4 Financial Benefits of Choosing a Metal Roof

Drexel Standing Seam Roof

Drexel Metals Standing Seam Roof

While metal roofs are known for durability and energy-efficiency, their initial cost sometimes creates the wrong impression that they might be too expensive. The reality, however, is far different; metal roofs actually provide more financial benefits than traditional asphalt shingles, producing an amazing return on investment that few other materials can match which is why metal roofs have become the second largest residential roofing product on the market today. Here are four ways that a metal roof can save homeowners money:

1. Metal Roofs Increase the Value of a Home

When people consider ways to increase a home’s value, they generally think of the bathroom or kitchen. However, choosing to invest in a metal roof is one of the most effective ways to attract potential buyers and raise property value. Besides the appeal of a brand-new roof, there are a number of reasons why metal roofs add to curb appeal.

Besides looking sleek, metal roofs are healthier for the environment than other materials, like asphalt. With the growing emphasis on developing sustainable forms of construction, making a house more eco-friendly is a way to future-proof it and keep it ahead of the technological curve.

Metal roofs also last longer. This helps quell any reservations a potential buyer may have about replacing a roof or performing major renovations post-purchase. With very basic, infrequent maintenance, these designs can last 35 years or longer.

As reported by Sal Alfano of Remodeling Magazine, homes with a standing seam metal roof show a rate of 85.9% cost recouped making a metal roof a very smart investment for your home.

2. Metal Roofs Save Money on Energy

Metal roofing is considered “cool” roofing—and for good reason. Homeowners who install metal roofs frequently report a decrease in overall energy costs due to the infra-red reflecting pigments used to reflect rather than absorb heat energy.

Metal roofs can help keep homes nice and cool during the summer months. When combined with proper attic insulation, metal roof designs can also help stabilize temperatures during winter. Metal Roofs have really thin thermal mass allowing them to dissipate any absorbed heat gain quickly through your properly ventilated roof system. Heat rises so the use of proper ridge vents and soffits will help to reduce the amount heat into your attic or dwelling.

The color of your metal roof may also influence energy costs. Lighter colors can reflect the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which helps keep the interior comfortable. This effect can be enhanced through light-colored finishes, and for cooler climates, a darker-color finish may help absorb heat, a natural form of energy, to help keep the house warm. Energy Start listed metal roofs use a solar reflectance percentage to provide you with amount of solar heat reflected back into the atmosphere.

Here’s how it works: If you install a Regal White metal roof that has a solar reflectance of 70% this means that 30% of the heat will be absorbed and the balance (or 70%) will be reflected away from your structure. According to Oak Ridge National Lab, every 1% of absorbed heat percentage is equal to a 1 degree F increase in your surface temperature.

According to a study conducted by the Florida Power and Light Company, “findings indicate energy savings are most strongly influenced by the solar reflectance of roof materials.”

3. Metal Roofs Are More Resilient and Last Longer

Many homeowners have faced the challenge of re-shingling a roof—especially after rough snowstorms or strong winds. Fortunately, metal roofs do not tear like asphalt shingles, and as a result, they are better prepared to withstand adverse weather.

This means maintenance costs are generally much lower. It also means the roof can easily last more than 35 years without any serious repairs.

With warranties that usually extend up to 50 years, it’s easy to appreciate how strong and reliable metal can be. It’s that strength and integrity that saves homeowners money in typical shingle repairs. Metal Roof warranties are transferrable and if the paint fails for any reason you will be covered for both replacement materials and labor (certain manufacturers only).

4. Metal Roofs Allow for Insurance Premium Reductions

There is no better roof system to protect you and your belongings against the element than a metal roof. Whether it’s wind, fire or hail metal roof systems have been tested and approved to meet some of the most stringent building codes in the country. Check with your Insurance provider to see they offer a discount program if you install a metal roof. We have heard of discount of 30% or more.

Authored by: Paul Kazlov is a “green” home remodeling enthusiast and an industry pioneer for innovation in home renovation. Paul writes for the Global Home Improvement blog and strives to educate people about lifetime remodeling solutions such as metal roofing. Follow him on Twitter @PaulKazlov.

