“When it comes to metal roofs, details are where your money is made or lost,” said Vaughn Bacon, manager of Technical Services for MBCI NCI Building Systems, during his METALCON seminar titled “Metal Roofing: The Devil Is in the Details.”
Bacon showed some photos from jobsites of details gone horribly wrong to prove his point, along with photos documenting the proper way to do the job. He urged contractors to follow two basic principles when it comes to metal roofing:
1. Think long-term. Metal roofs should last 20 years or more, so don’t count on exposed sealant to solve a problem, stated Bacon. “The trim and fasteners have to last as long as the roof,” he said. “Make sure you use long-life fasteners and long-term details.”
2. Plan ahead. “Think about your details early,” he said. “Details should be planned in advance and down in writing on the drawing board before you go out into the field.
Bacon also explored common leak points with metal roofs, including penetrations, side laps, and end laps. “You can ruin a great day’s work if a guy running the seamer doesn’t know what he’s doing,” he said.
Other tips Bacon shared at the seminar included:
- Always uses heavy gauge aluminum or stainless steel - something weldable - for roof curbs. Monolithic curbs are best.
- With pipes and other penetrations, don’t penetrate a panel seam.
- When lightning protection equipment is considered, make sure copper or copper runoff does not come into contact with galvalume.
- Do not cut galvalume with a saw. “Do not cut these sheets with anything except nibblers, snips, shears - something with a shearing action.”
- Do not cut anything on the roof, as shavings can damage the roof surface. Make all cuts on the ground.