Thanks to their awesome durability, attractive clean look, energy efficiency, and variety of colors, metal roofs continue to grow in popularity. In climates that see a lot of snow, metal roofs are particularly attractive as they shed precipitation easily. But no matter why you’re interested in a metal roof, you probably want to make sure you have the best type of metal roof for your home, your style, and your budget. We’re going to break down the three most common types of metal roofs, so you can make an informed decision about which metal roof is best for you:  

Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing

One of the first versions of metal roofing, ever, exposed fastener metal roofing has been around for quite some time, and for good reason. Exposed fastener roofing is made by overlapping panels of metal, and fastening those panels directly to the roof deck or framing through the overlapping face of the metal panels. This type of roofing is called “exposed fastener” because the fasteners that secure the metal panels to the roof remain visible after installation. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of exposed fastener metal roofing. 

Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing Pros:


  • Fast to install. Since exposed fastener roofing systems don’t require hand or mechanical seaming, they’re much faster to install. Your roofer can fasten two panels together at one time, which requires considerably less labor, and less time. 
  • Economical Metal Roofing Option. In general, exposed fastener metal roofing is more economical than other options because the metal used for the panels is thinner, they use a lower quality paint system, and the panels are wider. All of these factors contribute to a lower product cost, and faster installation means lower labor costs. 
  • Traditional Aesthetic. Exposed fastener metal roofing has been around for a long time, so it’s what many people think of as a “traditional” metal roofing style. If you like rustic, industrial, and farmhouse styles, you’ll probably appreciate the appearance of an exposed fastener metal roof. 


Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing Cons:


  • Greater potential for leaks. To install this type of roof, roofers literally drill a metal fastener into your roof. When installed properly, fasteners are designed to keep water out, but springing a leak is one of the most common problems associated with exposed fastener roofs. 
  • Problems with fasteners. Because fasteners are exposed, they can create some problems that potentially shorten the lifespan of your roof. For example, if a fastener is installed slightly off-center, too far into the roof, or not far enough, all of these issues can create the potential for leaks. Additionally, a fastener’s gasket has a much shorter lifespan and is more greatly affected by UV rays than the fastener itself. Unfortunately, this means the gasket can wear out and create a gap that allows for water to leak in. 
  • Frequent maintenance. Exposed fastener metal roofs require a great deal more maintenance than other roofing types, simply because the fasteners are exposed. This leaves your roof very vulnerable to leaks, which means you’ll need to complete regular maintenance to check and replace any faulty fasteners and to clear away any dirt, rust, leaves, or debris that might catch on the fasteners. 



Though exposed fastener metal roofs are a more economical investment upfront, the amount of maintenance they need and the potential for leaks and water damage does present concerns to some homeowners. 

Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Standing seam metal roofs sound pretty much like what they are: metal roofs with panels that intersect at raised seams. Unlike exposed fastener roofs, standing seam roofs have hidden fasteners in order to eliminate some of the common problems associated with exposed fastener roofs. 


Standing seam roof panels are either attached to the roof using a clip, or they are fastened to roof decking using a fastener flange. Either way, this little bit of additional installation care makes standing seam roofs a bit more secure when it comes to leaks. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a standing seam metal roof. 

Standing Seam Metal Roof Pros:


  • Hidden Fasteners. Standing seam metal roofs hide fasteners. This eliminates all of the holes in the roof that an exposed fastener roof presents. Though standing seam metal roofs do take a bit longer to install, fasteners are hidden which eliminates many of the concerns of water leaks. There’s also the added benefit of a clean, sleek look that’s uninterrupted by the sight of fasteners. 
  • Energy Efficiency. Metal roofs are naturally very energy efficient, but a majority of standing seam metal roofing panels are finished with a cool roofing coating that works to better reflect hot UV rays from the sun. This helps keep your home at stable temperatures year-round and can help you save on those energy bills, too. 
  • Sleek Look. Because standing seam metal roofs have hidden fasteners, they offer any home a sleek, modern look that’s uninterrupted by fasteners sticking up out of the roof. Some homeowners prefer this look over the more traditional, rustic look of the exposed fastener roofs. 
  • Minimal Maintenance. When compared to other types of roofs, and even other metal roofs, like exposed fastener metal roofs, standing seam roofs need significantly less maintenance. While it’s still a good idea to have an annual inspection completed by a roofer, standing seam roofs don’t need to be checked yearly for leaks around fasteners, rust, or anything else. 


Standing Seam Metal Roof Cons:


  • Higher Cost. When compared to an exposed fastener metal roof, a standing seam metal roof will certainly cost more. That said, a standing seam roof will still cost less than a stamped profile metal roof, and is certain to last longer than most other roofing styles, including asphalt shingle roofs. 
  • Longer Installation. Standing seam roofs do take a bit longer to install than other metal roofs because they do require careful installation. You’ll want to find a roofing contractor who is qualified to install standing seam metal roofs because their crew will have the necessary certifications to install that new roof properly. 



If you’re planning to invest in a metal roof, and want an option that looks great, but that won’t totally break the bank, a standing seam metal roof might be for you. They offer the beautiful, traditional look of a metal roof, with the added benefit of sleek, fastener-free seams. They’re also a super-durable and long-lasting roofing option that’s perfect for any home. 

Stamped Profile Metal Roofs

If you love the look of slate or cedar shake roofs, but can’t justify the cost of slate or the maintenance of shake roofs, a stamped profile metal roof just might be the solution for you. Stamped profile metal roofs offer you all the benefits and architectural style of a shingled roof, without the drawbacks.


 We’ve written a bit about these in a previous blog about awesome metal roofing styles, but it’s good to know that stamped profile metal roofs can be made to look like anything from slate and wood shakes to ceramic, tile, and even the traditional asphalt shingle roof. Let’s dive into the pros and cons: 

Stamped Profile Metal Roof Pros:


  • Aesthetic. First and foremost, you have to love stamped profile roofs for their style. They offer homeowners some of the most luxurious roof looks like slate and tile for a fraction of the price of what the original material would cost. Stamped profile metal roofs can be made to look like a variety of materials, and they also come in a variety of colors and textures to suit any architectural style. 
  • Low Maintenance. Like any metal roof, stamped profile metal roofs are fairly low maintenance. A stamped profile metal roof will need less maintenance than an exposed fastener metal roof because it’s constructed much the same way as a traditional asphalt roof. There aren’t any exposed parts to cause potential water leaks. 
  • Durability. Stamped profile metal roofs offer all of the benefits of a shingled roof, without the drawbacks of a short or fragile lifespan. Metal roofs, when properly maintained, can last anywhere from 40-60 years, which significantly outlasts an asphalt or cedar shake roof. 



Stamped Profile Metal Roof Cons:


  • Cost. Though stamped profile metal roofs are much cheaper than something like a tile or slate roof, they’re still fairly costly when compared to a more traditional standing seam metal roof or asphalt shingle roof. 
  • Can be difficult to find a roofer. Because stamped profile metal roofing is still relatively new, you might have trouble finding a roofer in your area who has the product and the crew to install a stamped profile metal roof for you. 



If you’re considering a metal roof for your new home, or as a replacement for your older roof, Werner Roofing would love to help! We’re one of West Michigan’s premier metal roofing installation experts, and we can install a variety of attractive metal roof types. For more information give us a call at 616-844-5382, or leave us a message online today. 

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