Why Batten Mounted Metal Roofing is a Poor Choice

Comparison Photo Metal Roof Installed to Roof Deck vs Wood Battens.
(Last Updated On: December 23, 2016)

Many batten mount products are batten mounted because of their inferior design. In other words, the design of the product requires it to be installed on battens. Battens for them are not really a good thing though they try to spin it that way. Battens for them are a necessary evil. This is the case primarily with many of the tile and shake facsimile products that mount on battens.

  • Most batten mount systems have overlaps, not interlocks between the panels. Overlaps are prone to water and debris getting under the roof. This is especially the case with stone coated systems which have a rough surface making it hard for the overlap to fit tight.
  • Many batten mount systems have valleys that rely on problem prone double sided tape to keep water out of the home. It gets wet and dries out, continually.  Prone to breaking down over time. Other batten mount systems have “closed” valleys that collect and hold snow, ice, tree leaves, pine needles, etc.
  • Most batten mount systems have exposed screws or nails and all of the problems that go with this including limited allowance for expansion and contraction, fasteners fatigue, fastener holes wallow out, neoprene washers break down, fasteners back out of their holes.
  • Most people choose metal to avoid maintenance … having to replace or tighten screws every few years is maintenance. Why invest in a new metal roof and then fill it full of holes?
  • Most people will tell you that the reason for battens is to prevent condensation. The risk of condensation in a roof system is where two differing temperatures meet. You don’t have that, at least not to a big degree, between the metal and the backside of the metal. They are both on the outside of the house! So the temperature of both is basically outside ambient. No temperature difference, no condensation. Condensation instead occurs in the decking or on the underside of the roof deck where warm air from inside the house meets the cooler decking.
  • Even if the argument about condensation were correct (which it is not), then with most of these systems having horizontal battens, water running down the roof would run into the battens and cause rot quickly. That doesn’t make sense.
  • Many batten mount systems have inferior coatings to Kynar and are made from inferior steel grades.
  • In most cases the warranties for these products are very weak.
  • The point is NOT that these systems have battens and battens are a good thing. The point is all of the things you’re giving up by going to a batten mounted system.
  • These roofs generally are 15 – 20 year roofs because of their limitations. At that point, it makes more sense to go back to asphalt.
  • The chambers created by the battens are a perfect nesting place for bats, snakes, mice, and other vermin.

Still Have Questions?

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4 replies
  1. Rosaline says:

    I have an old shingle roof that started leaking. We are planning to replace it with steel roofing. We were told to place the roof on top of the old ashphalt shingles with horizontal battens. Is it ok? Also whats the best lining?

    Reply
  2. Diane Haxton says:

    Hello,
    I have a 20 year old diamond Rib metal roof (pitch 6×12)on strapping.
    Need a non shedding roof. Do metal shakes shed snow?
    Thank you
    Diane

    Reply
    • C.King says:

      Hello Diane. Thank you for asking. Permanent roofing systems are designed to shed ice and snow to prevent ice damming and damage to the roof structure. Is there a specific reason why you want your roof to hold snow?

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