Help and Support

For assistance with product questions please contact your local Vicwest authorized dealer (see our Where To Buy section) or Contact Us   You will also find technical information regarding installation and tips in our Installation section on the left hand side of this page.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions: Steel Roofing

 

  • Is it possible to install a steel roof over my existing roof?  If so, what is the process and what are the benefits?

Steel roofing is a great option for new roof and re-roofing applications.  Since steel is much more lightweight (it weighs approximately 1.5 pounds per foot) in comparison to other roofing materials, it can easily be installed directly-to-decking (with an approved underlayment) or on strapping over one layer of shingles—which will ultimately reduce labor costs.  As well, leaving your pre-existing roof underneath the steel roof application will provide better insulation for your home.  However, it is necessary to ensure this complies with your local building code and or home association/property management.

  • What are my aesthetic options when it comes to steel roofing?

Color options.  Unlike many other types of roofing materials, steel is available in a wide variety of pre-painted colors.  What’s more—painted steel has high color retention throughout its lifetime, thus fading and chalking are reduced to a minimum.  Vicwest’s pre-painted roofs utilize the WeatherXL® paint system—one of the most popular and longest lasting paint systems in North America.  Complete with any Vicwest WeatherX®-painted steel roof comes a 40-year WeatherX® warranty supported by Valspar, so home owners can be at ease about the durability of their newly-installed roof.

Style Variety.  Steel roofs come in a variety of profiles and can even mimic traditional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, Spanish tiles and wood shingles.  You can easily achieve a “non-metallic” traditional look by installing a steel roof while still reaping all the benefits that steel has to offer.

  • How will steel roofing save me money in the long run?

Long Lifespan.  A steel roof’s lifespan is two to three times greater than that of other roofing materials, such as asphalt.  This means in a 40-year time span, an asphalt roof might require 3 or more re-roof applications, while a steel roof requires only the initial application.  Ultimately, this equates to long-term savings since the need to re-roof will be virtually eliminated.

Increased Home Value.  Because steel roofing increases your roof’s durability and promotes energy-efficiency—while still being just as aesthetically pleasing as other roofing materials—installing a steel roof will most likely increase the insurability and value of your home.

Energy Efficient.  Steel roofing not only is environmentally sound due to its recycled-material contents, but its energy-efficient properties will benefit your financial environment, as well.  Because steel roofs aid in retaining a home’s heat, heating costs are reduced during cooler months of the year.  As well, a variety of pre-painted steel roofs (depending on the color) offer high reflectivity values, which ultimately better deflect the sun’s rays and can reduce cooling costs during warmer months. 

Low Maintenance.  Steel inherently has a high resistance to corrosion, mold and mildew for several reasons.  One, steel’s smooth surface makes it more difficult for unwanted air particles to accumulate on the roof.  Two, steel does not absorb water the way that materials such as asphalt do, thus reducing the likelihood of mold/mildew build up.  Ultimately, this means your roof will need less restoration and refurbishing—if at all.

Increased Durability.  When considering the most durable roofing material, steel is the obvious choice; steel has superior performance under adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain, hail, extreme temperatures and high winds.  As well, since steel is a non-combustible material, it cannot catch on fire, unlike materials such as asphalt shingles or wood shakes.

  • In line with weather conditions—will steel roofing amplify the sound of rain or hail?

Since steel roofs generally have ample underlying insulation or are installed over existing roof structures, the noise that is generated from such weather conditions is no more obvious than that of other roofing materials.  If, however, there is minimal insulation underneath the steel roof, the sound of rain is quite often perceived as “soothing” by many steel roof owners.

  • How do steel roofs perform in regards to certain safety concerns?

Walkability.  A properly-installed steel roof has the capacity to support the weight of a human being, thus any concerns about a steel roof supporting your weight are virtually non-existent.  However, proper education regarding where to step on a steel roof should be acquired as stepping improperly could cause the roof to dent.  It is also important to follow proper safety precautions when walking on a steel roof.

Lightning.  A steel roof is no more susceptible to lightning strikes than any other type of roofing material.  Because lightning is attracted to the highest point of any structure, the roofing material itself is not a determinant of lightning strike susceptibility.  However, if a steel roof is struck by lightning, it is much less likely to catch on fire in comparison to other materials since the electrical charge would be dispersed throughout the roof’s surface area.

Snow.  In cold weather climates, the weight of snow on a roof can be of concern.  Since steel does not absorb any type of moisture, the actual roofing material itself does not become heavier, unlike materials such as cedar shake or clay tiles.  This reduces the necessity for additional structural bracing. 

 

As well, drifts of snow and ice accumulating on top of homes may suddenly cascade down and off roofs.  To prevent such occurrences, Vicwest offers both snow guards and Polar Blox©—tools that aid in dramatically decreasing the movement of snow on your roof.   

  • What are some of the environmental benefits of installing a steel roof?

Recyclable.  Not only are steel roofs made from recycled content, but because of their non-toxicity, they are 100% recyclable at the end of their lifespan.

Energy Star®.  Vicwest offers roofing profiles which are Energy Star® qualified in the United States, which means certain residential steel roof applications that utilize Vicwest products will be able to earn state and federal tax rebates as well as utility incentives.   Full information is available through the Energy Star® website at www.energystar.gov

Reduced Waste.  When permitted by local building codes, re-roofing applications can require little removal of waste from building sites resulting less in landfills.

 

LEED Certification.  Vicwest steel roofing profiles can help homeowners achieve LEED™ certification.  LEED™ certification is attained if a home meets certain “environmentally-friendly” prerequisites and attains a certain number of points in a variety of qualifying categories (energy efficiency, materials and resources—to name a few).  For more information about LEED™, visit either www.cagbc.org (for Canadian residents) or www.usgbc.org (for U.S. residents).