Why Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a beautiful, economical long-term solution for home and businesses. 


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Metal roofing is a beautiful, economical long-term solution for home and businesses.

Cost must be considered across the lifespan of the roof. The average life of a non-metal roof is 17 years. Asphalt can require re-roofing every 10 to 15 years.

A metal roofing system offers unmatched durability, lasting 2 to 3 times longer. Installed and maintained properly, a metal roof can last a lifetime. Coatings are stain resistant and are warranted up to 45 years regardless of the panel design you choose. Chances are good that a metal roof will be the last roof you ever install on your home.


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Metal roofing costs are comparable to high quality shingle costs. However, the lifespan and warranty of the metal roof make it a better value.

Consider the energy savings and cost to the environment as well. Metal is one of the most environmentally friendly roofing materials. The long life of a metal roof means it creates minimal waste, and when metal roofs are ready to be replaced they are highly recyclable. Metal roofing also reflects heat better than other roof products, helping to save energy and lower your energy costs.

Weather Protection and Fire Resistance

Reed’s Metals roof products are UL Standard tested for uplift, impact, and fire resistance. Choose safety. Protect your property from high winds, hail, snow, and burning embers. Metal roofing is non-combustible and considered a class-A fire rated roof when installed in new construction or when the existing roof is torn off.

Many insurance providers offer discounts for installing a metal roof. Ask yours today.

Dispelling Myths


A metal roof will not increase the likelihood of lightning striking your home. However, if your home were hit by lightning, your metal roof would disperse the energy safely throughout the structure. Since metal roofing isn't combustible or flammable, it's a low risk and desirable roofing option where severe weather is a concern.


A common misconception is that a metal roof will be noisier than other types of roofing. When installed with solid decking, a metal roof on your home will actually silence noise from rain, hail and bad weather, much better than other roofing materials.


Today's metal roofing systems are built to last. Steel metal roofing has a "metallic coating" made of either zinc or a combination of zinc and aluminum. This metallic coating prevents rust from forming and is bonded to the steel at the factory. Paint is then applied over the metallic coating to provide the long-lasting color homeowners desire.


In most cases, a metal roof can withstand decades of abuse from extreme weather like hail, high winds, and heavy snow. Today's systems also have up to a 150-mph wind rating (equal to an F2 tornado), meaning your metal roof is also safe from wind gusts that can accompany hail storms.


Many people think you can't (or shouldn't) walk on a metal roof, but the truth is that you can safely walk any metal roof without damaging it. Before you walk your roof, however, we recommend you talk to your installer or roof manufacturer first. They will have the details on how to walk the particular roof you have, based on the style you chose and your roof pitch.

How to Choose

Metal Roofing is available in different thicknesses and paint systems. A certain paint system or gauge might be suited better or best for one structure and be completely inappropriate for another. So how do you decide what’s right for you?

Choosing which is right for your project can seem overwhelming.

Heavy 24-gauge, PVDF-coated (Kynar ® ) steel is widely considered the best quality roof. However, it may not be right for your roof. What’s best for your roof may be a lighter gauge or more reasonably priced paint system. Here’s a quick tutorial.

Base metal for roofing is rated by thickness and flexibility. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the metal. The higher the grade number, the more rigid the metal.

Base metal will be coated with either a PVDF or SMP paint system. PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) paint systems are based on a chemical bond that resists UV rays best; therefore, they have the best color retention, especially important for bright or metallic colors. These coatings are flexible to perform well over tight bends. SMP (silicone-modified polyester)paint systems are denser and harder than PVDF, so they are more scratch-resistant and hold gloss better than PVDF.

Price and Performance

Sometimes you have to find the right balance of price and performance that meets your project budget. You don’t necessarily have to give up performance for a better price. The environment and building site conditions of your project determine which gauge and paint system are best for you. A lower priced roof panel might be the best product for your project. For example, if you are installing a residential roof over solid wood decking in a mild climate, you will not need the added weight and strength of 24-gauge metal. So why pay the higher price?

Pros and Cons of the Different Gauges and Paint Systems

24-Gauge, Grade-50 PVDF Paint
The heaviest is sometimes considered the best. Roofs made from 24-gauge, grade-50 PVDF do have many benefits.

