Standing Seam vs. Traditional Metal Roofs: Right for You? | Big Easy Roofers
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Standing Seam vs. Traditional Metal Roofs: Right for You?

When it comes to selecting a metal roof for your home or commercial building, there are several options to choose from. Two of the most popular choices are standing seam and traditional metal roofs. Both types of roofs offer unique advantages and disadvantages, and the decision of which to install depends on various factors, such as budget, style, and practicality.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between standing seam and traditional metal roofs to help you determine which type of roof is right for you. From aesthetics to cost and maintenance considerations, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision and choose a metal roof that meets your needs and preferences.

What is a Standing Seam Metal Roof?

A standing seam metal roof is a type of metal roofing system that features vertical panels with two or more seams running from the ridge of the roof to the eaves. This fashionable and streamlined look not only adds aesthetic appeal to a building but also provides many advantages, thus making it an increasingly favored choice among both residential and business property owners.

Key Components of Standing Seam Metal Roofs

standing seam

  • Panels: These are long, narrow sheets of metal that run vertically from the ridge down to the eaves. They can be made from various materials such as aluminum, steel, zinc, or copper.
  • Seams: The edges where two panels meet are called seams. In standing seam systems, these seams are raised above the level of the roofing panel (hence “standing”) and secured together using concealed fasteners for a clean appearance.
  • Floating Clips: To accommodate thermal expansion and contraction without causing damage to your roof structure or finishings like paintwork on panels themselves; floating clips allow some movement while still holding everything securely in place.

Different Types of Standing Seam Metal Roofs

The world of standing seam metal roofs isn’t one-size-fits-all – there’s actually quite a variety. Here are three common types you might encounter when considering this option for your home or business:

  • Snap-lock System: As its name suggests, this system involves snapping adjacent panel edges together over hidden clips attached directly onto roof decking material, no need for special tools or seaming equipment here.
  • Mechanical Lock System: This type requires a specialized tool to crimp and lock the seams together, providing an extra level of security against wind uplift. It’s often used in areas with high winds or on low-sloped roofs.
  • Batten Seam System: In this system, metal panels are installed over wooden battens that run perpendicular to the roof slope.

Now that you have a better understanding of what standing seam metal roofs are let’s dive into their advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional metal roofing systems.

A Standing Seam Metal Roof is a modern roofing system that provides an aesthetically pleasing, durable, and long-lasting option for your home or business. The next heading will discuss the advantages of this type of metal roofing over traditional options.

Advantages of Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Weighing the pros and cons of various metal roof types is essential when considering one for your home or business. One popular option is the standing seam metal roof, which offers several advantages over traditional metal roofs. Let’s dive into some of its benefits:

Aesthetic Appeal

Standing seam metal roofs have a sleek, modern appearance that can enhance the curb appeal of any building. With their clean lines and concealed fasteners, these roofs provide an uncluttered look that complements various architectural styles. A wide selection of shades and coatings are available to match your aesthetic.

Durability & Longevity

Big Easy Roofers know that durability is crucial when choosing roofing materials – after all, who wants to replace their roof every few years? Luckily, standing seam metal roofs are built to last. They typically offer a lifespan between 40-60 years with minimal maintenance required due to their corrosion-resistant properties.

Maintenance-Free Living (Almost)

  • No need for regular painting or sealing as with other roofing materials.
  • The panels’ interlocking design prevents debris buildup and reduces leaks risk.
  • Snow slides off easily thanks to smooth surfaces – no more ice dams.

Energy Efficiency & Eco-Friendliness

In today’s world where energy costs are skyrocketing and environmental concerns are top-of-mind for many homeowners, standing seam metal roofs shine bright. These eco-friendly options reflect solar heat instead of absorbing it like asphalt shingles do; this means lower cooling bills during hot summer months. Additionally, metal roofing materials are often made from recycled content and can be fully recycled at the end of their lifespan – a win-win for both your wallet and Mother Earth.

Superior Protection Against the Elements

No one wants to deal with roof damage after a severe storm or natural disaster. Thankfully, standing seam metal roofs offer superior protection against wind, hail, and fire damage:

  • Their vertical panel design allows them to withstand high winds better than traditional horizontal panels.
  • Metal is naturally resistant to hail impact compared to other materials like asphalt shingles.
  • Non-combustible nature means they won’t ignite during wildfires or lightning strikes – an essential consideration in fire-prone areas.

In summary, standing seam metal roofs provide numerous advantages that make them an attractive option for homeowners and commercial property owners alike. From their aesthetic appeal to durability and energy efficiency benefits, it’s no wonder these roofs are becoming increasingly popular among savvy property owners seeking long-lasting solutions for their roofing needs.

Disadvantages of Standing Seam Metal Roofs

While standing seam metal roofs have numerous advantages, they also come with a few drawbacks that may make them less suitable for some homeowners and commercial property owners. Let’s dive into the disadvantages to help you make an informed decision.

Higher Installation Costs

The first disadvantage is the higher installation costs associated with standing seam metal roofs compared to traditional metal roofing systems. The materials used in these systems are generally more expensive, and their unique design requires specialized tools and skilled labor for proper installation. This can lead to higher upfront costs when choosing a standing seam roof over its traditional counterpart.

Susceptibility to Thermal Expansion and Contraction

In areas where temperatures fluctuate significantly throughout the year, thermal expansion and contraction can be an issue for standing seam metal roofs. These temperature changes cause the panels to expand or contract slightly, which could lead to stress on seams or fasteners if not properly accounted for during installation by experienced professionals like those at Big Easy Roofers.

