Precautions when using steel cladding sheets
Are there any precautions I should be undertaking when steel cladding sheets are delivered and used on site?
Sheets should be handled and stored with care to ensure once erected as roof and wall cladding, the sheets will have a life of many years. Failure to observe simple but essential precautions when storing and handling cladding sheets on site can lead to damage, delay, and expense. It can also affect the long term performance of a cladding system.
A number of steps should be taken to avoid this:
- The site supervisor should immediately inform the supplier of any missing or damaged sheets.
- Sheets in bulk should be handled using a lifting beam in conjunction with suitable slings and spreaders, or a fork-lift truck with appropriate fork dimensions. Long sheets should be lifted using a suitable long lifting beam.
- Insulated panels are vulnerable, and should be handled strictly as directed by the supplier. Specific lifting systems are available and should be used for composite panels.
Protecting your steel cladding sheets
- Steel sheets require a firm, dry base and should be stored protected from the weather, accidental damage and theft. Protection from heat, sunlight or low temperatures may be required, so follow the suppliers instructions.
- If storage is not possible, protect the sheets (particularly open packs) with a tarpaulin or waterproof covering, this should be supported on a scaffolding frame, leaving sufficient room on all sides for air to circulate. Store sheets off the ground on timber bearers which should be spaced no more than 900mm apart. Incline the stacks so any rain that penetrates through the covering will drain off. If stacked or bundled products do become wet, then separate them and wipe them dry with a clean cloth.
- Inspect the sheets at regular intervals to check for any leaks in the covering.
Movement and transportation of roofing sheets
- Sheets should be handled carefully to avoid damage. Do not drag materials over rough surfaces or fixed sheets. Do not drag tools over sheets, and protect from swarf (metal debris).
- When carrying by hand, use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and carefully lift and turn sheets and carry them on their edge.
- Whenever possible, lift single sheets manually onto the roof. If a sheet has to be hoisted into position, make sure that its edges are protected and that pressure across the sheet does not distort it. Use only ropes or slings for hoisting, never chains.
- When working on a roof, wear soft-soled shoes only.
Further advice required?
For more information on Colorcoat® products and services, or on advise using pre-finished steel for the building envelope, contact our designated Colorcoat Connection® helpline: +44 (0) 1244 892434.