  • Stronger to span greater distances if a structure does not have solid decking. The weight and strength also are better in environments with heavy snow loads or strong winds.
  • More pliable for the tight bends of hidden fastener, standing seam roofs. More rigid and harder products can microfracture at the bends and hems, leading to deterioration.
  • Extra thick to prevent oil canning in the pans between ridges, especially important if you have chosen a flat pan.
  • Better color retention over the long life of your PVDF roof.

Although many consider roofs in 24-gauge PVDF to be the best. They are not best for all conditions.

  • Softer coating. PVDF can scratch if exposed to blowing debris, leaves or branches.
  • Softer metal. Being more pliable, grade-50 metal is less impact-resistant.
  • Higher cost. Consider the price for the performance you need.
  • Special Order. You may have a delay while 24-gauge product is especially painted just for your project.

Reed’s Metals 24-gauge, grade-50 PVDF panels are available in multiple profiles: PBR, M-Panel, Trapezoidal, Mech-Seam, Secure-Seam and Perma-Lok. (Note: As 24-gauge materials must be special ordered, they can be chosen with an SMP paint system if preferred.)

26-Gauge, Grade-50 SMP Paint
If you do not need the added cost and weight of 24-gauge, but want the look of a standing seam roof, 26-gauge grade-50 is your best choice.

  • Strength and weight best for use over solid decking.
  • Flexible to handle bends of standing seam and preferred for all roofing trims to have smooth, rounded hems.
  • Choose a panel style with pencil ribs, minor ribs or striations to prevent oil canning in this lighter gauge.
  • Lower-cost SMP coating resists scratching better than PVDF and provides better gloss retention for more sight-level residential roofing. (Typically, 26-gauge, grade-50 is not manufactured with a PVDF coating, but can be special ordered.)

26-gauge, grade 50 has its limitations. It is not available in all styles. It is available standing seam profiles: Mech-Seam, Secure-Seam and Perma-Lok.

26-Gauge, Grade-80 SMP Paint
The “Go-To” product for metal roofing is 26-gauge, grade-80, SMP metal. This gauge and grade can be used for commercial or residential roofs. As the most common material, it is moderately priced and readily available. Materials for these panels are widely stocked at all Reed’s Metals locations for “Order Today, Pick Up Today!” service on in-stock Residential and PBR profiles.

  • Receive the low-cost benefit, gloss retention and scratch resistance of SMP paint system.
  • Benefit from 26-gauge weight to resist wind-uplift.
  • Strength and rigidity of grade-80 allows panel from this metal to span open structures, to improve impact resistance for fewer dents and to carry a heavier snow load.
  • Moderate pricing. 26-gauge, grade-80 is not the least expensive roofing panel; however, the conditions of your building site may require material this strong and heavy. Do not jump to the least expensive option without considering what your roof will encounter over its lifetime.
  • Grade-80 is not suitable for all panel profiles. The metal and the paint are not flexible for the tight bends of standing seam roofs. The areas along the bends can develop microfractures that may deteriorate over time.

Reed’s Metals 26-gauge, grade-80 SMP panels are available in: PBR, M-Panel, Residential, 5V and Corrugated. For an exposed fastener roof, especially if you have overhanging branches or harsh weather, 26-gauge, grade-80 is your “new best choice.”

29-Gauge, Grade-80 SMP Paint
For the most economical solution, your best choice is 29-gauge, grade-80 SMP metal. Readily stocked at all Reed’s Metals, 29-gauge metal is also available for same-day service on in-stock Residential profiles panels. A true PBR panel cannot be manufactured from this material for roofing; however, a narrower R-panel can be produced for wall panels.

  • Obtain the same benefits of SMP paint in a lighter gauge metal.
  • Low cost. For a roof located in a mild climate that does not experience heavy snow, hail, or storm conditions often, 29-gauge may be your best choice.
  • Lighter-weight materials create less stress on old substructure and are easier to install. Use on solid decking or lathing 29” or less apart. When your project budget is your higher concern, 29-gauge, grade 80 is your best choice. Panels are available in Residential, 5V and Corrugated profiles.
They are all the Best!

You can see that depending on your needs and your project, you shouldn’t just look at packaging that declares a product is “good, better, or best.” Choose what is right for you!