When it comes to roofing materials, metal has been one of the top choices for decades. It’s tough, durable, and looks great for many years.
If you really want the best all-around protection, though, look for a standing seam metal roof.
“A standing seam metal roof checks all the important boxes,” says Mike Vettese of GBS Contracting Services. “It can take on rain, snow, ice and other weather-related pressures, and may never need replacing.”
Traditional roofs are fastened in place with nails or screws that have rubber washers to prevent moisture from penetrating the roof. The problem is that those exposed fasteners can get loose with ice, snow, and other weather, says Mike.
“If the fasteners and the rubbers between the fasteners and roof get worn down under the constant pressure of ice and snow, eventually leaks occur. That then leads to issues such as decaying wood, mildew and mould,” explains Mike. “While these instances and issues happen over time, they can happen.”
A standing seam roof has hidden fasteners, with no exposed rubber seals that can break down.
Hidden fasteners are also great for the aesthetics of the roof: the panels blend seamlessly together without any lines of nails or screws to detract from the look.
Metal roofs of all kinds are available in a wide array of colours, allowing property owners to match their décor.
“This helps add value to your home or cottage,” says Mike, who has installed a standing seam roof on his own home. “Strong curb appeal combined with great function provides great ROI.”
The roof on Mike’s home is granulated rather than smooth. The texture helps slow the movement of snow and ice in the winter, helping to eliminate the “whoosh-crash” effect as snow and ice falls to the ground.
Mike also added snow breakers around the roof line to prevent the smashing and crashing – something he recommends on any metal roof.
“If your house is well-insulated, snow and ice will build up on it in winter,” advises Mike. “That’s a good thing. But it can also come sliding off the slippery metal, damaging anything below. We know one person who had a large chunk of ice put a huge dent in the hood of their car.”
Ventilation is also an important component of a well-built roof. Even with the strongest roofs available, ice damming is potentially harmful because it eventually pushes moisture into your building through areas that aren’t always visible to the untrained eye.
“No matter what type of roof you have on your structure, good ventilation and good insulation are necessities,” says Mike.
Metal roofing isn’t the cheapest option – it can cost up to three times as much as a traditional shingle roof (depending on the size and scope of the project). But, when considering metal roofs have a lifespan of between 50 and 70 years, compared to between 15 and 20 for shingles, the cost is worth it.
“As well, metal roofs can reflect UV rays in summer, which can impact cooling costs,” explains Mike. “You could save 10 to 25 percent in cooling costs with a metal roof.”
Siding is both a functional part of every building and a way to enhance curb appeal. Good siding will help protect your structure from the elements and moisture infiltration, while helping keep energy costs in check.
But it should also look good and make a good first impression when people come to visit. Mike chose to go with board and batten siding for his own home because it provides a great mix of form and function.
“The grain, the texture – it’s the look and feel of Muskoka,” he says. “But it’s also durable. Good board and batten siding, installed by an expert team, will last at least 20 years or even much longer. With a little bit of TLC, it can last almost as long as your metal roof.”
It’s also quite versatile. Board and batten siding is often made with cedar, and can be installed vertically, horizontally, or with a combination of both. Plus, it’s more cost efficient to repair since it’s made with individual pieces rather than larger sheets, as is the case with many other materials.
“Also, because it’s wood, you can refresh your look with a new paint job after a few years to update your exterior look,” says Mike. “When you choose a grainy texture like the one on my house, it helps the paint stick better than to smoother surfaces.”
A quality roof and good siding are integral parts of your home or cottage. Making the right choice will keep your building and your family protected for decades.
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN