What Is An R-Panel Metal Roof?

Posted on May 18, 2024

R-Panel Metal Roof

Ribbed metal roofs, commonly referred to as R-Panel metal roofs, have become increasingly popular for both residential and commercial buildings. Property owners find these roofing systems appealing because they provide a special blend of longevity, energy efficiency, and affordability 

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at R-Panel metal roofs, looking at their layout, advantages, uses, and method of installation.

What Are R-Panel Metal Roofs?

R-Panel metal roofing systems are characterized by their 36-inch wide panels, which feature prominent raised ribs and consistent spacing between them. Often used for both siding and roofing, these panels can be used for both commercial and residential settings. 

The type of gauge chosen will determine the panel’s life expectancy, which contributes to its strength and durability. Using an exposed fastener system, R-Panel roofs are installed by screwing the panels into the framework, which creates a sturdy and dependable roofing option appropriate for a variety of applications, even though it requires more time and money to install than some alternatives.

  • Thickness: R-Panels are available in a number of gauges, the most popular being the 26-gauge panel.
  • Appearance: The panels are flat on the surface and have a raised ribbed, and smooth finish.
  • Cost: Compared to other metal roofing options, R-Panels have a reputation for being reasonably priced.
  • Installation: Due to the exposed fastener system on these roofs, installation is simple but still needs to be carried out properly in order to prevent possible chances of leaks.
  • Color Selections: R-Panels come in a variety of colors that allow you to tailor your roof to a variety of tastes.

What Are The Benefits Of Having An R-Panel Metal  Roof?

There are many benefits to having a R-Panel metal roof, like:

R-panel metal  roof

1. Cost Effective: 

R-Panel roofs are typically less expensive compared to other metal panel roofing systems, providing financial savings for commercial establishments.

2. Energy Savings: 

With high reflectivity, these roofs minimize heat absorption, reducing cooling and heating expenses by up to 25%.

3. Extended Lifespan: 

Made from resilient metal, R-Panel roofs boast a lifespan of around 40 to 70 years under ideal conditions, ensuring durability and long-term cost-effectiveness.

4. Minimal Maintenance: 

Once installed, R-Panel roofs demand minimal upkeep, making them a convenient choice for commercial roofing needs.

5. Simple Retrofits: 

R-Panel roofs can be easily installed over existing roofing systems, streamlining repair or replacement projects and reducing time, labor, and expenses.

6. Versatile Applications: 

Suitable for a variety of structures with flat or low-slope roofs, R-Panel roofs find common use in manufacturing facilities, retail outlets, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and more.

What Are The Different Thicknesses Available For R-Panel Metal Roofs?


The thickest R-Panel, measuring 0.029 inches, the 22-gauge option offers enhanced durability and strength, making it perfect for regions prone to severe weather or requiring maximum structural integrity.


With a thickness of 0.023 inches, the 24-gauge R-Panel balances durability and affordability. It provides good resistance against harsh weather conditions and maintains its appearance well over time, minimizing the risk of oil canning.


The 26-gauge R-Panel can range from 0.017 to 0.022 of an inch in depth, balancing affordability with durability. It’s commonly chosen for residential applications and it offers decent strength and longevity without the higher price of other, more thicker panels.


The thinnest option, typically measuring between 0.014 and 0.018 of an inch is the 29-gauge R-Panel. However, it may lack the durability needed for areas with extreme weather conditions.

Comparison With Other Panels And Metal Roofs

FACTORSR-PANELU-PANELCorrugated Metal RoofStanding Seam Metal RoofMetal Shingle Roof
DesignSimple and sleek design with raised ribs throughout the panelFlat surface with some vertical ribsWavy pattern of parallel ridges and groovesFeatures long, vertical panels that interlock at the seams, creating a raised, continuous jointDesigned to mimic the appearance of traditional asphalt, slate, or tile shingles
StrengthStrong and durableHail ResistantResistance to hail, snow, heavy rain, and strong windsThicker, higher-quality steel than corrugatedCan withstand winds exceeding 140 mph
InstallationMore time-consuming to install compared to U-PanelsEasy and inexpensiveEasy installationRequires skilled laborEasy installation
Use CasesResidential, CommercialAgricultural, light commercialResidential RoofingResidential, CommercialResidential Roofing
CostCost-effectiveSimilar to R-PanelEconomicalExpensiveModerate(depends on the metal)
LongevityCan last up to 50 years or more60+ years15 to 30 years50 + years on average40 years
MaintenanceModerateLowModerateMinimal maintenanceLow

How Much Does It Cost To Install An R-Panel Roof?

