Home projects can be fun to do, and knowing you did it yourself is especially rewarding! Whether you’re installing a metal roof or metal wainscoting this year, we’re here to help you make sure you are able to complete your projects in the safest way possible. Here are some general tips and tricks you can follow to make sure you’re doing-it-yourself safely!
1. Have the Proper Clothes & Shoes
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from potential injuries and hazards during DIY projects is to wear the right clothes and shoes. Although it might seem like a small factor, it can actually make a big difference. You want to make sure you’re not wearing any loose-fitting clothing, dangling jewelry, or open-toed shoes. Baggy clothes can get caught up in tools. Flip flops and open-toed shoes can expose you to sharp or heavy objects that may accidentally drop. Plus, if any of your clothes or shoes are exposed to toxic chemicals during your project, you may want to throw them away (as laundering them doesn’t always guarantee they’re clean). It's also important to keep long hair tied up and pulled back.
2. Wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
From goggles to ear plugs, PPE should be a top priority. Ear plugs or ear muffs should be worn when operating loud tools or equipment to protect your hearing. Face masks should be worn to protect your lungs and nose from dust particles or inhaling harmful toxins. Gloves should be worn when handling sharp objects to protect your hands. Finally, safety glasses or goggles should be worn to protect your eyes or be sure to wear some type of face shield — especially when you’re welding, grinding, or cutting metal!
3. Read & Follow Installation Instructions Thoroughly
All of Bridger Steel’s metal panels come with installation guides. It’s important to thoroughly review your product’s specific instructions to ensure you have familiarized yourself with all the necessary tools and steps needed to complete your project. Even if you’ve worked with a similar product or on a similar project, you should re-read instructions to make sure your installation goes as smoothly as possible.
4. Ladder Safety is Crucial
If you’re installing a metal roof or metal siding, it’s pretty likely you’re going to need to use a ladder to reach certain areas of your home’s exterior. You should always use an OSHA approved safety ladder and make sure it’s sitting on a solid surface before climbing up it. You also may want to consider purchasing padded stabilizers for your ladder to protect your panels from scratches when leaning your ladder against the panels. Always remember that if you’re getting on your roof, never do it alone. Metal roofs are a little harder to get up and walk around on because they tend to be a bit slippier than other materials. Climbing a ladder and getting on your roof should never be done alone.
5. Handle Metal Panels With Care
The edges of metal panels are sharp to put it plainly. When you’re handling the panels, be sure to wear gloves and use caution to avoid getting cut by the edges. One of the biggest mistakes made with metal panels is not clamping them down correctly before drilling, which can cause the bit to get hung up and twist the metal. It doesn’t take much for metal to accidentally get away from you, so proper handling and clamping is crucial for your safety.
- If you are walking around on top of your roof, make sure the bottoms of your closed-toed, good-traction shoes are clean! Get any debris or rocks that may be stuck in the bottoms out to make sure you’re not accidentally scratching up your panels.
- Again, if you are on top of your roof, you may want to consider purchasing and wearing fall protection equipment like harnesses. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
- Make sure to never get on your roof (or even on a ladder) in inclimate weather. Metal is already slippy, and any form of precipitation will make it even more slippy. Keep an eye on the weather radar before starting a project that may take more than a day.
- When installing metal siding (and roofing), you’ll likely have some screws, pieces of metal, and other debris fall onto your lawn/landscaping. Make sure to either lay down cloths/tarps to catch this material for easy clean up, or do a thorough clean up after installation is completed. The last thing anyone would ever want is to step on a fallen and forgotten about screw!
DIY projects can be fun and rewarding to do. However, if you ever feel like you’re in over your head or unsure about how to properly install your metal panels, simply call in a qualified, professional contractor. We even have tips on how to hire a contractor. Although hiring a professional will cost a bit more, it will help save you time and any unnecessary stress!
If you have questions about installing your metal panels, whether for roofing, siding, or interior projects, talk to one of our Product Specialists today. We’re with you every step of the way!