A man on a ladder working on a metal roof.
A man on a ladder working on a metal roof.

Standing Seam and Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing

The allure of metal roofing has grown significantly in recent years, thanks to its promise of longevity, resilience, and minimal upkeep.  With technological advancements, metal roofing is now available in a variety of styles and finishes to suit any architectural style or aesthetic preference.

However, with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming for homeowners to choose the option that works best for their home.

History of Metal Roofing

Wikipedia notes that metal roofing has been around for centuries, with the earliest known use in ancient Rome. It gained popularity in North America during the 18th century and was commonly used on commercial and industrial buildings due to its durability and fire resistance.

It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that metal roofing became more popular for residential use. The rise in residential use of metal roofing can largely be attributed to its myriad of benefits and the evolving tastes of homeowners.

As the focus on sustainable living and energy efficiency intensified, metal roofing emerged as a popular choice due to its environmentally friendly attributes. It is recyclable at the end of its lifecycle, reflecting heat to reduce cooling costs in the warmer months, and durable enough to withstand the rigors of harsh weather.

Moreover, advancements in production technology have led to an expanded range of styles and finishes, making metal roofing an attractive option for modern homes. From standing seam styles that offer a sleek, contemporary look, to metal shingles that mimic the traditional look of wood or slate, there is a metal roofing option to suit practically every aesthetic. The ease of installation and minimal maintenance have also added to its growing popularity among homeowners.

standing seam vs exposed fastener

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing seam metal roofing is a popular choice for both residential and commercial properties. It features raised seams that interlock together, providing a clean and seamless appearance. The panels are typically made from either aluminum or steel, with the option of various finishes such as galvanized steel, zinc, copper, or painted metals.

One of the main advantages of standing seam roofing is its durability. The interlocking design makes it resistant to leaks and strong winds, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to severe weather. It also has a long lifespan, often lasting over 50 years with proper maintenance.

Standing seam roofing is also environmentally friendly, as it is made from recycled materials and can be recycled again at the end of its life. Its reflective properties

also help to reduce energy costs by keeping homes cooler in the summer.

Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing

Exposed fastener metal roofing, also known as corrugated or ribbed panels, is another popular option for residential properties. Unlike standing seam roofing, exposed fastener metal roofing features visible screws that attach the panels to the roof deck. These roofs are typically made from galvanized steel or aluminum and are available in a variety of colors and finishes.

One of the main benefits of exposed fastener metal roofing is its comparatively low cost. It is generally less expensive than standing seam roofing and can be installed quickly, making it an attractive option for those on a budget or tight timeline.

However, exposed fastener metal roofing does have some downsides. Its visible screws can be prone to rust and corrosion, requiring more frequent maintenance and potential replacement. This type of roofing is also not as durable as standing seam roofing and may need to be replaced sooner.

A close-up of rain falling on a gutter of Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing, capturing the raindrops.

Which Option Is Best for You?

When it comes to choosing between standing seam and exposed fastener metal roofing, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Both options have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, and the best choice will depend on factors such as budget, location, and personal preference.

To make the right choice for your home, consider these crucial factors:

Climate and Weather

The climate and weather conditions where you live play a significant role in the type of metal roofing to choose. If you reside in a region with heavy snowfall, a standing seam roof with its smooth surface can be an ideal choice as it allows snow to slide off easily, reducing the risk of snow accumulation and ice dams.

For areas subject to high winds or hurricanes, standing seam roofs offer superior wind resistance due to their interlocking design. Conversely, if you live in a relatively calm climate with minimal severe weather events, an exposed fastener roof might be a cost-effective choice. Remember to consider local climate conditions and potential weather extremes when making your roofing decision.

Budgetary Considerations

Metal roofing is generally more expensive upfront than traditional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles. However, the initial cost of metal roofing can be offset by its long lifespan and low maintenance needs. Standing seam metal roofing typically costs more due to its intricate installation process, while exposed fastener metal roofing is more budget-friendly.

It’s important to consider the lifetime cost and not just the upfront investment.  A metal roof, particularly a standing seam roof, can last upwards of 50 years with proper maintenance and may even increase the value of your home. If you plan on staying in your home for a long time, investing in a higher-quality metal roofing option may be worth it.