Install an r-panel roof

With initial material and installation costs typically between $2.00 and $5.00 per square foot, R-Panel metal roofing systems are roughly 15% less expensive than corrugated metal roofs, making it a cost-effective solution. 

When compared to other metal roofing systems like standing seam, R-Panel installation costs are typically 30% less, and since they also require little maintenance and have a lifespan of 40 to 60 years, they provide a better return on investment.

Maintenance Tips For R-Panel Metal Roofs

1. Annual Inspections and Repairs

Perform yearly inspections for loose fasteners, damaged panels, leaf buildup, and sealant cracks. Prompt repairs prevent leaks and structural damage, saving time and money.

2. Tree Maintenance and Debris Removal

Trim branches to prevent contact with the roof and reduce scratches and debris. Well-kept trees protect the roof and enhance the look of the property.

3. Gutter and Downspout Maintenance

You should regularly clean gutters, downspouts, and valleys to avoid water buildup, leaks, and ice dams.

4. Clean The Roof

Regular cleaning not only keeps the surface of your roof looking good, but also prevents the buildup of debris. To gently clean the roof, use a mild detergent and soft brushes. Steer clear of abrasive tools to avoid scratching and corrosion. 

5. Use Protective Coatings

Protective coatings are crucial for extending the lifespan of your roof and preventing rust and corrosion. These coatings are typically made of materials like acrylic or silicone and create a barrier that repels water and resists environmental damage, ensuring the roof maintains its integrity and aesthetic appeal over time.

6. Get Professional Assistance

Consider professional help for roof cleaning, inspections, and repairs if necessary. These experts can ensure that your roof is always in the best condition, and provide solutions when needed. 

How To Install R-Panel Metal Roofing Systems

Here is a brief overview of what the installation entails. Remember, a professional installation is always the best way to get an R-Panel metal roofing system that lasts and functions correctly. 

1. Overlap The R-Panel 

  • Apply double-sided butyl tape along the high seam of the lower panel before overlapping the next
  • Start with the longer leg side of the panels, overlapping the smaller edge on top.
  • Ensure panels overlap by at least one corrugation
  • Secure each new sheet tightly before adding fasteners and mastic tape

2. Select The Right Fasteners

  • Use fasteners that are long enough to penetrate the roof deck substrate or solid lumber by at least 1 inch
  • R-Panels utilize exposed fasteners so you’ll want to seal these points with a corrosive-protection coating
  • Drive fasteners properly through the material to achieve the required strength and seal, avoiding snapping or crushing

3. Screw Placement

  • Place 6 screws at the top and bottom of the panel, 3 on each side of the high rib
  • In panel centers, use 3 screws, one on each side of the lap
  • Space screws about 12 inches apart along the panel length
  • Align screws evenly, considering visibility from the ground
  • Avoid over-tightening and compressing the rubber grommet

4. Additional Tips

  • Clean up metal shavings immediately to prevent rust
  • For single-pitch roofs, aim for a minimum 12-degree pitch
  • Properly flash protrusions like pipes and ducts for sealing

Get Quality Metal Roof Installation In Louisiana 

An R-Panel metal roof is a durable, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing choice for homes and businesses. Because of its long lifespan, low maintenance requirements, and cost-effective benefits, it is a highly regarded roofing option by property owners. 

If you’re looking for experts to install a premium metal roofing system, look no further than the team at Empire Roofing & Exteriors. With a stellar reputation for quality, we provide unparalleled knowledge and customer support to guarantee that your roofing requirements are satisfied. For long-lasting solutions, call us at (225) 347-8877.