Introduction to Stone Coated Steel Roofing Systems

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Architects, builders, property owners can choose from many different types of roofing materials.  Stone coated steel offers an alternative to the traditional roofing systems like asphalt shingles, tile, slate, and wood shake.  However, stone coated steel by Decra and Gerard definitely offer a unique opportunity.

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Ideally, there are two aspects that need to come together to be the best alternative.  First is the functional aspect.  Second, is the design and beauty.  As we will see from both these perspectives Stone Coated Steel is the best option.

Let’s start with sustainability.  Sustainability is ability to “meet the needs of today, without compromising the needs of tomorrow.”  Another definition is “Maximize quality and minimize negative impact.”

Lets start with a comparison  of different roofing materials and stone coated steel.

Clay and Concrete Tile roofs last 25 to 50 years.  They  absorb up to 15% of their weight.  Tile roofs also can crack in freeze/thaw cycles.  In a re roof situation, most of the old material ends up in the landfill.  Tile roofs add a lot of weight to the structure; almost around 8ibs / sq ft.– for this reason, seismically zoned areas need to consider this when installing tile roofs.  In general, The biggest issues with tiles roofs is the underlayment. While tile lasts for a long time, the underlayment deteriorates, and the tiles have to be removed to fix the issues.  At the end of the life cycle recycling is not always an option because of the lack of facilities.

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Wood shake roofs last 20 – 30 years.  Age and time can lead to rotting and splitting of the wood shake.  Wood shake is combustible, so one needs to be careful in areas that are dry. In some areas wood shake may not be allowed as building codes have some fire code standards and maintaining a B class rating may be an issue without regular treatment of the wood.

Wood shake too would end up in landfills. The water from wood shake roof is not drinkable because of the the treatment on it.

Asphalt Shingles can last around 20 to 25 years.  Even though asphalt shingles are low cost from the perspective of an individual install, however, over a lifetime, it may not be the cheapest.  The most important aspects to a shingle roof is the weight of the shingle mat.  In general, the two big enemies of an asphalt roof, wind and hail, are prevented by a stronger and heavier mat. However, most companies do not offer a warranty over 15 years of wind warranty. Even though there are Class 4 shingles that are hail resistant, but the shingle can still break.  The freeze/thaw cycles can cause the shingle to become brittle and break down.  As soon as the granules get knocked off, the shingle will begin to break down.  Also, since shingles are made of petroleum the water from the a shingle roof is not portable.

In comparison to these traditional roofing systems. Stone Coated Steel offers a better alternative.  Stone Coated steel lasts 50 plus years. It is freeze/thaw resistant, it is weather tight, 120 mph wind speed warranty, Class 4 hail resistance,  Class A fire rating, lightweight, and many different install methods.

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From a sustainability perspective mentioned earlier.  The water is drinkable, it diverts material from landfills, low life cycle cost, metal is energy efficient, recyclable, and contains recycled content.

There are three types of metal roofs.  Standing Seam, which have interlocking seams at upturned ribs. The second is the Metal Panels, installed vertically or horizontally, they may have exposed or hidden fasteners (nails). They come in many different profiles. The third, the stone coated steel. The paint finishes of metal roofs usually come in two standard types; Kynar and Hylar. Stone coated steel has some advantages from the standard paint. The paint can scratch easily. Paint is also susceptible to chalk and fade. Also the paint warranties varies by manufacturers.  Stone coated steel has a ceramic coated granular finish that has a warranty of 50 years.  This finish has several advantages over paint, it has hide any flaws much better because of the granular finish. They are much easier to touch if anything goes wrong. The granules give rich hues to the roof instead of a solid color. Since stone coated steel is made with the idea of foot traffic, stone coated finish allows this.

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Just as a study case, Lawrence Township Fire Department has a 20 year standing seam roof, with hail damage and defective coating.  The roof also leaked. They were going to go with asphalt shingles, but then after a full research they decided to go with stone coated steel.

The standard metal is has an extra coating of aluminum, however, the panels in the stone coated steel is made of zinc and aluminum to provide even more protection.  After the protective coating, the granules were applied, and then an over glaze before curing in the oven.

The 26 Gauge structure grade steel is covered on top and bottom. On top there are some extra layers because that is where the granules are.  However, there are coatings on the top and bottom.  So. Alloy Aluminum zinc coating in on top and on bottom, Acrylic primer is also applied on the top and bottom, there are three extra layers on the top.  The basecoat, stone granules, and over glaze.

We will look at the Profiles from Decra & Gerard.  The Mediterranean Tile profile looks just like nature Mediterranean tiles.  The Barrel Tile is concave it too looks like natural barrel tiles.  The shake profile, looks like nature cedar shake.  Of course there is stone coated steel that looks like asphalt shingles.  All these profiles comes with many different colors and designs. Both companies have many different profiles, and can be installed with a batten system or without a batten system.

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As for the many benefits of a stone coated steel roof. They are 100% non-porous.  They absorb no water.  They can used in freeze/thaw temperatures. The design is water tight, which can used even in low slopes.  The profiles are light weight, 125 to 150 pounds per square.  They are aesthetically very pleasing.  The interlocking provides extra support in a time of earthquake, again, the interlocking prevents water from going through or leaks, and it also helps in severe weather situations.

It can be installed over existing structures or buildings. Stone coated steel products are Class 4 hail resistance, and Class A fire resistant.  Stone coated steel have many sustainable aspects. Up to 30% of the recycled content is used in the panels. Even the old existing roof does not need to come off in many cases, and therefore, diverting old materials from the landfill.  Building get 136M tons of waste every year. Using stone coated steel can prevent this trend.  Also, since there is no asphalt in stone coated steel, and therefore there is no harm in roof water reaching the groundwater.  Also, the panels are 100% recyclable at the end of life.  Stone coated steel roofs help with the heat island effect also.

As a study case, Canada Summit Centre was the site of the 36th annual G8 conference. Canada Summit Centre, is located in the area Muskoka, which boasts clean and well monitored freshwater.

Building style and materials of all sorts were scrutinized. There was an effort to harmonize with the surrounding environment.  They choose stone coated steel by Decra for the very reason there is no harm to groundwater.  Stone coated steel also comes with an exceptional warranty.

Another study case is St. Anthony’s Retreat Center.  The institute had a failing fiber cement asbestos; if removed would causes a serious health hazards. Once it was clear they needed a solution in which the asbestos roof needed to stay. The weight of the tiles was already 500 ibs per square, so any new roofing system would have to be light.  So, after full consideration, they decided to go with stone coated steel.

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Author Bio:

Omar Baloch is the Owner of DFW Best Roofing; and has been in the roofing industry for last 10 years, and has written over 200 articles on the roofing industry.  DFW Best Roofing is a company that specializes in stone coated metal roofing systems.

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1 Comments

  1. Stone coated materials are not that long lasting, after a little time you will note that the stone coating wears off. The coating does look esthetically pleasing to look at, but there are other options available which could be just as better to look at.

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