Metal Roofing Installation - BarrierBoss

Metal Roofing Installation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Thinking about installing a new metal roof? If so, you’re not alone. In 2022, the worldwide market for steel roofing was worth $18.71 billion. Those are some big numbers! But what is more impressive is that the market is anticipated to grow to $29.53 billion by 2031, with an annual growth rate of 5.20% between 2023 and 2031.

As you can see, metal roofing has become quite popular for commercial buildings. The reasons why make sense:

  • It’s strong
  • It’s energy efficient
  • It’s built to last

However, one of the challenges with large buildings is roof protection when nasty weather rolls around. Thankfully, steel roofing is well-known to withstand conditions like wind, rain, and snow. This means long-term protection for your property. 

To maximize these benefits, the roof needs to be installed correctly. Doing so will ensure it performs, maintains its structural integrity, and extends the lifespan of your roof.

Getting Ready to Install a Metal Roof

Ready to get started? Let’s review the tools and supplies you’ll need for your project. 

Choosing the Right Metal Roof

The first step is to decide the type of metal roof that you want. Popular choices include corrugated metal roofing, deep groove, classic rib, cladding, or Pro-lok standing seam. Each style has a different look and feel. It really all depends on your preference.

However, if you choose to purchase your metal roofing from BarrierBoss, one thing will never change. That is our commitment to amazing quality and customer service. We offer nothing but the best. We won’t send you a product that we wouldn’t use for our own roofing project.

Tools and Supplies Needed

To start, consider investing in blade cutters. This tool provides clean and precise cuts for metal panels. Fastener drivers are also a must, as they help attach your panels securely to the roof structure. An electric swivel-head metal shear can be particularly useful for easily cutting through thicker metal sheets. And, don’t forget nibblers and metal snips.

Safety should always be a top priority when working at heights. Ensure you can access the roof safely—a sturdy ladder or scaffolding is best. Wear rubber-soled shoes to maintain traction and stability on potentially slippery surfaces. Equipping yourself with the right tools and safety gear can keep you safe.

Here’s a more comprehensive list of tools you’ll need for your roofing project:

  • Blade cutters
  • Fastener drivers
  • Metal shears
  • Nibblers
  • Metal snips
  • Ladder or scaffolding

Licenses and Permits 

Don’t start a roofing project without ensuring compliance with local guidelines or regulations. Doing so can result in some hefty fees down the road. Pay a visit to your local city hall to find out what is required. In most cases, you’ll need to obtain licenses and permits before you begin. Building permits for roofing are typically issued when applying for construction permits. While this process does add a bit of time to the project, it is a worthwhile step. Following the process helps ensure you and the structure are safe.

In most jurisdictions, roofing contractors need a valid state or province contractor's license. This license provides proof of their qualifications and expertise as roofers. When applying for a building permit, they need to provide documentation of their license to demonstrate their ability to perform the work.

Safety Precautions 

Remember, safety first with any construction project you pursue. Working on roofs is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing or if you don’t have the right safety equipment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the roofing industry ranks fifth in the construction sector for the highest employee death rates, with 59 fatalities per 100,000 workers. It also has a non-fatal injury rate of 2.4 per 100 full-time employees.

So, equip workers with the necessary safety gear. This includes:

  • Gloves to protect hands from sharp edges and metal fragments
  • Goggles to shield eyes from debris and potential sparks
  • Helmets to minimize head injuries in case of falls or accidents

These items should be worn at all times during the installation process.

Be sure also to secure the work area to prevent falls or accidents. This involves setting up guardrails or safety barriers around the roof's perimeter to prevent workers from accidentally stepping off the edge. Ensure that ladders and scaffolding are properly secured and stable.

Bring a Partner to Your Roofing Project

We’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to encourage you to avoid working solo. As we shared above, working on roofs can be dangerous. Even if you are highly experienced, injuries and fatalities happen. Working with a partner or team can ensure proper medical attention should an emergency arise.

For added guidance, while exact timing may vary, a three-person crew can typically take two to five “person hours” per 100 square feet of roofing. Let a team of three be your magic number.

Metal Roofing House - BarrierBoss

Properly Installed, Beautiful Metal Roofing

Installation Steps for a Corrugated Metal Roof

Below are the key steps to install a corrugated metal roof for your commercial building.

Measurements and Planning

Don’t begin any project without taking measurements. Measure the length and width of the roof area accurately. Divide the length by the coverage provided by each roofing panel to determine the quantity of panels needed. Similarly, divide the width of each roof section by the width of the selected panels to figure out how many panels you need.

Thorough planning involves mapping out the layout and placement of panels. This helps you optimize coverage and minimize the need for excessive cuts or adjustments.

