November 29, 2018
by Bruce Green
All metal roofing is not the same. There are different profiles in different shapes for different reasons and to suit different performance needs. How to choose? Here’s the process that metal building engineers go through at MBCI to zero in on the most economical selection that will still meet the performance requirements of a particular metal roof project.
Offered by MBCI under the name Ultra-Dek®, the trapezoidal shape is among the best for channeling water off of the roof. However, because of this shape, it is most appropriate for typical sloped roofs with single plane roofs areas free of valleys or hips. It’s snap together installation makes it quick and easy to install economically with wind resistance capabilities adequate for many situations. It also carries basic air leakage and water penetration testing approvals.
For roofs that require a higher degree of performance than snap together systems can provide, MBCI Double-Lok® panels can be considered. The mechanically field-seamed, trapezoidal legs provide higher wind and water resistance with test results to satisfy UL-90, FM ratings, and Miami Dade County approvals. This makes them ideal for many industrial, commercial, and architectural roofs without hips and valleys that are subject to higher wind and rain demands. While the material cost for the panel is the same as for the Ultra-Dek®, there is more labor cost due to the mechanical field-seaming compared to the snap together installation. The Double-Lok® panel is also used often for retrofit installations over pre-existing metal roofs either to update the roof or to provide additional insulation. In either case, there is no need to disrupt the existing roofing or structure below allowing for a very cost-effective solution. Check with MBCI on the details of how to properly do a retrofit with these panels though to be sure things work out as intended.
In cases where the trapezoidal legs aren’t appropriate or desired, then vertical leg, standing seam metal panels are the next logical choice. The MBCI BattenLok® HS system uses 2” tall legs that are mechanically field-seamed once along each panel joint to create a high strength, structural standing seam roof system that can be installed directly over purlins or bar joists – no additional solid substrate is required. It is also capable of transitioning from roof to fascia with the use of accessory seam covers.
In cases where very rigorous weather conditions may be encountered, the MBCI SuperLok® roof panels provide the highest degree of roof performance. While the manufactured SuperLok® roof panel is essentially the same as the single seamed BattenLok® panel, the profile is modified slightly to allow for standing seams to be rolled over twice, thus creating a stronger, thicker seal between adjacent panels. Once again, there is no difference in the material cost between the two, but the added field-seaming step will obviously add to the labor cost of this roof choice. Nonetheless, that can be a small price to pay for the higher performance and added peace of mind that the system offers.
While we have pointed out the differences between these four different metal roofing choices, note that there are some basic similarities too. They all use high grade steel in standard gauge thicknesses and they can all be specified in the same wide choice of colors. They are all offered in multiple panel widths, although check with the manufacturer to be sure the width you prefer is available for the specific panel selected. They all can be used for low slope applications down to ¼” per foot except for the retrofit solution which requires a 3:12 pitch. Finally, they all do have some minor variations in the profile which can help with the final desired appearance of the finished roof on the building.
To find out more about the differences in roof deck types and how to choose the best ones for on a metal roof that you are involved with, contact your local MBCI representative, and sign up for our newsletter to subscribe to our blog.