Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing – Compared in 6 Key Categories!

Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener - the two main options for metal roofing for homes generate endless discussion. If you are in the market for a metal roof for your home, you are likely weighing the difference between them.

Both of them have strengths and weaknesses. First, let's understand exactly what these two metal roofing options consist of. Then we'll put them head-to head and compare Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener metal roofing in the most common categories.

All you have to do is look at the categories that are most important to you and bingo, you'll know what metal roofing you should install for YOUR home!

Standing seam vs. Exposed Fastener - may the best man - er, roofing - win!

General Descriptions

  1. Standing Seam
Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener

Standing seam metal roofing panels are made of galvanized steel, with some specialty panels made of aluminum, zinc, and copper. It is a popular choice for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings due to its exceptional performance and attractive appearance.

Standing seam metal roofing is distinguished by its raised seams. These seams are vertical joints that connect each panel to the adjacent one, creating a distinctive "standing seam" appearance that, of course, has given it its name. The panels run from the roof's ridge to its eaves, providing the sleek, uninterrupted look.

Standing seam metal roofing is installed using concealed fasteners hidden beneath the overlapping panels. This both protects the fasteners from the elements and reduces the chances of roof leaks.

Standing Seam is best formed on-site to avoid shipping damage. Also most Standing Seam comes with the PVDF painting system or another similar system for maximum longevity.

     2. Exposed Fastener

Exposed Fastener metal panels are typically made of galvanized steel or aluminum, offering good durability and weather resistance. These panels come in various shapes, profiles, and colors, offering flexibility in design and aesthetic choices.

The primary characteristic setting exposed fastener metal roofing apart from Standing Seam is the visible rows of fasteners (screws) along the overlapping seams of the panels. These screws are usually placed through the flat portions of the panels and secured tightly to the roof deck.

Exposed fastener metal panels are usually available in either 27- or 28-gauge metal. Look for it in the PVDF painting system as well for maximum longevity. The AZM paint system and the Akso Nobel paint systems are also excellent.

Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener - Head-to-Head

1. Appearance:

  • Standing Seam: The raised seams of Standing Seam give the roof a clean, sleek, modern appearance. The continuous interlocking seams hide all of the roof fasteners, for an uninterrupted visual flow from top to bottom.
  • Exposed Fastener: With visible fasteners, exposed fastener metal roofing has a more traditional, industrial appearance. In the eyes of most people (think potential buyers for your property), exposed fastener roofing lacks the high-end appeal of Standing Seam.

Winner - Standing Seam (for most people)

2. Longevity/Durability:

  • Standing Seam: Standing Seam features great durability and weather resistance due to its interlocking design and concealed fasteners. No exposed screw heads means no potential leak points. Standing Seam that is properly installed and well-maintained should last for 50-70 years, making it the only roof you will probably ever have to buy!
  • Exposed Fastener: While exposed fastener panels are durable, every screw head on an exposed fastener roof is a potential point of water entry if proper maintenance is not performed. This does not mean that it cannot still be quite durable. Properly installed and maintained exposed fastener roofing should last for 20-40 years.

Winner: Standing Seam (not much question here)

3. Ease of Installation:

  • Standing Seam: It requires far more specialized roofing equipment and much more skilled installers for Standing Seam due to the precise interlocking process. This additional installation time and the increased skill levels mean that installation costs are almost inevitably higher with Standing Seam.
  • Exposed Fastener: The installation of exposed fastener metal roofing is relatively straightforward. The panels are usually wider, meaning that the roofing goes on faster. Exposed fastener roofing is easy enough that many DIYers buy the panels and put it on themselves.

Winner: Exposed Fastener

4. Maintenance

  • Standing Seam: Since there are no visible fasteners, maintenance is less demanding. Although regular inspections are still necessary, a loose or damaged fastener no longer presents an immediate hazard to the underlying structure.
  • Exposed Fastener: The exposed screws or nails require require regular checking, tightening, and/or replacing to forestall any leaking and slow damage to the integrity of the home.

