Not all metal roofs are standing seam; this is a particular type of metal roofing. If you have looked at houses in your neighborhood with metal roofs, probably they are of the standing seam variety. Continuous panels run from the ridge of the roof all the way down to the eaves. Between the panels are seams connected by fasteners which are raised above the level of the metal roofing. This is where we get the term standing seam , because the seam is raised or standing, as opposed to flush-mounted.
These seam fasteners might be anywhere from 0.5″ to 1.5″ high. Because these fasteners are concealed, you only see a smooth continuous ridge extending from top to bottom.
Roof panels can come either pre-formed or site-formed. Pre-formed panels are created in the factory off-site of the house. Site-formed panels are created from rolls of metal that are run through mobile forming machines which crimp the metal into rigid panels.
12 to 19 inches wide, panels are usually made either of Galvalume-coated steel or aluminum.
It should also be noted that metal roofing in general is considered a “cool roof” by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This is because metal roofing can be painted any color, including colors on the lighter end of the spectrum which will prevent solar heat gain.
One great advantage of standing seam metal roofs is contained in the name itself: seams, the weak point in any roof and a potential entry point for moisture, are raised above the level of the roofing panel.
Because the metal panels run unhindered from the top to the bottom of the roof, not only are there no horizontal seams but in total the roof has a far fewer number of seams.
Finally, the look of standing seam roofs lends itself well to certain types of contemporary or country-style houses. Due to the sleek lines, these roofs give your house an “industrial” feeling, yet tempered by a modern flair. These are not the rippled tin roofs that you might remember from warehouses of the past.