Finding a High-Quality Steel Roof

People want a roof that looks good, one that is not an eye-sore, but complements the building and its surrounding neighbors. Even more so, people also want a roof that does what a roof is supposed to do–keep the rain out and maintain a constant temperature inside. What some may not realize is that a roof does more than keep you warm and dry inside. It also helps hold the building together.

A lot has changed over the years since steel construction made its debut. Steel roofing systems especially have been developed with new innovations to make them even more functional and sturdy. One example of the improvements that have been made is that newer roofs are virtually maintenance-free and, therefore, may only need a few minor repairs over the life of the roof. Also, depending upon the supplier, they often come with warranty that guarantees them up to fifty years!

As stated above, one of a roof’s main purposes is to keep water out. The principle of gravity works in the same manner in steel roofs as in shingled roofs–water and snow is shed downward, off the slope of the building. Now, before continuing much further, clarification needs to be made between the meaning of “water-shedding,” “water-tight” and “water-proof.” First, the slope of a building’s roof is measured in its pitch. The absolute minimum pitch measurement for a steel roof to be designated as “water shedding” is a ratio of 3:12. (In other words, for every 12 inches of lateral run the roof rises 3 inches.) “Water-tight” roofs, on the other hand, applies to flat or low-pitch roofs; and although occasional water-ponding may occur, still lives up to its name. Hydrostatic roofs are an example of a “water-tight” roof. Standing-seam roofs are considered “waterproof” if they have no less than a “one on twelve” pitch. In areas that receive a lot of rainfall, a greater incline is, of course, recommended.

There are a variety of steel roofing systems that can fulfill a variety of architectural designs. Applications are referred to as either a predominately aesthetic or mostly functional system. A water proof design is sometimes attached to the use of the term “structural roofing.” The distance separating roof purlins (even though there is no assistance from decking) can be easily bridged by structural roofing. Elevated pitches are recommended but structural roofing can be employed at extremely shallow inclines. “Roof decking” is defined as any structural roof configuration. This description can be satisfied if it can sustain approximately 250 pounds and meet specific wind uplift standards.

A nonstructural or architectural roof relies on rooftop support to be furnished by tightly spaced sub-purlins or roof decking. For practical purposes an architectural roof is almost identical to that of a “water-shedding” roof. This type of roofing system is very popular for the eye-catching designs that it delivers. Colored steel roofs are another attractive design as well. However, it is mainly valuable for its aesthetic value as additional structural supports and superior sealant quality are crucial as necessary additions to this roofing design. Therefore, the bottom line is that in selecting the roof for your new building, make sure that it will be appropriate for the climate in which you are building.