Standing Seam Metal Roof

standing seam metal roof

A standing seam metal roof is a metal panel system with concealed fastners. This system has vertical legs and in between is a broad flat space, and is also called a raised seam. These all rise above the panel’s flat area, and provide protection for the roof fasteners, against UV rays, snow, wind, rain and the elements in general that would cause roof wear and damage. The standing seam is not only limited to metal roofing but can also be used on metal walls. 

The roof fasteners are hidden, since the length and the width shape and also the thickness of the seam panel can be manipulated to meet the roof requirements. While commonly used on prefab metal buildings, they can be used on all building types.

Standing Seam Profile Types

Of significant interest in the standing seam profile types is the range of choices and options available for this building component. Along with color, length, width, thickness and shape, there is the panel type which can be selected.

The type of seam chosen will depend on the type of roof which you have, how steep it is and also the type of environment that it is in. The type of standing seam used should be chosen with the guidance of a contractor or architect. The way and the shape that two or more panels are seamed together gives rise to the panel profile. 

Types of seams include:

  • Snap-Lock
  • Mechanical Seam
  • Nail & Fastener Flange
  • Batten Panel

Profile: Snap-Lock

This type of seam profile comprises panels that have been roll-formed, and with specifically shaped edges. There is a male and a female leg, and they snap together. They do not then require any hand or brown standing seam roof mechanical seaming for the installation process. The snap-lock seam profiles are attached to the roof deck with the use of a clip that attaches to the seam. and then is fastened underneath the panel. 

Ideally the snap lock system:

  • Should only be installed on roof pitches of at least 3/12 and above unless otherwise approved by the manufacturer
  • Can be used in any type of environment once correctly installed
  • Is less labor intensive and also less expensive to install because there is no mechanical seaming

Profile: Mechanical Lock

With this type of metal roof seam, the panels are roll-formed, and have specific edges that line up with each other. Once the edges of the panels are lined up, then a hand or mechanical seamer will bend the edges and lock the panels together. With this seam profile there is the single lock, which has a 90-degree seam and the double lock which is at 180-degree. 

The single lock seam refers to one fold of the seam. This is ideal for milder environments in comparison to that of the double lock seam. Along with this, the single lock seam requires less labor and it is a bit easier to replace a damaged panel than that of the double lock seam.

The double lock seam system features two folds of the seam, or 180 degree lock profile. This is a bit more suitable for low-slope applications which may need that bit of extra weather-tightness. The 2-inch double lock seam can be installed down to a .5/12 pitch with an in-seam sealant. With the double lock, the panels are seen to perform better and there is lesser chances of the panels becoming unseamed. The double lock profile is excellent in roofs in cold weather areas. As the snow freezes and thaws, it expands and contracts and the seam needs to be strong enough to withstand this. It might be ideal to include an expansion clip with a mechanical lock profile, to accommodate. 

Profile: Nail Flange | Fastener Flange

The flange profile is similar in comparison to that of the snap-lock panel system profile. Rather than use a clip to attach the panel to the roof deck, the panel is directly fastened to the deck through the male leg of the metal panel. When the fasteners are in place, the female leg of the panel is snapped over the entirety of the male leg. This effectively hides the head of the fastener.

This system depends solely on the head of the fastener to keep the panels in place and attached to the deck. Primarily used in residential roofing solutions it is a popular choice here as it is one of the lesser expensive options in the standing seam roof profiles. There are also fewer accessories needed for installation, however they cannot go on low-slope applications and can be difficult at times to snap together. This type of standing seam is limited, usually to 25’ in length.

Profile: Batten Panel

The batten panel of the standing seam metal roof is when two legs of the panels are roll-formed. These legs are then butted next to each other, and a metal cap goes over the legs creating a seam. they then snap into place. Here you can have the tee seam or the snap cap.  

With the tee seam they mechanically seam into position and tend to perform well under harsh weather conditions. Along with this they usually have a pre-installed sealant in the cap and this aids in the seam being more weathertight. These types of seams work with both steep and low slope roofing situations.

The snap caps are found more commonly in curved panel uses, and snap over the panel legs. Therefore no mechanical seaming needed. If not properly installed, the batten piece on the top can slide down the seam. Persons generally use the snap cap more so for aesthetic purposes.


steel building vents Standing seam panels may be slightly costlier initially than other roofing systems. It is the reliability and durability of the standing seam metal roof that pays off in the long run. This type of roof requires less money for maintenance. They are also architecturally stylish compared to their cheaper counterparts. Also, standing seam metal roofs can last between 20 to 30 years. Thus, investing in a standing seam metal panel is the best way to go if you are looking for a roofing material that can last for a significant time period, while not compromising on taste for style and color. 

The standing seam metal roof versatility makes it an ideal choice for any building type, including architectural, residential, commercial, structural, and beyond.

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