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What You Need to Know About Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Jun 04, 2019

When your home needs a new roof, it can be daunting. The roofing and labor are expensive, the options are vast and difficult to choose from, and there can be a large number of factors that change your mind from this roof to that one. So, how do you choose?

Roofing doesn’t have to be difficult. Standing seam metal roofs can make your roofing project easier and more cost efficient.

What Is a Standing Seam Metal Roof?

Metal roofing has an array of types, styles, colors, and even uses. A standing seam metal roof is one of these options. These roofs work as an option to metal roofs that protect the home and look flush to the naked eye. It’s difficult to tell this type of roof is multiple pieces if you haven’t installed it yourself. There are many options for standing seam metal roofs, but each has one common factor: how they’re put together.

Standing seam metal roofs are a special design that run vertically from the peak to the eaves of the roof. The individual pieces are joined together with a locking mechanism (varied by type of roofing) at the seam of the panels. These locking mechanisms look and combine differently, but they all provide the same feature: a roof that looks flush and protects your home.

Types of Standing Seam Roofs

There are five main types of standing seam roofs. These types are based on the way the panels connect to each other and are labeled as follows:

• Snap-lock
• Mechanical seam
• Batten panel
• Nail/fastener flange
• ClickLock


The snap-lock panels are designed to be one of the easier options for metal roofing. Each panel snaps together with the next without use of hand tools or machines. These setups are designed with specific edges, labeled male and female legs, that are attached to the roof using clips fasten underneath the panel and attach the roofing panels to the seams.

It’s recommended that snap locks are only installed on roofs with a roof slope of 3 ½ or above. They may be installed on other roof slopes with approval from the manufacturer. As long as they’ve been properly installed, snap-lock systems can work with any environment. Many are turning to the snap-lock system because they are more cost effective and require less labor to install. The performance and protection is top-quality without the price of the higher quality products.

Mechanical Seam

Also called the mechanical lock, this version of metal roofing is created to have two pieces that line up and are connected by a seamer (can be hand or mechanical operation). This seamer bends the ends of the two panels and locks them together. Two options are available for this roofing system: a single-lock with 90 degree seams and a double-lock with 180 degree seams.

The single-lock option uses one fold in the seams that locks together to hold the panels in place. A single-lock system requires less labor,and provides easier access to replace a damaged panel, but it won’t hold up as well to the environment. Single-lock mechanical seam systems require a milder environment to work appropriately.

Double-lock systems provide two folds for the seams to lock together and work best for low-slope areas requiring additional weather-tightness. These systems work off a two inch profile or a one and a half inch profile. A two inch profile can be installed with a .5/12 pitch and a one and a half inch can be installed with a 1 1/12 pitch. Both options use in-seam sealant for security. With their double locks, it provides higher performance and less of a chance to come unseamed. They are more labor-intensive, but provide safer results in areas that have a lot of freeze-and-thaw weather.

Batten Panel

Batten panel roofing combines two legs against each other with a metal cap over them to create a seam. A choice of snaps or mechanical seams hold them into place. The seam over the legs can vary by style, but the two most common options are tee seams and snap caps. Each is useful and provides a great seam for the roofing.

Tee seams are mechanically placed and perform well in harsh environments. They are usually weather-tight and typically have pre-installed sealant. Tee seams can be easily repaired and work well with both steep and low slope roofs.

Snap cap options snap over the panels with no mechanical help. They are mostly used with curved panels and perform best when installed properly. When not installed properly, it has been found the batten piece can slide off or down the seam. Some systems will use existing snap-lock or mechanical lock systems to have a more architectural look, mostly for aesthetics.

Nail/Fastener Flange

This option is similar to the snap-lock system, except that it attaches directly to the roof by the male leg of the panel. Once this procedure is completed, the female leg snaps over the entirety to hide the fastener head. Nail/fastener systems count on the fastener head alone to hold the metal in place, which could be problematic in the future.
Many choose this option for residential roofing as it’s the cheapest option for standing seam roofing. The popularity of this system comes from the lack of required accessories for installation. These systems don’t have the best track record for performance and often follow any imperfections of your roof. Another concern with this version is the lack of options for roof clamps and solar panels. The setup of this system makes that option difficult, if not impossible.

Nail/fastener flange systems can’t go on low-slope roofs and are limited in expansion and contraction due to pinning. Some users have pointed out the difficulty in snapping the pieces together and the distortion and length problems. They can be distorted over time if formed in an incorrect way and they are limited to 25 feet in length for the pieces.


This option is slightly different than the others. ClickLock works for a clean and sleek look to your roof. There are fastening clips to keep the pieces together without having exposed fasteners that could ripple or buckle the material. This system offers fade-resistant color options and concealed fasteners for a cleaner look. It also provides tall seams for distinction and is maintenance free.

ClickLock roofing is guaranteed not to rust, crack, or rot. It also won’t allow streaks or stains, meaning it never needs cleaning. In case of fire, this system is designed not to burn and will protect your home from flying embers from your chimney or in the event of a wildfire. It has a snap lock connection between panels for a positive impression for onlookers.

It uses heat reflection from the sun to keep ice and snow from building on the roof and will not absorb water. This ensures there will be no concerns of waterlog. ClickLock will repel insect infestation and does not rot. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty in case replacement becomes necessary.

A reflective pigment in the paint helps keep attics cooler and reduce energy costs. It’s also made from 95% recycled aluminum, which is good for the environment, and be installed over existing roofs. This option also keeps the panels narrowed for a cleaner look. Panels are generally 12 inches in width to keep them a proper width for roofs without causing issues connecting them.

The limited lifetime warranty offered for ClickLock products is important for many home owners. It shows the manufacturer’s invested in the product and feels confident it won’t need to be repaired or replaced on a regular basis. This warranty will cover any manufacturer’s defects that might arise, as well as other problems. The list of issues covered includes cracking, flaking, splitting and more. It also protects against chips and leaks caused by hail storms and damage.


So many choices for metal roofs provide a lot of insight into the ways you can protect your home with a metal roof. Standing seam roofing provides an array of options and features for each metal roof available within this category. It’s important to keep in mind the pros and cons of each option and make a decision based on which one is right for you. Always remember to research every option before choosing one to ensure you’ve found the right choice for your home and needs.

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