What is Roofing for Agricultural Buildings?

Metal roof installation

What is Agricultural Building Roofing?

If you’ve ever been out for a drive on back dirt roads, you’ve undoubtedly seen old barns scattered about. Typically, they are slanted, maybe partially gone, made from old, old wood with tin roofing. Some have chicken wire patching, but that tin roofing, for agricultural buildings was common back in the day. 

Today, though, things are different, and for the best. Roofing for agricultural buildings is made of better grades of metal, as is the rest of the building. While wooden barns are still built, for a working dairy or livestock farm, a better-built structure is needed, including the roofing. 

Metal panels are used today when roofing agricultural buildings. This type of roofing gives the owner the ability to make their agricultural building functionality suit their needs, keeping it aesthetically pleasing along with other benefits. 

What are the benefits of metal roofing for agricultural buildings? 

Here are six benefits by choosing metal panels for roofing agricultural buildings include: 

  • Durability

Metal panel roofing for agricultural buildings is designed with durability as the main focus. Here in Texas, the weather comes with hailstorms, hard rains, high winds, and heavy snowfall. The climactic conditions here can switch from a cold winter to a wet spring and right into a hot summer. 

Metal roofing for agricultural buildings has a Class A Fire Rating, which is the highest possible rating, and they are non-combustible. They are hail-resistant and insect and pest-resistant, excellent for keeping feed and livestock safe. 

  • Long Lifespan

When operating and owning an agriculture or livestock business, a long lifespan of every aspect is important, including roofing for agricultural buildings. The need to replace the roofing every twenty years is not where the thousands of dollars need to be spent, but the need to protect thousands of dollars of livestock and supplies is a must. Metal roofing for agricultural buildings will last up to 75 years or longer when installed correctly and with proper maintenance, which includes regular inspections for damage. 

  • Financial Savings

The initial cost of metal roofing for agricultural buildings is higher than other options, but because they require little to no maintenance and won’t need to be replaced every 20 years. These two factors offset that initial cost, a long-term savings factor.

  • Environmentally Friendly

Metal panel roofing for agricultural buildings is often made from recycled materials and they can be recycled when they have reached their end-of-life, often on the same property for other purposes. This makes them 100% recyclable at the end of their lifespan. 

  • Easy Installation

Not only are metal panel roofing for agricultural buildings offer fast installation, but they are also efficiently cut to the closest quarter of an inch prior to installation so it will align perfectly with the agricultural building.

  • Flexibility

When metal panels roofing for agricultural buildings are installed, the owner has choices in colors, finishes, and profile. In Texas, where the summers are brutal, choosing a lighter color that reflects the heat is a popular choice, making the building more energy efficient and the housed livestock cooler.

What considerations should be taken when choosing a roofing material for an agricultural building? 

In addition to the longevity of metal roofing, there are the following six considerations that you want to use when choosing the right roofing for agricultural buildings: 

  1. Initial Cost
  2. The Roof Slope
  3. Weather Resistance 
  4. Maintenance and Upkeep
  5. Energy Efficiency
  6. Weight 

What other types of roofing materials are used in roofing for agricultural buildings? 

With the vast types of roofing materials for agricultural buildings, it can be daunting to choose the “right one”. In addition to the bottom line (cost), there are also concerns with the engineering and benefits offered, as well as the aesthetic aspects, fire, hail, and insect resistance, and the insulating value. Other choices to consider include: 

  • Wooden Roofing Shingles:  This is the oldest roofing material but remains popular for housing and agricultural settings. Installation is easy, the initial cost is low, and they can last up to 30 years if maintained. Where fire was a concern for many years, today they are treated with a fire-resistance product. Even once they have aged, they still shed water for a few more years. 
  • Asphalt Roofing Shingles: If fire and the history of wooden shingles are a concern, asphalt shingle roofing for agricultural buildings is a popular choice. However, in areas with historic high winds, asphalt shingles may not be the best choice. Available in many different colors and shapes, they are lightweight, eliminating concern if the structure is stout enough. The average lifespan is between 12 and 18 years in most cases. 
  • Asbestos-Cement Roofing Shingles: This asbestos and cement roofing has not been used for agricultural buildings for very long but is becoming more popular. Installation is easy, and they are durable and fireproof, but they do have a higher cost initially compared to asphalt shingles or wooden shingles, but come in a variety of colors with rough or smooth surfaces and designs. 
  • Slate Roofing Shingles: The cost can be low if the slate is quarried locally. The thickness varies and requires an experienced roofing contractor to install, using copper nails. Engineering inspection is required to assure the stability of the structure can hold the weight of a roof with a J4 pitch or more. 

What is the most common metal used to roof agricultural buildings?

The two most common types of metal used for roofing agricultural buildings are Galvanized and Galvalume. The galvanized substrate is coated with zinc alloy ad the Galvalume substrate is coated with zinc plus aluminum.

Is there concern about lightning striking metal roofing? 

Lightening striking metal roofing for agricultural buildings isn’t any more of a concern than it is for a residential structure. But understandable, just as for a homeowner, likewise for an agricultural building that houses animals, equipment, and supplies, the concern of lighting and fires can be devastating for the owner. 

Yes, metal is a conductor of electricity, but when metal roofing is struck by lightning, the lighting is quickly conducted toward the ground or other nearby conductors. The danger of lightning striking a house is from the heat it generates causing a fire. Because metal roofing is fire resistant, that eliminates that concern. 

Is cell phone service disrupted by metal roofing? 

Whether we’re in our homes, office, car, or agricultural buildings, our cell phones are with us these days. While many people have the opinion that we’re too connected to our devices when the agricultural building is on the other side of the farm or ranch, they can be convenient and even lifesaving. So, is there a concern that your cell phone won’t work under metal roofing for agricultural buildings? 

Before we answer that question, let’s take a moment to consider that we use our cell phones in malls, office buildings, and stores without an issue. The same is to be said with metal roofing for agricultural buildings. There isn’t any evidence that cell phone signal isn’t going to be disrupted any more than with other roofing materials. 

If there is cell phone disruption under metal roofing for agricultural buildings, there are several possible problems causing this, like landscape. An agricultural building that is located in a deep valley could have problems with cell phone reception. 

What are the different installation methods of metal roofing? 

There are three different methods of how metal roofing can be installed. The roofing contractor will make suggestions based on the size of the structure and the surrounding environment. The methods they consider are: 

  • Standing Seam: This metal roofing method uses mechanical seaming and is installed over a solid substrate, or it can be installed over an open roof frame. 
  • Concealed Fastener: This method uses clips or fasteners and is installed with a waterproof membrane over the substrate with the metal panels installed next.
  • Exposed Fastener: This method of installing a metal roof is done over a solid substrate or ab open frame, leaving the screws exposed. 

In Conclusion 

In addition to choosing the best metal for roofing agricultural buildings, it is important to choose the best grade and best quality of metal. Using a quality roofing contractor with experience in metal roofing is important so that the job is done correctly. If you would like to learn more about roofing for agricultural buildings Austin, TX, you can reach out to us at 512-617-7335. Our roofing team would be happy to help!