Everything You Want To Know About Pop Rivets

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Pop rivets or blind rivets are metal roofer necessities for installing pipe boots to metal roof panels. If you are looking for a pop rivet guide then you've come to the right place. This article will give you an overview of pop rivets, how they work, and how to pick the right ones for your next standing seam metal roof project.

What Are Pop Rivets?

Pop rivets are a type of fastener used to join together materials when it is not possible to access the rear or "blind" side of a material. Pop rivets create high-strength joints as a substitute for screws and they consist of two main parts. The shank or rivet body is the wider part of the pop rivet and the thinner part is known as the mandrel.

Pop rivets can be used to create joints on a range of materials like:

  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Leather

Pop rivets can also be made of many different materials like:

  • Steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Monel

Pop rivets must be installed with a rivet gun and they are used to attach signs to walls where one side cannot be reached, in many building projects, and in metal roof installations. Pop rivets are a must-have tool for standing seam metal roofers because they are used to secure pipe boots or flashings for pipe penetrations on metal roofs.

Pop Rivet Terminology

The name pop rivet derives from the "pop" noise that the riveting tool makes when it secures the rivet to metal sheets to create a joint. Pop rivets are also commonly known as blind rivets because they create a reliable joint where one side of the material is blind to the contractor.

Choosing The Right Type Of Pop Rivet

When using pop rivets to secure a joint between materials, it is crucial to choose the right type of rivet for the project. In standing seam metal roof installations, copper pop rivets with stainless steel mandrels are the best types of rivets to secure a pipe boot or flashing to a metal panel. Using blind rivets with other material make-ups can cause potential corrosion issues that may damage the metal roof.

The size of the blind rivet should be chosen based on the size of the hole that is drilled in the metal where you will be installing the rivet. Measure the hole where the rivet will be placed and then choose the blind fastener with the grip range that is made for that size hole.

Choosing the right size rivet nut is crucial to tight joints. If a rivet nut is too small for the drilled hole, gapping can occur which will leave the roof vulnerable to leaks. #44 copper pop rivets are the best standard rivets for grip ranges between 0.188" and 0.250" and #42 copper pop rivets are the best standards rivets for a larger grip range of between 0.32" and 0.62".

Blind rivets can come unpainted or you can buy them in a wide variety of painted colors to match your sheet metal surface. AMSI offers 26 different painted color tones of high-quality blind rivets including Champagne, Copper Penny, Evergreen, and Sierra Tan.

It can be tempting to choose the cheapest blind rivets that you can find, but always prioritize quality over price. A cost-effective rivet can also get the job done, as long as the quality meets up with the project standard.

Be wary that cutting corners with your metal roofing tools is a sure way to minimize the longevity of your standing seam metal roof.

Blind Rivet Installation

The first step in blind rivet installation is to drill a hole in the material where you need to create a joint. This hole should fit the size of the rivet body snuggly with no gapping for proper installation. To secure the rivet, you will need an installation tool. Either a manual pop rivet tool or rivet gun will work perfectly but you must make sure the installation equipment matches the size of the blind rivets that you are using.

Place the mandrel into the hole of the power pop rivet tool and press the gun button to trigger the mandrel snap for a permanent joint. Many professional roofing contractors prefer manual, cordless rivet tools to battery-operated rivet tools because they are easier to carry in your toolbelt and they are lighter weight.

With a manual rivet tool, you will squeeze the handles to snap the mandrel and secure the pop rivet. The HP-2 rivet tool is a great manual tool that is built for quality, performance, durability, and long life when working with steel rivets on metal roofing projects.

It is important to note that blind rivets are difficult to remove once they are installed, so make sure that you are installing the rivets in the correct place. When rivets are removed, they often leave damage to the sheet metal or material where they are placed.

Shop AMSI's 44 copper pop rivets and 42 copper pop rivets for your next standing seam metal roof project. Contact us with any questions about the right rivets for your roof.