Metal Roofing Design Considerations in Florida

How can you make a robust metal roofing design for Florida’s extreme weather? In this article, we’ll talk about how to create a lasting design.

Designing any metal roofing project can be challenging. With a variety of factors to consider, including materials selection, building codes, testing requirements, and aesthetics, it takes a lot of research and communication with your customers to make sure you’re creating a finished project that will last. Designs can be even more complicated in a state like Florida, where you can have extreme weather, such as hurricanes, and varying building codes to contend with. Finding the right technical team to assist you with your project can make a significant difference.

One of the leading metal coil and sheet providers in the United States is Sheffield Metals International (SMI). At Sheffield, we provide customers with reliable products to complete their metal roofing projects, along with technical support to guide you through the design process and answer questions related to testing and engineering.

We also create content in the form of articles, videos, and downloads to aid architects, contractors, and homeowners.

In this article, we’ll cover metal roofing design considerations in Florida, including:

  • Factors to keep in mind when designing a metal roof in Florida
  • Design considerations for metal roofs in Florida
  • How to make sure a metal roof will last in Florida

By the time you’re done reading, you should have a better idea of how to approach designing a metal roof in Florida and know which factors to keep an eye on as you go about your design.

Factors to Keep in Mind When Designing a Metal Roof in Florida

Even before you begin designing a metal roof, it’s important to look at the unique region you’re building in. The region you’re designing for will greatly dictate your project, as you’ll have to factor in the weather, codes, and specific locations. We’ve put together some of the most significant factors to consider when designing a metal roofing project in Florida.

Florida Product Approvals

An essential aspect of designing a metal roof in Florida is adhering to local codes and making sure your project is up to standards for the area. Florida Building Code requires all metal roofing systems to be rated and carry a product approval. This includes a designated set of testing on a panel profile that you must submit to Florida Building Code for approval. Florida Building Code is known to be particularly stringent, as structures must be able to withstand the harsh weather conditions found across the state.

 Florida approvals and codes will vary geographically, so you’ll need to understand the needs of your specific area. These codes will also help you determine which panels you can use for your projects, as some will not be allowed in certain areas.

Florida product approvals are broken into two categories: HVHZ (High Velocity Hurricane Zones) and NON-HVHZ. The HVHZ approvals require more testing for uplift resistance and a test for wind-driven rain. HVHZ approvals will usually be required anywhere along the coastline but can be required in any area if specified. HVHZ approvals will also give you field and corner design pressures which could allow you to meet higher design pressures required for the projects in these types of geographic locations.

It’s important to note that just because something has approval doesn’t mean it meets the design requirements. Once you get approval for a particular product, you’ll still need to fit it into your unique design and ensure it is still adequate.

Heat and UV Exposure

Florida heat can be intense. Temperatures in summer can soar to over 100°F, and direct sunshine can hit a metal roof for hours at a time. This is an important factor to consider when it comes to the functionality, materials selection, and the aesthetics of a metal roof. Constant sunshine and extreme heat can, after time, work to break down coatings and produce chalking and fading.

There are ways to ensure you have the best defenses against UV exposure and strategies for dissipating heat absorption on your metal roof, which we’ll cover in a future section of this article.


A red metal roof in the middle of driving rain

Weather is always one of the most significant factors to consider when designing a metal roof. Roofs are meant to protect your home from the elements, after all, so it’s essential to understand your regional weather and create a roof that will hold up against everything nature throws at you.

In some parts of Florida, you’ll have to consider the impact of hurricanes. With winds or minor hurricanes blasting more than 70 MPH and torrential rains, hurricanes pose a real danger to all types of roofing. Without the right design and testing requirements, a roof may not be suited for regions with storms like these. It’s important to know the weather of your project’s region and make sure your design will hold up in these conditions.

Wind Uplifts

Wind uplifts are a phenomenon in which wind hits a building and progresses vertically up the wall, “lifting” up on the corners, perimeters, and interior of the roof. Wind uplifts occur at varying levels of severity depending on the strength of the wind. It’s essential to understand the impact of wind uplifts – with the right design, you can effectively defend against wind uplifts and ensure a robust design.

In the worst cases, wind uplifts can cause metal roofs to unzip at the corners, calling the entire framework of the roof into question. Meeting proper testing requirements, designing your roof for the maximum pressures it could see during its lifecycle, and gaining knowledge about wind uplifts can contribute to a lasting metal roofing design.

Salt-Induced Corrosion

Salt-induced corrosion on a metal roof

Many people flock to Florida’s coastline because of its beautiful beaches and scenic ocean views. These coastal locations also come with dangers for metal roofing projects, including unabated winds, tropical storms, and saltwater corrosion.

Saltwater can be particularly harmful to certain metal materials, leading to rust and damaging the building’s structural integrity. Choosing the right material for your project will be integral to ensuring its appearance and effectiveness.


Florida also receives a lot of rainfall. Tropical storms can produce driving rain, testing the foundation of a metal roof. This is where aspects of your design and other factors, such as installation best practices and choosing a qualified contractor, can come into play.

Design Considerations to Keep in Mind for Metal Roofs in Florida

Intense heat, hurricanes, and testing requirements are significant factors you need to know when designing a metal roof in Florida. So how can you work to make your roofing design effective, even in a state like Florida with so many different obstacles? In this section, we’ll review some specific design considerations to help you craft a design that will last.

PVDF Coatings

You’ll need to find coatings that will fight off the unique environmental effects of Florida. One way to make a robust design is to use PVDF coatings for your metal roofing project. Because of their strong carbon-fluorine bonds, PVDF coatings are highly durable, offering impressive color retention and resistance to common metal roofing problems such as chalking and fading.

New call-to-action

In a state like Florida, PVDF coatings are a great choice to retain the aesthetics and robustness of a metal roof. Even though PVDF coatings are more expensive than SMP options, their durability makes them increasingly popular for metal roofing projects. Especially if you have a design like a standing seam metal roofing system, which can last for 60 years or more, it’s important to get a high-quality coating to match.

PVDF coatings are also commonly paired with cool metal roofing pigments.

Cool Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is known to be one of the most sustainable roofing options on the market. One of the reasons it has this reputation is because of cool metal roofing, which refers to specific coatings that can reflect UV rays, effectively reducing heat absorption and energy usage.

Cool metal roofing coatings include a unique resin formula that contains solar-reflective pigments. These coatings have been shown to increase cooling energy cost savings and reduce the overall need for electric usage.

The effectiveness of cool metal roofing materials will also be impacted by the unique design of your metal roofing project. Lighter colors, such as white, for example, can reflect sunshine more effectively than those like black. Likewise, the slope of your roof is significant – flatter roofs will face the sun more directly than steeper ones, leading to increased heat absorption.

Materials Selection

For many areas in Florida near the coastline, you’ll likely want to consider aluminum for metal roofing projects. Aluminum has unique self-healing abilities – it oxidizes as it begins to corrode, preserving the metal underneath. Because of this, aluminum roofs are widely used in the Caribbean and on US coastlines.

Wind Uplift Testing

Your metal roofing project will only be as good as the testing it has to back it up. With the right testing in place, you can be confident that your roofing design will hold up well in various elements, even the extreme storms in Florida. Using design tools like the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 7: Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures, will allow you to find the specific calculations for your metal roofing project to ensure you are meeting the project’s needs for that specific area.

Robust Design

Download the Your Guide to Metal Roof Design e-book here!

We’ve mentioned many specific design considerations for metal roofing designs, including cool metal roofing coatings, testing standards, and PVDF paints that help prolong the life of your roof. But these more specific components will only be as good as the overall design you choose. In Florida, it’s important to consider what type of roof will be effective in your area.

Standing seam metal roofs, for example, are known to be one of the most durable roofing designs on the market. With their concealed fastener design, standing seam metal roofs protect components from environmental effects and offer a sturdy system built to withstand even the harshest storms. Standing seam metal roofs have an industry-recognized life cycle of 60-plus years.

Panel Selection

The panel profile you choose is crucial to your metal roofing design. The profile options you have will partly be dictated by the requirements and codes of your area. You’ll have a variety of options to choose from that will differ by aesthetics and functionality. With standing seam metal roofs, for example, panel profile option types include:

  • Snap-Lock
  • Mechanical Lock
  • Batten

Panel profiles differ by shape and how two panels are seamed together. Individual profiles will differ by widths, seam heights, striations, and thickness within each type.


Aerial view of blue standing seam metal roofs

Because of the extreme weather that Florida contends with, much of the design aspects for metal roofing are focused on functionality and ensuring that your design is strong enough to prevail. But putting a roof on a building is also about aesthetics, and the right design could be just the thing to pull a building’s appearance together.

In Florida, colors and aesthetics vary widely depending on your area. Near the coast, for example, you might get more tropical, pastel-type colors, such as island blues, and interesting color combinations, like a blue roof with peach siding.  

The type of roof will also dictate the finished appearance. For those seeking a sleek, modern look, a standing seam metal roof may be the way to go.

How Do You Make Sure a Metal Roof Will Last in Florida?        

One of the benefits of a metal roof is the little maintenance required to keep up with it. However, even after a metal roof is designed and installed, it’s essential to stay on top of specific, common issues that can occur so that you can catch a problem before it becomes major.

Proper Water Drainage

In some cases, trees can be overhanging roofs, leading to various debris falling onto a roof. This is especially prevalent after storms, where wind can whip branches and leaves onto the tops of homes and buildings. Excessive debris buildup can prohibit water flow on a roof. If the water stays on the roof without proper drainage, it can lead to various problems.

Pay attention to any drainage problems and, if possible, examine your roof after storms to ensure that debris aren’t restricting water flow. Always contact a professional for roofing inspections.

Make Sure Additional Projects are Installed According to Metal Roofing Best Practices

A standing seam metal roof being installed

Finding high-quality, reliable products, handling metal roofing materials, and ensuring proper installation techniques are all essential for a long-lasting design. But changes can happen to metal roofs years down the road, and additions like satellite dishes can be added to homes and buildings. If not sealed properly, these additions could open design issues like leaking and uplifts.

It’s important to find trusted installers who know what they’re doing and will not impact the integrity of your metal roofing design.

Consult With a Professional Metal Roofing Company

Partnering with a professional metal roofing company can help you set your metal roofing project on the right track. Aside from offering you reliable products that you can trust, some metal roofing companies may be able to provide you with technical guidance throughout the whole process, offering you valuable information on testing, panel profiles, and additional resources to help you make the best decisions for your design.

Make sure you research and find a trusted, professional metal roofing company that can add value to your project.

Where Can I Find Long-Lasting Metal Roofing Materials in Florida?

Your Florida metal roofing design will partly be dictated by the quality of materials and components you get. The right metal roofing supplier can give you the products you need to make a design effective.

At Sheffield Metals International, we provide metal coils and sheets, along with metal roofing components. We have an in-house technical team ready to assist you with any problems or questions you may encounter and an entire library, including videos, articles, and downloads to assist you during the design process.

Contact the Sheffield Metals team today to find quality metal roofing materials or get your questions answered.

Contact Sheffield Metals today!