No matter how you frame it, there’s no denying that a roof is one of the most integral components of any building project. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that you have the best quality roof you can. Your roofing choice needs to protect the building from the elements, help keep energy costs down, and improve a home’s curb appeal. Further, you need your roof to last a long time to avoid regular replacements. With this in mind, the best choice to go for is a metal roof, which is both robust and visually pleasing. However, cutting metal roofing isn’t an easy job and will call for safety precautions and steps to be followed to the letter. With this in mind, we will outline everything you need to know on cutting your metal roof.
Things You Will Need
Before we dive into the finer details, you’re going to need some tools and materials to get yourself started:
- Tools to cut the metal (covered below)
- Combination square
- Metal roof panels
- Measuring tape
- Protective gear
As well as the above equipment, you will need a sturdy place to work when you get down to cutting.
Like all DIY projects, you need to take some preparative measures before you get started. When you cut into your metal sheets, you need to ensure your lines are straight. First, you need to secure the metal sheet onto your workstation with bench clamps, ensuring the proper side is facing upwards.
The next step in the preparation stage is to measure how many panels you will need for your roof. You need complete accuracy during this stage to ensure you get the best life out of the new roof. Once you’ve got accurate measurements, you need to mark the cut lines onto the sheet of metal. When you’re marking, be sure to leave no gaps between panels to guarantee a straighter cut.
Now, all you need to do is make sure you’re wearing the correct protective clothing including leather gloves, ear protection, goggles, and body protection if you opt for the circular saw.
Electric shears run similar to tin snips in that they’re used like scissors, the only real difference being that the blades are electric-powered for a stronger cut. You can use two different types of electric shears – single and double. If you want a smooth finish with little waste, you should use the double blade shears. However, if you want short straight cuts only and don’t mind a bit of wastage, you should opt for the single.
You can use an angle grinder to get your metal cut, but it’s not the most effective tool for the job. This isn’t because it’s ineffective; it’s because sheet metal is thin and can be carried out using safer tools. However, if you need to cut through heavier metals, this is the choice for you.
Tin snips aren’t the most effective method for metal cutting, but it’s the kindest on the budget. Also, you only want to grab the tin snips if you’ve got small cuts to make on soft metal. There are two different types of tin snips that depend on the curvature and which side you want the waste to be on. Use right-handed tin snips if you want to make counterclockwise turns with the waste on the right side. Alternatively, use the left-handed snips if you want clockwise curves and left-side waste. Further, when you need to cut perfectly straight lines, you can opt for the center/straight snips.
If you’ve got experience in cutting metals, this is the most efficient method because you can cut through several sheets at once. If you don’t have the experience, you are setting yourself up for wonky cuts and greater hazards. You should also note that circular saws are susceptible to wear and tear, which means they can be quite a costly option. When cutting metal roofing with the circular saw, you need to face the sheet down so you don’t damage anything.
The nibbler is one of the smoothest methods of cutting metals because they’re easy to maneuver for those complex cuts. The tool works by punching the metal at a fast rate, which makes it perfect for making holes. Although these tools are great, you need to note that they aren’t suitable for straight work.
Clean Up After Yourself
The final stage is to power everything down and clean up after yourself. You need to ensure that your metal sheets are clean from dust, which can rust easily if left. Also, don’t leave your pieces of roof on the floor because that’s just asking for accidents.
When you’re carrying out a construction job, you need to ensure you have the right tools for the trade and know what you’re doing. If you follow the instructions laid out above, you should get on just fine – all that’s left is to fit the pieces.