General Metal

General Metal FAQ

What is Galvalume?

Galvalume® is produced by producing a special aluminum-zinc alloy that provides more than twice the corrosion resistance of galvanized steel. This combines the protection and long-term durability of aluminum and zinc with the strength of steel for an extremely resilient metal roof.

How long will your Galvalume steel roofs last?

Over 100 plus years, we are very confident of this for two major reasons. First tin roofs which will rust, with proper maintenance we have seen them last over 110 years. Second Galvalume will not rust even if the paint has worn off, (which the paint has a 35 year warranty and the stone coated metal roofs have a 50 year to lifetime warranty) so even if stone has come off of the metal it will not rust.

Can I walk on your Steel roof without damaging it?

Yes, depending on the type of metal roof you have installed we will teach you or whomever the proper and safe ways to walk on it.

Does your steel roof dent easily?

No, it takes something very sharp or heavy to dent the metal roofs we install.

Is your metal roof safe during a lightning storm?

Yes it is safe, we have installed hundreds of metal roofs in Virginia and have never had a customer hit by lightning. A lightning rod system is supposed to attract lightning because it is grounded to the earth by long grounding rods. The theory is that this system will then send the lightning into the ground safely. The truth is no one can predict what will happen and in the majority of cases a lightning hit that close fries all sorts of electronic equipment we didn’t have a century ago when these lightning rod systems were developed and were mostly to prevent a lightning hit from starting a fire. Since our metal roofs are not grounded they don’t attract lightning hits as the rods do. To date we have no reported lightning hits on any metal roof we have installed in the Northern Virginia area in the last 15 years.

Why should I spend twice as much, or three times as much for a metal roof compared to an asphalt roof?

I could tell you that no matter what, our metal roofs are the best choice for you and you should buy today. However, we are not that type of company. For example if you are planning on moving in less than 5-10 years you need to consider the cost involved, but if you are planning on living in your house for more than 20 years then a metal roof will be more cost effective over the long term. An average 25 year asphalt roof last about 12 years, So if you just moved into your house and it needs a new roof currently you will have to install a new roof today and one in 12 years. That’s two roofs that will cost more than if you had installed the metal roof initially.

Another way to think about cost vs. quality is to answer this questions: over a life time of driving which car is the least expensive to drive, a Chevy or a Rolls Royce. Let’s say you drive for 60 years and at age 16 you bought a Rolls Royce (when I was 16 a RR cost about 70k and a Chevy about 3K) A Rolls Royce would easily last 60 years but a Chevy would only last about 5 years. Add the increase in price on the Chevy (currently about 30k) That’s 12 Chevy’s at an average of $16k or 192k vs the original 70k for the Rolls Royce. The same type of thinking applies to a metal roof but instead of 23 times more expensive the metal roof is only twice as expensive and lasts much longer. You get the picture.

What if it rains during the installation?

One of our biggest challenges has been to keep rain from damaging your interior while construction is in progress. We have developed a system using a Dade County certified weather and wind proof underlayment that is approved for steel roofs. We simply cover your entire house with the advanced underlayment and when it starts to rain we put up our tools and go home with the assurance that your house is dried in and will not leak! This high tech undrlayment is also a sophisticated Radiant Barrier that effectively reflects radiant heat away from your attic when used in conjunction with our special ventilating system. For more information please visit our Energy Efficient Roof System FAQ page.

Are your Steel Roofs Heavy?

No, In fact they are between .8 and 1.4 pounds per square foot. Whereas, an asphalt shingle roof weighs in at about 3 pounds per square foot, a tile roof weighs in at between 10 to 14 pounds per square foot and a wood shake roof weighs in at over 3 pounds per square foot.

Can you add vents to help keep our attic cooler?

Yes. However we would recommend installing our custom working ridge vent. According to testing done by different roofing manufacture 4 feet of ridge vent equals 1 turbine vent. We have developed a couple of new ways to keep your attic and roof cooler. The first is that we have designed a way to vent into your attic without having to add costly soffit vents which requires a carpenter, material and labor. We are able to do this by adding a complete venting system under your roof. Please see our Energy Saving Roofs FAQ page.

Will your steel roof make my home hotter in the summer?

No. Most of our Steel roofs are energy star colors and will reflect the heat making your attic cooler. Most customers will see savings in their energy bills during the summer months following the installation of our metal roof. For more energy savings ideas on how your roof can save you more money check out our Energy Efficient roof FAQ page.

Do you buy your flashing pre-made?

No, we use the same metal material we use on your roof and custom bend all the flashing on site. We also install in all of our chimneys a riglet, this is done by taking a diamond saw blade and cutting into the brick. This insures that you will not have leaks due to caulking failing which normally happens after five years. Please talk to our a representative for more information about this type of installation.

During Rain is your Steel roof loud?

No, most of the perceptions on metal roofs are the old tin roofs that have been featured in movies or old barn tin roofs. Our current customers tell us that they don’t notice any more noise with our metal roofs than they did with their asphalt shingle roofs and they say they are a lot quieter than the old tin roofs. If this is a major concern for you please read our Energy Efficient Roof FAQ question #6, with the energy efficient installation it will stop all rain noise unless you have an inch an hour rain.

Most Companies who I talk to cannot tell me who will be installing my metal roof, can I meet and see the work of the same crew that will be installing my metal roof on my house?

Yes absolutely. Most Companies in Virginia whom state that they install metal roofs will find a sub-contracting crew to install your roof after they have sold the job. Sometimes we get calls from those companies asking us to install the roof for a job we already bid. We can show you over 500 Metal roofs that we have installed in the last 10 years, all completed by our crew that will install your metal roof on your house.

Will your steel roof withstand high winds?

When installed properly, our steel roofs can qualify for a Dade County Wind Certification which is a rating of over 150 mph. Basic installation is between 90mph and 120 mph depending on which style of roof chosen. As a side note for comparison asphalt shingle roofs have a 50mph rating.

Does my existing roof need to be torn off before installing your metal roof?

Many times we can install our metal roof right directly over your existing asphalt shingle roof. In some cases we might have to tear it off. We would recommend to you to consider leaving your existing roof on for a couple of reasons, first less waste will be introduced into the local land fill, and second it will save you money by not having to pay for a tear off fee not to mention the old roof becomes another layer of insulation.

How long does it take to install a metal roof?

This depends on the size of your roof, but in comparison to an asphalt shingle roof, if it took one day to install a traditional asphalt shingle roof it would take us three days to install a metal roof.

Do temperature changes cause your metal roof to expand and contract?

Depending on the types of metal roofs, stone coated metal roofs will not expand or contract to the point that it will cause any noise or need for special installation. Our standing seam metal roofs will expand and contract more than a stone coated metal roof because they are made of longer panels, not individual smaller panels. If the panels are over 50 foot in length then we would have to install a special clip for the expansion and contraction. You might hear some minimum noise and if this is a concern check out our Energy Saving Roofs FAQ page to find out how we can install a metal roof without any noise from expansion or contraction.

Will hail damage your metal roof?

Our 26 gauge steel panel is almost twice as durable as a 40lb tin panel, also check out our stone coated metal roof that have up to a two and a half inch warranty on hail alone. To answer the question our Steel roofs are very durable and it would take a very large piece of hail to damage it, larger than golf ball size which is not very common in Virginia.

Is Rust a problem with your steel roofs over time?

No, rust will never be a problem with our steel roofs. All of the steel roof’s we install are made out of Galvalume which will not rust.