How to Cut Metal Roof Panels

a metal roof with a dormer
What You'll Need
Strong and steady work surface
Corrugated metal roof panels
Power shear
Measuring tape
Combination square
Marker pen

Metal roof panels, specifically corrugated iron roof panels, are popular for many outbuildings due to their lightweight design and high durability. If they are installed properly, they can last for many years as they do not deteriorate easily and are not so prone to weather damage as some other roof designs. However, for metal roof panels to be as effective as they should be, they should be cut, installed, and treated appropriately. Cutting metal roof panels needs to be done with care because if the galvanized zinc coating on them is scratched or damaged in any way, it leaves the area open to rusting. To cut metal roofing panels in the safest way with minimal risk of damaging them, there is a certain technique that should be used, as well as a set of appropriate tools. Here is your tutorial on how to cut metal roof panels correctly.

Step 1 - Take the Measurements and Make other Preparations

Find a perfectly flat and steady work surface to cut the material on. Place the corrugated metal sheet flat down on the surface with the underside facing up. Find the length that you need to cut it to and use the tape measure to relate this to the metal sheeting itself. Use a permanent marker to mark the point where you want to start cutting. Place the combination square precisely onto this mark. The permanent marker should be placed on the edge of the blade of the combination square. Simply drag this combination square along the cut line, using the permanent marker to mark it as you go. Be sure to use an appropriate marker pen so that the line does not wear off as soon as you have drawn it.

Step 2 - Cut the Metal Paneling

a white metal roof

Cutting the metal paneling does not have to be a difficult task, but it should be done with care. Any blemishes on the surface of the metal will be left open to rust, causing the roofing to be far weaker than it should be.

To begin, get the power shear and align its cutting blades with the cutting line that you have marked on the underside of the metal sheeting. Make sure that it is perfectly aligned as being even a tiny bit out can cause irreparable damage to the sheeting. When you are satisfied that your measurements and alignment are correct, switch on the power shear and start cutting.

Step 3 - Finish Up

The power shear should be used slowly, being pushed gradually along the corrugated panel. This sounds easier than it actually is and you may find that, in some locations, the power shear will come to a bit of a dead end. Rather than attempting to use force to thrust it forward, move the blade at a different angle and carefully cut through the section. With some patience and a steady hand, you should manage to get a perfectly straight line.