Best Placement for Screws in Metal Roofing in 2024

Metal roofs are very trendy right now as they add durability and beauty to houses. They come in different colors and sizes. But one of the most notorious weaknesses of having a metal roof is not having a proper installation process.


Incorrectly placing the screws in the metal roof in the installation process could cause thousands of leaks. And a high cost in damages so we must avoid this at all cost.

On the other hand, a proper installation will allow you to have a weather-tight roof safe and secure for decades.

For the installation process, we have to focus on placing the screws correctly, as this is the area where the main issues happen.

If the screws are not installed straight, are under tightened, or over-tightened, this will cause leak penetration and instability to the metal roof.

But don’t worry, in this article, I will teach you the best placements for screws in metal roofing to have a leak-less metal roof.

Best Placement for Screws in Metal Roofing

Before telling you how to place the screw, it is very important to have the foundation in place; let start with the screws and install them properly.

Screws for Metal Roof Installation

The screws that you will be needing will have a rubber washer with a metal cap.

I recommend using the Metal Roofing screws: (250) 10 x 1-1/2, which you can purchase on Amazon.

Right Placement for Screws in Metal Roofing

The Proper Way to Screw Down Metal Roofing

When tightening the screws is very important not to drive it too far since this will over-compress the washer by expanding it too much, therefore, breaking the washer.

If this happens, back up the screw to release some of the pressure.

You want to make sure you tighten the washer so that it spreads to the edge of the metal cap and does not pass the metal cap.

At the same time, it’s really easy to under-tighten the screws. To determine if the screw is too loose, see if you can spin the washer; if so, then the screw is too loose, and you will need to retighten.

With time and experience, you will develop a feel to determine when the screw is tightened correctly.

As you can see, when installing screws in a metal roof, you need to have a balance.

Another important thing to mention is all the screws need to be installed straight and not sideways.

If so, this will cause the rubber washer not to seal correctly, creating possible leaks, and what’s worse is having to fix hundreds of screws because you weren’t paying attention in the installation process.

If this happened to you, the solution is to back out the screw and redo it making sure the screw is straight.

After installing the screws, remove all metal shaving to avoid corrosion spots from forming near the screws.

Use the Right Tools for Screw Placement

When placing the screws in metal roofs, it’s important to have a screw gun; this is an essential step in preventing maintenance issues.

I recommend using an actual screw gun and avoid impact drivers and drills.

Tools for Metal Roofing

Drills will usually over-tighten a screw causing damage to the screw washers and possibly the metal. The same goes for impact guns, as this is one of the main reasons for screw failures.

That is why I recommend using a screw gun. This tool will eliminate the issue of over-tightening screws.

I also recommend you use self-drilling screws as this will make your job easier and will avoid having to drill the metal wish is not recommended.

Believe me; this will produce a better installation process.

Metal Roof Screws on Rib or Flat

When it comes to the screw location or placement, you will find different recommendations depending on who you ask.

But let me tell you from my experience.

I’ve used screws both on the top of the ribs and on flats along the bottom.

And the screws that were on top of the ribs with time became loose, and the screws on the flats were strong and secure.

That’s why I recommend the screws go in the flat of the panel and not on top of the rib.

When putting screws in the top of the rib, it puts pressure on the panel, causing the pan to have a slight bow in it.

So basically, this type of installation will cause deformation to your metal roof while at the same time making it insecure.

Plus, the roof will not be properly sealed, causing leaks.

So to keep it simple, put the screw on the flat part of the panel, not the top.

Metal Roof Screw Pattern

The pattern could vary depending on the conditions, but a metal roof is commonly used every 24 inches in the center.

Last update on 2023-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Founder & Editor

Hi, I’m Jim. I was a roofing constructor for 20 years, before deciding to start and gather the best content about roofing. I love woodworking and construction and it was only natural for me to start this passion project of mine. Thank you for visitng.