What is Oil Canning? and How It Can Be Prevented – Let’s Find Out
Have you have ever noticed visible waviness, wrinkles, or a buckled appearance on your metal roof panels? That rippling is what we call oil canning. This type of stress buckling is very common on just about any type of flat metal sheet, including steel, aluminum, and copper. You can identify oil canned sheets as this phenomenon is usually visible prior to construction, and can be seen more prominently when sunlight or other lighting reflects off the irregular, bumpy metal surface.
Now how this wavy appearance is caused? It is caused by stress on the metal surface during the milling process. The production mills for metal roofs use rollers to form sheets and coils. These rollers have small gaps that separate them from each other. Unequal gaps affect the distribution of stress and therefore, resulting in a wavy metal sheet. A variety of stress factors contribute to oil canning, such as wavy edge, full center, and camber. Additional causes of this problem include jagged roof decking, unprofessional metal roof installation, poor storage and handling, and movement of the supporting structure. Thermal expansion is also one of the reasons why metal roof sheets get wrinkled.
If you want to reduce the visual effect of stress waviness on your metal roofing sheets, there are some preventive measures to consider while your roof replacement is still in the constructional stages:
Go for Thicker, Quality Roofing Material
If you want to minimize the chances of oil canning, don’t even think about 26- or 29-gauge products. Opt for higher quality and heavier-weight 24-gauge material. We recommend and install the quality metal roofing products dealt with care right here in Oklahoma by RainTech Roofing, Sheet Metal & Gutters.
Choose the Accurate Panel Design
There are certain different panel profiles that are more prone to oil canning. Bumpiness or stress wrinkling is more obvious on flat and beamed panels, while striated metal roof panels cover it much more effectively. With a striated panel, you also get to enjoy the added bonuses of extra strength and architectural appeal.
Hire a Professional Roofing Contractor
Poor workmanship is another reason your roof experiences oil canning. While you may not be able to eliminate all the possibilities of oil canning, choosing a professional and experienced roofing expert reduces the chances of oil canning on metal roofs. At RainTech, their skilled and experienced installers understand the uniqueness and complexity of working with metal roofing, including checking and leveling the decking and handling/spacing the panels properly. We ensure that every aspect of the installation is done right.
Pick a Light-Colored, Low-Glossed Finish
Darker shades and shinier finishes may look attractive, but they tend to emphasize the waves or ripples in the material. So, in order to reduce the visibility of oil canning, it’s best to choose a low-gloss finish and lighter colors. Oil canning is a commonly occurring phenomenon and most often is considered unsightly. But this needs to be addressed with a homeowner before any metal sheet is put on a roof. Understanding its causes and measures to prevent them will help increase the longevity of your metal roof.