Knowing When to Call the Metal Manufacturer: Part 2

As stated in Part 1 of this series, the success of a metal roof or metal wall project can rest on the installer knowing when something isn’t working or just doesn’t seem right. When that happens, a call to the manufacturer is not just suggested but is really imperative to ensure any potential problem is averted before it’s too late. In addition to the previously discussed scenarios, such as damage to the physical panel or problems with the fasteners, let’s take a closer look at a few other common circumstances under which MBCI recommends immediately reaching out to the manufacturer:

Alignment and Substrate Issues

It is the installer’s responsibility to verify the substrate and check for proper alignment before attaching any sheeting materials. If the installer notices any issues of this sort (either before installation or once they start putting on the sheeting), they should stop and address them immediately. This might include oil canning or other irregularity in appearance of the panel. The installer should investigate the source. If unable to identify and properly remedy the situation on their own, then a call to the manufacturer’s support team is recommended. They may be able to suggest items to check to help locate the source of the problem—whether it be installation or manufacturing—and from there make suggestions as to the best possible means to address the situation.

Accessories

When physically getting ready to modify a panel system by adding things to the roof (such as snow guards or mechanical curbs) or to walls by installing doors, windows and louvers, these penetrations can have an impact on the system and its weather-tightness and appearance. Oftentimes, other trades—who may or may not have knowledge of the sheeting system—are coming onto the job to perform the accessory installation. It’s wise to visit with manufacturer prior to installation and/or alert the non-metal panel installer of precautions to take when adding accessories.

bad roof jack installation - part #2 ACCESSORIES SECTION
The pipe penetration shown here is not the correct type of piping for metal roofing, and not the correct installation. This can lead to issues with roof performance, including leaking and water damage.

Coordination regarding material types of accessories, fasteners and placement is critical. There are materials that can react negatively with the installed system and lead to damage as well as void manufacturers warranties. Accessories should always be discussed prior to installation. Read more about different types of roof accessories and penetrations in MBCI’s blog article, Roof Penetrations Made By Non-Roofing Contractors.

Panel Engagement

Panel systems have an engineered means by which the panels attach and engage one another as shown in the manufacturer’s installation manuals and project drawings. If at any point the panel will not engage as depicted in the details, installation should be halted and reviewed to determine the cause. This can require a call to the manufacturer to help determine if the matter is site and substrate related or potentially a manufacturing issue.

Do not continue to install the system if the laps are not nesting properly, clips are not engaging as detailed, panel modularity cannot be controlled or if the overall panel is not “resting” on the substrate such that there is excessive bowing and stress in the panel. This is the time to call the manufacturer, as once the material is completely installed, it is much more difficult to determine the cause of a problem and is potentially more expensive to remedy. Additionally, in many cases, full installation constitutes acceptance of the product and the manufacturer’s hands could be tied or extremely limited in being able to assist in remedying after the fact.

By knowing when to be proactive with a call to the manufacturer, installers can mitigate many types of potential pitfalls. And if you’re just not sure, it’s best to call.

For more information on metal roof and wall products and training, MBCI offers courses through its Metal Institute. These courses are available for general training purposes or for those seeking installer certification. To learn more, visit mbci.com/metalinstitute.

Using Wind Clamps to Improve Wind Uplift on Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Among the most important factors to account for when specifying a standing seam metal roof are wind control and wind uplift. It is imperative to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety and efficacy of the metal roof. The wind clamp—an extruded piece of aluminum that is placed on the panel seams at clip locations—is one accessory that can be used to improve wind uplift characteristics on metal roofs, delivering substantial time and cost savings as these devices help mitigate risk of wind uplift and improve overall wind design.

Panel Deflection
Standing Seam Panel Deflection as a Result of Wind Uplift

Why Use a Wind Clamp

A typical failure mode of a standing seam metal roof panel is the clip top pulling out of the panel seam when the panels are subjected to high winds.  With a standard install of a standing seam panel, the seams just fold into each other. With enough pressure, wind will force seams to come apart—be it a vertical failure, horizontal movement of the seam or from clip disengagement. The clip top can then pull out of the panel seam.

The wind clamp resists the panel seam being opened, allowing for higher uplift loads. The purpose of wind clamps, in fact, is to prevent Windclamprszdfailures at the seam openings due to any deflection of the panel. The wind clamps provide more strength, thereby dramatically improving wind uplift performance.

The clamp is installed over the panel seam at clip locations, in the edge and corner zones of the roof.  This allows the roof to resist the higher wind pressures in these zones, usually eliminating the need for additional purlins or joists. On large roofs, the savings can be substantial.

Another benefit is shorter installation time. Since additional purlins or joists are typically not required at the edge or corner zones of the roof, the building can be erected faster.

Choosing Wind Clamps

When choosing the type of wind clamp, it is important to consider the type of panel and the special features of the clamps. MBCI, for example, uses S-5!’s patented wind clamps, which work for two panel types—Ultra-Dek® and Double-Lok®. The S-5! wind clamps do not penetrate the steel, thereby eliminating the risks of corrosion and water leakage that can be introduced by a hole in the steel. Since the screws are hidden from the weather elements, it helps to maintain waterproofing.

Quantitative Difference with Wind Clamps

One of the biggest benefits of using wind clamps in the edge and corner zones is that usage minimizes the quantity of purlins needed, resulting in substantial cost savings. For example, let’s look at a comparison using MBCI’s Double-Lok 24” – 24 ga. panels with and without wind clamps.Chart for blog image

In this example:

  1. The use of wind clamps in the edge and corner zones eliminated 3,800 linear feet of purlins.
  2. Assuming 8” x 2-1/2” Zee 14 ga. purlins were used, there would be a cost savings of $10,400.

Conclusion

Utilizing wind clamps to protect the investment of a standing seam metal roof can increase strength, make installation faster and lower overall cost.

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