How To Cut Metal Roofing

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Everything You Need To Know About How To Cut Metal Roofing

Hi guys, Doug Schmit here, your roofing Bloomington Indiana expert from Equity Builders, coming to you again with more tips and tricks. Today we’re going to talk to you about how to cut metal roofing

We’ve got a big house behind us with a big beautiful red metal roof. We got a lot of do-it-yourself-ers, that are asking all the time, “can I do this myself”? 

It looks really easy looking at some YouTube videos and indeed you can do it.

There’s not a lot of difficulty about putting these type of roofs, as long as you understand the ABCS of what you’re doing.

Cutting Metal Roofing Safety

Let me describe a little bit today how to do that properly.

But first…

let’s take some cutting metal roofing safety precations.

Obviously, when you’re dealing with metal, it’s very easy to cut yourself a lot of sharp edges on the metal.

So you definitely need a pair of gloves that are not just impact resistant, but are going to keep you from cutting your hands here.

Wearing something like this is definitely a must when you’re working with metal.

I’m gonna do this with just my normal glasses, on. 

Obviously, you’re gonna want some goggles as well. Wearing safety goggles is always wise when you’re working with any type of construction.

The Best Way to Cut Metal Roofing

When it comes to the best way to cut metal roofing, one of the big things you’re going to need is a good pair of shears that is made for metal. 

They work just like scissors except that you can have a 29-gauge or 26-gauge metal, or whatever you’re working with, and it will cut right through it just like your sisters will cut through paper.

They also make an attachment for a cordless drill, that’s really handy, and that will do your sniping for you just by pulling on the trigger.

You can cut your round circles. And can you get into some difficulties with the metal roofing because of the contour, or the ribs. 

They make it difficult for things to get sealed up properly, which is the hardest part about doing it yourself and trying to work with it.

So on a regular shingle roof you would have a pipe jack like this, or a boot, that comes in various sized pipes.

You’ll notice if you’re doing metal there’s no way to get that boot to seal around the metal. In order to accommodate that on a metal roof, they make a boot like this.

You can cut it for various size holes for different size pipes, and then it’s very flexible. 

So wherever your pipe falls in the location of your metal roofing, we can put that in and shape it around the contour of the ribs.

Then we can put a screw about every inch all the way around this and that will squeeze that rubber boot down right around these ribs and keep it from leaking.

So there are slick little tricks like that that you’ll need to learn a little bit about. 

If you’re gonna try to do this yourself, I would always recommend of course having a professional do this for you because nobody needs a leak on the roof and you really need to know what you’re doing.

We’re gonna hop up on the roof here and show you how to do this close up. 

You can see the bar across here which is made for keeping your snow and ice from running down and ripping off your gutters.

I’ll show you what the boots look like on a real metal roof up there and you can see how they fit around the ribs.

The Best Way To Cut Corrugated Metal Roofing

Now let me explain the best way to cut corrugated metal roofing.

So I showed you down by the truck how they make the boots to fit around the pipe now, which also fits the contours of the metal riffing.

So dependent on where the rib lies in relation to your pipe, you need to put a boot on there with lots of screws all the way around it, so it conforms around the contours of your metal.

This one through the years it apparently had a leak. So somebody has come along to caulk all the way around it.

Ordinarily, you don’t need to do the caulking. Those boots themselves will fit tightly enough around the metal to keep it sealed up and keep it leak-free.

Then you’ve got a nice rubber flange that will fit tightly around your pipe and keep water out.

They make them in various sizes, and they also make great big huge ones for things like your solo tubes.

Obviously, it’s the same kind of thing except it has an adjustable flange that will fit around those contours.

How To Cut 29 Gauge Metal Roofing Panels

Alright, as you are learning how to cut 29-gauge metal roofing panels, there is one thing you need to be careful of what tools you use if you’re going to be doing your own metal roofing.

This particular sheet is a 29-gauge metal with the painted surface on it. Whatever color you choose, you need to realize that although your circular saw will cut through this metal, it may be a mistake.

You can put a metal blade on there and cut it with that, but the problem is the speed of your blade gets too fast and it will create too much heat on this metal to where the paint itself is going to be damaged.  

And after a couple of more years, you’ll end up with a lot of rust on your metal roof that you don’t want.

So in order to eliminate the heat getting to great always use some snips. It’s a little bit slower but given the scope of your project, it is not going to add that much time to it.

Use your snips to cut off your metal riffing. It will cut it very easily. 

