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Roof Options For Outdoor Walk-Ins & Equipment Enclosures

Standing seam metal roof for pump houses

Roof options for outdoor walk-ins and equipment enclosures require a lot of thought. Membrane roofs and standing seam metal roofs are the standard roof options for outdoor enclosures . While both offer pros and cons, our engineering and design teams work with dealers or integrators to iron out the many details one must consider before selecting the best roof option for your outdoor walk-in or equipment enclosure.

In this article, we will review the most common roof options available and how weather, climate and location of unit may impact and affect your outdoor enclosure.


Roof options for outdoor walk-ins and enclosures include standing seam metal roofs and membrane roofs. Both options provide benefits as one is not better than the other.  To identify the appropriate roof system for your unit, location, climate, budget, and project specific requirements must be considered.


Membrane roofs for outdoor walk ins and equipment enclosures are made from either a rubber material called ethylene propylene diene monomer also known as EPDM Membrane roofs as or Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). 

These materials create a seal-tight barrier that works to prevent build-up from ice, snow and rain or other debris. Due to their strength this material is a great choice for outdoor walk-ins and equipment enclosure roofing. 

These roof options are designed to cover the roof of your walk-in or enclosure and to protect it from debris collecting on-top causing tears and leaks in the roof. Depending on the climate and location of installation membrane roofs are installed using glue, termination bars, or both. 


Standing seam metal roofs are a popular choice for outdoor walk-ins and enclosures due to their durability and longevity. These roofs are made of thick metal panels that overlap to create a seam. 

Standing seam roofs have a flat area in the middle and vertical seams at both ends. The panels interlock using a clamping system and are manufactured with sloped walls or tampered foam. 

Standing seam metal roofs are best for climates that require high snow loads as they can withstand heavy weight and provide a weather tight seal and long-lasting protection.


Due to the absorption of heat, it is highly recommended to utilize a natural or neutral color for your outdoor walk in  or enclosure roof. Most recommended colors are white, natural and tan. These colors are less likely to absorb heat like dark colors, allowing the unit to work efficiently.

Although most outdoor walk-in roofs are recommended in white, tan, or natural colors, it is possible to get other colors upon request


Outdoor walk-in and enclosure roofs are installed onsite. The standing seam roof is more difficult to install, as any minor mistake can cause a leak. The standing seam roof is more complex and uses individual pieces so the margin for error is much higher.

Standing seam metal roofs for outdoor enclosures are installed utilizing clips instead of exposed screws and nails. These clips fit over the top of the standing seam and is then nailed into the metal roofing to hold it securely in place.

Membrane roofs are much more forgiving as the parts of the roof fold over one another creating a much tighter seal. Membrane roofs for outdoor walk ins and enclosures are installed by laying the rubber roofing over the existing panel roofing, from here the roof is either securely adhered to the roof by glue, termination bars or both.

When it comes to the installation of the roof, it is extremely important to choose a high-quality experienced installers.

pump house membrane roof installation process
Installation of membrane roof for outdoor walk-in


When engineers and designers choose a roof option for your outdoor equipment enclosure or walk-in there are several factors that must be considered before selecting a standing seam metal roof or membrane roof.

Standing seam metal roofs are known for their durability and longevity making them the better choice for enclosures in harsh weather environments such as those with severe storms including high winds, hail and snow.

On the other hand membrane roofs are lightweight and considered easier to install making them a good option for smaller enclosures. Ultimately the choice between standing seam metal roofs and membrane roofs come down to the specific needs of the outdoor walk-in or equipment enclosure, budget constraints and the desired lifespan of the roof.

Standing seam metal roofs and membrane roofs for outdoor walk-in and equipment enclosures offer similar capabilities, however there are some distinct differences setting the two apart. 


Standing seam metal roofs are made of metal panels. These metal panels are installed by interlocking their vertical seams providing great durability and resistance to a variety of weather conditions. 

Membrane roofs on the other hand are made utilizing synthetic materials such as PVC or EPDM that allows for flexibility making them a great choice for flat or low slope roofs.


Standing seam metal roofs require specialized installation due to the interlocking panels making this a more complex and longer installation.

Membrane roof installation is typically easier and faster  install due to their ability to easily roll out the material across the entire structure. 


Both standing seam and membrane roofs for outdoor walk-ins and enclosures offer respectable lifespans. 

Due to the durability of standing seam metal roofs they typically offer a longer lifespan over membrane roofs if properly maintained.


Standing seam metal roofs offer protection from weather and pests and require virtually no maintenance except around vent and gas pipes openings. 

Membrane roofs do require minimal maintenance to ensure integrity such as regular cleanings and roof fastener tightening. 


Both membrane roofs and standing seam metal roofs offer energy efficiency if done properly. Standing seam metal roofs for outdoor walk-ins and enclosures are extremely energy efficient due to their ability to reflect heat.

Light colored roofs, specifically white membrane roofs offer great reflective properties helping to improve energy efficiency of outdoor enclosures and walk-ins making them a good choice.


The upfront investment for standing seam metal roofs are commonly more than membrane roofs. However, the lifespan of metal roofs can offset the initial investment. 

While membrane roofs are more cost effective at the start, they require more maintenance and have a shorter lifespan potentially making their overall investment larger.


While both roof options offers a clean aesthetic look, standing seam metal roofs offer a more sophisticated and modern look while membrane roofs are typically considered a more industrial look.

The choice between the two for aesthetics alone simply comes down to the architectural appeal you are striving for.


Additional considerations for both membrane roofs and standing seam metal roofs include:

  1. Climate and Weather Patterns
  2. Type of Equipment Enclosure
  3. Proximity to Nearby Structures

Once those considerations are taken into account your design and engineering team can choose the appropriate roof option.


In summary, standing seam metal roofs are a great choice for durability and longevity, making them and ideal application for outdoor walk-ins and enclosures regardless of climate. 

Membrane roofs on the other hand provide upfront cost effectiveness and ease of installation as well as flexibility for low sloped or flat roofs. 

The choice between the two depends on a variety of factors such as environment, specific project requirements, structure location and budget.

Connect With A Dealer

Contact Us to connect you with a dealer to guide you through choosing the right roof option for your outdoor walk-in or enclosure. 

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