Looking Ahead: 2022 Trends at a Glance

Everything in Order: MBCI’s Online Ordering Assembly Feature

There’s no getting around it. Erecting any building involves thousands of parts. Different sizes, colors, lengths, types – you name it. Depending on the nature of the project, there could be numerous parts to be ordered and accounted for. Although MBCI simplifies the process, it can still be a lot to manage. Until now, everyone has come up with their own method – like the many long-timers who write it all out by hand. But for those newer to the process, it can be overwhelming. Now we’re taking the guesswork out of it and making the process considerably easier, with exciting new user-friendly features on our online ordering platform.

With the new addition of “Assemblies”, you can simply choose which area of a building you’re working on, fill in some details such as panel type, trim condition, attachment type, size, and color, and the system will do the rest of the work for you – making sure you have any necessary fasteners, accessories or other parts, adding everything to your order. No longer will you have to study construction drawings, noting fastener types and adding everything to your order by hand. No longer will you find yourself on-site without the needed materials. And, even if you do, the online ordering platform is available right from your phone to get whatever you need on the way ASAP.

As Director of Development Tyler Roose says, “We’ve heard testimonials from many, many customers and it’s the only way they like to order anymore. It’s a huge time saver.”

Ready to get started? Head to shop.mbci.com. If you are registered and an existing customer, you should have everything you need to log in. For new customers, simply fill in the requested information and provide your customer number to create an account. If you don’t have a customer number, reach out to your district sales manager or customer service rep.

1 Login

Once you’re logged in, you’ll see the dashboard, which has links to any existing orders, quotes or other information you may need.

2 Dashboard_cropped

To get started on a new quote, simply click the “Start New Quote” button, which will give you an option to name your new quote and use a template if desired (more on that later).

3 Start new quote button

4 Name quote

Once you’ve begun a new quote, you will land on the Products page, where you have the option to shop by category, such as accessories, fasteners, panels, structural and trim. However, for this purpose, let’s focus on the newest option: Assemblies.

5 Products

Choosing “Assemblies” will open a list of component types to choose from. For this example, we’re selecting PBR, but you’ll choose whichever is appropriate to your project. From the next list, select the area you’re working on, such as eaves, gutters, valleys, corners, bases, etc.

6 Assembly choices

7 PBR assembly choices

Once you’ve selected your assembly, the form will prompt you to choose details such as thickness, color, lineal footage of the assembly being used, and further options depending on the assembly and area you’re working on. Then, all the core trim items as well as necessary fasteners, sealants and accessories are automatically added to your material list for review. Notice the additional parts automatically added on the PBR form. If satisfied with your work, click “add to cart”, and a more formal review can now be completed once all parts from the project are accounted for.

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Now you can simply repeat this process for whatever other areas you need. You can save and share this quote with others who may need to review and approve. If you anticipate needing similar orders in the future, choose the “Save as Quote Template” option in the dropdown box. The next time you have a similar project, choose this option when you start a new quote, then simply make whatever changes are necessary – colors, lengths, quantities, etc. – and you’ll be done with your order in much less time than with previous methods.

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If for any reason you need to make changes to a quote, simply use the “Modify Quote” button at the bottom of the quote page.

13 Modify or checkout

Be sure to check out the other handy features on the online ordering site, such as related literature, documents and parts at the bottom of each product page and in catalogs. You can also search by keyword or use the navigation at the top for anything you might be looking for.

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14 Catalogs

We hope you’ll take the time to learn the new system. It’s sure to save you innumerable hours in the long run. And if you get stuck or run into any problems, we’re here to help. Refer to the FAQ and don’t hesitate to get one of our sales individuals involved. We are all fully versed on online ordering and happy to help.

The Importance of Cleaning Metal Roof and Wall Panels

Metal panels need attention; they should not be taken for granted. True, they are a notably long-lasting and attractive choice, particularly with the myriad colors and protective finishes available, but once installed, proper care is imperative in order to maintain their durability, performance and good looks for decades.

What are the main culprits of potential damage? Dirt and residue (such as from trees or animals) left to sit on metal panels, for instance, can cause the irreversible degradation of protective coatings, thereby compromising the longevity of roof and/or wall systems. Additionally, corrosive elements, including bacteria, mold, mildew or even acid rain can damage the structural integrity of the panels. Additionally, buildup of foreign elements, such as leaves, can hide potential leak areas or places that may be rotting away. Even in terms of energy efficiency, keeping the panels clean may help a roof reflect heat as they were originally intended.

To keep panel appearance in top shape, protecting the finishes must be a priority—otherwise, you may find yourself needing to re-coat the panels. Stains from leaves and moisture, algae and lime deposits that remain on panels for extended periods can do serious harm to the finish. It should be noted, however, that re-coating should only be considered if the panels remain structurally sound and if doing so wouldn’t void the manufacturer warranty.

How often should you clean metal panels? Most experts agree that at a minimum, an annual cleaning is advisable in order to keep the panels free of common elements that can jeopardize the integrity of the finishes. If you have heavy tree overhang, you may need to clean it or remove debris a little more frequently.

