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An Overview of Metal Roofing: An Interview with Dan Perkins of Dan Perkins Construction

By Dan Perkins

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Dan Perkins opened his construction business in 1986. Working and living in Marquette County, Dan discovered a niche in standing seam metal roofing addressing the challenges of winters in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Since that time Dan Perkins Construction has grown to a 24 person company with 4 crews doing metal roofing in an area that covers most of the Upper Peninsula and an North Eastern Wisconsin.

Please explain the new concept of metal roofing.

Standing Seam Metal roofing has been around for centuries. Most of Dan's roofs are site fabricated with roll forming equipment with all of the trims being fabricated at his shop in Ishpeming, MI. The standing seam panel is basically a channel of steel with its seams elevated so that they are not flooded by the water shedding from the roof system. A Galvalume substrate (aluminum and zinc alloy) protects the steel from rust and a highly specialized paint system known as Kynar (Fluoropolymer resin) is applied to the steel before it is shipped and formed. All the members of each crew go through a 3 year training process that teaches them the metal fabrication skills needed to do every aspect of metal roof detailing from underlayment installation through end wall and side wall flashings, panel seaming, valley, vent stack, and skylight flashing, how to properly build a vented ridge assembly, or how to cut a masonry chimney with a diamond blade and build a flashing/ counter flashing detail that ties in cleanly with the metal roof. Dan's crew even builds the conical metal flashing boots for pipes and stacks from the same 24 gauge steel used for the roofing panels.

What are the main advantages of metal roofing?

A properly specified and installed metal roof will last a very long time. In Marquette County, MI, where Dan Perkins Construction is based, there are many metal roofs still in use that are over 100 years old. The technology and products being offered by Dan are basically the same as the ones installed back at the turn of the last century. In contrast Asphalt roofing products are lasting less time than they used to and in this climate they typically need replacement in 10-20 years. Because of the performance of steel roofing appraisers and insurance adjusters typically ascribe value to homes capped in steel and Realtors advertise standing seam roofing in their realty listings of homes with this feature.

Is Metal roofing common in your area?

We have done many metal roofs in our area over the past decades and we are very busy; we have already booked well into next year. There are also quite a few metal roofs still present from a long time ago. Interest in metal roofing is on the rise again as people become more familiar with what metal has to offer them as a premium roofing application.

What maintenance does metal roofing require?

Not a lot. We have found that if you address all of the current issues with any roof before re-roofing, you eliminate a lot of the repairs/maintenance. For example, if your roof is making ice you need to address the inadequate insulation and ventilation before applying new roofing material whether it be metal or asphalt, or those issues will continue. Metal roofs can be self-shedding eliminating the need to climb up there with your shovel, but it can also be made to hold its snow where safety is a concern. The paint can be redone in 35-40 years to keep it fresh looking but the roof will not start leaking if the paint is not done. A correctly installed metal roof will last a home owner a lifetime.

For someone who is interested in metal roofing, where do you suggest they begin?

Search Metal Roofing contractors in your area and find one with a good reputation. Talk to Builders and Lumber yards to find out who has the best reputation for metal roofing in the area. Workmanship is the key to a long lasting job.

How eco-friendly is metal roofing?

All metal roofing has recycled content in it and is fully recyclable at the end of its useful life. Steel manufacturing, however, requires a tremendous amount of energy and most of that energy is provided by fossil fuels at this time. The greenest quality of a well built steel roof is its longevity- no one will remove and dispose of it for what would be many lifecycles of a lesser product such as asphalt roofing. Imagine the environmental impact of throwing away 4 or 5 asphalt roofs in comparison to the one metal roof that was chosen as a better alternative.

What is the best way for people to reach you and your company?

We have a great website with lots of information and links to published articles about how we do our roofing and the insulation/ventilation system we developed. Check it out at www.danperkinsroof.com. Or you can give our office a call and our knowledgeable staff will point you in the right direction.
(906) 485-2045

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7/16/2015

Deanna Jones

You made some really interesting comments about the advantages of metal roofing. The oldest roof that I've ever had before I had to replace it was fifty years old. I've never heard of a roof lasting

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