Not Suitable for All Climates

hail storm affecting roofs

  • Cold climates: In regions prone to heavy snowfall, ice dams can form along the eaves of your roof due to poor insulation or ventilation issues. While this problem isn’t exclusive to standing seam roofs, it’s worth considering whether this type of system would be appropriate given your local climate conditions.
  • Hail-prone areas: Although all types of metal roofing offer excellent protection against hail damage, standing seam roofs can be more susceptible to denting or scratching due to their vertical panel design. If you inhabit a region that often experiences hailstorms, this is something to take into account.

Limited Aesthetic Options

Standing seam metal roofs offer a sleek and modern appearance that may not suit everyone’s taste or the architectural style of every building. Traditional metal roofing systems tend to provide more aesthetic options when it comes to color choices and panel designs, making them a better fit for some property owners who want greater flexibility in customizing their roof’s appearance.

In weighing the pros and cons of standing seam vs. traditional metal roofs, keep these disadvantages in mind as you evaluate which option best suits your needs and preferences. Remember that both types of roofing systems have their unique benefits – it all boils down to what works best for your specific situation.

The disadvantages of standing seam metal roofs are numerous and should be taken into consideration before making a decision. Yet, to make a wise choice on which roofing system is suitable for you, it’s essential to evaluate the benefits that conventional metal roofs can bring.

What is a Traditional Metal Roof?

A traditional metal roof, also known as a corrugated metal roof, is a type of metal roofing system that features horizontal panels with overlapping seams running from the ridge of the roof to the eaves. With its cost-effectiveness, strength, and classic look, traditional metal roofing systems remain a popular choice for homeowners and business owners alike.

Types of Traditional Metal Roofs

Traditional metal roofs come in various materials such as:

  • Galvanized steel
  • Tin (terne)
  • Aluminum
  • Copper

Metal roofs of the traditional kind can be an affordable and durable roofing option for those in search of one. Yet another kind of metal roof may be more fitting for one’s needs, such as a standing seam style – which we will further look into in the following segment.

Advantages of Traditional Metal Roofs

If you’re looking for a roofing option that offers both style and substance, traditional metal roofs might just be a perfect choice. These metal roofs, used for years on residential and commercial properties, come with a range of advantages.


One major advantage of traditional metal roofs is their relatively low cost compared to standing seam systems. This makes them an attractive option for homeowners or property owners on a budget who still want the durability and protection that metal roofing provides.

Durability & Low Maintenance

  • Longevity: With proper installation and maintenance, traditional metal roofs can last anywhere from 40 to 60 years or more – significantly longer than many other types of roofing materials.
  • Maintenance: Unlike some other roof options, traditional metal roofs require minimal upkeep over time. Simply keep your gutters clean and occasionally check for any loose fasteners or signs of corrosion.
  • Rust Resistance: Most modern-day traditional metal roof panels are coated with protective layers designed to prevent rusting, ensuring your investment remains in top shape year after year.

Energy Efficiency & Insulation in Cold Climates

Not only are traditional metal roofs great at protecting your home or commercial property from the elements, but they can also help you save on energy costs by reflecting heat away during hot summer months and providing insulation for colder seasons. The reflective nature of metal roofing materials helps keep heat out during hot summer months, while the insulation properties of these systems provide an added layer of warmth during colder seasons. This means lower heating and cooling bills for you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Standing Seam and Traditional Metal Roofs

These factors include:

  1. Budget: The cost of installation is an important factor for many homeowners and commercial property owners. While standing seam metal roofs tend to be more expensive upfront, they may offer long-term savings due to their durability and energy efficiency. On the other hand, traditional metal roofs can be more affordable initially but may require additional maintenance over time.
  2. Aesthetic preferences: Both types of roofing systems come in various styles, colors, and finishes that can complement your home or building’s architecture. However, some people prefer the sleek look of a standing seam roof while others appreciate the classic appearance of a traditional metal roof.
  3. Climatic conditions: Depending on where you live or work, certain climates might favor one type of roofing system over another. For instance, if you reside in an area with high winds or heavy snowfall, standing seam systems provide better protection against these elements than traditional ones do.
  4. Slope requirements: The slope (or pitch) of your roof plays a crucial role in determining which type of metal roofing system will work best for your needs. Standing seam panels, for example, li > are well-suited for steep-sloped applications whereas corrugated panels typically perform better on low-sloped roofs.
  5. Installation expertise: Installing a standing seam metal roof requires specialized tools and skills, which may be more difficult to find or costlier than the installation of traditional metal roofing systems. Be sure to research local contractors who have experience with your preferred system before making a decision.

In addition to these factors, it’s essential that you consult with an experienced roofing contractor, like Big Easy Roofers, who can assess your specific needs and recommend the best solution for your home or commercial property. By considering all aspects of your project – from budget constraints to aesthetic preferences – you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision between standing seam vs. traditional metal roofs.


Choosing between standing seam and traditional metal roofs can be a tough decision for homeowners and commercial property owners. Before committing to either option, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of both standing seam and traditional metal roofs.

Standing seam metal roofs offer superior durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. However, they can also be more expensive than traditional metal roofs and require professional installation. Traditional metal roofs are more affordable, easy to install, and come in a variety of styles. On the downside, they may not last as long as standing seam metal roofs.

If you’re still unsure about which option is right for you after weighing the pros and cons of each type of roof discussed above then it’s time to call in the professionals at Big Easy Roofers. Our experienced team will help guide you through your options so that you make an informed decision based on your needs. Contact us today!

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