Deep cleaning to remove more stubborn substances (e.g., tree sap, oxidation) can be done every 3 to 5 years, depending on the building conditions, location and weather, etc. Interim, moderate cleanings can also be performed following substantial weather events and seasonal allergen build-up. It’s a good idea, in fact, to assess roof conditions before winter hits to identify any potential issues that need to be addressed.

No matter the frequency, perhaps the most important advisory when it comes to cleaning the panels is to follow the panel manufacturer’s recommendations regarding who should perform the work and with what solutions and tools so as not to void any warranties. In some instances, it may be beneficial (or perhaps even required) to have a professional building surface cleaning company with metal panel experience do the work.

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Tips on Proper Cleaning Techniques and Solutions

As for the maintenance and cleaning instructions, it’s always best to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines in order to best protect specific products, for example, to determine which cleaning solutions and techniques work best for a given manufacturer’s panels. Neglect or improper care can degrade the finish, compromising not only the visual appearance and performance but, as noted, can also potentially void the panel warranty. But maintaining the panels doesn’t just entail washing them like you would a car; it also means keeping them free of harmful debris.

Here are a few general tips for the proper cleaning of metal panels (again, refer to the panel manufacturer’s specific directions):

Simple cleaning: generally, water and mild detergent will be sufficient. Do NOT use bleach, which can change the finish color or have a harmful interaction with certain finishes.

Water-soluble dirt or other deposits requiring more complete cleaning: you can use a solution of hot or cold water mixed with detergent. In a container of water, use a 5 percent solution of commonly used commercial (non-industrial, non-bleach) mild detergent. Use a cloth or a soft-bristle brush for application of the cleaning solution, followed by a clean water rinse. Alternatively, pressure-washing with a 40° tip is also an option.

Non-water-soluble deposits such as tar, grease, oil and adhesives: a solvent or alcohol-based cleaner may be required. In this case, since most organic solvents are flammable and/or toxic, they must be handled accordingly. Generally, keep them away from open flames, sparks and electrical motors; use adequate ventilation, protective clothing and goggles; and read the manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of any solvent used for any other specific safety details.

The following are among the cleaners widely recognized by manufacturers for this type of non-water-soluble cleaning: alcohols—denatured alcohol (ethanol) and isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol); and solvents, including VM&P Naphtha, mineral spirits, kerosene, and turpentine (wood or gum spirits).

For any level of cleaning, do NOT use wire brushes, abrasives, or similar tools that will erode the surface coating and leave scratches or other finish damage that can lead to corrosion. Additionally, always test a small area before proceeding with any of the cleaning agents mentioned to ensure there is no adverse effect resulting from the product’s use.

Remember, the misuse or abuse of any of the acceptable cleaning agents will automatically void any manufacturer’s warranty for the affected surfaces, so be sure to check with the manufacturer and also follow directions on any cleaning products used.

By following the tips above, installers can keep metal panels looking great and performing well for years to come.

To learn more about the importance of cleaning metal panels, contact your MBCI representative or check out our blog post on metal panel maintenance.

Hip Roof vs. Gable Roof: What to Consider & How to Choose

Metal roofing is a great option for both residential and commercial structures, but beyond just choosing panel type, roof shape options also come into play. Among the most common roof styles in the U.S are a gable and a hip style.

Here we’ll take a quick look at these two distinct styles, explaining key features and differences, and identifying reasons you might want to consider one over the other for a given metal roofing project, depending on your performance or structural needs as well as aesthetic preferences.

Hip Roof

A hip roof can easily be identified by the fact in most cases it has slopes of equal length on all four sides, which come together at the top to form the ridge. In many cases, two sides form a triangle shape and the other two sides form a trapezoid shape (e.g., a pyramid shape). A hip roof does not have any vertical ends.

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Among the key advantages of hip roofs are they:
• provide greater stability and are more durable than gable roofs due to the inward slope of all four sides.
• do well in areas prone to high wind and rain.
• are typically seen with lower roof slopes.
• allow for more appealing roof lines to be achieved.
Note: For high wind or strong storm-prone areas, proper engineering design, construction and roof system maintenance are especially critical in order to prevent major problems.

Gable Roof

Marked by two sloping sides that come together at a ridge, which creates end walls with a triangular extension, a gable roof, also known as a pitched or peaked roof, is easy to spot with its iconic pointed shape.

Gable 1

Among the key advantages of gable roofs are they:
• easily shed water and snow; there is nowhere for water to pool.
• provide more space for an attic or vaulted ceilings.
• allow for more air ventilation.
• are easier and more affordable to build than more complex designs as they need less building materials.
Note: It is recommended to use a steeper slope, for snowy regions.

Breaking Down the Key Considerations

Aesthetics: What architectural look are you trying to achieve? For instance, with more industrial architecture, trapezoidal panels are more common and therefore, a gable roof is a likely choice. In residential situations, where there are more hips and valleys, a hip roof may be a good option.

