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Learn how metal roofing panels are made at Watkins Construction & Roofing. At some point, homeowners preferred asphalt composite shingles to metal roofing. However, many of them are now choosing metal roofing panels. The long lifespan and low production costs of metal roofing are good reasons for this.

But you also must consider other factors when deciding on the type of metal roofing you will install on your property. Thus, your contractor will determine the materials required, depending on your choice.

Do you want to learn about the manufacturing process of this durable and efficient roofing option? As a leading company in the roofing industry, Watkins will tell you what you need to know about the manufacture of metal roofing panels.


Usually, the manufacture of these metal sheets involves two phases. The first stage is about the metal panels’ production, and the next one is their shaping.

These two steps are complex. But, to make things easier, let’s begin by talking about where the metal roofing sheets come from.

Manufacturing of Metal Roofing Panels

Manufacturers employ steel, iron, copper, zinc, and aluminum to make roofing panels. At Watkins, we made metal roofing trims from either 0.40” aluminum or 24-gauge steel.

For the sake of this overview, we’ll focus on steel because it is the most used material in metal roofing.

Iron ore mining industries use the ore they extract to make steel. Before the steel arrives at your home, these companies mine the steel and then make it go over several processes. Then, the extracted steel arrives at the roofing companies’ facilities, which transformed it into roofing panels.

How Roofing Companies Process Metal Roofing Panels

Roofing companies get the thick coils of steel from the mine. Afterward, they reduce them to the necessary thickness for roofing –generally between 22 gauges and 28 gauges. They will pass through four phases to be galvanized and painted. These phases are the following:

  1. The coil is first galvanized by immersing it in a molten zinc and aluminum alloy. Then, an annealing process comes, which involves heating and cooling the galvanized steel. Annealing softens the metal so it may be rolled into coils and sent to sheet metal manufacturing companies in standard shape.
  2. Next, the roofing company paints the standard coil using the first coat of solar reflective paint (Kynar 500). After that, they apply a clean and dry procedure to prepare the coil for the next phase.
  3. In third place, they apply a primer on both sides of the coil and baked it in an oven. Then, they improve the primer application by repeating the first two steps.
  4. Finally, they apply the main color to the coil’s upper surface. Sometimes, they apply white color to the lower surface; however, it does not always happen.

Sizing and Shaping Metal Roofing Panels

The metal coils the roofing companies provide must be shaped and sized according to the buyer’s specifications to get them ready to use. Your contractor can outsource the work to sheet metal shops, or it may do this on site. It depends on the metal sheets the contractor will use on the roof.

Due to their complexity and the need for precision, pieces such as flashing, drip edge accessories, gable trim, sidewall, chimney, and ridge caps, are manufactured in sheet metal shops.

Besides, roofing contractors prefer the standing seam metal. Indeed, this type of metal roofing is the most popular since contractors can make it on site. To do so, they employ a roll-forming machine.

These shops have the necessary machinery and equipment to shape the standing seam metal. For example, they have roll-forming machines, hydraulic shears, sheet metal breaks, and other smaller tools. Likewise, they have specific racks to storage the final products.

Standing seam metal roofing sheets are made using roll-forming equipment. You may find this equipment in the shop.  But you also can use it on the job site. The roofers will use it on-site if it is close enough to the job site for convenient roofing or at the store if it is far away.

This machine flattens the metal roofing sheet and forms it into various standing seam profiles. Besides, it cuts the sheet into the required lengths and widths. When the sheets are curved and bent, they keep the paint on the coil in place. Additionally, to prevent corrosion and rust, this technique prevents the paint from cracking.

Likewise, the sheet metal shops employ a hydraulic shear to produce flashing with metal breaks.

Flashing Materials

The shops use sheet metal brake machines to produce flashing materials. This equipment may be both manual and electronic.

When using manual metal brakes, workers must take the measurements manually to bend and cut the metal sheet. So, it requires a higher level of labor and more time. Since human error is present, these machines produce not precise flashing with no consistent quality.

On the other hand, computerized sheet metal brakes are more accurate and faster. They produce flashing using changeable slits that only allow the sheet length necessary to fit through.

Moreover, storage racks ensure that finished items are neither damaged nor corroded while in storage. Also, these shops use machineries such as forklifts, conveyor belts, and others.

A Brief Synopsis

The homeowner has the last say on the metal roof manufacturing process. However, the contractor will make more detailed decisions on the client’s behalf.

Thus, the roofing professional chooses the components that best meet the client’s style and budget. For example, the ore will follow a different route to the roof. This can happen if the building’s roof is made of steel or aluminum if it has a snap-locking standing seams profile or mechanical locking standing seams.

Additionally, the technology used and locations for making flashings, trim, drip edge, and the gable can change a lot. As you can see, you must consider many variables. But, with this knowledge, you can enlist the services of Watkins Construction & Roofing by contacting us at 601-966-8233 or by using our contact page.

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