There’s Lots to Like About a Metal Roof
While asphalt shingles are still very popular and can be a good roofing solution for many situations, more and more Americans are starting to consider metal roofing components. This comes as no great surprise, as industry data shows that metal roofing has emerged as the fastest-growing roofing category in the U.S.
Why? Many folks are interested in installing a truly distinctive roof that’s designed to last for a lifetime. To that end, a standing seam metal roof is really pretty hard to beat. It’s incredibly durable, needs little in the way of maintenance, and also looks pretty fantastic. Metal roofing handles wind and snow loads better too, and it also delivers that signature, soothing pitter-patter every time the rains return.
What Makes Metal Roofing a Sound Choice?
There are quite a few features and benefits of metal roofing that might grab your attention:
- With a quality coating system and a proper professional installation, a metal roof can last you 75 years or more.
- Metal roofs are engineered to withstand high winds, heavy precipitation, and debris impacts better than other comparable roofing materials.
- Metal roofing carries a class A fire rating, which means it’s a better choice when it comes to the fire safety of your home.
- Metal is effective at absorbing and deflecting the effects of a lightning strike.
- Metal roofing doesn’t crack, warp or peel.
- Metal roofing can be more energy-efficient in both the heat of summer and the cold of winter.
What About Metal Roof Underlayment?
We mentioned that a metal roof could be more energy efficient. How? Some of that can be attributed to the fact that metal is a reflective material, meaning it’s better at deflecting away both visible light and infrared radiation. But in order to experience maximum energy efficiency, you also need to choose the right roof underlayment and roof insulation solution.
Roof underlayment is the material installed between your primary roofing material (in this case, the metal roofing) and your decking in order to create an added layer of protection. This roof underlayment serves as a vapor barrier, and can add measurable roof insulation value too.
What About Going with Insulated Metal Panels?
That’s certainly an option you can consider. Coated single-skin metal roofing panels naturally guard against air, moisture, and heat infiltration, but insulated metal panels offer some additional benefits in terms of offering their own built-in insulation value. Both single-skin panels and insulated panels are essentially installed in the same manner, so there’s no significant difference in terms of the labor or time required to complete the job on site. The main difference is that insulated panels are more expensive to purchase, and they still don’t preclude the need for putting down underlayment between the roofing and the sheathing.
Metal Roofing Underlayment Options
The fact of the matter is that you’ll need to install roof underlayment whether you opt for individually insulated metal panels or not. And there are some available underlayment options that can contribute measurable insulation value for your roof in their own right. Here are some of the major underlayment types commonly in use for various roof installations, including metal roofing systems:
• Asphalt Felt Underlayment
Felt underlayment (also known as felt paper or tar paper) has been used on many pitched metal roofs. One reason for felt’s general popularity is its cheaper price point. Asphalt felt is reliably water-resistant, but it doesn’t endure high-temperature environments very well. Because of this fact, asphalt felt isn’t the best underlayment solution for metal roofing.
• Synthetic Sheet Underlayment
Synthetic underlayment is a lightweight, polymer-based underlayment which forms a more effective protective barrier for roofs. Synthetic sheeting is more durable than felt, is more tolerant of high temperatures, and is very effective at preventing moisture infiltration. Synthetic sheeting is more expensive than felt, but it also offers a higher level of both performance and longevity.
• Peel-and-Stick Underlayment
Self-adhering membrane (commonly known as peel-and-stick) is a very simple product to apply. Nails aren’t required, so you don’t have to worry about potential water infiltration through nail holes. Peel-and-stick underlayment does well in high-temperature environments, but isn’t particularly effective in low-temperature climates. And while the installation process may be simple in theory, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for a novice. Self-adhering membrane is better to be handled in the hands of a roofing professional. A botched installation can lead to peeling membrane, which greatly increases the odds of moisture damage.
• Radiant Barrier Underlayment
Radiant barriers are designed for reflecting away infrared radiation, which helps to regulate and maintain internal building temperatures. In this respect, a radiant barrier underlayment offers real insulation value, and make your structure noticeably more energy-efficient.
• Tyvek Roof Underlayment
Tyvek roof underlayment is a particular application of synthetic underlayment constructed with high-density polyethylene fibers. The underlayment surface is naturally more slip-resistant, which also makes the roof safer to navigate during an installation job. Tyvek underlayment also supports metal roofing surfaces pretty well.
• High Temp Underlayment
High-temperature roof underlayment (typically abbreviated as high temp underlayment) is also composed of synthetic materials, with a particular focus on delivering exceptional heat resistance and impact resistance. This is a perfect roof underlayment solution for the hot, humid Southeastern climate, and works well in other high-temperature climates, too.
The Metal Roofing Underlayment & Insulation Solutions Recommended by Skywalker Roofing
While there are many underlayment options for a metal roof, Skywalker Roofing recommends high-temperature underlayments for any metal roof application in NC, VA, or anywhere else in the Southeast. We also recommend including water & ice protection (WIP) underlayment in all valleys and low-slope areas of your metal roof.
For our own metal roof installations, we prefer to use the Titanium line of high temp underlayments from Owens Corning. We’ve found this underlayment to be resilient, long-lasting, and very capable for withstanding the high temperatures that can be associated with a metal roof. We trust Titanium Synthetic Underlayment from Owens Corning for every metal roofing project we take on in both North Carolina and Virginia.
And for all low-slope areas, valleys, walls, and penetrations, we like to use WIP 250 HT underlayment from Carlisle. Their Water & Ice Protection line of self-adhering roof underlayments performs well in regards to both waterproofing and extreme temperature endurance needs.
But about metal roof insulation? As is the case with any total roof protection system, we believe the best roof insulation solution is to apply a sufficient amount of insulation inside the attic. This likely will include a combination of both batt insulation and blown insulation.
Skywalker Roofing is Your Preferred Metal Roofing Contractor in NC & VA
When it comes to installing the best metal roofing surface and the best metal roofing underlayment and insulation, nobody does it better than the pros at Skywalker! We feature Total Protection Roofing Systems from Owens Corning with Titanium Synthetic Underlayment, and we’re committed to providing you with the last roof you’ll ever need!
Selecting the right roofer from the many roofing contractors out there is every bit as important as choosing the right roofing materials for your roof installation or roof replacement project. If you’re looking for the right local roofing provider in NC or VA, then you’ve found it in Skywalker!
You can reach out to us online, or you can just connect with us directly by calling +1 (336) 627-5596! We’d be glad to get your FREE home or business inspection and personal consultation scheduled.
Experience the Skywalker difference for yourself!