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How To Install Metal Roofing Materials On A Flat Roof

Posted on August 30, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 4 Min.

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How To Install Metal Roofing Materials On A Flat Roof

Installing metal roofing materials on a flat roof can be a great investment for building owners looking for a durable and long lasting roofing solution. Metal roofs are known for their resistance to harsh weather conditions, low maintenance requirements, and energy efficiency. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the benefits, requirements, and step by step instructions on how to install metal roofing materials on a flat roof. 

Understanding Flat Roofs and Metal Roofing Materials

How To Install Metal Roofing On A Flat Roof

Before going over the installation process, it’s essential to understand the characteristics of flat roofs and metal roofing materials. Flat roofs are generally found on commercial buildings and industrial structures. They have a low slope, which can pose challenges such as ponding water, leaks, and premature deterioration. 

On the other hand, metal roofs are known for their durability and are commonly made of aluminum, steel, or copper. Metal roofs can withstand impacts, such as hail and falling debris, and offer improved energy efficiency due to their reflective surface. 

Can You Put Metal Roofing Materials on a Flat Roof?

Yes, it is possible to install metal on a flat roof. Flat roofs require different roofing materials than pitched roofs, and metal can be a suitable option for property owners seeking a longer lifespan and less maintenance. Metal can be installed on flat roofs using two main approaches: a compact retrofit system or a frame up retrofit system.

1. Compact Retrofit System

The compact retrofit system is the go-to approach when the existing structure maintains a consistent minimum slope of ¼ inches per foot and possesses an external gutter system. This method involves the installation of the new metal roof directly over the existing roof, minimizing the necessity for additional framing or added height. It’s a cost effective option because the existing roofing structure and underlying materials can stay in place. 

2. Frame Up Retrofit System

The frame up retrofit system involves adding a new frame on top of the existing roof and attaching the new structural elements to the underlying structure. This method permits the redirection of rainwater flow, resolving issues with internal gutter systems. Frame up retrofit systems provide increased aesthetic value, allowing homeowners to enhance the appearance of their flat roofs while addressing leak concerns. 

Requirements for Installing Metal Roofing Materials on a Flat Roof

Before starting the installation process, several requirements need to be considered to ensure a successful metal roof installation.

1. Evaluate The Original Roofing Material and Building Structure

It is essential to assess the existing roofing materials and building structure before installing a metal roof. Address any wet insulation, rotting wood, or damaged areas during the project’s planning phase to ensure a solid foundation for the new metal roof.

2. Determine The Roof Slope 

The slope of flat roofs plays a crucial role in determining if a metal roof is suitable for your property. Metal roofs require a minimum slope for proper drainage and to prevent water accumulation. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations and local building codes to determine the minimum slope required for your specific metal roofing system.

3. Ensure Proper Insulation

Proper insulation is essential for flat roofs to prevent condensation and maintain energy efficiency. Use insulation with a high R-value to minimize heat loss and control moisture buildup. Consult with a professional to determine the appropriate insulation materials and thickness for your specific flat roof system.

4. Address Drainage Issues

Flat roofs are prone to ponding water and drainage problems. Ensure that your flat roof has sufficient drainage systems in place to prevent water accumulation. Consider installing gutters, scuppers, or other drainage solutions to ensure proper water flow off the roof.

Step by Step Guide to Installing Metal Roofing Materials on a Flat Roof

Now that we have covered the requirements and considerations to keep in mind, let’s delve into the step by step process of installing metal roofing materials on a flat roof.

1. Measure the Roof and Order Materials

Start by accurately measuring the surface area of your flat roof to determine the number of metal roofing panels needed. Consider any overlaps or additional panels required for proper installation. Order the metal roofing panels, ensuring they are of the appropriate size and type for your specific flat roof.

2. Prepare the Roof Surface

Before installing the metal roofing panels, prepare the roof’s surface by ensuring it is clean, free of debris, and in good condition. Repair any damaged areas and ensure the roof deck is sturdy and capable of supporting the weight of the metal roofing panels.

3. Install Underlayment and Flashing

Begin by installing underlayment and a self healing ice and water shield on top of the roof deck. The underlayment will serve as an additional layer of protection against moisture and help create a watertight seal. Install sidewall flashing and drip edges to prevent water penetration and ensure proper drainage.

4. Lay Down the Metal Roofing Panels

Start installing the metal roofing panels, beginning at one corner of the roof. Place each panel on foam closure strips to prevent water and pests from getting underneath. Align the panels and ensure proper overlap by following the manufacturer’s recommendations and considering local building codes.

5. Secure the Metal Roofing Panels In Place

Using roofing screws, secure the metal roofing panels to the roof deck. Place screws on both sides of every rib and at each overlapping point. Be cautious not to over or under tighten the screws, as this can affect the integrity of the roofing system. Ensure that the screws are flat on the roof’s surface and apply a waterproof sealant to protect against water infiltration.

6. Trim the Panels and Add Sealant

Trim the metal roofing panels as necessary to fit the edges and corners of the roof. Use a hand seamer to create tabs and fold them to meet walls or corners. Apply sealant on top of the overlapping seams and around the edges to create a watertight seal. Clean metal shavings and debris off the surface to prevent rusting.

Consult A Reputable And Skilled Roofing Professional In Tulsa, OK

Are you considering installing metal roofing materials on a flat roof? Then it’s time to consult roofing professionals who are experts in both metal and flat roofing systems. A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing in Tulsa, OK, is a renowned and professional roofing company with decades of combined experience. Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 and consult a roofing professional about your commercial roof installation.