Building shape may play a role in why you would select a type of roof. If you have a change in building direction, such as an angle, (like an L-shaped building), that’s going to automatically create a valley and a hip on the other side. In this case, you may want to keep that appearance uniform, so you’d put a hip on each end of the building as well.

Also, are you trying to cover up equipment on top of a roof? If so, height differences might play into your decision.

Wind Pressures: On a hip roof, you may have lower wind pressures versus the gable, especially at the corners.

Labor and Materials Cost: The more cost-effective choice would be gable; it is the least costly to install because you’re going to have less material to fabricate a gable roof frame and less waste than with a hip roof. A hip roof is going to utilize more material and more labor because you are going to have more cuts involved.

Panel Profiles: The profile of the panel you’re going with can affect the roof shape choice. For example, for a trapezoidal panel, a gable roof would be a lot simpler to install. Less cutting of the panels is involved and will be easier to seal off the ends of the panels. With a vertical rib or flat pan style panel, it is easier to install on a hip roof application.

Slopes: In general, gable roofs are more likely to be found on lower sloped roofs (less than 3:12) where there are fewer valleys, etc. and therefore, less complicated. Hip roofs, on the other hand, will usually have additional conditions going into them. Valley conditions require a minimum of 3:12 slopes.

In Summary…

When looking at hip roof versus gable, there are obviously a host of factors that will go into that decision. To summarize the differences:

Hip roofs have four faces, are pyramid shaped, and are more complicated to build. They are shown to have higher wind force values. Upfront costs of hip roofs are greater.

Gable roofs have two faces, are triangular in shape, and are easier to build. Upfront costs are lower.

In many cases, it should be noted, most roofs feature numerous details and can include both hip and gable roofing.

To learn more about hip and gable roofs for your next metal building panel project, contact your MBCI local sales representative.

Protecting Metal Panels from Rust

One of the many benefits of metal panels that contributes to their strengths is the fact that there are so many rust-resistant coating options with different levels of protection, making them a great option for virtually any environment or any budget. That said, though, missteps during storage, as well as during and after installation, can leave you with unwanted corrosion, i.e. rust. Factors such as improper storage, improper cutting, or other elements the metal might come in contact with can wreak havoc that are beyond the manufacturer’s control.

Regardless of the finish you have—painted, unpainted, high-end coatings or standard coatings—here are some simple installation and care instructions that can help further maintain the longevity of your metal panel product.

Preventing Rust When Materials Are Delivered

Proper material delivery/site storage is the first step to preventing rust. Be certain to check your panels while uncrating after storage on site for any early signs of corrosion, such as black discoloration or white rust/residue on them. This is a sure sign that that panel has been improperly stored and water has not been able to properly evacuate the panel bundles. Do not install any panel on which this has occurred, as the panel finish has most likely been compromised due to improper storage. If you go ahead and install it, that panel is going to continue to corrode and eventually lead to further rust/corrosion.

Make sure that you’re not trapping any sort of moisture in between the metal panels or restricting them from being able to drain when stored on site. Although the panel itself is corrosion-resistant, if you subject it to repeated and significant water being trapped in between the sheets by either not storing the material out of the mud and ground water, or if you’re not sloping the material bundles in such a manner that they can drain, then the result can yield “wet storage stains.” Therefore, if you want to prevent any sort of damage due to improper site storage, you must make sure that the panel is able to drain while stored and, if possible, tarp to resist heavy moisture concentrations such as snow and ice during inclement weather if necessary.

Preventing Rust During Installation

Next, let’s look at some installation no-no’s that WILL most definitely eventually lead to rust—and things to avoid. The first is the accumulation of drill shavings. Whether it’s a roof panel or a wall panel, when you’re installing the screws, even if you’re pre-drilling for the screws, you’re going to generate metal shavings. If those metal shavings are not removed and left to sit or cling to the sheeting those shavings will rust and will stain the roof or wall sheets. The shavings are uncoated/raw metal with no corrosion protection that can and will rust quickly. Eventually, the shavings may wash off or be blown off the roof or wall, but might not be until after they’ve stained the sheeting, thus leaving you with an issue to remedy and, since the “culprit” is gone, questioning if it’s just a stain or something more serious.

Drill shavings
Drill shavings

Remove the shavings as soon as you can to mitigate this issue. Additionally, if you’re going to do any field cutting, you need to do so via a shearing process utilizing the proper tools, such as electric nibblers, hand snips or electric shears. Any other type of cutting can cause the edge of the base material to become exposed and no longer protected by the Galvalume and painted coatings as they become disrupted. Using tools such as a “hot” saw, abrasive blades or even a reciprocating saw leads to a tearing motion rather than shearing motion, which will strip the metal of that protective coating; over time it can start to rust.

Improper field cutting of panels with abrasive blade
Improper field cutting of panels with abrasive blade

Graphite is another corrosive element that should be avoided as it is not a friend to Galvalume metals. Therefore, stay away from writing on your Galvalume material with pencils because over time the graphite will react, break down that protective layer, and lead to corrosion. If you do write on the panels with a pencil, make sure you clean it off. The best solution is to use permanent markers/Sharpies or dry erase markers.

