Recently, a homeowner in Roswell, Georgia, called us about a metal roof for her home. I had posted a blog about the energy efficiency of different metal roofing styles in the Atlanta area, and this home was very inefficient. After reading the blog, the homeowner hoped that we could help.
Sometime in the early 80’s, energy must have been abundant and cheap, or the builder assumed no one would mind that a large portion of the home had no insulation between the ceiling and the outside air. In a true form over function design choice, the original contractor installed tongue and groove decking overexposed rafters, creating a beautiful interior. However, there was zero attic space to insulate the home. During the cold Atlanta winter of 2014, the home was nearly impossible to heat. After we started the job, it was clear why. Fortunately, Fowler Homes had a solution.
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Removing The Existing Roof
While some metal roofing companies simply roof right over the existing roof, we knew this home needed some sort of insulation. As we removed the existing roof, we were surprised to find that you could, in fact, see straight into the living space below. Because wood contracts in cold weather, some of the seams in the decking had shrunk, allowing us to see into the living room. Typically, homes have an attic space with insulation, preventing the conditioned air inside from escaping. The picture below shows the exposed tongue and groove decking. Imagine if this wood were the only thing separating your home from the elements.
Fowler Homes’ Roof Solution
First things first. Regardless of the roof we installed, everything would be for naught if we couldn’t stop the flow of air between the interior and exterior of the home. Using Atlas Roofing’s nailbase insulation, we were able to install a solid insulating membrane over the entire roof deck, therefore giving the home an R-Factor of 24. As it was December when we were completing the project, you could instantly tell a difference. The HVAC system was able to keep up, and you didn’t have to wear winter clothes to watch TV. Using nailbase insulation is great because it gives us a solid wood deck on which to attach the new roofing system. Nailbase is essentially a 4’ x 8’ sheet of insulation adhered to a sheet of plywood. However, nailbase also creates a few obstacles that you might want to consider as you plan your roofing project. To achieve a higher R-Factor, you will need to use panels that are up to 5” thick. The thickness of the insulation necessitates custom-made trim pieces at the eaves and rakes. You can see in the picture above just how thick the insulation panels are.
Standing Seam Metal Roof
One major concern of the homeowner was that she didn’t want to have to do this project more than once, and she planned to stay in the home at least another 25 years. Shingled roofs are often replaced either because of storm damage or age every 15-20 years, so we needed something that was going to last a bit longer. Also, the slope of the roof makes repairs difficult, and corrugated metal roofs often need tightening of the screws every 12-15 years. Standing Seam metal offered the homeowner a roof that will outlast the home itself and need little or no maintenance. Unlike corrugated metal roofs that are fastened through the panels with exposed screw heads, standing seam is a hidden fastener system where all screws are protected from water penetration. In the picture below, you can see the homeowner chose South Eastern Metals Coppery Penny color. We think it turned out beautifully.
If you live in the Atlanta area and are curious about a metal roof for your home, you can contact us below or call us directly at 770-744-5992. Also, be sure to get our free e-book, A Complete Guide To Residential Metal Roofing.