How To Install Metal Roofs
Properly protecting your home or business or other structure from the weather is nothing you want to skimp on. To that end, metal roofing has become more and more of a preferred material.
Especially in regions subject to severe weather, installing metal roofing just makes sense.
Many contractors enjoy working with metal roofing panels as their size makes for easy installation. Though these panels can be of different lengths and shapes, the installation procedures are essentially the same. If you want to do it yourself, adhere strictly to all manufacturer’s instructions. Though these instructions may vary slightly depending on the style of metal roofing, some installation tips remain constant regardless of the type. For the trimming, cutting, and roof pitch, for example, the same rules apply.
Across the board, manufactures will recommend that the pitch of the roof be at a minimum of 2/12, which means two inches of rise per 12 inches roof length. This should be thought of as a basic rule of thumb for the use of metal roofing material. An additional tip for metal roofing installation is that any pitch under 4/12 requires the use of lap screws and a roof sealer over each panel lap to protect against water intrusion. The less pitch, the slower water is apt to flow off the surface, thus the need for extra protection against the elements.
Begin your installing of metal roofing at the gable end that is on the opposite end of where prevailing winds generally blow against the home or building. This will effectively eliminate the possibility of wind blown rain from finding its way under the laps of the panels. The part that has been overlapped, in this way, will be on the other side of the force of the wind.
When getting started with the installation, the first step is very important and will set the tone for how the rest of your metal roofing project goes. Place the first panel exactly square to the ridge and eave — this will insure that all the following panels continue uniformly along lines that have been formed by the eave and the ridge.
A bit of handy advice, whether you are taking on the project yourself or having a contractor take care of it for you, involves the creation of an overhang. Make sure that panel placed over the eave extends slightly beyond the eve to allow for water drainage to the ground and not down the side of your home, barn or office building. If the structure is equipped with gutters, the portion that extends over the eave can be minimal. Without gutters however, it is recommended that the overhang be at least a couple of inches.
It you don’t already have nibblers or shears, you’ll need to pick them up to be able to cut the panels when necessary. For best results, use shears. The use of saws and nibblers by the inexperienced professional can result in a slightly burned metal panel surface. Once the cutting is complete, clean off the remaining bits of metal — these particles, if left on the panel, will result in rusty spots down the road.
It can’t be emphasized enough that if you don’t feel comfortable tackling the project yourself, hire a roofing contractor. Installing metal roofing, for them, will be quick and easy, but by knowing a little bit about the process yourself you will be better able to supervise the project.