When you choose metal roofing for your project, you need to decide which gauge (thickness) you need, from the thinnest 29-gauge to heavy duty 22-gauge.
Heavy gauge metal roofing is stronger, thicker, and more expensive, while the thinner gauges are more cost effective in certain applications.
So, which gauge do you need?
Here are some things to consider:
1: What Kind of Building?
Are you installing metal roofing on your home, or are you building an open frame structure like a pole barn?
If your metal sheeting is part of the structural integrity of your building, such as in the case of a pole barn, it’s wise to choose a heavier gauge. Even with the increased cost of roofing panels, using stronger metal means that you can use fewer supports, thus cutting down on the construction cost. Heavy gauge metal roofing can handle the bigger span.
In residential buildings, you’ll usually be installing metal roofing panels on top of plywood and a weather-resistant barrier. Your roof panels aren’t going to be spanning distances, and they aren’t part of the structural support of your roof.
2: How Skilled is the Installer?
Installing metal roofing or siding by yourself is a reasonable undertaking.
For those who aren’t experienced with metal siding or roofing, choosing a heavier gauge may be a better decision.
The heavier gauges are more forgiving when it comes to common mistakes like over-tightening screws that can cause bumps and waves. Heavier panels tend to fit together more accurately, too.
Opt for professional installation if you’re using thinner panels.
3: What’s The Weather Like?
One of the biggest advantages of metal roofing is the superior weather resistance. If your weather is extreme, you probably want to splurge on a heavier gauge roof.
The biggest weather concerns are hail storms, falling branches, and heavy snow.
Especially on open support buildings on which your roofing panels provide support, you should choose heavy gauge metal roofing to stand up to heavy winter snows.
In the case of hail storms or the possibility of falling branches, a heavier gauge roof will hold up longer without showing dents and damage. This is more aesthetic than structural, though dents in your roof can reduce its lifespan.
Choosing the right gauge is a matter of balancing budget with needs. Need help? Get in touch with a specialist.