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DECRA Metal Roofing vs. Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Standing Seam Metal Roof

Metal roofing has evolved.

There’s no question that metal roofs are the superior choice for durability, energy efficiency, and longevity. Any metal roof can easily outclass and outlast conventional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, clay tile, or wood shakes, all of which are vulnerable to wind and weather impact. Even in the best conditions, all conventional roofing products will deteriorate over time.

Longevity was the primary characteristic driving the dominance of metal roofing in the industrial sector in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many factories, mills, barns, military barracks, and public depots still sport metal roofs which were installed more than a century ago. When aesthetic design and beauty weren’t factors, standing seam and rolled metal roofing easily filled the bill for commercial structures.

As the eco-friendly movement gathered momentum in the early 2000’s, homeowners began to focus on sustainability and the benefits of conventional standing seam metal roofing, including:

Energy Efficiency: Enhanced reflectivity and radiant heat emission reduce heating and cooling costs up to 25%.
Sustainability: Metal roofs use up to 95% recycled content and are 100% recyclable at the end of the life cycle.

Durability: Metal roofs don’t crack or split and many can withstand winds up to 120 mph. Impact resistance varies depending on the type of metal chosen.

Longevity: Standing seam metal roofs can last 40-70 years with proper maintenance. Conventional roofing using shingles, shakes, or clay tiles need replacing every 10-20 years.

When compared to the relatively short life cycles and limited durability of asphalt shingles, clay tiles, or wood shakes, a standing seam metal roof is a solid option...until you compare it to DECRA Metal Roofing.

The DECRA Difference 

Most homeowners or commercial property owners immediately rule out standing seam metal roofs based on aesthetics alone. The bland utilitarian appearance of the large standing seam metal panels has been referred to as the “warehouse effect” due to the industrial appearance that reduces curb appeal and blatantly clashes with the design elements of most properties.

DECRA roofing products combine the strength of multi-layered steel with acrylic bonded granular stone coatings that can replicate shakes, shingles, and even traditional clay tile.

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For traditional Tudor mansions, classic Mediterranean manors, and elegant Old World architecture, standing seam metal roofs simply lack the rich bold textures and aesthetic appeal to harmonize with sophisticated home designs. Installation of standing seam metal systems on prominent, complex roofs with valleys, gables, and dormers can be tricky, requiring special expertise. Even simple standing seam roof installations can cause ongoing headaches.

DECRA metal roofs require no special tools or skills to install and, as the lightest weight roofing products in the industry, they are rapidly becoming a favorite of roofing professionals and informed homeowners. Architects also love DECRA for the added shear strength to the roof that only multi-layered steel can offer. DECRA is the one-and-done roofing solution, combining ageless beauty with lifetime durability.

Common Problems With Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Even when aesthetics aren’t a top priority, there are disadvantages with standing seam metal roofs which can easily outweigh the overall benefits.

We found a typical case describing the unfortunate experience of one standing seam metal roof owner documented by the Metal Roof Alliance. The brand new “oil-canned” standing seam metal roof looks as if it’s already been assaulted by several hailstorms even though it’s part of new construction.

Oil Canning is a standing seam roofing manufacturer’s term describing waves and ripples in the metal which can occur before, during, or after installation. Oil canning can occur for a variety of reasons including:

-Inconsistencies causing stresses in the large metal sheet
-Manufacturing roll form defects
-Seasonal extremes in temperature
-Waviness in the existing roof deck
-Product incorrectly fastened too tightly causing expansion/contraction stresses
-Faulty gable treatment at the sides of the roof during installation


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Unfortunately, homeowners won’t get much support when reporting these issues to the manufacturer. Oil canning is a commonly tolerated flaw and not considered as a reason for rejection, so waves, dimples, and ripples may be present long before the roofing contractor even lays hands on the product.

Even with the oil canning problem and lack of curb appeal aside, standing seam metal roofs have other significant drawbacks as reported at State Farm.

Expansion and contraction characteristics of large metal panels require that fasteners must be meticulously installed to allow the large sheet panels to “breathe” as temperatures vary. Otherwise, the panels will be prone to loosening due to expansion and contraction stresses.

DECRA multi-layered steel shingles, shakes, and barrel or scallop tiles are much smaller, similar to the conventional materials they are replacing. DECRA products are fastened individually with stainless steel screws and aren’t subject to the oil canning that can occur with large metal sheets.

Color matching can be a problem when damaged standing seam roof panels need replacement or for matching the roof color on a new addition.

DECRA’s proprietary acrylic formula bonded stone-coating looks just as good decades later as it does on day one of the installation so matching color and texture on additions later on is never a problem. It’s what we call “ageless beauty”.

Corrosion can occur from accumulated water caused by improper installation or repairs with standing seam metal roofs. Some low-grade metals are prone to rust and thin metal panels are prone to denting from hail or storm debris impact, breaking away protective coatings and opening the door to corrosion.

DECRA’s durable stone-coating and high-grade steel combine to resist corrosion and impact so well we’re able to warranty the DECRA roof for a lifetime.

Galvanic corrosion can occur when dissimilar metals are used in the standing seam roofing system including the use of incompatible metal fasteners or clips.

With DECRA, as long as installation instructions are followed, and no lead or copper products are used improperly with DECRA roofing systems, galvanic corrosion is not a concern.

DECRA Stone-Coated Steel: The Gold Standard of Metal Roofing

While standing seam metal roofs are durable, only the acrylic formula bonding and rich granular coatings of a DECRA roof can replicate traditional roofing styles with the unsurpassed strength and the highest-rated impact resistance of steel. And only DECRA roofs are backed by the industry’s most comprehensive warranty for the entire lifetime of the building.

When your home or building requires both strength and style, you’re ready for a DECRA metal roof.