Links to: Global Home Improvement (http://www.globalhomeinc.com)
@PaulKazlov (http://twitter.com/PaulKazlov)


Metal Roof Warranties – Don’t be fooled by the years!

In the metal roofing industry it’s amazing that there is such as wide range of warranties! It’s actually become a bit of marketing game and one that confuses the contractors, architects and for the most part those metal roofing sales teams.  Here’s a simple question;  If we were to tell you that we’d supply you a product that comes with a 45-year SMP warranty vs. a product that would come with a 35-year PVDF warranty…which product would you choose? The 45 year product of course!  What you don’t know is that the SMP performance criteria is not as good as the PVDF system and more is actually less.  Let me breakdown the differences for you:Surf MallPaint Warranties cover three main items; Film Integrity, Chalk and Fade/Color Change. Paint doesn’t rust so the substrate is not included in your PAINT warranty (although there is a perforation warranty on Galvalume even when painted). Here’s a breakdown of each coverage item:

  • Film Integrity: The paint will not crack, flake of PEEL for the life of the warranty.
  • Chalk: This is a number system that allows for a certain amount of chalk. Chalk is the residue resulting from Weathering Decomposition of the paint films.  Visual Ratings are assigned according to ASTM D659 and ratings range from 10-0 with 10 being the best.
  • Fade/Color Change: is the change in the paint film color and appearance due to degradation from UV Radiation in Sunlight…this is also known as Color Weathering.   Ever hear of a Delta E or NBS unit?  This is the measuring unit for color color change per ASTMD2244.  Values range from 0 to infinity where 0 is the best (No color change).  This is measured on both Vertical and Non-Vertical applications.  Metal Roofs are typically Non-Vertical.

So back to that 45-year warranty.  This is actually the number of FILM INTEGRITY years that your warranty covers however if you read each section (Color change and Chalk) you will find that there is only a 30-year warranty on both chalk and color change.  So in reality, you have a 45-year warranty stating that your paint will not fall of your roof but only 30-year coverage on aesthetics.  The coverage is replacement materials only and does not include labor.

I wanted to give you an idea of color change using the photo below. On the left is the unexposed product and on the right is the allowable color change during the term of the warranty.   As you can see, PVDF (Kynar500(R) or Hylar5000(R)) resin systems perform much better in the color change department than the SMP system.  The 35-year warranty covers you for 35 years whereas the 45 year warranty actually covers you for 30 years.

kynar vs smpThe bottom line;  understand what’s covered and what is not and don’t be fooled by the # of years.  More is actually less in this case you’ll often make the wrong decision without understanding all of the facts. You may be thinking who cares…in 30 to 35 years I am not going to care what color my roof is….the key is you are not getting the value for what you think you are paying for.  Also keep in mind, warranties are only as good as the companies that stand behind them and most of them are non-transferable from owner to owner.

For more information about paint warranties please visit http://www.drexelmetals.com and make sure you check out our Gold Standard Paint Warranty; which covers labor, replacement materials and is fully transferable for the life of the warranty. It also requires a Drexel Metals Certified Installer to install your roof using approved Drexel Metal products from the roof deck up!

Perception vs. Value…when to select a three coat metal roof system

Drexel Metals DMC175S - DMARM Member: Kupex Exteriors

This is Brilliance Red and is a three coat paint system and will provide color stability for the length of the warranty.  Without the clear coat the vivid red would change to a burnt orange.

Over the past 18 plus years in the metal roofing roofing industry I have pretty much  seen everything when it comes to specifications.  The reality is as an architect has to pick 3000 (on average)  products per project and we as manufacturers look to use “Spec Hooks” to make our products different from our competitors.  Therein lies the issue.  Spec Hooks can cost your owner more money for the same result.  Here’s an example;  your metal roofing resource comes in to your firm and promotes a metal roof system with a “three coat” or “increased gauge” stating better long term performance.  It would make sense…its roofing and thicker is probably better…40 mil rubber vs. 60 or 80 mil rubber provides a longer and more stable performance however added thickness to paint film doesn’t enhance performance unless it’s color or environment based.

