Metal roof systems are very durable, and typically reliable for many years, but eventually, they fall prey to rust and deterioration. Holes in steel roofing panels cannot be reliably patched, so the typical solution is to replace the entire system. There is, however, an alternative solution that has significant advantages over replacement: covering the metal panels with a single-ply P.V.C. roof system.
Installing a single-ply roof over metal involves three steps:
- Use custom-made foam insulation to fill the recesses in the metal panels between the ribs / standing seams. This creates a flat surface for the new roof system.
- Cover the foam with a layer of dense, paneled insulation. This creates a smooth, seamless area for installation and adds an additional layer of insulation.
- Install the white P.V.C. single-ply material, flashing all pipes, skylights, and air conditioners with custom-made flashings.
The new roofing membrane is heat-welded together, creating a nearly seamless roof that completely covers the old rusty metal. The retrofit P.V.C. roof provides several key advantages over installing new metal panels on your building.
- It is typically less expensive to cover than to remove the metal panels and install new ones. Depending on the type of metal panels and the difficulty of installation, this may result in a savings of thousands of dollars.
- The bright white PVC reflects over 80% of solar heat energy, drastically reducing summer heating bills compared to metal roof panels that absorb and transfer heat into buildings. According to the Global Cool Cities Alliance, bright white P.V.C. roofs reflect up to 300% more heat than corrugated metal roofing panels.
- The extra insulation keeps heat from radiating out in the winter, further reducing energy usage.
- The single-ply system has far fewer seams and joints compared to metal systems, and are less likely to leak.
- Installation is quicker and quieter than metal roofing installation, causing less of a disturbance to your customers and employees. Installation is also much safer compared to metal roof installation, which involves loading large, heavy, sharp metal panels onto the roof using large machines.
In a simple cost analysis, the P.V.C. roof is the more economical option as it not only costs less initially, but also continues to save money in repairs and energy savings in the future. If you have a rusty metal roof on your building, consider covering it instead of replacing it.