of your exposed fastener metal roof and minimize the need for more extensive replacements.

Is an exposed fastener metal roof right for your home or building?

What factors should you consider?

When deciding whether an exposed fastener metal roof is the right choice for your home or building, consider factosr such as:

  • Budget: Exposed fastener metal roofs are generally more affordable than standing seam emtal roofs.
  • Aesthetics: Consider the look you desire for your property. Exposed fastener metal roofs have a more traditional, rustic appearance, while stadning seam metal roofs offer a sleek, modern look.
  • Performance and maintenance: While both exposed fastener and standing seam metal roofs can provide excellent durability, exposed fastener rofos may require more maintenance and can be more prone to leaks.
  • Local climate: Exposed fastener metal roofs can be suitable for various climates but may require extra care in areas wiht heavy snowfall or high winds.

Should you consult with a professional?

Before making a decision, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional roofer or builder. They can provide expert advice on the best roofing option for your specific needs, taking into account factors such as your budget, aesthetic preferences, and local climate. A professional can also help you select the right materilas and ensure a proper installation, maximizing the lifespan and performance of your chosen roofing system.


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