The Standing Seam Steel Hidden Fastener Difference

Exposed fastener systems are often referred to as “pole barn” steel or “tin” roof systems. These panels are thin steel rolled in approximately 36” wide panels. The system involves drilling/screwing hundreds holes through the roof panel metal and sub-roof membrane in order to fasten the metal onto the roof. The screws with this system are exposed to all the elements. What keeps this roof of hundreds or thousands of holes from leaking to begin with? The entire waterproofing is dependent on a rubber/plastic gasket at the top of the screw.

Besides the obvious problem of having hundreds/thousands of holes drilled into a roof, the exposed fastener system does not allow for the normal expansion and contraction of the metal panel. Studies have shown that a 10’ panel can expand or contract as much as ¼” between day and night temperature change. A roof in North Dakota is exposed to some of the biggest temperature swings in the United States. This problem of not allowing for expansion and contraction of the panels causes the screws to loosen no matter how tightly they are attached. In fact, almost all instructions for installation of the exposed fastener system warns that the screw gasket can be ruined by tightening the screws to the point of ruining the gasket.

Our hidden fastener system uses clips to anchor down the panels without running fasteners through the steel roofing panel. By using the clip system, every panel is allowed to expand and contract to the temperature changes occurring every day.

Pole barn exposed fastener steel was always intended to be used on “pole barns” or light industrial buildings. Most building departments don’t require a permit to build a “Pole Barn” because these structures are considered to be temporary buildings.

Compare 24-gauge steel versus 28, 29 and 30-gauge steel.

All of the exposed fastener roofing panels require hundreds or even thousands of screw holes to be drilled through the metal and into the sub-roof membrane. In order to drill all these holes through the metal, the metal needs to be thin by steel standards.

The heaviest/thickest panel available is 28-gauge. Some manufacturers even use panels that are as thin as 30-gauge. The thinness of these “Pole Barn” panels can make the roof easily damaged by hail denting, heavy snows or by being blown off by a wind as low as 50 miles per hour.

Our entire roof system, including the trim, is 24-gauge steel. Compare the thickness difference between 24-gauge and 28, 29, and 30 gauge in this chart.

Metal Thickness Gauge

The extra thickness of our panel can maintain its water tightness with any size of hail Mother Nature has to deliver. As well, our 24-gauge system cannot be dented with hail under the size of a baseball.

Our state-of-the-art roofing design can easily withstand winds in excess of 100 miles per hour because all of the panels are hemmed at the bottom and locked in with our custom-made 24-gauge drip edge. Compare this feature to a typical “Pole Barn” roof, or the box store standing seam panels that have a straight edge. Unfortunately, the straight edge panel cannot withstand the North Dakota winds. Unlike the General Roofing standing seam roof system which is hemmed into the drip edge, all the other systems are being held by exposed screws at the bottom of the panel.

We manufacture all the roof panels that we install. Just as important, we manufacture all the trim components, such as drip edge, rake, z-bar, hip and ridge covers. All of these components are made with the same 24-gauge steel panels and are custom-made for the pitch of your roof.

Each and every roof is manufactured and installed by us with no sub-contractors.