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How To Install Metal Roofing

There are lots of materials available to use for roofing. But it would be hard not to use a more effective material than metal. But why are more people using metal roofing? Metal lasts for longer and requires less maintenance. It can also help cut air conditioning costs by reflecting solar radiation away. So, how do you go about metal roofing installation? In this guide, we’ll look at a couple of tips to install metal roofs. 


Read on to find out! 


Proper Roof Installation is Crucial


While using metal roofing gives you the benefit of longevity, most problems occur due to improper installation techniques. The metal itself is not an issue, but how it is screwed and fastened makes or breaks metal roofing. When installing roofs, you’ll need thousands of screws and fastener sites, areas that are prone to moisture leaks. 


These could be metal to wood screws, lap screws, and sealing tape places. But, again, it is a process that needs total focus. Otherwise, you can easily have leaks and repairs within a few years. 


Steps to Install Metal Roofing


Step 1: Underlayment 


The first step is to apply an underlayment which is more often a self-healing ice and water membrane. Next, carefully lay the underlayment flat, avoiding any wrinkles. Next, overlap the layers to 6 or 8 inches and roll out adhesive backing. 


Step 2: Buy panels to fit


As you order panels, make sure the dimensions are right. You don’t want metal roofing with lots of seams. Seams are areas that can cause leakages or water getting underneath the panels. Call a professional roofing company if you’re unsure which sizes fit your roof. 


Step 3: Bend trim ends


Before installing trims, bend them to fit the corners and edges of the roof. Also, make bends to close gaps created by the trim using a hand seamer. The trim types include gable trim, eave trim, mono-pitch ridge cap, and  


Step 4: Splice and overlap trims


When two trims overlap, apply a sealant to the underlying trim and cut the overlying trim at an angle. Slide the overlying trim and ensure the seal is tight and dry before fastening with screws. 


Step 5: Set the panels


Before setting the panels, set up a square reference line to ensure the panels are installed evenly. Position closure strips on the roof edge and applies sealants on top. Set each panel on top of a closure strip which should be 1 or 2″ from the roof’s edge. 


Step 6: Carefully drive screws


The key to a well-executed roof installation is fastening the panels correctly. It should make the roof watertight. Start tightening from the bottom, moving in rows toward the ridge. Drive the screws at a 90-degree angle. Any other angled screwing can cause leakages. Be careful not to over tighten or under tighten the roof. Use just enough pressure tp to compress the screws tight. 


Step 7: Cover the rake edges


Next, attach the trimmed gable panel to the edge of the roof. This gives it a clean finish and prevents water from getting in. Set it in a place where it lies flat and apply butyl tape before fastening with a screw. 


Step 8: Tighten the ridge cap


Cap the roof with closure strips along the edge. Apply a sealant on the foam strips, then secure the ridge cap to the panel with screws. When correctly installed, the ridge cap ensures any water or snow that lands on the roof go down without touching the underlayment. 


Metal Roofing Installation Tips


Now that you know how to install metal roofing let’s dive into some key tips to help establish watertight roofing. 


Pre-Drill only when you have to


A common question to metal roofing is to pre-drill or not pre-drill. More often, metal roofing does not require pre-drilling because it may create more problems. For instance, pre-drilling can create more space and allow moisture in the roofs. The only example where pre-drilling may be considered is installing metal roofing to a wood substrate. Here, pre-drilling helps avoid screwing at an angle and easily makes the longer screws fit. 


Avoid Angles


Yes. Always avoid putting your roofing screws at an angle. Each screw should be straight and fitting to create a proper seal. Even if you find yourself in a hurry to finish the thousands of screws to go, ensure no screws are tilted. Each angled screw is a potential risk to leakages. 


Avoid overtightening and under-tightening


There is no class to teach this skill, but it’s crucial in metal roofing. Overtightening is common as most people assume the tighter the screw, the better the seal. But this may not be the case in overtightening instances. It creates too much stress on the washer and can cause the washer to break. 


Also, if you leave your screws too loose, you risk stability issues and possible leakages. One way to know if your screw is not loose is by checking if it rotates after a small push. If you can still spin the screw, it is probably under tightened. 


Screw on ribs or flats?


Another hotly contested topic is whether to screw on the flats or ribs of corrugated metal sheets. Those for flats insist that it gives the metal panel sturdy support closer to the wood substrate. However, it also has a high chance of leaking as water passes through the flat areas. 


Ribs fanatics claim that screwing on this side of metal roofing provides more gasket compression. However, it also brings a void between the sheet and the wood substrate and can be subject to pulling out during harsh weather conditions. 


While both critics have reasons for following either, it is best to stick with what your roofing manufacturer recommends.


One last tip: Choose the right roofing contractor


Almost any roofer can nail a shingle, but you won’t find DIYers with all the specialty tools, training, and expertise to do a proper metal roof installation. To get high-quality roofing services in Florence, SC, contact experts at Florence Roofing. We specialize in metal roofing installations in a shorter time and above industry standards.

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