The appearance of your home is a significant factor to consider when choosing between standing seam and exposed fastener metal roofing. Hidden fastener metal roofing offers a sleek, modern look that can complement contemporary homes, while exposed fastener roofing has a more traditional appearance that may suit older or rustic-style homes.

Additionally, both options offer a range of colors and finishes to choose from, so you can customize the look of your roof to suit your personal style and the overall aesthetic of your home.

The Pitch of Your Roof

The slope, or pitch, of your roof is another consideration when deciding between standing seam and exposed fastener metal roofing. Standing seam roofing is more suitable for steeper roofs with a minimum pitch of 3:12, while exposed fastener roofing can be installed on lower-pitched roofs.

It’s crucial to consult with a professional roofing contractor to determine the best option for your specific roof pitch and ensure proper installation.

Maintenance and Longevity

Finally, it’s essential to consider the maintenance needs and longevity of both types of metal roofing. metal roofing with hidden fasteners typically requires little to no maintenance over their lifespan, while exposed fastener roofs may need occasional screw tightening or replacement.

A man is diligently working on a roof in Lakeland, displaying focus and determination as he strives to complete the task at hand.

Other Considerations

There are several other things to take into account when considering a metal roof, whether it’s a standing seam roof or an exposed fastener roof.

  • Local Building Codes and Regulations – Ensure that your choice complies with the laws of your land, avoiding potential challenges and delays.
  • Warranty Options – Be sure to review the warranties offered by roofing systems to safeguard your investment against unforeseen threats.
  • Environmental Stewardship – Consider the use of recycled materials and energy efficiency in your roofing selection.
  • Roof Deck Compatibility – Different metal roofing types may have specific requirements for the underlying roof deck, so ensuring compatibility is crucial.
  • Metal Panel Options: Explore the variety of metal types available for each style, considering factors like cost, durability, and aesthetics. Popular choices include aluminum, steel, and copper, each with unique characteristics.
  • Underlayment Considerations: Understand the role of underlayment in enhancing a metal roof’s performance. Different types offer varying levels of moisture protection and insulation, impacting overall efficiency and comfort. 
  • Ventilation and Condensation Control: Proper ventilation is crucial for metal roofs to prevent condensation build-up and potential damage. Explore available ventilation systems and understand their importance in maintaining a healthy roof environment. 

In the end, the choice of standing seam versus exposed fastener metal roofing relies heavily on your specific circumstances, aesthetic preferences, and budget. Remember, a roof is more than just a functional element; it’s an investment into your home’s longevity, an enhancement of its curb appeal, and a reflection of your personal style.

The Best Roofing Company in Lakeland, Sarasota & Georgia

If you are considering a metal roof for your home, contact the professional roofing team at Stronghold Roofing & Solar. From Georgia to Sarasota and Lakeland, our roofers have the expertise and experience to help you make the best choice for your property – and to ensure that the job is done right.

FAQ’s – Standing Seam vs. Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing

Are standing seam metal roofs better than exposed fastener roofs?

It depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Standing seam roofs offer superior wind resistance and a sleek, modern appearance but may be more expensive upfront. Exposed fastener roofs are more budget-friendly but may require more maintenance over time. It’s best to consult with a professional roofing contractor to determine the best option for your home.

Can either type of metal roofing be installed on all types of roofs?

It’s important to consult with a professional roofing contractor to evaluate your roof and determine the best type of metal roofing for your specific needs. Some factors that may impact installation include the slope or pitch of your roof and the condition and compatibility of the underlying roof deck.

How do I maintain my metal roof?

Metal roofs, both standing seam and exposed fastener, require little to no maintenance over their lifespan. However, it’s important to inspect your roof regularly for any damage or loose screws and address any issues promptly. Additionally, keeping your gutters clear of debris can help prevent water from pooling on your roof and causing potential issues.  Overall, proper installation by a professional contractor is key to ensuring the longevity and durability of your metal roof. 

Is it more expensive to install standing seam or exposed fastener metal roofing?

As with most home improvement projects, the cost of installing a metal roof depends on several factors, including the size and pitch of your roof, the type and quality of materials used, and the labor costs involved. Generally, standing seam metal roofing tends to be more expensive due to its higher quality materials and more complicated installation process. However, over time, standing seam roofs may require less maintenance and potentially save you money in the long run.  Ultimately, it’s important to weigh the upfront costs with the potential long-term benefits of each type of metal roofing before making a decision.

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