Choosing a metal roof for your Florida house is a wise long-term investment. Installing one might also put your metalworking talents to the test if you prefer do-it-yourself projects.
A metal roof consists of various trims and many large sheets or panels cut to size. Before delving into it, you must learn how to cut metal roofing as accurately as possible to minimize wastage and costs. Below is a guide to get you started.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Cut Metal Roofing Panels
The following steps will help you create correctly sized pieces for your roof.
1. Get Measurements
Before you start cutting, figure out how many panels you’ll need to cover the entire roof area. Determine the size of a roofing sheet after you know the measurements. To get the number of sheets required, divide the roof’s area by the size of one roofing sheet.
2. Place Roofing Sheets on a Flat Surface
Put the sheets on a flat, stable surface, like a workbench or table, so they don’t move when cutting. The underside of ridged panels, for example, is flatter than the top. This means marks will be more visible, and cutting will be faster if the underside is facing up.
3. Mark Areas for Cutting
Plot the areas you need when cutting to size with a tape measure. Avoid mistakes by double-checking the measurements before marking the spots with a permanent marker. You can also use a combination square, which is a ruler with a straight edge, to get more precise guidelines. A slight variation in size creates gaps that result in leaks.
4. Secure the Sheets
Use adjustable clamps to keep the sheets secure as you cut. Another option is to add weights on the edges to restrict movement that might lead you to cut inaccurately.
5. Cut with Tools
Use the right equipment while cutting the metal sheets to size to ensure safety and efficiency. Furthermore, cutting with the wrong equipment can lead to blunders and irreparable damage to the roof panels. Learn how to use each tool and cut precisely along the lines to produce the correct size.
4 Tools for Cutting Metal Roofing
While learning how to cut metal roofing sheets, you’ll need proper accessories and tools to get the job done correctly.
1. Tin Snips
Tin snips are a hand tool similar in appearance and function to scissors. Use them only with 29-gauge or thinner panels; anything thicker will be hard to cut. They also work well with short cuts.
Each one has a specific handle color: green handles cut clockwise and to the right, while red handles cut counterclockwise and to the left. A tin snip with a yellow grip cuts straight.
2. Metal Shears
If you want to use a tool that cuts easier than tin snips and requires less effort, go with metal shears. Because they’re power tools, they can cut thicker metal panels more easily and produce better cuts than tin snips. Cut panels with metal shears as you would with tin snips—hold one side up to keep a straight cut.
3. Angle Grinder
When you need to cut many thick metal panels, use an angle grinder with a metal-cutting disc. Unlike using metal shears, you don’t need another person to hold the other end to make a straight cut. You must, however, use both hands to hold it steady and aligned with the marking.
Elevate the section to the left or right of the cut since an angle grinder can easily go through the sheet. Elevating the section keeps the disc from hitting any surface beneath and from fast dulling.
4. Circular Saw
A circular saw equipped with a metal-cutting blade is faster at cutting several metal sheets. The cutting process is the same as with an angle grinder: align the blade along the marks and set the saw while applying light pressure to cut.
Never take your eyes off the blade because it cuts quickly and leaves no space for adjustment. Instead, control the saw to keep it in place on the parameters.
Safety Precautions to Take
Cutting or trimming metal sheets can lead to injuries and accidents if not done properly. Observe the following safety measures to avoid mishaps while working.
Wear Protective Gear
To avoid injury, wear safety equipment whenever you use a tool. Because cutting metal generates dust and fragments that can get into your eyes, nose, and mouth, wear goggles, a face mask, and thick gloves. Cover your arms and legs when using an angle grinder or circular saw to avoid spark burns. Put in earplugs to help block out the harsh sounds.
Cordon Off Your Work Area
If you have pets and children, they may wander towards your workspace. Enclose your area by blocking the entrance or putting up objects to discourage entry.
After you are done working, don’t forget to tidy up your area. Unplug tools and put them somewhere kids and pets can’t play with or reach. Next, sweep the floors to remove fragments and debris that may trip or puncture someone.
Let 1st Coast Metal Roofing Make the Cut
If you don’t want to learn how to cut corrugated metal roofing or don’t have the time, turn to the highly skilled professionals at 1st Coast Metal Roofing Supply. All you need to do is buy pre-cut metal for your roof, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Contact us today to request an estimate.