Let me explain the anatomy of a paint system.  A standard paint system used in our industry is a two coat paint system consisting of a pretreatment, primer and topcoat.  The pretreatment preps the strip of aluminum or steel to accept the primer (0.2mils to 0.3 mils of primer) and then the PVDF topcoat (0.7mils to 0.8mils) is applied which is typically a Kynar 500 or Hylar 5000 for commercial projects.  The system is passed through the paint line once we are left with a baked-on 1.0mil DFT (Dry Film Thickness) to standup to the elements.  The paint system warranty  (typically 20 to 35 years depending on the manufacturer) is backed by the paint company and is passed through the Coater to the end-user (manufacturer) and covers color fade, chalk and delamination.

So if the standard paint system offers you this level of performance and warranty when should you spec a three coat?  If you plan on using a VIVID color like a bright red, bright yellow, bright blue, purples and oranges then you should add the additional protection of a clear coating on top of the topcoat.  This clear coat aids for long term performance of the vivid and unstable pigments that make up this vivid color which in the past we lead-based pigment (no longer being used).  If you choose a standard Bronze or Green, there is no need use a three coat as it will not improve the long term performance based on the warranty term. A three coat has to go through the paint line twice which adds cost and increases the scrap amount of the paint run and can add up to 40% to the total cost of your roof installed system.  It’s just not worth it for your owner and is not a “belt and suspender” approach but a sales tool to make you think that thicker is better. Another reason to use three coats would be to enhance environmental performance however you should consider that if you are installing a metal roofing in aggressive environments that you need to be more concerned with the core substrate of the products rather than it’s paint system.  Here’s a simple way to look at paint….paint doesn’t rust and just like on the interior it adds character and color and although its a coating its not a protective coating against red rust.  So…let’s make sure the product will perform in its intended environment first and then select your paint system.  Aluminum is the better substrate and choice for aggressive environments.  Increasing the gauge of the steel product, unless you are concerned about deflection (oil canning), doesn’t add any additional corrosion resistance.  Increasing the gauge from 24 gauge to 22 gauge can add up to 20% to the overall cost to the installed project.  Going with aluminum adds 30% compared to 24 gauge but is the better solution for aggressive environments.

The perception that thicker is better works well for underlayment and other types of roofing but is a tricky “Spec Hook” and adds very little value and a lot of costs for your owner.

Drexel Metals now offers S-5 ColorGard Snow Retention System for Metal Roofs

Drexel Metals now offers the complete S-5 ColorGard Snow Retention system in Stock at our Denver, Jessup and Ivyland locations!

Please contact your local Drexel Metals branch or visit us on our website

Drexel Metals meets with GPIC – Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings


Drexel Metals met today with the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) for Energy Efficient Buildings regarding exploring the opportunity to work together to create awareness about the importance of creating and monitoring performance of the building envelope.  The GPIC (http://gpichub.org)  received $129 million from the Federal Government’s Energy Regional Innovation Cluster (E-RIC) Initiative. The award included $122 million from the U.S. DOE to create an Energy Innovation Hub to develop innovative energy efficient building technologies, designs and systems.

For more information about GPIC

The goals of the GPIC are to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions of new and existing buildings, and to stimulate private investment and quality job creation.

The GPIC will focus on full spectrum retrofit of existing average size commercial and multi-family residential buildings.  The program goal is to transform the commercial building retrofit and new construction processes into a systems-delivery industry, and demonstrate building operational energy savings of 50% by 2013-2015 in a scalable, repeatable and cost effective manner across a broad building stock, while preserving workplace quality.

A comprehensive research, development and deployment program will be performed that simultaneously addresses the maturation of integrated design and system technologies, exploration of new business models and public policies that accelerate the technology adoption, and the creation of robust workforce development paths. Commercial building stock turns over slowly, and major overhauls are relatively rare. Major retrofit demonstrations are emerging, like the Empire State Building, but they are rare point solutions and achieve less than 40% energy improvement and are not generally scalable to the less than 100,000 square foot building stock.

