The Roofing Resource Blog


Thu, Apr 23, 2020 @ 01:34 PM | Perry

Learn What Type Of Metal Roofing Is Right For Your Next Project

Making sense of metal roofing can be tricky because it’s such a broad topic. Metal roofing is used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications with different profiles and gauges of metal to fit each application. In this blog we will look at 6 types of metal roofs being installed so you can learn which type of metal roof is right for your next project.

Here are the 6 most common types of metal roofs being installed in 2020

To begin we will divide the types of metal roofing into two main categories, exposed fasteners and hidden fasteners. Exposed fasteners panels attach to the home or building by running a screw directly through the face of the metal roofing into the wood or metal purling below. A hidden fastener is how standing seam metal roofing is installed. In hidden fastened standing seam roofing the metal is attached to the building via a clip that sits under the metal. In this type of metal roofing the screws are not seen.

Pole Barn Metal Roof-1Standing Seam Metal Roof Installation-1

Two of the most common types of exposed fastened metal roofing and probably the most sold metal roofing in the United States are a 29 gauge, corrugated metal roofing for agriculture/residential use, and the R panel or PBR panel as its called for the commercial roofing applications especially on pre engineered steel buildings.


Corrugated metal roof or barn metal Max Rib29 gauge corrugated metal roofing is often referred to as barn metal or pole barn metal. It is a very common type of screw down metal that is easy to install and easy to purchase at most lumber yards. It can span 2’6” over open wood purling making it a great metal roofing for post frame buildings. And while we don’t recommend this type of metal roofing for houses, it is commonly installed in residential roofing applications.

R Panel metal roof for commercial or industrial

R-panel is the exposed fastener panel most commonly used in commercial and industrial roofing applications. R-panel is made of 26 gauge metal and can span open purling 5’ on center like those found in steel buildings. And this is where we most often see the R-panel used, on pre engineer steel buildings.

Exposed fastened metal roofing panels are very common because they are relatively cheap to buy and easy for roofing contractors to install. However, what you save in price you can give up in quality as hidden fastened panels or standing seam metal roofing, when properly installed, will last much longer than an exposed fastener metal roofing.

The next two types of metal roofs we’ll discuss are hidden fastened or standing seam metal roofing. Both panels are considered snap lock because of the way the metal pieces snap together.

nail fin snap lock metal roofing


26 gauge nail fin is a snap lock metal roofing that is a nice upgrade from a corrugated screw down metal. This panel needs a solid wood deck and works great in residential roofing applications. This panel is considered standing seam, but it does not use a clip, it uses a pre punched nail fin on the side of the metal. The pre punched slots are where the panel is fastened down to the wood decking.


Standing Seam Metal no exposed fasteners-11-3/4” snap lock is also a standing seam but this panel is commonly installed in both residential and commercial roofing applications. The 1-3/4” snap lock uses a clip system as its method of attachment and this metal roofing profile has had all the test and wind up lift ratings done which makes it easy for architects to spec on projects. The snap lock type of standing seam is a good metal roofing panel choice, but neither snap lock panels can be installed over open purlins and both snap lock type metal roofing need at least a 3 on 12 pitch to work. It takes a mechanically seamed metal roofing panel to get into low slope metal roofing applications and to span open purlins.

Mechanically seamed metal roofing  panels

Finally, lets looks at a few types of mechanically seamed metal roofing panels.

A mechanically seamed metal roofing panel is a type of metal roofing that has to be crimped or folded together after the metal roofing is laid. Each panel is crimped, creating a water tight seam between the metal roofing sheets. The major advantage of this type of metal roofing is its ability to be used in low slope applications like steel buildings or on other types of structures where the roof pitch is below a 3 /12. Common mechanically seamed metal roofing profiles include the 2”, 138T, 238T mechanical and the trapezoidal panel. These metal roofing panels are most often found on steel buildings in commercial or industrial applications.

Mechanically seam standing seam metal roof238T standing seam metal roof mechanically attached

As you may have learned there are many different types of metal roofs, each with a specific use and application. That is really where metal roofing preforms, when the right type of metal roof is used in the right roofing application.


Topics: Roof Repairs, Commercial Roof, Standing Seam Metal