Guide to Metal Roof Installation

What You Need to Know About Metal Roof Installations

Metal roofing comes with many advantages over other types of roofing. As such, it is an excellent choice for homeowners seeking durability and energy efficiency. By reflecting heat, metal roofs can significantly lower cooling costs. They are also known for their longevity, typically lasting between 50 to 70 years.

If you're considering installing a metal roof yourself for your home or business, this guide will provide you with the essential knowledge and tips to do so efficiently and effectively.

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Understanding the Structure of a Metal Roof

Before diving into the installation process, it's crucial to understand the structure of a metal roof. A well-constructed metal roof consists of multiple layers, each playing a vital role in water shedding and protection from inclement weather.

A correctly built roof utilizes these layers to ensure that water flows smoothly from one level to the next until it safely exits the roof, keeping your home dry and secure.

Read More: 5 Benefits of Metal Roofs in Austin, TX

Tools and Materials You'll Need for Your Metal Roof Installation

For a successful metal roof installation, you'll require the following tools and materials:

Tools Required:

The tools that are required for your metal roof installation will include:

  • • Basic carpentry tools
  • • Aviation snips
  • • Hand seamer
  • • Fall protection equipment
  • • Metal shears
  • • Drill/driver

Materials Required:

Materials you'll need for your metal roofing installation include:

  • • Metal Roofing Panels
  • • Ice and Water Shield
  • • Roofing Nails
  • • Eave Trim
  • • Gable Trim
  • • Ridge Cap
  • • Sidewall Flashing
  • • Self Tapping Roofing Screws
  • • Metal Roofing Sealant
  • • Inside Foam Closure Strips
  • • Outside Foam Closure Strips
  • • Butyl Tape
  • • Roofing Vent Boots

Read More: How to know when it’s time to replace a roof?

Metal Roof Installation Guide  

Step-by-Step Metal Roof Installation Process

Now that we've covered the tools and materials you'll need for your metal roof, let's go over the steps for a proper installation. Here is a general guide that can be applied to different types of metal roofing, including

1: Apply the Underlayment

The underlayment of your metal roofing acts as a critical barrier, protecting your roof from water intrusion and damage. Begin by rolling out the self-healing ice-and-water membrane across the roof deck. It's essential to ensure the underlayment lies flat and wrinkle-free for maximum effectiveness. As you unroll it, remove the adhesive backing in halves to better manage its placement.

Overlap each subsequent layer by six to eight inches. After rolling out each section, trim the underlayment to match the roof's edge and then remove the remaining backing. This step is important for creating a seamless, waterproof base layer that will protect your roof deck from moisture and the elements.

2: Order and Prepare Panels

Choosing the right size for your metal panels is crucial for minimizing seams, which can be potential weak points for water leaks. Measure your roof to determine the ideal panel length. Longer panels reduce the number of seams, but keep in mind the logistics of transporting and lifting these panels onto your roof.

Panels around 32 feet long are common, but ensure you have the means, like a large lift, to handle them safely. If your situation doesn't allow for longer panels, ordering shorter lengths is a practical alternative. Remember, the key is to balance panel length with practical handling and installation considerations.

3: Bend Trim Ends

Properly bending the trim ends is essential for ensuring a tight and secure fit at corners and junctions. Using aviation snips, make a series of one-inch cuts at each bend point on the trim. These cuts allow you to create tabs that can be folded neatly with a hand seamer, ensuring a snug fit against walls, corners, or to bridge any gaps.

Each trim piece may have a unique shape, requiring specific cuts and bends. This attention to detail in shaping the trim ensures that each piece fits perfectly, providing an essential barrier against water infiltration at the roof's edges.

4: Install Eave Trim

Eave trim installation varies depending on your climate. In areas prone to ice dams, install the eave trim over the underlayment for added protection. Elsewhere, it might be attached directly to the fascia before laying the underlayment.

Secure the eave trim tightly to the roof deck using one-inch roofing nails. This step is crucial for preventing water from seeping under the panels at the roof's edge, a common problem area in many roofing systems.

Read More: 12 Common Roofing Problems and How to Prevent Them

5: Splice and Overlap Trims

Splicing and overlapping trims is a critical step for creating a continuous, watertight seal along the roof edges. Begin by cutting the bottom hem of the underlapping trim at an angle. This angled cut allows for a more streamlined and effective overlap. After installing the first piece of trim, apply a bead of sealant on its top surface.

