Everything You Want To Know About Pop Rivets

aug 21 post

Pop rivets may seem like small components, but they are crucial for creating secure and reliable joints in various industries, including metal roofing installations from installing pipe boots to metal roof panels. To understand their importance, we're providing you with a comprehensive guide to pop rivets covering everything from their components and terminology to the selection process, installation techniques, safety measures, common troubleshooting issues, and maintenance tips.

By mastering these elements, you can ensure that your metal roofing installation is strong and durable. Ultimately, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and expertise required to successfully install and maintain pop rivets, keeping your projects safe and secure for years to come.

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:

  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Leather

Pop rivets can also be made of many different materials:

  • 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 standard 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.

When selecting rivets, be sure to choose the right ones for your specific project by following the recommendations in our guide on Choosing the Right Rivet for Your Metal Roofing Project.

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 in 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.

Safety Precautions When Using Pop Rivets and a Rivet Gun

When it comes to using pop rivets and a rivet gun, safety should always be a top priority. While these tools can make quick work of fastening materials together, they can also be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken.

That's why it's crucial to wear safety glasses, gloves, and other protective gear to prevent accidents and injuries.

Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a professional metal roofing contractor, taking the time to implement safety measures is essential to ensure that your project is completed safely and successfully. So, before you start using your rivet gun, make sure that you have all of the necessary safety equipment and that you're familiar with how to use it properly to protect yourself and those around you.

Rivet Gun Maintenance

A rivet gun is a vital tool in any workshop for joining metal parts together. As with any machine, regular maintenance is crucial to ensure that it remains in optimal working condition. Neglected rivet guns can malfunction and cause delays in your project's progress and even lead to accidents.

To prevent this, it's essential to take time to clean and lubricate the gun appropriately. This task includes inspecting and replacing worn-out and damaged components as these can lead to the gun's failure. By conducting regular maintenance, you'll prolong the life of your rivet gun and keep it operating safely and efficiently to ensure the longevity of your finished project.

Comparing Pop Rivets with Other Methods of Securing Metal Roofing

When it comes to securing metal roofing, there are various methods available. From screws and nails to adhesives and clamps, each method offers its own unique benefits. However, pop rivets stand out as a clear favorite for many reasons.

First off, pop rivets are incredibly easy to install, making them a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. They also offer excellent durability, as they create a permanent bond that can withstand harsh weather conditions. And the best part? Pop rivets are extremely cost-effective, making them an attractive option for those looking to save money on roofing installations.

While other methods certainly have their benefits, the advantages of pop rivets can't be ignored.

Time to Get Working!

As we reach the conclusion of this blog post, let's recap the key points covered. Safety is paramount when it comes to using rivet guns and addressing common issues as well as maintaining the equipment can go a long way in ensuring its longevity and efficiency.

Pop rivets, in particular, are an excellent choice for metal roofing applications due to their numerous benefits such as ease of use and reliability.

In short, taking proper safety precautions, addressing maintenance issues, and utilizing pop rivets can make all the difference in ensuring successful metal roofing projects.

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 next metal roofing project!