Metal roof seaming can be a very dangerous project so it is important to employ the best practices to ensure the quality of the finished product and avoid any injury.
Whether you're a building owner with a metal roof seaming project coming up for your business or if you're a contractor taking on the project, these methods will help you ease the process of creating weathertight seams and a lasting roof.
Hire Roofing Contractors With the Proper Training
The first step to metal roof seaming is to make sure you hire a team of workers or contractors that are properly trained. This isn't a project that you should try to take on by yourself without experience because you could get severely injured and potentially ruin the roof.
When hiring a roofing team or partnering with a roofing company, make sure that they are qualified in metal roofing and have a strong background in this sort of project. It's okay if one or two roofing team members are still in the apprenticeship period, as long as they have an equipped leader with adequate training that will be watching their work closely.
Plan and Prepare
The best standing seam metal roofs are carefully planned out and carefully prepared. The roofing team or architects should pre-draft the slope of the roof, making it as steep as possible so that rainwater slides off smoothly and doesn't get trapped. Roofs with strong slopes have better quality water-shedding systems and last longer.
Secondly, the underlayment should have a protective coating that is waterproof and must be installed tediously. High-quality underlayment protects the building from roof leaks into the building interiors and built-up condensation that may occur.
The underlayment is the first installment step in making sure the roof lasts. Even if the metal roof panels on top are installed perfectly, the roof lifespan will shorten with improper underlayment quality or installation. With everything done right, the roof should last up to 50 years.
Use the Best Seaming Equipment
In every step of seaming a metal roof, you must use the best equipment for the optimal roof assembly. When securing the underlayment, you should be using fasteners or clips and hand crimpers to follow through. Your hand crimpers will also be needed to form seams around the end laps so they need to be strong enough to last throughout the whole crimping process.
Strong aviation snips are also needed to cut through the sheets of metal used on your roof. Different types of metal require different styles of aviation snips so it is important to do some research beforehand on panel profile.
Hand seamers and seaming pliers are other equipment pieces that are necessary for the seaming process. To avoid faulty seaming, these tools must be chosen with the metal roof profile as the key consideration. There may be a wide range of products to choose from so pay attention to the working depth, jaw width, and jaw depth so that it matches the exact roof panel system you're using.
Electric seamers are the final piece of equipment needed to finish the seaming process of the roof. These electric seamers should never be moved off of the seaming track or else you run the risk of not being able to put it back in exactly the same place.
The electric seamer that your roofing team uses should be of the highest quality you can find. Generic equipment is more likely to fall apart or operate improperly during the metal roofing installation and costs you more in the damage assessment and maintenance of the metal panels. If your electrical seamer fails you should contact the manufacturers right away.
To ensure the roof is fully sealed the roof seaming tools should always be monitored carefully throughout the installation process and hand-picked with care in advance.
Use a Strong Electrical Source
To use your seaming equipment like the electric seamer, a strong electrical power source is required to power the tools. Most professional electrical seamers have an AC/DC monitor that needs 10 to 15 amps or 120 volts.
The best electrical sources to use are generators strictly for the seamer, electrical poles, or a building electrical panel. The power line to the seamer must have a minimum of a 10-gauge electrical cord and no longer than 200 feet.
Never use an outlet from a generator connected to other tools or a powered man lift. These power sources are less reliable and could cause power surges.
Keep it Clean
Make sure to keep the metal panels and seaming equipment as clean as possible throughout the roofing project. Use proper wipes or towels to clean dirt, debris, and grease off the tools to keep them fresh.
Check the grease levels of your machines and add grease as needed but usually no more than three pumps. If too much grease is used, it could risk potential leaks onto the roof and damage it during the electric seaming process.
You'll want the finished product to look as polished as possible so having your roofing contractors maintain a cleaning regiment as part of the maintenance procedures is key throughout the installation.
Metal roof seaming is no easy job, but with the right practices, you can create a lasting 35-year-old roof and onward to 50 years. By prioritizing the main factors of safety, cleanliness, and the right equipment, you will surely have a successful metal roof installation.