Standing seam metal roofing tools

Updated February 21, 2017

Once common in commercial applications, standing seam metal roofs are durable and provide a clean, modern look. These roofs are constructed of interlocking panels that run vertically from the ridge of the roof to the eaves. Each panel is joined to the next by a self-enclosed raised seam that lets water run off without danger of leaks. These seams are created on the spot and require some skill to produce. However, the right equipment can make installing a standing seam metal roof much simpler.

Cutting Tools

According to Best Buy Metals, steel panels may be cut lengthwise using a sharp-pointed utility knife. Score the panel deeply down its length, then fold along the score line until the panel breaks. Cutting across the panel is more difficult. Use circular saws, sheet metal nibblers and drill shear attachments to cut across panels. For small cuts, a hand-operated shear may also work. Nibblers and electric saws with carborundum blades may throw hot metal particles, which can burn nearby painted surfaces or stick to panels and trim, leaving rust marks. Take care to sweep away all metal particles while cutting, and perform cutting away from easily damaged surfaces.

Fastening Tools

Standing seam metal roof panels are attached using pancake screws, which have a low profile. Install these screws using a hand screwdriver or an electric screw gun. Electric drills with screwdriver attachments may also work but are not powerful enough for all applications. Flashing attachment may require rivets and an appropriate rivet tool.

Crimping Tools

To create the standing seam that holds panels together, workers must use crimping tools. According to Best Buy Metals, first trim the panel to size, then fold with a hemming tool -- a flat metal tool that bends down a set amount of the metal panel. Workers may use an assortment of hand tongs and speciality seamers to crimp the metal between panels. Seams in tight places may require the use of a special seaming anvil and polythene seaming hammer. For large roofs, workers may use an electric seamer, which can crimp sheet metal much more quickly than workers with hand tools.

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About the Author

G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.