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Essential Terms to Know About Metal Roofing In Kentucky

Dec 20, 2020

Is your roof in need of serious repairs or complete replacement? If you have noticed leaks, shingle damage, or other issues with your roof, it’s likely time to consider replacing it. If you already have an asphalt shingle roof, it’s a good idea to consider the benefits of upgrading to a new metal roof. A professional metal roof installation team in Louisville can ensure you have a new roof that completely outshines even the best asphalt shingle roofs in terms of longevity and performance. It’s possible to customize your new metal roof in virtually any way you can imagine.

There are many benefits to choosing a metal roof if you need to replace your current roof. However, metal roofing involves many different terms than conventional roofing, many of which may be unfamiliar to you. Before you begin your search for the right roofer to handle the installation of your new metal roof, it’s a good idea to know some important terminology about metal roofing and how these terms will come into play with your metal roof installation.

Architectural Roofing

Some  Kentucky homes are built with roof structures that bear weight and contribute to the overall architecture’s stability. Other homes have roofs that cannot bear weight, and the roofing systems for these homes must be fastened to a roof bed. Architectural roofing is the latter, also often called “non-structural” roofing.


Metal roofing requires joining metal panels together in an interlocking fashion. Metal roofing panels will slide into place relatively easily, but clips are required to keep the panels together once set in place. A metal roof will have various clips running the lengths of every panel seam on the roof.


The metal roof installed over your home will consist of metal shingles or panels, each of which will have a specially applied coating to protect it from the elements and prevent rust and corrosion. Some of the most commonly used metal roofing coatings are stone coating, which mimics the appearance of asphalt shingles. Other common coatings include siliconized polyester, super polyester, plastisol, and coil coating.

Cool Roofing

This term pertains to built-in ventilation in a roof that prevents warm and cool spots from forming on the roof. Cool roofing may also refer to a metal roof designed for high sunlight reflectivity.


The roof’s decking consists of the support boards attached to the beams of the roof below. Decking is usually heavy-duty plywood, often covered with some kind of waterproofing for additional moisture resistance.

Hot Roofing

This type of roofing involves a completely sealed roof with no ventilation to the outside. This generally requires a conditioned space or complete insulation using closed cell urethane-based insulation material.

Ice Shield

An ice shield is an additional layer of moisture protection affixed to the roof decking below the metal roof material. Ice shields are particularly helpful in colder areas that receive lots of rain and snow.

Ice Dams

An ice dam is a ridge of repeatedly thawed and refrozen ice that forms along the lower edges of a roof plane, typically along the eaves. Ice dams are much more likely to form on asphalt shingle roofs than metal roofs.


This term refers to the angle or slope of the roof. Depending on how high your roof’s pitch is, one style of metal roof could be preferable over another. Consult with a professional roofer to determine the best metal roofing arrangement for your style of home.

Snow Guards

Snow guards are also ideal for homes with metal roofs in cold climates. Snow guards are devices that essentially function like rows of spikes along the lowest edges of your roof. These spikes break apart ice and snow as it melts and slides down the roof’s surfaces, preventing large chunks from falling and causing injuries or property damage.

Starter Strip

Metal roof installation requires very careful and precise alignment of all the metal roofing panels used to cover the roof. Installation starts by attaching a starter strip to the roof decking, and this metal strip runs horizontally along the roof’s surface. The starter strip acts as a guide, helping the installation team fit the metal roofing panels into their proper positions.

Structural Roofing

This term refers to roof structures that have weight-bearing capability, so the roofing system does not require decking. Structural roofing is not an ideal choice for a residential property because of the amount of condensation it can cause within the interior of the roof.



A roof’s underlayment is the waterproofing material attached to the roof decking below the metal roof panels. Underlayment is a building code requirement in virtually every part of the country. It’s vital to consider your options and choose the highest quality underlayment to support your new metal roof for as long as possible.

Consult an Experienced Roofer About Your Roofing Questions

These terms can help you start planning in Louisville for your new metal roof with greater confidence. If there is anything that remains unclear about your options for a new metal roof, take the time to consult with an experienced roofer with a solid record of professional metal roof installations. It’s usually best to begin the process of replacing your roof or upgrading to a new metal roof by scheduling a professional inspection of your roof. While you may be able to catch obvious problems like major leaks and physical damage, a professional roofer will know how to spot problems you wouldn’t recognize.

Many American homeowners are making the switch to new metal roofs because of the tremendous long-term value they offer. However, there are still many misconceptions that persist about metal roofs, some of which pertain to their performance capabilities, while others are misunderstandings about how metal roofing systems function.

Learning metal roofing terminology before you start exploring options for your own home is a great starting point if you are ready to upgrade to a new metal roof. Once you are familiar with these terms and know your expectations for your new metal roof, you can start consulting potential roofers to complete your metal roof installation.

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