Metal panels are one of the most popular building materials on the market today. They’re loved for the durability, longevity, and modern style. If you’re planning on using metal panels for roofing, siding, or accents, it’s important to know exactly how to handle and store them until you’re ready to use them.
When Carrying Metal Panels…
Metal panels can be heavy, bulky, and just plain awkward to carry around your job or project site. When you’re moving metal panels from one spot to another, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Wear Gloves — Metal panels tend to have sharp edges and corners. To avoid any potential hazards or injury, be sure to wear protective gloves when handling metal panels. Even if you’re picking up a small piece, always be sure to protect your hands.
- Have Another Person — Most metal panels will be over 3 feet long and are heavy. It’s always best to have another person with you when carrying the panels around. It helps protect the panels from bowing in the centers, being dropped, and other potential damage. Plus, it helps you avoid overexerting yourself or straining your back.
- Carry Vertically, Not Parallel — When you’re picking the panels up, the way you carry them is probably the most important part of maintaining their quality. You don’t want to pick the panels up with your palms facing the ground and on each end (where they would be flat and parallel with the ground). This causes a major curve and bend in the panels. You do want to flip the panels up, so when you’re grabbing you have a good grip on the edges. One you and your partner both have a good grip on the edges, you can safely transport your panels to the desired location. See the photo below for an example of how to properly carry sheet metal.
- Use a Pallet & Jack — If you have access to a pallet jack, it’s best to move your panels with it. Carry a single panel (using the above instructions) and lay it flat on a pallet, then simply use a pallet jack to move it from one location on the job to another. This is the best way to ensure you're not overexerting yourself or improperly carrying the panels.
This is a great example of correctly carrying a sheet of metal vertically.
When Storing Metal Panels...
If you got your order ahead of schedule or you're not quite ready to use your materials, properly storing your metal panels is crucial to maintaining their high quality. Remember these tips when it comes to storage of your steel:
- Cool, Dry Place — The best spot to store your metal panels is in a cool, dry place that’s free of humidity, pests, and any dampness. Ideally, this would be indoors somewhere (a garage, basement, etc.). Make sure the panels don’t have any moisture trapped between them and the area is 100% moisture-free.
- Off the Floor & Elevated — You want to make sure your panels are stored off the floor. There are plenty of high-end storage options, like vertical metal racks, but a wood pallet or even wood blocks do just fine. It’s also important to make sure one end is slightly elevated to ensure there’s adequate drainage in case of moisture.
- Level Area, No Debris — Even though you want your panels elevated for drainage, you want to make sure they’re stored on an even, level surface to prevent any bending or unnecessary stress on them. You also want to be sure there is no debris like stones or gravel underneath the panels that could potentially scratch them.
- Cut Bands/Ties — If you received multiple metal panels, they’re likely stuck together by plastic bands/ties. Make sure to cut and remove any ties to make sure they don’t leave any stress marks on the panels.
Metal panels are bulky and heavy, and should always be handled with care. If you have any questions regarding how to carry or store metal panels, get in touch with a Bridger Steel Product Specialist today. Our team of experts can give you even more information about handling and store steel products. Contact us today!