Master Lessons in Metal Roofing: Oil Canning

Here we are, with another one of our monthly lessons in metal roofing terms! At a recent conference they talked about this, so that’s why I decided to blog about it.

Oil canning is a pretty common phenomenon and, while you probably don’t know the term, I’m sure you’ve seen what the term refers to. In brief, it’s when flat sheet metal becomes wavy.

Oil canning is caused by:

  • bad installation

  • problems on the coil

  • problems on the substructure of the roof

  • environmental thermodynamics

  • movement

  • and other factors

Oil canning is an aesthetic issue and shouldn’t change the structural integrity of the roof.

Besides getting the right metal roof for your conditions and installing it properly, certain paints and glosses can reduce the visible appearance of waviness. Most roofs will show signs of it at certain times of day, or in certain seasons.

In general, oil canning is unavoidable. Although, it can be minimized through smart planning. And we can help you there!


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