When a roof company installs your metal roof, they usually have a few choices when it comes to how they fasten down the material.

There are many different reasons why making a choice between the two is important.

According to roof services, it is a decision that involves aesthetics, economics, maintenance, and potential roof lifespan.

There are two common ways that metal roofs are fastened to a structure: fasteners exposed and fasteners concealed.

Let’s talk about both methods that roof services use and the advantages and disadvantages of both, as well as the difference between standing seam and screw down metal roofs.

Exposed Fasteners

Exposed panels use a nail or a screw to keep the metal secured down to purlins or the roof deck.

The nail or screw that roof services use actually penetrates a point where panels overlap to fasten both down.

This method can involve hundreds or even thousands of the fasteners.

All of them must be spaced and driven in such a way that maintains the integrity of rubber grommets that prevent rain and moisture from entering through each small hole made by the fasteners.

Concealed Fasteners

A roof company may also use concealed clip fasteners, a system where there is no connection or piercing of metal sheets or panels when the fasteners are driven through clips.

The clips/fasteners are then concealed underneath the material of the standing seam panel, which is afterwards laid over and attached to clips before being hand locked or mechanically locked to them.

Exposed vs. Concealed Fasteners

How do you know which method is better to use for roofs and what would a roof company recommend?

  • Standing seam roofs or concealed fasteners may be better because they are more durable and last longer than exposed fasteners.
  • Standing seams can be more expensive and may not be an option for those on a smaller budget.
  • Exposed fasteners are better used on simpler-designed roofs such as ones for sheds or gable roofing. They have shorter warranties than concealed systems.
  • Exposed seams depend on the screws or nails being driven in correctly or it can cause problems. The roof company must know what they are doing to ensure no water leaks through the holes made by the nails.
  • Exposed fastener systems are vulnerable to changing temperatures, as this system leaves no room for the expansion and contraction of metal.
  • Concealed fastener systems offer more longevity as they are not vulnerable to the same things. Unfortunately, they usually are more expensive and take more time to install.
  • As for aesthetics, roof services often suggest concealed fasteners for residential and commercial applications due to its elegance.

Taking A Final Look

Making the choice between concealed fasteners and exposed fasteners is often a decision based on convenience, the longevity of roofs with each system, and price.

If your budget is limited, roof services will suggest an exposed seam; if your budget is adequate, ask your roof company for a concealed fastener system – you’ll thank yourself for it!

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