You can cut round circles for your pipes or it will cut anything that you need to cut around for your vents.

Always make sure you wear your gloves. It’s very easy to cut yourself on the metal roofing, if you don’t have some protective gloves on.

You don’t want to use the high speed of a skill saw, or any type of circular saw, because it will create too much heat.

And although it will look great the day you’re done, you will find in a year or two later that it’s going to end up with some rust built up there. 

I’ll do, I’ll show you one of those here in a couple of days, we’re gonna be repairing one that has that rest problem.

Okay, so the snips make it very easy cutting around these ribs. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult, but you’ll notice they’ll make the contour.

I’m having all kinds of trouble myself trying to do this straight.

If you need to cut circles around, then take a little bit of time nipping at it as you go.

You can cut up and over the ribs as well and then you can take the time to clean up all the little shards and sharp edges.

Okay, and then your boot or whatever you’re needing on there has its own little seal that will fit around the contours and seal up over that. 

Installing plenty of screws around the perimeter will keep it all tight and like free.

After You Cut Metal Roofing

Okay, so after you cut metal roofing to your desired shape, I want to demonstrate the fasteners used to hold the metal roofing down.

It’s not just a normal screw these screws. These screws, if you’ll notice closely, have its own little washer on it. And right below the metal washer is another little neoprene washer which is made to seal it water type.

So as you tighten that screw down, the neoprene washer goes down to your metal. It has a metal washer right behind it. You will want to collapse that neoprene washer, just a little bit, and that will give you your water tight seal.

Now, the problem with these sometimes those screws through time are gonna work their way loose. If that loosens up, then the neoprene washer comes up and it is going to allow water to get down in the hole where the score is.

I’ll show you some examples. This roof has been on for a few years. You’ll notice how high the head of this screw is. Through the years that screw has loosened up and now there’s nothing sealing out water there anymore. It’s a very simple fix.

You can take your driver again. Tighten her back down. As long as there’s still plywood to hold it, squeeze that neoprene washer tight again and it’ll be good to go.

Otherwise, you can pull them back out and simply replace the screws.

This one is not tightening down to anything.

Yeah, it’s just spinning.

So let’s talk about the medals themselves.

Back about 100 years ago, there were a lot of tin roofs. Today they are predominantly steel. 

They’ve got all kinds of painted steel. 

Normally it is a 29-gauge metal. If you want something a little heavier, then they’ll go 26-gauge and they even make some stronger stuff. 

This is a very standard rib design for most residential purposes. On commercial buildings, they’ll have a different contour and have a standing seam. 

This particular one is called an exposed fastener where you actually see all of the fasteners exposed on the roof. 

They make one with hidden fasteners in the ribs where you don’t see all these screws. They’re actually hidden in the installation process. 

Some of the various parts are pretty obvious. After getting the field on, we need a ridge cap to keep the ridge itself from leaking.

Also, we’ve got trims on the rakes. 

When you get to the outside, the last piece of metal on the edge of the roof will have an L-shaped rake trim here which goes over the edge and gives a nice finish trim right onto the edge.

Down at the bottom you’ll notice the snow guards. The one big problem that people have with metal roofs is when you get three or four inches of snow on a roof like this that’s not very steep, then the snow will sit on the roof. Then all of a sudden one day you’ll slam a door or something will happen and cause it to start sliding. And once that snow begins to slide down the entire run, it will just rush right off your roof in the process. 

A lot of times it’ll tend to rip the gutters off. Or, if somebody is walking or standing down there, then you’ll have an avalanches of snow bury.

So the little snow guards here are very handy to put on a foot or so above the gutters to keep that avalanche of snow from happening.

Cutting Metal Roofing With Shears

Cutting metal roofing with shears can be difficult, especially when you need to make the boots to fit around the pipe now, which also fits the contours of the metal riffing.

So dependent on where the rib lies in relation to your pipe, you need to put a boot on there with lots of screws all the way around it, so it conforms around the contours of your metal.

This one through the years it apparently had a leak. So somebody has come along to caulk all the way around it.

Ordinarily, you don’t need to do the caulking. Those boots themselves will fit tightly enough around the metal to keep it sealed up and keep it leak-free.

Then you’ve got a nice rubber flange that will fit tightly around your pipe and keep water out.

They make them in various sizes, and they also make great big huge ones for things like your solo tubes.

Obviously, it’s the same kind of thing except it has an adjustable flange that will fit around those contours.

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