Standing Seam Metal Roof Basics – Raised Seams 101

Standing seam metal roofing system is a succession of vertical sheet metal panels connected side-by-side by a vertical locking mechanism called the seam. The seams can be seen from the ridge of a roof, all the way down to the eaves.

Standing Seam modern design house

Credits: Anthony Wilder

The locked seam is raised by an inch or two above the panels in order to maintain water-tightness of the system. The raised seam also provides for a unique and distinctive appearance.


As with most metal roofs featuring concealed fasteners, standing seam roofs are virtually maintenance-free, fire-retardant and resistant to strong winds, and are just as quiet as asphalt shingles, clay tiles, or wooden shingles/shakes when it rains provided you have solid sheathing underneath the panels and well insulated attic space.

Install Roof Shingles

Average price
Install Metal Roof

Average price
Install Flat Roof

Average price

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

CoolRoof rated Colors

Standing seam metal roofs are available in a wide variety of Cool Roof rated colors giving you plenty of room to make that bold architectural statement, while also helping reduce your home’s cooling costs.

Standing Seam vs. Composition Shingles

Standing seam roofs are very energy efficient, environmentally safe and long lasting. They are a popular choice in “green” construction projects since many standing seam roofs can easily last longer than 50 years, with virtually no maintenance compared to asphalt shingles that have an average lifespan of 12 to 17 years.

Thus, standing seam beats traditional asphalt roofing competition by a factor of three in terms of their expected service life.

Aged Copper Standing Seam Metal Roof
Aged Copper Standing Seam Metal Roof exhibits a distinct Patina look of aged copper
Estimated Roof Costs (1620 s.f.)
Asphalt Shingles
Metal Roofing
Flat Roof
See Roof Costs in Your Area

Is Standing Seam Suitable for my Home?

While in the past, standing seam roofs had mostly been installed over commercial and agricultural buildings, barns and factories, nowadays, many prominent architects specify standing seam as a roofing system of choice in green building-inspired residential and commercial construction projects.

Does a Standing Seam Metal Roof Require any Maintenance in Harsh Climates?

Standing seam roofs are virtually maintenance free, and can easily shed water, ice and snow better than any other roofing material. They are designed to provide a reliable protection from natural elements and perform exceptionally well even in harsh climates, and in marine environments.

Can Standing Seam Metal Panels be Installed over the Existing Roof?

When installing standing seam metal roof over an old asphalt shingles roof, it is highly recommended to first install a high-grade breathable roofing underlayment, while taking special care in the installation to avoid a so-called “telegraphing” of asphalt shingles underneath the standing seam paneling.

standing seam metal roof

Types of Metal

Aluminum is the material of choice, because it can often last longer than steel, but the price is normally slightly higher. Aluminum will not corrode due to oxidation, and it can be used as a roofing material in near coastal applications.

Galvalume Steel and G-90 galvanized steel can be used in standing seam panels.

Copper is a wonderful, but rather expensive choice for a standing seam roof. It is naturally beautiful and very long lasting. Different finishes can be applied to a copper roof to allow it to weather naturally, or increase the patination process.

Special Coatings

Special solar reflective, snow shedding coatings are commonly applied to standing seam roofs during metal coil the painting process.

Did you know? Titanium dioxide is one such coating technology that reduces the amount of dust that collects on the roof, which in turn increases the roofs cooling ability.

Finding a Roofer with the right Skills to Install Standing Seam

Finding specialty contractors trained in the installation of Standing Seam panels can sometimes be a challenge in some areas. You will have to do your due diligence when searching for an experienced crew capable of delivering an excellent installation, service, and warranty.

Installation by properly trained professionals is highly advised as the cost of materials can be quite high, and any mistake can drive up the costs. In addition, improper installation can negatively affect waterproofing properties and compromise the long-term integrity of your system.

Need a Roofer? Get 4 Free Quotes From Local Pros:

Start Here Enter Your Zip Code:

Leave a Reply