A properly installed metal roof lasts up to 50 years barring Texas’ extreme weather. They look great and function even better. But just like an imported sports car, all is good…until it’s not. And, if something is going to go wrong, it is almost always traced back to the installation. Based on my years installing and repairing metals roofs in Dallas and Houston markets, I’ve seen a lot of good installations and far too many bad ones.
Top metal roof installation mistakes
- Cheap underlayment
- Poor flashing
- Inexperienced installers
- Unethical roofers
Metal roofs demand a quality, high temperature-resistant underlayment designed for metal roofs. If a cheaper product, like felt paper, is used, it dries out and becomes brittle due to super-heating occurring underneath a metal roof. Eventually, the paper cracks and fails. Some self-adhered underlayment (those not specifically designed for metal) can even melt and then slide down the roof, exposing the deck.
Poor roof flashing
Roof flashings are the most common location for leaks. Rarely do roofs leak from the field unless they suffer extreme storm damage. If vertical flashings are not properly incorporated into the roofing system, gaps allow water to enter. Improperly installed valley flashings result in large amounts of water entering below the roof because the valleys are designed to collect and channel water to the roof’s edge. With the extreme rain storms we can experience in our Dallas and Houston markets, it’s essential that roof flashings be well-maintained and properly installed.
Inexperienced roof installers
Texas refuses to register or license roofers, so there is no governing authority over roofers’ skills. As a result, an asphalt shingle crew can be hired to do a metal roof. This is similar to asking a dentist about a sore toe. The two are worlds apart. Metal roofs require unique tools and special knowledge of flashings, installation procedures, and venting. Just like any specialized trade, I would never want to have someone learning on the job when it’s something as important as my roof. It’s vital to work with a skilled and reputable roofer with years of experience installing metal roofs.
Some unprofessional roofers (or flat-out crooks) substitute products without telling the homeowner or business owner. The underlayment is an easy target because it is not visible on an installed roof. Initially the metal roof performs as expected but a few hot summers later it tells a different story.
Another trick I’ve seen involves substituting the metal roof coating. The industry standard comes with a 10-year warranty against fading and has a Kynar finish. But some unethical roofers substitute siliconized polyester as a cheaper alternative. This substandard product has a 1-year warranty and fades quickly. Peak Roofing in Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston stands behind the products we use and every roof we install. We do roofing the right way, every time.
Ensuring a quality metal roof
First and foremost, hire an honest roofer that will be around to stand behind the warranty they promise. Do your research and ask for references in addition to checking the Better Business Bureau and industry associations like the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA). When the roof is being installed, inspect the materials. Make sure the packing on the materials matches what’s written in your contract. On a side note, only sign a contract that lists the exact products including the underlayment and type of metal coating. These are standards that Peak Roofing is proud to meet.
The professionals at Peak Roofing & Construction are here to help. We install metal roofs for homes and commercial properties throughout North Texas and the Houston-area markets, and we are happy to answer questions about an upcoming installation or needed repair.
About Peak Roofing & Construction
Peak Roofing & Construction is family-owned, with 30-years of experience. Bonded, insured and accredited, we provide roofing, gutter, fence, window and exterior facelift services. Guaranteed. Call (972) 335-7325 in Dallas-Fort Worth (residential & commercial) or 281-290-7325 in Houston (commercial roofing).