Graphite
Graphite

Watch out for overspray from any adjacent wall coatings or finish systems like Stucco or similar masonry products, which can also damage panels if not removed promptly. And be certain not to rest the base of any metal panel in direct contact with material that is corrosive, such as concrete, or in such a manner that water can become trapped behind the panel and not able to drain. Industry recommendation is to maintain an eighth of an inch to a quarter-inch gap at the base of all your wall panels for not only expansion/contraction but for proper drainage and to prevent contact with dissimilar/corrosive materials.

Masonry products
Masonry products

Preventing Rust After Installation

Although Galvalume—whether bare or painted—is highly corrosive-resistant by nature, it too has its Kryptonite. Post-installation, the most important thing is to make sure you’re not adding something to the roof that’s going to react chemically/negatively with the Galvalume finish/coatings. For instance, many people don’t recognize that if they have mechanical units on a roof, the condensation that comes out of those mechanical units, when deposited directly onto a Galvalume panel over time, will lead to corrosion and rust. This condensate should either be filtered before exited onto the roof panel or drained via piping and not directly onto the sheeting.

Contact with dissimilar metals, whether it be via incorrect type or method attachment from metal signage, solar panels and snow retention can be another major factor in post-installation corrosion. Panels must not come in contact with or be exposed to the runoff from the following metals: copper (lightning arrest systems, flashing, roof jacks, HVAC drainage); lead (roof jacks, pipe flashing); iron (pipes or soil); and, as previously noted, metal shavings.

Copper
Copper

Post-installation, panels must also not come in contact with or be exposed to the runoff from chemicals, such as acid from batteries and acid washing brick, and even pressure-treated lumber.

Treated lumber
Treated lumber

What To Do In Case of Rust

Let’s face it. Sometimes, despite all your efforts…someone didn’t get the memo and rust happens. Now what do you do? How can you safely can attempt to repair it or remove it without causing more damage?

First off, here’s what NOT to do. Heavy solvents that are meant to remove paint or stains can/will adversely affect the metal. If you witness a rust stain on the roof, don’t go up there with paint remover, acetone or any other toxic solvents and start scrubbing on it because you most likely could make matters worse. You might remove the stain along with the finish entirely, leading to bigger problems. (If you’re an end user, check your finish warranty and manufacturer maintenance documentation supplied to you by your builder/installer for guidance on cleaning and repairs.)

The key is to identify if the rust is just a stain /discoloration or it’s more systemic. Is the catalyst (ex.: a shaving) causing the rust still present? If it’s just a surface stain and the coating hasn’t been damaged, it might just be a matter of getting some mild detergents or something else to remedy the situation. Some good options are Formula 409 or Simple Green and Soft Scrub without bleach or something similar. and it may require a trial and error process to determine which is most effective based on the condition you’re trying to remedy. Products such as Rid O’ Rust or similar whose key ingredient is oxalic acid can be used diluted with water. With any of these products, test a small area first and wait to see results before proceeding to larger areas. And always be certain to fully rinse/flush areas of cleaning products to ensure no residues /films remain.

Always start light. Don’t break out any steel wool and/or metal grinders and start trying to get the rust off the panel that way. If it looks to be more than just a stain—perhaps you clean it and a few weeks later it comes back—that most likely means that the panel has actually been damaged and you’re not just going to get rid of the “stain” by cleaning it as it’ll return. It may require touchup paint or even a panel replacement. It depends on the severity of the damage. If this is the case, be certain to check with your installer, maintenance manual, and panel supplier for further instructions on how to address.

For more information on panel maintenance and warrantiessee the MBCI website resource center.  

Benefits of Metal Panels For Agricultural Applications

Agricultural applications need building solutions that are durable, effective, cost-efficient and versatile, which is why MBCI’s high-quality metal building products undergo rigorous testing to ensure they will meet or exceed the aesthetic and structural requirements of any agricultural building initiative—from general farm facilities to barns, pole barns, sheds, horse stables, riding arenas, ranches, livestock stables, crop storage buildings, machinery storage and garages, animal shelters and more.

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Why use metal panels on agricultural applications?

Metal is an excellent choice for agricultural applications because of its durability and longevity, ease of installation on new or existing buildings, its ability to provide a weathertight seal and its low maintenance requirements.

The lifespan of metal roofs and siding can be up to 60+ years. MBCI’s metal panels are built with high-quality material and are backed by some of the industry’s leading warranties. Durable and low-maintenance agricultural steel panels are a perfect fit for the demanding nature of farm and ranch buildings, offering resistance and strength under extreme temperatures, high winds, heavy snowfall, strong storms and other harsh weather conditions. In fact, during hot summers, metal panels can help keep your building cool and energy costs low, while in the winter they shed ice and water to prevent damage. Metal, indeed, has a distinct advantage in its ability withstand the elements and not rot or warp over time.

