How to Install a Metal Roof

pair of dormers in a standing seam metal roof

Choosing a Metal Roof

Will your home need new roofing soon? Give metal roofing some consideration before you go with the standard asphalt shingle roofing. Why, is metal roofing cheaper than shingles? No, but either way isn’t an inexpensive home project. However, metal roofing has become more popular in Dallas, Texas over the past few years anyway. So why is that the case?

Standing seam metal roofing can cost three times what an asphalt shingle roof costs. For example, going with the architectural shingle roofing material, you can expect to pay $5.00 per square foot. A stand seam metal roofing job will cost up to $15.00 per square foot. So, if you’re working from a tight budget, no, metal roofing isn’t the choice for you. 

So why go with metal roofing when you know upfront it is going to cost more? Here are three good reasons why you need to consider standing seam metal roofing over asphalt shingle roofing: 


New roofing warranties are for both the manufacturer’s roofing material and the installation workmanship.  There are three types of asphalt shingles, with the architectural type being the more popular one today. It comes with a 50-year enhanced warranty with registration of your roof with the manufacturer. A standing seam metal roofing warranty is 30-years for the protective coating. on the metal panels.  There are two take-a-ways here for either metal roofing vs shingles: One: The better quality the material choice, the better the warranty. Two: Hiring a contractor with experience in how metal roofing is installed will make a lot of difference in longevity. 

The Lifespan of a Shingle Roof

A new roof is expensive no matter what material you choose, so getting the longest lifespan is essential. Standing seam metal roofing has a longer lifespan than architectural shingle roofing. How long does a metal roof last? Metal roofing’s standard lifespan is 50 years compared to the 30-year lifespan for asphalt shingle roofing. With proper maintenance, proper upkeep, and proper attic ventilation, you can expect to meet those 30 and 50-year lifespan, maybe longer. With either asphalt shingle or standing seam metal roofing, the climate and extreme weather are factors that can have an impact on the lifespan. 


Periodic roof inspections and maintenance are essential no matter what type of roofing material you choose. All roofs should be inspected, and all roofs will need maintenance, some more than others.  Keeping that in mind, we should point out that standing seam metal roofing will need less maintenance compared to asphalt shingle roofing.  Maintenance and inspections should be done annually and include the pipe boots, clearing the valleys and gutters of any debris for asphalt roofing. Standing seam metal roofing doesn’t require as much maintenance, but the routine inspection is recommended. 

What is a standing seam metal roof?

Standing seam metal roofing is installed with a concealed fastener system using trapezoidal or vertical legs with a flat space between the legs. The panels are attached with clamps to the roof decking without creating any nail holes where moisture can get. The other metal roofing material option is a corrugated metal roofing style that consists of formed metal sheets that has alternating ribs that are curved or wavy. 

What metal roofing is best?

For residential purposes, standing seam metal roofing is recommended as the best. Why? Standing seam metal roofing is made with locking panels at each seam that is fastened with clips. This method of fastening allows the metal panels to move freely with thermal expansion, i.e., temperature fluctuating.

A corrugated metal roofing is installed with each panel screwed down. Two issues with this type of metal roofing are 1) Exposed fasteners and 2) No roof for temperature fluctuating to contract and expand. The lack of movement will eventually wear the screw holes out, allowing places for this type of metal roofing to begin leaking. 

How to clean a metal roof?

Roofing experts recommend cleaning metal roofing by mixing one-fourth cup of either car wash soap or a mild dish liquid detergent with one gallon of water. Using a microfiber cloth, soft-bristle brush, or a sponge, apply liberally across a section then allow to sit five to ten minutes. Next, rinse with clean, clear water. Do this repeatedly in sections, overlapping each one. Applying the mixture to the entire roof at one time, the first part will dry before you get is scrubbed and rinsed. 

Can metal roofing be installed over asphalt shingles?

Yes, but maybe no. Yes, new metal roofing can be installed over an old asphalt roof, if the circumstances all line up correctly. What circumstances determine this being possible? 

  • The current asphalt shingles must be pretty flat, meaning no cracked or lifted shingles, no blisters, or bumps. 
  • The metal roofing is installed properly. 
  • Local building code restrictions. 

This can save you as much as 25% with a reduction in labor for tear-off the old roofing and save you a few dollars on having new underlayment installed and the dump fees. However, there are many roofing contractors will not install metal roofing over an old roof because of the workmanship quality may appear lower and the warranty of the metal roofing may be voided. 

close-up of a red corrugated metal roof

A Final Few Words

Maybe you’ve moved into a house with metal roofing, and you don’t like the color. Or you get tired of the color after 20 years, can you paint a metal roof? Yes, metal roofing can be painted using acrylic, latex, or oil-based alkyd paint. 

Make sure the label says it is for metal roofing specifically and follow the directions exactly, including cleaning and prepping the surface. For a clean and smooth coating, use an airless paint sprayer. And remember, once you’ve painted it, you’ll need to repaint it every 3 to 5 years, depending on the climate and weather affect on the surface.