Four Uses For Architectural Sheet Metal In The Roofing Trade

You may think that architectural sheet metal is just a fancy way of saying "metal roofing," but the fact is, architectural sheet metal does much more than that. Most people are surprised to learn that these sheet metals have several applications. The following four sections highlight some of the more common uses.

Metal over Other Materials--Plating

When consumers want to remodel something that is already metal, such as a copper cupola, they do not want the cost of a fully formed, solid copper cupola. Instead, they opt for the less expensive, less dense and easier to install metal-over-other-material approach. This would involve using copper sheet metal over a formed structure to create a replica of the present cupola. The copper sheet metal may be added over a wood frame, over metal structures and supports, or even over concrete or cement. This "plating" method is quite popular for restoration.

Sheet Metal for Gutters and Downspouts

Because of its pliability, aluminum sheet metal is used to craft gutters and downspouts. This type of architectural sheet metal is often heated, then pushed through a machine that bends, forms, and conforms the sheet metal to the correct shape for gutters and downspouts. (If no gutters or downspouts are available, most DIY homeowners can take an aluminum sheet, cut it into strips, use a blowtorch to heat it up to a softer state and then bend it over a sawhorse to create their own gutters/downspouts.)

Underlay for Other Roofing Materials

Traditionally, roofers use rubber as a roofing underlay material. The trouble with rubber is that it will eventually rot, crack, etc., and then it has to be replaced or you risk damaging your attic and home. For a much less worrisome roofing underlay, some roofers are now offering sheet metal. The sheet metal can withstand extreme temperatures and humidity levels, and it never rots, cracks or splits. Whatever material you and your roofer choose to go over the top is up to you. (It is similar to "plating" above, but in reverse because  the metal is hidden under the rest of the roof and is not featured as a decorative metal over the top of the roof.)

Metal Roofs

Last, but not least, sheet metal is hammered into all kinds of strips, patterns, blocks, etc. to resemble less resilient roofing materials and used in place of those less resilient materials. This is no "hot tin roof" you have. Instead, it is a modern roof that dulls the sound of noise and brings a multitude of benefits to your home.