MBCI’s agricultural metal roof and wall panels are also sustainable—made from recycled materials and are 100% recyclable at the end of the building’s life.

As far as design options go, you can choose from a variety of styles, profiles and colors for your metal barn siding, pole barn siding, metal shed roofing and more. Exposed fastener panels are the most commonly used on agricultural buildings because of their economical pricing and durability. MBCI offers up to 10 different exposed fastened panel profiles to choose from, depending on your preference and the region you’re in. Examples include: Rain Guard®, Perma-Clad®, WeatherSafe®, and Stormproof®, which can be used with DripStop technology to control condensation.

What to Consider

Once you’ve made the decision to use metal for your agricultural building, determining the particulars will depend on a number of factors. Here are some preliminary questions to consider.

  • Purpose: What are you using the building for? For instance, is it for equipment storage? Livestock? Is it a hobby building or a workshop?
  • Size: How much lot size do you have available?
  • Entry points: Where are your entry points? How big do the doors need to be? Do you need certain types of doors? For example, if the building is being used for equipment storage, what are you going to be moving in and out of there?
  • Aesthetics: What “look” are you trying to achieve?

Design Trends

As far as aesthetics, metal panels come in a multitude of colors (MBCI offer approximately 25 color options), so you have a lot of versatility with the color scheme for your agricultural project. Traditionally, what we see is a single color for the roof panels and then an alternate color on the walls, and the trim typically matches the roof panel. Another trend is a wainscot panel or a designer panel, which is basically a smaller strip around the base of the building to add an accent color. From there, many customers will wrap that with stone or masonry, too, to make it more decorative. Plus, with the merger of MBCI’s parent company with Ply Gem, our customers now have access to stone products as well.

Beyond Panels

Metal building options don’t end with roof and wall panels. To that point, MBCI prides itself on being a complete building envelope solution. If a steel frame building is your desire, then MBCI has that covered as well. From new construction to repair and remodel, MBCI offers a vast line of primary and secondary steel structural products and resources to meet the project’s needs. MBCI also partners with many great customers nationwide to offer componentized steel structures that can benefit any agricultural application.

Additionally, with the recent Ply Gem merger previously mentioned, MBCI is better positioned to give customers access to windows, walk doors, stone, and many other components needed to further enhance agricultural projects—all from a single source supplier.

Whether you need a complete structure, metal roof or wall panels, or simply components for a repair or addition, MBCI has the right products and accessories to meet any agricultural building requirement.

For information about MBCI’s agricultural metal building products and solutions, contact your local sales representative.

Measuring for a Metal Roof: Considerations and Tips

Getting an accurate measurement for your metal roofing panels may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not quite as simple as length x width. The many complexities of a roof must be taken into consideration in order to ensure your numbers add up. For instance, anything that intrudes upon a roof plane needs to be included in drawings with labeled measurements as these conditions will all affect the measurement but are sometimes overlooked.

Let’s look at some specific conditions to consider before getting out the measuring tape as well as some handy tips for installers.

Building Conditions to Consider Before Measuring

The type of roof system

Is it going to be a standing seam roof system or an exposed fastener system? Once you’ve decided on your roof type, we recommend reviewing all of the conditions/details on the roof. If it’s a standing seam roof, will the roof system need to float? If so, where will it be pinned, and what direction will it float?

At MBCI, we have published installation technical manuals for installers and erectors to utilize in order to familiarize themselves with how to adjust for ridge conditions or end lap conditions, for instance.

Is it a new or existing metal building?

If it is an existing building, are there new or updated building codes to consider? This could possibly dictate panel type, gauge, or width, or require additional framing members that could impact the final measurements.

What is the purlin spacing?

The panel break at the purlin for an endlap condition will need to be considered.

Are there extensions, overhangs or penetrations?

Include any roof extensions or overhangs that may not be apparent at first glance. Any and all roof conditions should be considered when calculating panel and trim length, including any roof penetrations such as pipes, roof curbs, skylight hatches, etc.

The manufacturer’s details will aid in determining such things as panel hold back at the ridge, or panel overhang at the eave or gutter. Also, roof or slope transitions, and panel hems should be considered.

Insulation

The thickness of the insulation could determine or dictate the fastener type used.

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Measuring Tips

  • Field verify the roof slope. The contractor should gather the field dimensions so measure when the framing is in place. While you can measure off of a set of plans, it’s not a definitive way to do things because things change in the field.
  • The structure should be square while you’re measuring. Scaling from plans may get you close, but measuring erected framing that is plumb and square is the most accurate.
  • You should measure multiple spots.
  • It’s a good idea to use a plan view of the roof or sketch a bird’s eye view to record your measurements.
  • Record your measurements in the units of measure that your manufacturer uses, typically feet and inches, to avoid errors.
  • The erector may elect to add a few inches to the length of the panels at a hip or valley to remedy any cutting mishaps since these panels will be field cut to the hip or valley angle.
  • Some contractors include one or two extra panels at the longest length for any errors or jobsite damage.