Scalable 50% energy reduction retrofits – DOE’s building energy goal is to reduce the annual energy use of buildings by 80% in the year 2050.  New approaches to design/build/operate building system technologies, new business models,  public policies, and workforce development paths are required.  An interim goal of demonstrating 50% energy efficiency improvement was selected to stretch beyond applying conventional solutions which have been demonstrated in select retrofit examples in the ~30% efficiency improvement range.  This 50% energy efficiency goal requires that the technical, policy and workforce solutions sets are scalable to at least 50% of today’s commercial building stock.  This goal demands rethinking every technical approach and solution set as well as adopting new business value propositions, public policy positions and workforce development processes.

Drexel Metals Inc. is extremely excited about the opportunity to work with the GPIC to research and expand our energy efficient metal roofing assemblies and to work to expand our product portfolio by adding proven technologies to maximize building envelope performance.
For more information about Drexel Metals please visit our website or call 888.321.9630 x115

Drexel Metals donates Metal Roof System for the UMASS Solar Decathlon Home! Home is currently featured on the National Mall!

Drexel Metals Inc. donated all of the materials for the students at UMASS to install a cool energy efficient metal roof system on their Solar Decathlon home. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition has since occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, and 2009. The next event will take place at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23–Oct. 2, 2011. Open to the public free of charge, visitors can tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today.


The Solar Decathlon:

  • Educates student participants and the public about the many cost-saving opportunities presented by clean-energy products
  • Demonstrates to the public the opportunities presented by cost-effective houses that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems that are available today
  • Provides participating students with unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s clean-energy workforce.

Team Massachusetts designed the New England-inspired 4D Home for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. This solar-powered prototype is an affordable, ultra-efficient house that can adapt to a family’s changing needs. The team hopes the 4D Home will serve as a precedent for home builders and designers creating sustainable homes in New England.

Design Philosophy

Team Massachusetts is concerned about the negative consequences of using nonrenewable energy sources for the built environment. Yet using renewable energy for buildings is successful only when baseline energy consumption is minimized through passive strategies. The 4D Home integrates efficient technology and passive strategies without compromising simplicity.


4D Home demonstrates how dynamic interior spaces can make compact living viable for a small family. Features include:

  • An exterior composed of fiber cement board and wood-clad windows
  • Asymmetrical timber trellises that provide seasonal shading and a covered transition to the interior
  • A two-bedroom layout that is easily reconfigured by two sliding partition walls
  • Furniture, decor, and housewares designed and fabricated by student team members.


Team Massachusetts has integrated efficient and easy-to-use technologies into 4D Home. These include:

  • A 28-panel photovoltaic array of monocrystalline silicon cells that are 19.1% efficient
  • Hybrid solar thermal panels mounted behind the photovoltaic modules for efficient heat transfer to the domestic hot water system
  • Blown fiberglass and closed-cell polyurethane spray foam insulation for air tightness
  • A refrigerator that uses less electricity per year than a 60-W lightbulb.
  • A Drexel Metals Cool Metal Roof System complete with above deck venting!

Click here for a photo gallery!!!

For more information about Drexel Metals and the technologies used on this project please visit our website or call 888.321.9630!

The Drexel Metals Advantage – the benefits of field forming standing seam roof systems!

Metal Roofing On-Demand

Drexel Metals certainly did not invent the field roll forming of standing seam roof systems, however we we’ve done is bring a value and validation to the entire process of field forming.  Whether its meeting a building code requirement to providing national accounts with our metal roof systems our DM-ARM network provides national coverage like no other in our industry.

  • Eliminate Lead time
  • Eliminate Packaging
  • Reduce Freight
  • Reduce Waste
  • Great Warranties
  • On demand = Customer Service
  • Peace of mind

For more information about Drexel Metals and our program please visit our website or call us at 888.321.9630!

Drexel Metals Inc.