Winner: Standing Seam

5. Suitability for Roof Pitch

  • Standing Seam: Standing Seam works very well on both low and steep roof pitches, making it a versatile option for homes with various architectural styles.
  • Exposed Fastener: More suitable for steep roof pitches, as lower pitches may increase the risk of leaks due to the exposed fasteners. (If water is unable to run quickly away, it will start penetrating those leak points.)

Winner: Standing Seam

6. Cost (in 2022 dollars)

  • Standing Seam: Due to the complexity of the installation and the higher-quality materials, Standing Seam roofing tends to be more expensive upfront - generally running from $7- $13 per sq. ft. of roof area if you're including a high-quality PVDF painting system.
  • Exposed Fastener: This type of roofing is generally more affordable since it is easier and quicker to install, and the materials may be less expensive. Expect the price tag of an exposed fastener metal roof to cost anywhere from $4-$9 per sq. ft. of roof area.

Winner: Exposed Fastener

Announcing the Results of the Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing Contest!

Standing Seam - Winner of 67% of the Categories!

Unless you hate its appearance, Standing Seam is the winner in 4 of the 6 categories:

  • Appearance
  • Longevity/Durability
  • Maintenance
  • Suitability for Roof Pitch

So we would have to declare Standing Seam the contest winner!

But, of course, if your priorities lie in the remaining two categories, you still might want to read on.

Exposed Fastener - Winner of Remaining 33% of the Categories

  • Ease-of-installation
  • Cost

If either of these are your top considerations at the expense of all others, then you still might want to choose Exposed Fastener even if it isn't the overall winner.

Wrapping It Up

There you have the contest, folks: Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener in 6 key categories.

You decide exactly what is important to YOU and choose accordingly!

In summary, Standing Seam metal roofing offers a sleek appearance, superior durability, easier maintenance, and is suitable for lower roof pitches, but it comes at a higher initial cost and will require professional installation.

Exposed Fastener metal roofing is more budget-friendly and easier to install, but it may have a shorter lifespan and may require more maintenance over time.

In the metal roofing battle of Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener, YOU get to decide the ultimate winner!

ShieldPro Metals - Your Source for Both Standing Seam and Exposed Fastener

ShieldPro Metals is your supplier of choice whether you choose Standing Seam metal roofing or Exposed Fastener metal roofing.

Here's what we offer:

Exposed Fastener

Burgundy-colored Exposed Fastener metal roofing.

ShieldPro Metals carries both 27- and 28-gauge Exposed Fastener metal panels. The 27-gauge panel is an Omni panel from Everlast Roofing available with the AZM paint system in 18 colors.

We work with a local roll former to produce the 28-gauge metal painted with the award-winning Akzo Nobel paint system, proven by tests to be superior to most other paint systems for its longevity and fade-resistance. With this 28-gauge, we are able to offer an incredible 36-hour lead time!

Try it out today!

Standing Seam

Standing Seam metal roofing

ShieldPro Metals carries Standing Seam for both residential and commercial applications. All of our Standing Seam is formed on site to minimize shipping damage. We offer a profile notch for the FF150 and the SS675 Standing Seam profiles. This means that each piece has an available tab to close off the end of the rib during installation.

ShieldPro offers both 24- and 26-gauge Standing Seam metal panels from Everlast Metals. These are painted with the PVDF system, although the 26-gauge is also available with the Akzo-Nobel paint system in colors that match the ShieldPro Metals color chart for metal roofing.

ShieldPro Metals also offers specialty products such Copper Standing Seam, Aluminum Standing Seam, and Standing Seam for turrets and other architectural designs.

ShieldPro is pleased to offer both of these types of metal roofing with so many available options. We are especially proud of the extended lifetime and durability offered by our metal available with the Akzo Nobel paint system.

Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener metal roofing - Order YOUR winner from ShieldPro Metals and give your home the new metal roof it deserves- TODAY!