Ultimately, the takeaway is that any differential when measuring metal panels for installation could affect a building’s performance, so it’s important to keep all potential scenarios that could affect measurement accuracy in mind—throughout the entire process. To find out more about the proper way to measure a roof for metal buildings or to schedule training, contact your local MBCI representative.

Five Installer Responsibilities for Weathertightness Warranties

Every metal roof installation comes with an implied warranty: the roof shouldn’t leak. This is true even if your customer didn’t buy a “manufacturer’s weathertightness warranty.” It’s just the very basic expectation. Any details we send out, any materials, whatever the manufacturer supplies the installer…all go to that simple premise that you are buying a quality roof system from the get go.

Beyond that, though, a purchased manufacturer’s weathertightness warranty takes it a step further. It’s added insurance. In order to get the full value and peace of mind from a warranty, there are certain considerations the installer needs to keep in mind. Let’s take a look at five key installer responsibilities on projects with manufacturer weathertightness warranties—beyond, of course, putting down the roof correctly!

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1. Understanding the weathertightness warranty type selected for the project.

MBCI sells two types of weathertightness warranties: Standard and Single Source. The approval process up front is the same for both but it is crucial to know the scope of the project’s warranty. With a standard warranty, the only real expectation is that the roof will remain watertight for 20 years. It is a very basic, very inexpensive warranty in which the manufacturer and the installer jointly warranty the roof for that period of time. The manufacturer covers all the materials and the details, and the installer is covering the installation.  

The opposite end of that spectrum is the single source warranty, which is purchased when the customer wants not only the roof warrantied, but prefers everything associated with the roofany accessories, anything else penetrating the roofto be 100 percent covered by the manufacturer, if applicable. These warranties do cost more, require inspections, and require an installer to have completed the manufacturer’s certified installer training program. 

It’s important for the installer to know what warranty was sold, particularly because he/she may not have been the one involved from the start. They may be coming in to bid the job as the installer onlyTherefore, he/she needs to ask questions because they may or may not have the personnel on their crew that meets the requirements to install that roof for the weathertightness warranty purchased. 

2. Obtaining/confirming building geometry approval for warranty. 

Beyond the type of warranty, it is simultaneously necessary to investigate whether there are additional procedures related to the building geometry. Has everything been correctly noted so that the warranty itself will be valid? Is the manufacturer aware of transitions, edge conditions, roof penetrations, roof accessories (snow guards, solar, etc.)? It is extremely important to make sure that the geometry—or the conditions of the roofare covered within a particular warranty. 

MBCI, for instance, will review your roof plan and see the eave gutters, the ridge, the rake, etc. and we can survey what’s going on. Is that roof tying into something else? Will there be materials on that roof that aren’t provided by us or not being installed by the roof installer? As the manufacturer, we would be taking a cursory view to say, yes, we can warranty the roof or no, revisions are needed. If there is anything that we can’t warranty, we’re going to spell that out upfront. We will give as much direction as possible to get the project to a point it can be warranted.  

That said, it’s the installer’s and customer’s responsibility to make sure that the manufacturer knows what’s happening. Think about it this way. Many times, there are other trades involved outside of the roofing contract. Along comes someone who says, “I need to run something  through your roof,” or six months down the road the owner wants a satellite dish on the roof and the installer incorrectly penetrates the roof., causing a leak. Guess who they’re going to call? The installer/customer/owner needs to get that approved by the manufacturer. Otherwise, the warranty could be voided.  

The main takeaways here: Do not make modifications to that roof without the manufacturer’s approval because the roof installer can end up inheriting the liability for that if they do. And, communicate the criteria or the requirements of the warranty to the customer. Don’t just hand them the paperwork. Make sure they understand what’s in it and their responsibilities as metal roof owners. 

3. Ensure proper installer certification and training as required by the warranty type. 

This sounds self-explanatory, but it goes back to the warranty type and the necessity to make sure the warranty selected is appropriate for the job. Verify whether or not the job requires a certified installer and if so, ensure certifications are current. If the installer is not certified, then they need to take the steps to get certified in order to meet that warranty requirement.  

A common situation: A warranty gets sold by a general contractor and he/she subs it out to another roofing contractor. That sub comes in and says not to worry, “we know how to put the roof on. We’re certified.” Then, MBCI gets ready to issue the warranties or schedule inspections and finds out the subcontractor doesn’t know our system that wellAnd remember—for certain types of weathertightness warranties the installer needs to be certified via our training program.

4. The installer is responsible for correct installation per manufacturers details. 

The onus is on the installer to follow the details and directions provided by the manufacturer. If you install the roof per those details, and then there’s a problem, the responsibility falls back on the manufacturer unless determined otherwiseIf, however, the installer doesn’t follow the details provided and the manufacturer comes out to do a warranty claim or warranty inspection, then the installer is going to be responsible for correcting it. The installer can’t put it in wrong and just say, oh, well, that’s covered by the warranty. It’s not. A manufacturer’s warranty is not for covering a bad installationparticularly in the case of a standard warranty. If the installer does a poor install and the roof leaks, that’s not covered by the standard warranty; it falls back on the installer. Of note, this scenario can be different with a single source warranty, since the manufacturer will be out there doing ongoing inspections and ultimately can become responsible for the installation as well. 

