Metal Roofing Considerations for Coastal Areas

BY: Mike Gwizdala, EXCEPTIONAL Metals General Manager

From unrivaled ocean views to a slower pace of life or easy access to favorite hobbies, having a house or business beside the water is often viewed as the ultimate property ownership aspiration. However, when building in a coastal environment, material selection is paramount due to the long-term harsh properties of saltwater. By comparison, inland freshwater shorelines can pose their own set of challenges for building owners, but aren’t subject to the saltwater deterioration that ocean coastlines face. The good news is that metal roofs and wall panels are leading options for coastal construction because they are incredibly resistant to wind, sun exposure, and corrosion from the saltwater and air.

At EXCEPTIONAL® Metals, we take pride in supplying the construction materials that keep coastal communities safe and prosperous. Below is an in-depth look at how our metal roof and wall panel systems can improve your coastal structure, whether you’re investing in a new roof or building from the ground up.

Benefits of Metal Panels
Coastal weather can cause damage in a variety of ways. Tropical storms like hurricanes can often produce a devastating storm surge, reaching many feet high and moving several miles inland. Additionally, high winds may damage the materials used to protect your structure. Compounded with torrential rains that cause flooding, the structural integrity of your building could quickly become compromised.

Because of the physical properties of metal roofs, they have become a highly-recommended solution in coastal regions where hurricanes, rainstorms, and high-force winds are commonplace. Metal roofs offer a variety of benefits that address many of the concerns for building owners in coastal locations, including high wind ratings ranging from 140 to 180 miles per hour, resistance to common airborne debris, limited maintenance, energy efficiency, and long lifespans.

In comparison, traditional asphalt shingles have been shown to fail or blow off during high-wind events like hurricanes or tornadoes. Each shingle that comes loose weakens the roofing system, making the property further susceptible to water intrusion and wind damage.

Factors to Consider
Metal roof and wall panels are adept at standing up to wind, rain, and extreme sun exposure. However, there are factors to consider when selecting them for your coastal-area construction project, including proximity to water and sun exposure.

If your building is more than 1,500 feet from the coastline or saltwater, standard metal roofing has proven to be effective. When you’re closer to the coastline, more robust paint options or finishes are needed to get the most from your metal roof.

EXCEPTIONAL Metals utilizes a high-performance Flurothane Coastal paint finish to withstand the damaging impacts of salt spray and harsh coastal conditions. This coating consists of 70 percent polyvinylidene fluoride, or PVDF, which provides an array of advantages including superior resistance to UV rays from the sun, maximum abrasion and chemical resistance, as well as fading and chalking resistance. The two-coat system used with Coastal Flurothane finish has a total dry film thickness of 1.7 to 2.0 mils, helping to maintain the visual beauty of your structure for years to come.

Another consideration when building on the coast is sun exposure, which some feel causes metal roofs and panels to retain heat, becoming less energy efficient. Our metal panels are known as cool roofs because they are designed to reflect sunlight while also cooling the surface. Also available are glare-reducing low-gloss finishes, which are perfect for urban environments as well.

EXCEPTIONAL Metals offers a wide array of panel options, allowing us to accommodate just about any installation situation. Our metal roof and wall panels meet stringent regulatory requirements, including those of Florida, Miami-Dade County, and Broward County. We also carry metal building products approved by the Texas Department of Insurance, or TDI, for use in that state’s coastal regions.

Coastal Maintenance
While the upkeep required to maintain a metal roof is generally minimal, they do require the same care as traditional roofing systems after a destructive coastal storm or weather event. A qualified contractor can help you evaluate any needs your roof may have after a storm has passed, but there are simple items that building owners can manage on their own as well, including cleaning off debris and stains; identifying any scratches, chipping, flaking, or fading of the paint finish; and cleaning out easily-accessible gutters and drains.

Quality is Paramount
At EXCEPTIONAL Metals, our mission is simple. We want to support property owners and construction partners with high-quality metal panel products. We supply a variety of metal roof and wall panels manufactured to resist the elements including wind, sun exposure, and corrosion.

Contact us today to learn more about our metal panel products and how they can protect your building, whether you’re in the plains of Iowa or the sunny beaches of Florida.