Then, pry open the bottom hem of the overlapping trim and slide it over the angle-cut hem of the underlapping trim. This technique ensures a secure, overlapping join that prevents water from penetrating the roof's edges.

6: Establish a Reference Line

Establishing a square reference line is pivotal for ensuring that the roofing panels are aligned correctly. Use the 3-4-5 triangle rule to create a 90-degree angle reference line. Measure three feet from a corner along the eave, then four feet up towards the ridge.

From the original corner, measure out five feet to where it intersects the four-foot mark. Snap a chalk line through these points to create your reference. This line acts as a guide to ensure that each panel is aligned correctly for a symmetrical and visually pleasing roof.

7: Place the Panels

Proper placement of panels starts with positioning the inside foam closure strips along the eave, about an inch from the edge. These strips conform to the panel's corrugated underside, sealing out bugs and water. Use butyl tape to adhere the strips to the panels.

Then, run a bead of sealant on top of each strip before setting the panel in place. Ensure each panel overhangs the eave by an inch and aligns consistently with the reference line. This precise placement is vital for a uniform appearance and effective water drainage.

Read More: Best Roof Types for Texas

8: Fasten Panels Correctly

Securely fastening the panels is key to a leak-proof roof. Start at the eave, placing screws on both sides of every rib, aligned with the foam closure strip underneath. Space each subsequent row no more than 24 inches apart, placing a screw at each rib on the overlapping side. Work systematically from the bottom up, ensuring screws are seated flat and are neither over-tightened nor under-tightened.

This precise fastening compresses the rubber gasket without deforming it, ensuring a tight seal around each screw. Remove any metal shavings immediately to prevent rust.

9: Overlap Panels Properly

The overlapping edges of metal panels have a shorter rib leg, designed not to touch the roof surface for a seamless join. Ensure the last rib of each panel overlaps correctly, fitting into the next panel's profile. This perfect nesting is crucial for directing water towards the eave and preventing leaks.

The underlapped side's rib should have a drainage channel to facilitate water flow from heavy rain. Proper overlapping is essential for the structural integrity and waterproofing of your metal roof.

10: Attach Gable Trim

Attaching the gable trim provides an aesthetic finish and added protection. Bend the end of the trim to meet the corner at the eave, ensuring a tight fit. Apply butyl tape on the underside of the trim where it rests on the roof panels.

This creates a seal that prevents water from infiltrating under the panels and siding. Secure the trim by driving screws every 12 inches, directly over the butyl tape, for a neat and secure finish.

Read More: Types of Metal Roofs That Will Make Your Home Stand Out

11: Secure the Ridge Cap

The final step is securing the ridge cap, which covers the peak of the roof. Attach a line of outside foam closure strips along the peak, about four inches from the top, using butyl tape. This provides a base for the ridge cap. Apply a bead of sealant on the closure strips before positioning the ridge cap.

Secure it with two-inch screws through every rib into the roof deck. This capping ensures that all water flowing over the roof is effectively channeled away, safeguarding against any moisture reaching the underlayment.

Metal Roof Installation Guide: In Conclusion

Need assistance with your metal roof installation? Read more about metal roofs 101 here. If you aren't comfortable with the DIY roofing installation process, contact a local company in Austin that you trust.

A professional roofing company can perform a metal roofing installation with ease. If at any time you have questions about the metal roofing installation process, roof fixes, or roof maintenance, please contact our team!

Read More: What Is the Best Time of Year to Install a Roof?

Metal Roofing Installation with Solar Panels  

Why Choose LOA for Metal Roof Installations?

LOA Construction is a trusted roofing company with decades of combined experience in the industry. We are skilled with various types of metal roofs and other roofing materials. Our team proudly serves the areas of Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Belton, Temple, and Killeen.

Following the detailed steps in our metal roof installation guide will help ensure your installation project is successful. When you properly install a metal roof, you'll benefit from years of durable protection for your home. You'll also need to make sure you're properly maintaining your roof as well. More information about that in our article about why roof maintenance important in Texas.

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Have questions for our professional roofers about whether you should repair or replace your metal roof? Or, are you ready to get started on your commercial roof repair or replacement? Contact LOA Construction for an inspection and estimate today!

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