How to Prevent Oil Canning With Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Oil canning is a problem that affects standing seam metal roofing in regions where there is high heat.

This problem is encountered by standing seam metal roofers from time to time and can make an existing roof look unsightly, though it does not actually affect the protectiveness of the installed metal.

Anyone considering a standing seam roof should know about this issue and what metal roofing contractors can do about it, as there are only two basic options for preventing it.

What Is Oil Canning?

Oil canning, also called stress wrinkling, is what happens when a standing seam metal roof starts to look wavy between the seams, taking on the look of an oily surface floating on a container of water.

Standing seam metal roofers know this waviness to be caused by heat stress and the repeated expansion and contraction of sheet metal.

It can make a standing seam roof look imperfect, though that imperfection does not affect the function of the roof system.

Oil Canning Cannot Be Repaired

The biggest problem with oil canning is that, while some customers of metal roofers find that a small amount of oil canning can give a standing seam roof a bit of older-world character, most dislike it and it cannot be repaired.

At times, metal roofing contractors can paint a lighter color on the standing seam roof to make the waves harder to see, but that is the only remedy right now.

The only other option to remove the appearance of this waviness is to replace the affected metal panels.

Can Oil Canning Be Prevented?

According to standing seam metal roofers, stress wrinkling can be avoided altogether in two important ways:

  • Metal Gauge - The standing seam panels used by metal roofers in most residential applications is typically the thinnest gauge metal that this roofing is produced in since thicker gauge metals cost more money. Yet it is the thinner gauge metal that is most likely to experience oil canning in hot climates. When metal roofing contractors suggest a thicker gauge metal, it is usually to prevent the possibility of oil canning.

  • Installation Technique - The other common cause of oil canning is poor installation practices such as not flattening the underlayment properly, uneven substrate, fasteners that are too tight or too loose, and damaging the panels during installation. Hiring only the most experienced standing seam metal roofers is the solution in this case.

Every roofing installation has its issues, as do those installed by metal roofing contractors.

To ensure a tight, straight, and wave-free standing seam installation, always hire standing seam metal roofers who have experience applying this tricky metal roofing system and know how to avoid unsightly metal oil canning and stress wrinkles!