Have you ever received advice from someone that obviously had no idea what they were talking about? We all have… You know who we are talking about; the friend or crazy uncle that knows how to do everything or wants to help you fix something that isn’t broken, to begin with.
It is the same with our industry. There is always someone that wants to tell you how to run your already-successful business or try to “help” you make your business better. This kind of advice usually only ends up making things worse for you. Most of the time, offering over-the-top claims and information that serves their purpose but are rarely found when their plan doesn’t work out.
For the past several months, it appears that there has been a rash of bad information going around our industry about roof seamers. Builders and panel manufacturers alike have called into our team wanting more information about the importance of a “proper” seam. We think this is a fantastic question!
First off, who better than to talk about roof seamers than the people that revolutionized the product and its performance over 28 years ago? DI has been manufacturing our equipment and tools with the highest standards of quality and precision for decades in our own manufacturing facility. If you are relying on someone that can’t even operate a roof seamer to tell you what is wrong with yours, you might have a problem. Even if they can look at a seam and tell you that it is “proper”, we invite you to contact us to perform a FREE in-depth analysis of your panel. Especially if you are working with “generational” panel technology from 20 years ago, we can offer you and your customer a superior seam performance, backed up by our award-winning customer support and technical knowledge.
So, what is a “proper” seam? Simply, it is a seam that is mechanically and aesthetically correct; it appears and performs to the highest level of testing and standards. When you analyze a proper seam, it should produce the wind uplift, drag load, thermal movement, weathertightness performance that it is designed to do. All of this, of course, still depends on the panels. Being roll-formed correctly, installed correctly, inspected, and warrantied.
If you are buying panels from a reputable panel manufacturer, your worries are slim. If you are producing your own with a portable roll former or stationary roll former, adhering to the recommended maintenance schedule and quality control steps are critical to getting good panels onto the job site. If you have questions about the design or tolerances of your panel, you should consult the roll former manufacturer or panel designer. There should be one set of blueprints or technical drawings that give you dimensions and tolerances for the panel you are working with. A huge red flag is if there is more than one print or confusion over the panel that you were sold. In addition, all roof systems go through meticulous testing and certification to operate as a system. If you have questions, find out what roof seamer was used during this testing and ask for proof of that testing to verify.
Some roof seamers on the market today are very slow, their weight makes them unsafe to work with and their design allows them to mark or even damage the panel finish. These seamers, and the technology they were built around use tooling designs that force the metal into the tooling. Even if panels are not rolled to technical specifications, this seaming method is rarely effective. If you need training in this area, feel free to reach out to us. We offer multiple FREE training programs for you, your crew, or your customers. Builder education is the front line of defense against installation problems.
The performance of a roof system relies significantly on the panel design, panel forming, and installation; all culminating with the use of the roof seamer. DI’s experience in this area is unparalleled to form a proper seam. With decades of studies, a dedicated research and development team, engineers, test labs, and countless man hours on job sites around the world, there are no better experts to keep the integrity of a seam.
As a result of this development, work on seamers and hands-on experience on our roofs, we have developed rental programs to assure you that the seamers rented from D.I. perform as designed and tested. No crazy uncles here…just a team of Engineers, designers and master machinist working to make the most advanced technology available today! By using specifically designed seamers and sound quality control steps we will know that a licensed roof system will perform as designed and tested.
D.I. has gone through extensive efforts to help ensure our seam is being properly formed and mated. We have achieved a better understanding through our hands-on experiences and dissecting panel seams. We will never try to sell you a proprietary gauge to figure out if the roof panel will hold together or not, we will simply provide you with exceptional customer support at every step of the way.
D.I. publicly commits to each of our customers to support you with exceptional customer service, quality tools and equipment, and expert technical support. We will never try to tell you what you are doing wrong or right. As a vendor, we know our role and are here to help you finish ahead of schedule and under budget. We, more than anyone else, recognize the importance of a proper seam, and have taken the steps to ensure that is what you get. We welcome you to visit any of our facilities across the US and Canada to learn more about the incredible quality control steps we have developed.
This short article just lays the basis of this importance; contact us for more information or to discuss specific topics. Just remember when the crazy uncle comes for a visit, most of the time you simply nod your head, smile, and count the minutes until he leaves.~ Jonathan Rider, CSI