Perhaps you’re considering a roof replacement, or planning to build one from scratch. Whatever your reason is for wanting to understand the process of installing a metal roof, you’re in the right place!
Compared to old dilapidated roofs, a new metal roof offers several advantages. Properly installed with the right materials, a new metal roof can last a lifetime with their resiliency. Plus, they add so much aesthetic value to your home. Here is a simple guide about the process of metal roof installation.
Understanding the Process of Installing a Metal Roof
As Southern Sheet Metal explains, there are some things to understand when it comes to installing a metal roof. Some of them are things to consider for roof installation in general, while some are specific for metal roof installation.
Materials and Measuring
Regardless of what project you’re planning to do, the first thing anyone will need are the right tools for the job. For the first part of the job, all the tools you’ll need would be a ladder and a measuring device such as a measuring tape, meter stick, or a push pull rule. The first thing to do would be to measure the entire surface area of the roof. This is the only way to further determine how much material you should prepare for the actual job.
A good tip to have is that whatever surface area value was measured, you should get 5-10% more material than initially measured to account for human error.
Once the amount of material has been determined, the following tools and materials will be needed to start the job: roofing felt, wood roofing screws, metal roofing screws, roofing nails (one and a quarter inch), drill and drill bits, staple gun, steel panels, jigsaw or power metal shears.
You can easily find the materials online, but the local hardware store will also probably have everything you’ll need.
Remove the Existing Roof
Once you have all the tools and materials you’ll need to install a new roof, then perhaps it’s time to get rid of the old one. For older roofs, chances are that the roofing material installed are shingles. If that’s the case, then it’s best to start from the topmost part of the roof where the shingles overlap over the next ones. For safety, it’s highly recommended to do jobs on top of roofs during nice and sunny days as wet roofs can potentially lead to accidents. Another tip is to rent a dumpster for the job because you’ll be accumulating a lot of trash as you remove the old roof. Aside from old shingles, large nails or fasteners have to be removed as well.
Removing the old roofing material is a tedious job, but eventually, you’ll get to the bare roof frame and plywood sheathing. Once this surface is exposed, make sure to inspect it now and fix whatever you can because having access to this surface is very rare.
Add the Insulation
One of the main roles of a roof is to protect the house from precipitation such as rain and snow. However, while the roofing material redirects these weather elements, insulation is needed to prevent moisture from coming in.
For this job, a modern metal roof would benefit greatly from a layer of roofing felt for insulation. With a staple gun and roofing nails, fastening the roofing felt shouldn’t be too difficult. Depending on the severity of the local weather, people sometimes opt to go for two layers of insulation instead of one.
Install the Eave Flashing
Once the insulation has been fastened, there’s one more thing to do before you can actually begin to install the metal roof – you have to install the eave flashing. This is simply the metal strip that goes all around the perimeter of the roof. Typically, 1¼ inch roofing nails are used for this particular job. The eaves flashing is an important part of roof installation as it protects the facade of the roof, provides support for shingles or sheets, and helps guide water into a gutter.
Add Metal Roofing
You’ve laid all the groundwork you need – it’s time to add those metal panels. You might get confused where to actually begin especially since roofs can have different shapes and topologies.
Experienced craftsmen suggest that the best place to begin adding the metal panels would be in the largest part of the roof or wherever you can lay down the longest straight line between the peak and the eave.
Once the largest metal panels have been positioned, make sure to fasten them with washer head screws with neoprene washers to totally seal off moisture. Just like shingles, the edges of the metal panels should overlap one another by about an inch or so. For additional waterproofing, you can seal spaces and gaps between metal panels with an adhesive silicone.
Add Final Flashing
To get the job done, all that’s left in metal roof installation is to install the final pieces of metal flashing over joints over ridges and peaks of the roof where the metal sheets do not technically overlap. While the metal panels are mostly flat, these pieces are usually bent to fit the shape of the roof.
One last tip: keep all your excess materials for the future. You might have to do some little repairs here and there and you’d be thankful you still have some metal sheets or pieces of flashing left to work with.
It may seem easier on paper, but everything will feel differently – especially when you’re already on top of the roof. For confident home workers with a little experience, metal roof installation will be an exciting and challenging project. However, for those with little to no experience in working around tools and around the home, it might be best to leave this to the professionals.
While you’ll pay for their services, you’ll be saving money from the hospital fees if ever you get yourself into an accident trying to bite off more than you can chew.