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Corrugated metal roof - Does this roofing material worth the investment?

Are you thinking about getting a new metal roof that is relatively inexpensive and simple to install? Corrugated metal roofing might be the answer. Panels made of this robust material are distinguished by their repeating corrugated pattern. They come in various styles and colors and can easily withstand weather extremes like hail and snow storms. Besides, corrugated metal roofs have the highest fire resistance level and unmatched structural stability. Their natural shape gives them a structural privilege compared to a standing seam option of the same base material.

Corrugated metal roof - Does this roofing material worth the investment?

However, this roofing might not be the best option for your house. That is why you should dive deeper into its properties, distinctive features, and possible disadvantages to make an informed buying decision. This article covers the basics of corrugated metal roofs, including their types, maintenance requirements, and costs. Besides, we compare the properties of this roofing material with its standing seam counterpart. At the end of the day, you'll get all-encompassing information about corrugated panels to make a final buying decision.

Table of contents

1. What are corrugated metal roofs?

2. What are the types of corrugated metal roofs?

3. Why install a corrugated metal roof? - The obvious pros and cons of this roofing material

4. Corrugated metal roofs vs. Metal shingles from standing seam - What is the difference?

5. The average cost to install corrugated metal roofing

What are corrugated metal roofs?

The traditional shape of corrugated roofing is round and wavy. This roof type is made from a one-piece steel sheet formed into panels with a galvanized underlying layer. The ready-made panels are attached to the roof underlayment with screws, then treated with the protective coating and sealed. Corrugated metal roof installation implies an exposed fastener panel which means all fasteners are seen on the panel's surface. This mounting specific allows cutting costs on hiring professional roofers. 

Thanks to its visual appeal, energy efficiency, and long service life, corrugated metal roofing is a popular alternative to traditional asphalt, aluminum, and clay roofs. Metal panels suit both residential and commercial buildings and can be easily adapted to match modern and traditional exteriors. Besides, their consistent pattern allows for hiding roof imperfections that can occur over time. 

The process of corrugating makes metal sheets resistant to bending and damage. Besides, it boosts the material's tensile strength, exceeding its service life. As a result, corrugated panels possess one of the best strength-to-weight ratios and can serve for more than 60 years. General contractors commonly use them in other home areas, including fencing and siding.

What are the types of corrugated metal roofs?

This roofing material comes in three basic types, including ⅞ and ½ corrugated panels and other corrugated roofing variabilities like ribbed metal shingles. 

  • ⅞ corrugated metal roofing. This type of wavy panel is one of the most sought-after ones as they are robust and nice looking yet affordable and easy to install. The typical height of the panel corrugation is ⅞, while the width from center to center is 2.67. Please note that the roofing of these dimensions does not suit flat roofs. The minimal required slope is 3" in 12".
  • ½ corrugated metal roofing. This roofing material has been on the market for years. It's commonly seen on the outdated homes or buildings in the western style. Corrugated panels of this type are typically 26" wide and 1/2" high. Please note that you should only pay for the entire width of the panel but not the coverage. ½ corrugated metal roofing has a poorer performance and weather resistance than its 7/8 counterpart. 
  • Other corrugated panels. This category covers all metal panels that are not wavy. These might be square and boxy roofing profiles, the most widespread of which are PBR and R panels. 

Why install a corrugated metal roof? - The obvious pros and cons of this roofing material

Corrugated tiles possess a bunch of benefits, from lightweight to long service life and affordability. However, many homeowners still don't want them for their roofs. Look at the list below to learn about this metal roofing's pros and cons.

Drawbacks that can stop you from buying corrugated metal roofing

  • Not immune to leakage. The downside that makes corrugated roofing not the best bang for your buck is its poor water resistance. Seams between each panel and the exposed fasteners raise the roof's leakage vulnerability. The screws can loosen over time and fall out, resulting in water seeping into the underlayment. 
  • Rough appearance. That's the question of taste, but the exposed fasteners on the surface of corrugated metal panels make them look uneven and unsightly. They ruin the sleek look most householders set out for in metal roofing. If you're about to get corrugated panels, consider if they will suit your home's exterior. 
  • Not the cheapest roofing. Corrugated metal roofing is less expensive than slate or copper. However, it's still not the most affordable option on the market when it comes to down payment. If you have a limited budget, you better go for asphalt shingles. 

Competitive advantages of corrugated metal roofing

  • Long service life. Thanks to the ridges and grooves, corrugated roofs last longer than their most metal counterparts. They're not susceptible to corrosion like aluminum and can preserve their original look for decades. 
  • Simple installation. Corrugated panels are lightweight and do not require structural reinforcement to be installed on the roof. They are fastened to the roof with screws and can be installed by a DIYer. 
  • Low maintenance. This metal roofing does not require much of your time and energy for upkeep. All it takes is to re-tighten the exposed fasteners from time to time to prevent leakage. Besides, you may need to renew the anti-corrosion coating. 
  • Good thermoregulation. Corrugated roofs keep a comfortable temperature inside your house all year round. They don't absorb heat in summer and prevent warm air from escaping the room in winter. A roofing system with good thermoregulation properties allows for saving on utility costs. 

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Corrugated metal roofs vs. Metal shingles from standing seam - What is the difference?

Homeowners who prefer metal as the roofing coverage often have to choose between corrugated and standing seam metal roofing. Both materials are worth the investment, yet they vary in appearance, fastening system, and performance. Read on to find the main difference between standing seam and corrugated metal roofing structures.

  • Fastening system. What makes standing seam roofing stand out is its concealed fastening system. It ensures smooth coverage and better leakage resistance. Standing seam roofs last longer and require less maintenance than their corrugated counterparts. In its turn, waved metal panels have exposed fasteners and seams that can be loosened over time, creating possible areas for water leakage. 
  • Appearance. A standing seam roof comprises interlocking metal panels stretching from the ridge to the roof's eave. This style enhances the roof functionality, making it a superable solution for shedding rain and snow. A corrugated metal roof has a wavy shape with grooves and ridges. It's made of interlocking rippled metal sheets matched together with fasteners. Corrugated panels don't suit low-pitched roofs and have a worse drainage system. 
  • Performance. As we said before, standing seam roofs are built without exposed fasteners. The roof's seams are raised above the surface, preventing water penetration between the panels. This construction makes standing seam roofing more durable and less prone to leaks than corrugated one. The downside of corrugated metal panels is that their exposed fasteners have a relatively short service life. Once they become loosened, they allow rainwater to penetrate the roof, resulting in mold growth and damage. 

The average cost to install corrugated metal roofing

Сorrugated roofing is priced somewhat similarly to asphalt shingles. However, metal panels possess better durability and energy efficiency properties. The average cost for a corrugated metal roof ranges from $350 to $650 per square, including material and labor. The final quote may vary depending on the selected roofing company and individual characteristics of your roof, including size, slope, and pitch. If you have a standard 3.000 square foot roof, you should expect to pay around $15.000 for corrugated panels installation. 

Please note that you can come across high-end metal panels for residential homes and low-end ones primarily used to cover storage facilities, barns, and other non-residential premises. They differ in price and performance. High-end panels cost $250 per square while low-end ones only $100 per square.

Want to learn about corrugated metal prices in your area? Leave your request on our platform, and we will examine local roofers' offers to provide you with a clear-cut estimate. 

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