Surface Preparation

Clean the roof surface of any debris, dirt, or existing roofing materials. Though your materials will typically arrive clean and ready to go, they can get dirty when not used right away. Taking simple steps to clean the panels with an eco-friendly soap and garden hose ensures a clean and smooth substrate for the metal panels. 

Installing Underlayment

Once the roof surface is clean and prepared, the next step is to apply the underlayment. While various options are available, synthetic sheeting offers impressive and long-lasting performance. However, they may be more expensive than other alternatives. 

Synthetic underlayment offers several advantages over traditional options such as felt paper.

  • Synthetic composition provides strength and resistance to tears, wrinkles, and UV exposure
  • Synthetic underlayment remains flexible in cold temperatures
  • Higher water resistance and better breathability allow moisture to escape while preventing water penetration

Panel Installation

Ensure proper alignment and secure attachment to the roof structure. All panels should have a slight overhang of 1/2 to 3/4 inches past the edge of your roof to enable water shedding and prevent moisture infiltration. When joining panels, allow for a 1.5 to 2-inch overlap. This overlap helps to create a watertight seal between panels, lessening the risk of leaks and water damage.

Seal panel joints thoroughly using caulk and appropriate fasteners. Properly sealing panel joints prevents water from seeping underneath the panels.

Fastening Panels

When fastening the metal panels to the roof structure, use the appropriate screws. For installing a metal roof, it's typical to utilize 1 1/2-inch screws with a 1 1/4-inch depth. These screws provide ample grip and penetration into both the metal panels and the underlying roof substrate.

However, if the roofing sheets are thicker or if specific project requirements dictate, alternative screw sizes may be necessary. In such cases, sizes such as 1-inch or 2-inch screws can also be suitable, depending on the thickness of the metal panels and the depth required for secure fastening.

Trimming and Finishing

Trim panels to fit around obstacles such as vents or chimneys. Add flashing and trim pieces to provide a polished look and protect against water infiltration.

Final Inspections

Before considering the metal roofing installation complete, conduct a thorough final inspection. This ensures you have met all project safety and regulatory standards. However, the process doesn't end there. In many jurisdictions, additional steps are necessary to obtain official approval for the completed work.

It may be required to report to your local Department of Commerce or building commission that the project is finished. Subsequently, an inspector will come out to evaluate the workmanship and adherence to building codes. This inspection confirms that the metal roofing system has been installed correctly and complies with all applicable regulations.

Securing approval from the inspector is typically a prerequisite for obtaining a certificate of occupancy. This can even be true for commercial properties such as barns or other structures used for business purposes.

Need Help with Metal Roofing Installation?

Feeling overwhelmed or unsure about tackling a metal roofing installation project? Don't worry—BarrierBoss is here to help. We can connect you with certified installers with the skills and expertise to do the job right.

We offer a no-charge referral service. This means we do the legwork to find high-quality, licensed installers in your area at no cost. We facilitate direct collaboration between you and the installation teams.

Don't hesitate to contact BarrierBoss for assistance with assessment, pricing, and expert guidance. Our team supports you every step of the way. From initial consultation to project completion, we’re here for you. 

Let BarrierBoss take the stress out of metal roofing installation by connecting you with trusted professionals who can deliver exceptional results. Contact us to get started.

Check out our metal roofing collection!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of BarrierBoss metal roofing?

At BarrierBoss, we believe in providing our customers with nothing but the best. Our metal roofing panels are made from 26-gauge galvanized steel. This is hands down better (stronger and thicker) than the 29-gauge products you might find at your local lumber yard or hardware store. Also, we finish both sides of our steel panels with PVDF/ NoFade paint. This is superior to SMP paint and results in a lower risk of rust, chipping, or other corrosion.

How long does BarrierBoss metal roofing last?

On average, your metal roof will last 40-50 years (possibly more). Steel roofing products, such as those offered by BarrierBoss, are superior to aluminum. How long your roof will last will depend on the climate where you live, the quality of installation, and more. And while steel roofing is seriously strong and can withstand some of the harshest weather conditions, it is important to check structural integrity occasionally.

Can you install a metal roof yourself?

If you are a DIYer with experience in roofing, you may be able to install your metal roof yourself. However, you may be required to obtain the necessary permits and certifications, depending on where you live. Always check with your local jurisdiction on requirements related to construction projects in your area. Be sure to exercise caution and follow the utmost in safety practices.

Do you need a vapor barrier under a metal roof?

You do need a moisture barrier to prevent condensation accumulation under your metal roofing panels. Condensation can build up when the indoor air is warmer than the outside air. Without proper ventilation in the roof system, this moisture can gather. Incorporating synthetic underlayment can help manage condensation.

Do you have to put plywood under a metal roof?

We do not recommend installing metal roofing directly onto plywood. It's better to place a layer of synthetic underlayment or roofing felt between the metal and the plywood. Some roofers opt for an additional slip sheet layer to further protect the felt or underlayment.