Why Corrugated Metal Roof Remains a Superior Roofing Material for Denver CO Homes

With everything you can read from roofing websites everywhere, it's easy to think that corrugated metal roof is inferior. Most Denver CO homeowners will always opt for a standing seam metal roof with its high density and significant durability. However, did you know that a corrugated metal roof can achieve the same level of protective quality?

True enough, both materials look like a universe apart aesthetically. In fact, a corrugated metal roof appears weaker because of its noticeable thinness that contrasts standing seam's thicker and heavier material. However, with new technologies that preserve both materials' integrity and performance effectively, corrugated metal roofs are also an excellent choice. Metal Roofing Systems has a great explanation about corrugated metal roofs' traditional and modern differences.

Modern Day Corrugated Metal Roof is Still an Excellent Roof Choice

Ever since the mid 1800s, corrugated steel panels have been manufactured and used extensively on agricultural, commercial, and industrial roofs in the US. You might conjure up the image of the old barns, farm houses, and old shacks covered with those “ugly” U-shaped or V-shaped wavy steel panels. Many of those agricultural and industrial steel roofs would often have numerous rust spots and peeling paint as their signature mark.

In those early days, some corrugated metal panels were made from bare, non-coated steel, which resulted in excessive corrosion, and hence bad reputation and perception of low quality. Nonetheless, steel was cheap and abundant material, which made it economically feasible to replace any old, corroded steel panels on an “as and when needed” basis. Such were the expectations and process at the time.

But what about today? Lets take a deeper look into what modern-day corrugated metal roofs are all about and whether or not they are suitable for residential applications.

Modern, corrugated metal roofing panels are primarily made out of galvanized steel (G-60 low-end, or G-90 better quality) in the form of U, V, Ribbed, 5 V crimp and similar metal panels. — Typically, corrugated metal and R panels are employed as metal roof or wall system comprised of 32 to 36 inches wide corrugated panels held in place by exposed screws / fasteners color-matched to the paint color of the metal panels. Caulking is used at connecting points of overlap in between the panels for water tightness. (Continued)

There's still one question left unanswered, why would reputable Denver CO roofers highly recommend a roof with a lower density when you compare it to standing seam metal roofs? Did you know that corrugated metal roofing has similar strength as standing seam metal roofs? However, it does not use density to achieve it but through physics.

It is definitely interesting but we have never asked why metal roof sheets needed corrugation in the first place. However, corrugation achieves so many things we never really think about. Brain Stuff has a great explanation about corrugation's efficiency in cardboard, which explains a real great deal about corrugated metal roof efficiency.

Corrugated Metal Roofing and Cardboards: The Source of the Strength

How can it be that 3 sheets of paper and a little glue can create something so strong, even though the resulting piece of cardboard really is not much thicker than the original 3 sheets? The answer to this question has to do with I-beams and trusses.

Think about how strong a steel I-beam is at a construction site. An I-beam has a top-plate, a bottom plate and a stringer in between. Despite the simplicity of an I-beam, this structure has a great deal of strength, especially if you are applying weight to the top of the I-beam.

Now look at a piece of cardboard. What you have could be thought of as a series of paper I-beams lying next to each other. These I-beams are not as strong as steel, but they are much stronger than flat sheets of paper. The I-beams give the cardboard tremendous strength along the beams. This is the direction in which the cardboard is strongest.

You could also think of corrugated cardboard as a truss structure . That provides strength in the other direction.

The strength of the resulting cardboard is determined by several factors, including:

  • The strength and thickness of the two liner sheets (the flat sheets on either side of a sheet of cardboard).
  • The strength and thickness of the corrugated sheet in the middle (called the medium).
  • The thickness of the corrugation (the distance between the two liner sheets)
  • The number of corrugations per foot in the medium. (Continued)

Lastly, Denver CO homeowners may want to use a corrugated metal roof because if you like DIY, then this is the perfect roofing material just for you. The roofing material is lightweight. Its screws are easy to obtain and install on your own. As long as you follow proper instructions, you can achieve excellent results in installing or replacing your old roof with a corrugated metal roof.

Extreme How-To has great instruction on proper corrugated metal roof installation. Read more about it below.

How to Install a Corrugated Metal Roof

Corrugated roofing panels are made of metal, fiberglass or polycarbonate and typically install over a system of purlins. They’re popular for workshops, sheds, boathouses and other outbuildings due to their long-lasting durability and easy installation. The panels come in standard widths and lengths and are fastened using screws with flexible washers.

The EHT staff chose the metal version of the panels in basic black to roof a boathouse last summer. Depending on the roofing product, a metal roof can last 40 years or more. Metal roofing easily sheds snow and ice and doesn’t absorb water. It won’t rot, split or crack, and can’t be damaged by termites and pests. And, unlike any other type of roofing, the color of pre-painted metal roofing can be changed to match new exterior color schemes. In fact, repainting will lengthen the overall life of the roof while eliminating the cost of replacement.

The light weight of a corrugated metal panel is another advantage. Compared to asphalt shingles that weigh an average of 2.5 lbs. per square foot, metal roofing panels only weigh .7 to 1.3 pounds per square foot, which allows the panels to be installed over existing roofing materials. This saves costly disposal and removal charges, and makes the panels easier to lift and install. (Ultimately, local building codes and the condition of your roof’s substructure will determine if you can install metal panels over your existing roof.) (Continued)

However, not all homeowners have the time and luxury to spend weekends installing their new corrugated metal roof. On the other hand, to achieve exceptional roofing results, you'll need experienced roofers who will allow you to maximize your roofing material's potential. Roper Roofing is Denver CO's go-to metal roofer. With our decades of experience and knowledge, we're sure we can deliver the results you need. Contact us today!

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