What is Oil Canning & How Can You Prevent It?
In the simplest terms, roof oil canning is a visual phenomenon that affects metal roofs. Oil canning makes metal panels appear wavy and distorted, disrupting the aesthetic appeal of your roof installation. This phenomenon is unfortunately commonplace in large metal panels, where irregularities in their flatness are much more obvious. Featured in properties across New [...]

In the simplest terms, roof oil canning is a visual phenomenon that affects metal roofs. Oil canning makes metal panels appear wavy and distorted, disrupting the aesthetic appeal of your roof installation.

This phenomenon is unfortunately commonplace in large metal panels, where irregularities in their flatness are much more obvious. Featured in properties across New Zealand, light-gauge and cold-rolled flat metal roofs are particularly susceptible.

Yet, whilst common, it’s absolutely possible to avoid roof oil canning – you just have to know what causes it, and how to avoid them! At I.G. Roofing, with our extensive experience in steel roofing installations, repair and maintenance, we can advise as follows:

What causes roof oil canning?

  1. Stresses during the production process

To create a metal roof, flattening and coiling is an important part of the production process. In these early stages, metal can easily ripple or buckle under different stresses, which greatly increases the likelihood of oil canning later on.

  1. The colour and gloss type of your roof

Darker high-gloss finishes on your metal roof display roof oil canning more clearly than any other. Choosing these finishes will therefore increase your chances of oil canning, though all the available colour and gloss types may develop this distinct visual waviness over time. Lighter colours and low glosses merely conceal it better!

  1. Incorrect fastener installation

Roof fasteners securely fit your roofing material to the structure of a building, and when installed incorrectly, greatly increase the chances of roof oil canning at a later date. For example, if an inexperienced roofer drives in the fastener at an angle, or even with too much force, this creates unnecessary stress which easily leads to waviness and distortion.

How can I avoid roof oil canning?

  1. Purchase a thicker metal for your roof

Thicker metal material is less likely to give in and move when installed as part of your roof. This is exactly why we don’t always advise on light-gauge roofing materials, as they are unable to resist distortion.

  1. Choose smaller and narrower metal panels

We also recommend choosing smaller and narrower metal panels for your roof to avoid any roof oil canning, as this phenomenon is most prevalent in large and flat areas. These panels are just as attractive and functional as their broader counterparts, too.

  1. Use a low-gloss or matte finish

Even if you fail to completely prevent oil canning, choosing a low gloss or matte finish for your roof makes all the difference in how visible this distortion is. Although briefly mentioned above, this is because low gloss finishes reduce the reflectivity of your roof, and with this reduction in light, the appearance of oil canning is much improved.

To invest in metal roof installation that will not distort over time, look to I.G. Roofing. From our home in Auckland, we have served thousands of properties across this area, and strive to reduce imperfections such as roof oil canning in all that we do. Contact us for more information, today.