And, it goes without saying, the warranty doesn’t cover the interior contents of a building that may be damaged due to an installation issue.  

5. Do not make adds or changes to an installed system once completed and the warranty has been issued without first getting manufacturer approval. 

The warranty only covers the installed product per details, as mentioned. It does not cover additional materials added to the roof or any changes made, at least without the manufacturer’s prior approval—after the install is complete. 

Some examples would be adding a mechanical unit to the roof, a plumbing vent added through the roof, or the satellite TV cable through the roof. Putting a penetration, fasteners, holes of any kind, into a previously installed roof system, unless approved by the manufacturer, will void the warranty in that location. If the manufacturer does not give approval, the installer, along with the customer, would need to make the decision—is it worth the risk to proceed knowing that if the roof leaks, that location would no longer by covered by the warranty.  

To find out more about MBCI warranties and installer certification, contact your local MBCI representative or visit our website.

Metal Roofing Considerations for Coastal Areas

Whether it is wind speed, sun exposure or the proximity to a coastline, these factors would be the major considerations when choosing metal roofing for a project in coastal areas. The good news is that metal panels can be used in just about any coastal area so long as you find the right product profile and finish that meets your specific requirements to maximize performance given the variables of the environment.

There are a number of special considerations given the environmental conditions inherent to a coastal area, including the impact to paint systems and certain unique maintenance requirements, wind ratings, hurricane conditions and certifications/regulatory product approvals that will limit the panels you can you use within specific coastal areas, for instance Dade County, the state of Florida, and the Texas Coast.

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Finishes: The 1,500-Foot Rule

Metal components can be a great roofing choice, even in a coastal area, whether a bay, gulf, or ocean water. Key is how you manage the finish on the products and how close you are to the actual salt environment. Simply stated, if you’re outside of a 1,500-foot range from the coastline or salt water, then standard metal roofing would be suitable, but if you’re closer to the coastline there are special paint options or finishes you’d need for the product to withstand the coastal environment.

At MBCI, we use Flurothane Coastal coil coating system* as our standard solution to the challenge of salt spray and harsh coastal environments. This coating is a premium fluoropolymer (PVDF) system developed for use in the most extreme coastal environments. This system is unique in its use of an innovative thick film primer. The two-coat system has a total dry film thickness (DFT) of 1.7 to 2.0 mils.

Choosing an appropriate coastal finish can also affect your product’s warranty. If, for example, your project is within the 1,500-foot range and you don’t choose the required coastal finish, if the panels were to rust there would be no warranty offered and it could affect your warranty for weathertightness as well.

Suitable Panel Types and Additional Coastal Conditions

Overall, roof failures are the largest hurricane loss due to wind and water damage. For this reason, metal roofing is a highly recommended option for coastal regions where hurricanes and high force winds are prevalent. The appropriate metal panel type for these areas is mainly contingent upon what you want to accomplish. Because MBCI does have high wind ratings for most of our panels, whether it be a screw down (aka through-fastened) panel or a standing seam profile panel, selections should be determined by the complexity of the roof itself and the roof conditions. There are standing seam panels and through-fastened panels that can be approved for both roof and wall applications in many coastal areas.

Also, of note, different types of coastal areas may receive higher wind speeds. There is obviously a wide difference in wind speeds between the East Coast and the West Coast, for example, although both are coastal communities. In an area with higher wind speeds and/or hurricane conditions, you would want to consider panels that achieve higher wind ratings. Since there are many different panel options, and some may not be able to achieve as high wind ratings as others, you should look at what those values would be for wind and what testing has been done. MBCI’s metal wall panels and roofing systems are able to resist and withstand extreme environmental conditions, such as those in Florida or the Texas coast where strict product approval and testing processes are required.

MBCI has panels that meet requirements for Florida Approval, Dade County and Broward County for instance, where you need to have an NOA (Notice of Acceptance) for those county areas, as well as products that are TDI approved (Texas Department of Insurance), which is usually seen in the Texas coastal area.

Additionally, sun exposure and color can have an impact as far as solar reflectance, so that is another consideration. Somewhere like Florida gets a lot of sun yet a coastal area in Washington State would be mostly cloudy. If you are in an area that has more sun, then you may want to consider a panel with a higher solar reflectance value.

Maintenance Requirements

If you have metal roofing in a coastal area, you’re going to follow much of the same maintenance as you would on any metal roof, but you would want to inspect it for damage, especially after a wind event or storms. One of the main differences, though, especially if you’re within the 1,500-foot limit where you needed a special finish, is that you’re going to have to do a fresh water rinse regularly on the panels a couple of times a year. What this means is you are basically hosing it off with fresh water to get the potentially corrosive salt spray residue off of it.

For more on metal roof and wall panels and finishes for use in coastal areas, contact your local MBCI representative.

