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Understanding the Difference Between Snap Lock and Mechanical Standing Seam 

Standing Seam Metal Roofs May Use Snap Lock or Mechanical Seams

At first glance, it may seem that one standing seam roof is just like any other standing seam roof. However, there are multiple types of standing seam systems that each use different mechanisms and seams to protect against the elements. If you’re planning to install a standing seam metal roof, it’s important to learn the difference between snap lock and mechanical systems, as these are some of the most common and have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

As San Antonio’s experts in metal roofing, our team at Dolan Roofing & Construction has installed a variety of standing seam systems depending on the demands of each project. In today’s post, we’ll review the key differences between snap lock and mechanical standing seam metal roofs—and provide a few pros and cons of both.

Mechanical Standing Seam

Mechanically seamed metal roofs are designed to be highly uniform and weatherproof. This system of seaming uses metal roofing panels with vertical legs that are aligned with one another before being seamed together with specialized equipment. This roofing system gets its name from the machine used to finish the seam and seal the roof.

Mechanical standing seam roofs may be single lock or double lock, depending on the number of folds forming the seam.

Snap Lock Metal Seam

The “snap lock” metal seam system is very common within the class of standing seam roofing overall. Straightforward to install, this system uses metal panels that are attached to the roof deck using fasteners or clips with seams that are then snapped into place between the panels (hence the name). 

Pros and Cons of Mechanical Standing Seam

Mechanical standing seam roofs provide a number of advantages over other roofing systems. Due to the overlapping seams, these roofing systems are highly watertight, and double lock systems are even more resistant to moisture and other elements. Because these roofs can be made more weatherproof, they’re generally able to be used on lower slope roofs than snap lock metal seam systems.

The main disadvantage of mechanical standing seam is the increased complexity of installation. Mechanical seam metal roofs require specialized equipment to properly seal, and the process overall takes significantly longer. This means that property owners can expect to pay more for a mechanical seam metal roof than a snap lock system. Because of the complexity of the seams, these roofs may also be more difficult to maintain and repair.

Pros and Cons of Snap Lock Metal Seam Roofs

Snap lock standing seam roofing systems are very straightforward to install, making them ideal for many property owners. They don’t require specialized equipment and still produce a watertight seal, with much less laborious installation.

On the other hand, snap lock systems are generally restricted to steeper roof slopes than mechanically seamed roofing.  

Choosing Between Snap Lock and Mechanical Standing Seam

Overall, it can be difficult to weigh the pros and cons of snap lock and mechanical standing seam metal roofs. Property owners will need to carefully consider their budget, the type of roof they have, and the typical weather patterns of their area.

Typically, mechanical standing seam is more common in commercial roofing applications, especially for low-slope roofs. Snap lock, on the other hand, is more common for residential roofing, as homes will have more steeply sloped roofs. However, it’s important to discuss your needs with a professional metal roofer before making a final decision.

Dolan Roofing: San Antonio’s Metal Roofing Experts

Homeowners and business owners alike have seen the value of metal roofing in recent years. At Dolan Roofing, we’ve helped to install durable, long-lasting metal roofs throughout San Antonio, protecting many homes and businesses from our intense Texas storm seasons.

If you’re looking to install a new metal roof, standing seam is the gold standard—and our team has the expertise to install the perfect roof for your needs and budget. Reach out today to schedule an inspection and get a quote for your new metal roof!

Join the growing list of happy Dolan Roofing Customers.

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