Metal Roof Trim – When most people think of trim, the pieces that come to mind are those installed around a roof’s perimeter: the ridge, or peak; the eaves, or lower edges; and the rake, or side edges.
But just as important are those less noticeable pieces installed wherever there’s a change in roof slope, as in a valley, or where the roof meets a vertical surface like a dormer wall.
Valley and dormer trim play particularly tough, yet vital roles because they have to prevent water trapped by leaves or snow from backing up into the structure. This is just as important on metal walls where trim sheds water away from windows and doors, and waterproofs inside and outside corners.
Roofing trim provides a great way to combine stylish design with protection from moisture and the elements. Metal roof trim is used to seal joints and direct water away from the building, protecting the structure from moisture damage.
This can occur wherever two roof panels come together, form a valley or intersection, or at the edge line where metal roof panels meet the endwall panels.
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What Type of Roof Trim is Best for a Metal Building?
Ridge caps (also called ridge rolls) are an attractive addition to any sloped metal building. In addition to finishing the juncture where two roof caps come together at the apex of the slope, they also protect the building from moisture penetration.
You may also see them referred to as a “peak sheet,” although peak sheets are only available for R and U panels. If your metal roof includes ridge vents for energy efficiency, the vented closures can be used in conjunction with ridge caps.
Gable Trim/Rake Trim
These finishing pieces are metal flashing that is used along the edges of the roof line where the edge of the roof panel meets the endwall panels.
This is installed at the very edge of the roof panels to create a finished look. However, gutters can also be installed in place of the eave trim in order to direct rainfall and snow melt into the downspouts. Gutters are especially important over entrances and exits to avoid the waterfall effect during and after a rain storm, or when snow melt creates water runoff.
Downspouts are installed along the gutters to direct the water from the gutters to the grounds, and away from the building and its foundation.
Wall to Roof Transition
You may also see wall to roof transitions listed as sidewall trim pieces. They are used to create a finished look at wall to roof junctures. This is common in residential structures where an attached garage wall meets a higher wall of the main house or in multi-story buildings.
You may have two sections of your roof that meet to form a valley such as when roof panels meet to form a gable. The valley flashing is used underneath the roof panels to keep water from getting beneath the panels and infiltrating the structure. Valley flashing will guide the water down off the roof and/or into the gutters.
When a roof slope changes, such as when your sloped roof meets an eave, a transition trim piece is required. Similar to valley flashing, transition trim is used to guide water away from the roof, preventing it from getting underneath your roof panels.
Trim performance and aesthetic
In addition to performing well, the trim also has to be attractive, and trim thickness can be a major factor in how good the roof looks. Although the trim pieces are usually the same thickness as the panels, it can be helpful to step up to something thicker, which is less likely to telegraph imperfections in the underlying roof or to dent if the installer mistakenly over-drives a screw.
Additionally, a heavier-gauge trim can help prevent “Oil-canning”—the deformation of sheet metal—which can be common on trims applied to corners and door jambs. Using A 26-gauge trim piece on a 29-gauge roof may even allow for the selection of thinner roof panels, adding to homeowner satisfaction without adding much to—and maybe even reducing—the cost.
Installation factors make a difference
Trim can only succeed at its job when installed in the proper sequence. On a roof, the eave and valley flashings must be put in place before the panels, while the rake and ridge pieces wrap around the tops of the panel edges.
Done right, this sequencing creates overlaps that naturally shed water. The proper overlaps also protect the roof against wind-driven rain by ensuring that any water that sneaks past the trim during a storm hits an underlying piece of metal and drains back out to daylight so it can be evaporated.
As an added layer of redundancy, the installer will include a sealant tape between the trim pieces and the panels. These serve as gasketing to keep water on the outside. Additionally, trims that are hemmed at the edges can add rigidity to and fight corrosion of the factory cut edge.
Even the highest quality materials will not perform optimally unless installed correctly. To ensure each piece of trim is perfectly straight and square from end to end, with no bumps or dips, the installer will usually have someone on the ground confirm that everything looks right before fastening each piece.
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