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What Is Metal Roof Seaming and Why Is It Important?

Oct 27, 2019

If you own residential or commercial property, have you considered the many benefits of installing a new metal roof on your home or commercial building? Metal roofs can offer lasting value and surprising benefits to any type of property owner. The unique installation process for metal roofs is one of the most important parts of any metal roof installation, so it is essential to choose a roofer who has extensive, proven experience with metal roof seaming. Different seaming techniques are necessary for different structural styles and choosing the right roofer can ensure you get lasting value from your new metal roof.

When you decide to invest in a new metal roof, following a few simple but important best practices can ensure the best experience possible and ensure the longest lasting value from your new metal roof.

Hire the Right Crew with the Right Equipment

Before you hire a contractor for any type of work on your home or commercial property, do your research and investigate the contractor’s credentials. Don’t assume a roofer with 20 years of experience installing and repairing asphalt shingle roofs will have the same level of success with a metal roof installation until you verify the roofer has successfully handled high-quality metal roof installations in the area.

Start your research by checking testimonials from past customers of a potential roofer you’re thinking about hiring. While many contractors may pick and choose which reviews to post on their own websites, third party review sites like Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List can be great tools for finding real reviews from real past customers. Pay close attention to the best and worst reviews and look for any trends. For example, if you notice several reviewers mention similar issues with a particular roofer, this is probably a good sign you should look elsewhere. On that same note, if you notice many reviewers posting similarly glowing reviews about a roofer, that roofer should move to the top of your list.

Always verify the credentials and licenses of a roofer before agreeing to services. Unknowingly hiring an unlicensed or uncertified roofer can lead to serious problems later on including voided manufacturers’ warranties and expensive repairs.

Understand the Hand Crimping Process

Different metal roof panels from different manufacturers have specific clamping and crimping needs to ensure safe and effective installation. When you hire a team to handle your metal roof seaming, they must have experience with the manufacturer brand you choose and have the right tools for the job. Hand crimping is a very delicate and detailed process that requires exact spacing for different types of clips.

If the roofing team cannot explain the hand crimping process in thorough detail, this is a sign they may not be capable of performing the job up to par with your expectations. Shoddy or inadequate hand crimping is one of the most common causes of bad seaming that can lead to expensive repairs down the road.

Know What to Expect with an Electric Seamer

After the hand crimping process, your roofer will use an electric seamer to finalize the metal roof installation. The roofing team will place the metal panels, clip them securely, and then hand crimp them into place. Electric seaming is not a one-person job; the team will need to work together carefully to make sure nothing interferes with each and every seam. The seaming team should also bring their own AC/DC generator to power the electric seamer as it requires more power than a standard outlet can provide.

In some cases, it may be necessary for the seaming team to stop the seamer to remove debris or to ensure a secure seam. However, they should not move or replace the seamer mid-seam. Doing so will make it extremely difficult to place the seam back into the correct position and may lead to holes in the seams. Even a single small hole in one seam can compromise the security and efficacy of the entire metal roofing system.

Always Put Safety First

An electric seamer is a very heavy and potentially dangerous tool. The metal roof seaming team you choose should use safety lines attached to the seamer to ensure it does not fall to the ground if an accident should happen and it detaches from the roof during the seaming process.

The members of the seaming team should all wear appropriate safety gear as well, including hard hats, heavy-duty gloves, eye protection, and some type of secure fall protection. Working on any roof is dangerous but handling heavy and complex equipment like metal roof electric seamers increases the danger and opens more possibilities for severe injuries.

When you hire a roofing company for metal roof installation and seaming, ask about the company’s safety policies, the type of training their team members complete, and what steps they take to ensure the safety of their seamers. Any roofing company reluctant to answer these questions may not be the best choice, so only work with roofers who can answer all your safety-related questions.

Ensure Old Roof Removal Before Installation

Inexperienced or unprofessional roofers may attempt to install a new metal roof directly on top of an old asphalt shingle roof, claiming this adds an extra layer of protection. This is not true and can cause serious issues later down the road. One possible issue is telegraphing, or the appearance of horizontal bands across the surface of your metal roof panels from the asphalt shingles underneath.

Old roof shingles will also scratch against the underside of new metal roof panels as the metal roof expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations. Eventually, this will erode the protective galvanized layer coating the metal roof panels and expose them to corrosion and rusting, ultimately degrading the entire metal roofing system.

Find the Best Roofers

A standing seam metal roof can be a fantastic addition to any home that offers lasting value and a tremendous lifetime cost of ownership with minimal hassles and maintenance compared to typical asphalt shingle roofs. Follow the best practices covered here to ensure the roofing team you choose can provide the value and safety you expect with your new metal roof installation.

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