What is a low slope metal roof?

When you look at a house or draw a house, you will notice the point of the roof. It’s almost always a point at the top with sides that slide down towards the ground.

These have great benefits, but you have other options too. One of which is a low slope metal roof. They look almost flat. The low slopes have many benefits that we will talk about later, but first, we need to understand the differences you find in the low slope. Low slope, flat, and traditional roofing are all unique.

low slope metal roof types image via: inspectapedia

Traditional Roofs Versus Low Slope

Traditional roofing is known for being high maintenance. It usually has to be replaced every few years, while shingling maybe a yearly event. There is always the chance that weather is going to pull off a shingle, create a massive leak, and cost major money.

It can be dangerous to fix because of the slope. The worst part of traditional roofing is that it isn’t energy efficient which means its costing you more on your electric bill than a low slope would. Low slope roofs need less maintenance and have a longer life.

Low Slope Versus Flat Roofs

Flat roofs have a lot of benefits. They are low maintenance like a slow slope. However, they do tend to have to clog on the drains. Animals, like birds, leave their nesting material which means you do have to walk them regularly. 

A low slope metal roof allows water and snow to runoff so that it doesn’t collect. Also, a low slope roof allows you to use metal as a roofing material. A flat roof isn’t compatible with metal because of the way it interlocks. It simply cannot hold up to standing water should the drain get blocked.

Why Choose Metal?

why are low slope roofs better - metal You will want a metal roof because it is more durable than any other material. It can last years before needing to be replaced. It is going to stand up to wind, rain, snow, and hail with little to no damage to it.

It is self-cleaning. Every time it rains, everything will wash off of it. It doesn’t attract birds or animals because there is nowhere to roast on it. The best part is that it can lower your energy costs because it insulates and can keep your energy bills level.

Low Slope Metal Roof Benefits:

  • – Self-Cleaning
  • – Reliable
  • – Weather Proof
  • – Low Maintenance
  • – Outlasts other roofs
  • – Energy efficient
  • – Solar Panel Friendly
  • – Budget Friendly

How A Low Slope Metal Roof Is Installed

These type of metal roofs are usually panels. The first step is the decking. This is usually on the roof itself. Sometimes, you can leave your old roofing intact, which can save you money on installation.

metal roof panelsIf your home is new, then this will be the barrier between your attic and the outside. It is not always snug, and you may see that it has gaps between the spaces if you were in your attic and looked up.

Next, you will have an underlayment. It looks like felt. You may see that it resembles the material that you might put in your flower bed to keep it from getting weedy.

The purpose of this is to make sure that you have protection while still allowing your roof to expand as needed with the weather. It is not always necessary, but it does have its benefits.

You may notice that it hangs over slightly. That is to keep an ice dam from forming. It isn’t widely used for this purpose, but it is a good idea.

The next step is that you will see a vapor liner or a weather barrier is installed. This is mainly to ensure that should water get through a seal, or condensation builds up, it will run off rather than collect.

Not only will this step ensure that your roof will survive the rain; it will also help to keep your deck dry no matter what.

Finally, your roof will be installed. It will come in panels. Depending on the size of your roof, the panels may look like do it yourself flooring. It will snap into place and create a seal.

These panels interlock fully. It enables your roofing contractor to put your roof in quickly. Sometimes it can be installed in about half the time you expect.

Common Low Slope Metal Roof Problems ( and the solution )

  1. Oil Canning

This sounds strange because you don’t oil a roof. It can be defined by the buckling of the metal roof so that it looks like it is dented or raised. This is common when you live in extreme weather climates, think hot desert or cold snow for long periods.

The way to avoid this is simple. Choose a thicker metal option. The thicker it is, the less likelihood of it buckling.

  1. Corrosion

Yes, metal roofs can corrode just like any other metal that you will leave outside. This is always likely to happen, but there is a higher chance of it happen if your building is near a beach or salt water.

The salt water can cause more harm than you might think. There is a conditioner that you can apply to the metal to keep it from happening. Painting it will also work. The downside is that it will mean you may need to increase your maintenance budget.

  1. Mixed Material Issues

You probably wouldn’t think about it, but your roof is going to have other materials added to it. Think gutters, chimneys, venting stacks, or facia. These may cause a weak point that may lead to your roof leaking or causing you major headaches.

You can ask for metal on metal gutters. Ensure that your contractor is using the proper sealing techniques and materials.

Well, what do you think? The goal was to answer any questions you may have about low slope metal roofs.

As I researched for my roof, I made notes, and this is what I found. I hope that you found the information informative and interesting.