Installing a Metal Roof – What You Should Know

What Should I Know Before Installing a Metal Roof on My Home?

If your existing roof has seen better days, you’ll probably be exploring your options. Of course, you know that replacing it is the best course of action, and you may be considering metal. But what should you know before installing a metal roof, and what should you do with your existing roof?

Why are Metal Roofing Systems So Great?

Many people choose metal roofs when it comes time to replace, as they represent a practical, eco-friendly, durable option. They can last for as long as 40 to 70 years, but commonly 50 years when properly installed and should outlast any single-ply or asphalt shingle roofs. 

In addition, they’re fire retardant and energy-efficient, so they can keep your home warmer in winter and cool in summer due to their reflective properties. Metal roofing panels are also a lot lighter, so they are likely to put less strain on your building frame.

No matter the type of metal roof you choose – our metal roofing products are the highest quality material on the market and our work is backed by decades of service in the industry.

Placing an Order for Materials

Before you proceed with this job, you will need to order your metal roofing materials. First, you need to take dimensions by measuring the rake (the line taken from the eaves to the top ridge) and then another measurement from eave to eave. 

This will allow you to calculate the square footage so that you can order accordingly. Remember to consider any features such as chimney stack, skylight, or roof-mounted A/C unit.

Removing the Existing Roofing Installation

If you have an existing shingle roof, you need to tear it off, and experts typically use a specially designed “shovel” device with a fulcrum and serrated teeth. You will need to have a plan to make this job as efficient as possible but remember, it’s very labor-intensive. Also, don’t forget to check local building codes, as you may well need to get permission before the job can commence.

You should work downward from the top of the roof and remove each shingle with the shovel. Don’t forget to remove any fasteners and underlay; you should have a dumpster on hand beneath to dump everything into. You may also need to consult your local authority to see where you should take the leftovers and if there are any requirements in place for shingle disposal.

As this work continues, it’s important to inspect the structure and ensure that there is no water infiltration or existing damage that the asphalt shingles may have hidden. Inspect the roof -start with the frame and ensure it is still in good condition so that it can accept the new metal roof.

If everything looks sound, the installation of the metal roof can continue.

Metal Roof Installation, Step-by-Step

  1. When you have removed all traces of your asphalt shingle roof and any underlays, you need to focus on the substrate. This is a material that will be used to cover the joists and rafters and that will be able to accept the metal panels. Most substrates are made from oriented strand board, planking or plywood and must be firmly attached to the roof frame at this stage.
  2. Once the substrate has been installed, the next step is to add rolls of synthetic underlayment. These are far more durable than the old-fashioned paper alternative and are much easier to apply. Also, they won’t deteriorate if they are exposed to some precipitation as the building work continues.
  3. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to see if there are any specific requirements. For example, you may need to overlap each roll to a degree, allowing the materials to expand and contract with weather conditions.
  4. Next, you must turn to the perimeter and install the eaves trim, which helps to divert water along the edges. You’ll need some drip edges (which come in galvanized steel) and special tools (like a hand seamer) to install the edges correctly. Again, refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to see how much overlap is required, and then apply sealant tape or caulking at any seams. You will need to reinforce this installation with roofing nails in places.
  5. Now, you’re ready to install the metal roofing panels but note that there are several different ways to do this. The attachment points may vary, and as these metal roofs tend to expand and contract with the heat of the day, refer to local building codes for specific recommendations.
  6. At this point, you may also consider using a standing seam fastener approach. These fasteners are effectively hidden when the panel is attached to the roofing deck, and you can choose from a variety of types such as snap/lock, batten panel, or mechanical seam.
  7. Start at the eaves and work up, overlapping each panel as you proceed. You will need seaming sealant tape or caulking at each junction to ensure your installation is weatherproof. You’ll also need to install the metal roofing nails at specific intervals.
  8. Before installing a panel, you may need to cut it to work around any skylights, chimney stacks, or other features. The best way to do this is with a circular saw, but you must take precise measurements to get it right the first time. A careful approach will help you avoid any product wastage.
  9. To finish things off, you may need to install closure strips where individual roofing slopes come together. These will help ensure that your installation is waterproof and will finish off the job nicely from an aesthetic point of view.
  10. Finally, add sealant tape and then install ridge caps on top, fastening these down with screws to complete the job.

Getting Professional Help

As you can see, a great deal of work is involved in installing metal roofs. If this seems too labor intensive, dangerous, or technical, it is best that you bring in the experts to do the job for you. Our team of experts is standing by to make your metal roof replacement job simple and quick so you can worry about other things.

JET is renowned for its top-class service, and the company always delivers projects on time. So, if you’re in the northeast Georgia area, reach out for a free estimate and evaluation.

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