 

* (1) All substrates must be properly pretreated. (2) American Society for Testing and Materials. (3) Flurothane Coastal system is not designed to bridge cracks in the substrate. (4) Varies by color. (5) Flurothane Coastal system will generally meet the requirements for most post-painted fabrication processes. However, variations in metal quality, thickness or cleaning/pretreatment applications can lead to diminished flexibility.
SOURCE: Valspar Corporation

Maintaining Panel Modularity and Square When Installing a Metal Roof

Most metal roofing system installers know the importance of keeping panels on module, i.e., holding the width of the panel. But holding module alone isn’t enough; keeping panels square is equally important as the two go hand in hand. When proper attention is paid to both, you will have a faster install—ensuring longevity and functionality of the roof system so that it will be able to properly expand and contract as designed—not to mention improved appearance.

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The ability to hold panel modularity is directly dependent upon several factors, including:

  • Skillset of the installer
  • Frequency that modularity is checked
  • Substrate deficiencies
  • Insulation system
  • Appropriate methods being used to hold panel modularity during panel installation
  • Keeping symmetry/maintaining squareness

Here are some important considerations for ensuring success for panel alignment.

The Relationship Between Holding Module and Squareness

The roof panel is not going to “hold itself” 100% on module and square by installing just as received using only the hardware components supplied from the manufacturer. It is the installer’s responsibility to ensure the proper alignment and squareness of the panel install in order to hold panel module. For example, if you’re working with a 16-inch panel, installers need to keep the spacing of the panel ribs at 16 inches. In this way, the panel doesn’t become stretched or compressed. So, holding module is key along with holding square; the two are connected. If an installer doesn’t start the building out square, it will make it even harder to keep module with regards to the alignment of the panel.

As far as the overall appearance and performance, the success of the metal roof is going to be heavily dependent on how square it is installed and an ability to maintain proper modularity. There are a number of suggested methods for doing so outlined below. Installers must decide which method works best for their them and their roof panel application.

Methods to Ensure Success

The key method is measuring ahead and monitoring your installation so you know where you should be along that roof install. The metal panel is typically 24-gauge or 26-gauge material and therefore it’s easy enough to pull it ahead or have it become crowded during installation if you’re not staying close to your marks, and therefore it’s easy to get the panel out of module. The bigger impact, aside from just aesthetics of being on or off module is the performance of the system itself, to where it could become under stress or it could go through extra deformation due to being out of module and out of square. Its important to verify/measure the panels leading edge and adjust as needed via roof clips or other panel hardware. Some suggested methods include:

  • Run a string line from eave to ridge square to the eave and measure from the string back to each panel run. The string line is moved ahead as the roof installation progresses. If installing over solid substrate, snap chalk lines for alignment points along the roof.
  • Use a metal measuring tape permanently secured to the substrate at panel endlap locations, ridge and other intermediate points for permanent reference to check module.
  • Mark the eave line for every rib installation to ensure the panel stays on module. Trapezoid panels offer metal closures for proper placement at the eaves to assist in holding module while vertical rib panels do not.
  • Pre-drill substrates at the endlaps and ridge locations for clip alignment ahead of roof panel installation. A hole can be located at the leading edge of clip location so that an awl or punch can be inserted into the hold to align the clip and adjust accordingly. The holes drilled ahead of the panel at the corresponding panel module.

To assist with holding the panels’ shape when checking modularity, utilize outside panel closures or cut wood blocking to the panel’s correct width and insert between panel ribs. Note that a bad roof substrate that is out of tolerance for “flatness” will not be hidden or magically corrected by the panel installation. The alignment and tolerance of the substructure are equally critical to the panels’ squareness and being able to hold module. Substrate should be should be installed to a level plane tolerance that is no more than ¼” in 20-ft or 3/8” in 40-ft variance.

Do not stand in panel and/or keep as much weight as possible out of panel while installing clips. Not only is it unsafe but it changes the width of the panel and thus impacts modularity.

Use the correct combination of roof clip heights, insulation thickness and thermal spacers to maintain level panel installation and prevent panels from gaining or losing module. MBCI provides recommendations in its installation manuals regarding most common types of insulation thickness and means of attachment to various substrates. Additionally of note:

  • Trimming of insulation or adjusting thermal block thickness can help control/modify panel modularity as needed.
  • Alignment straps for trapezoid panels can be purchased from the manufacturer and installed on top of purlins before insulation. These set the clip spacing at 2-0” o.c and can be utilized at the endlap and ridge locations minimum or added at other locations.

At MBCI, we recommend that installers check module/square every three to four panels. If the panel grows or shrinks 1/8th of an inch or 3/16th of an inch with three or four panels or shows signs of being out of square, there’s time to recover from it by making adjustments to correct. If an installer just blindly puts the roof on for 50 feet or so and then realize they’re off module or out of square, it will likely be past the point of return to hold module and keep square.

For more information on installing metal roof panels to hold module, see our previous blog post on the topic.

For more information on our installer training sessions, click here, or submit your technical or installation questions by filling out our Ask An Expert form here.

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