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Avoiding Common Insulated Metal Panels Installation Mistakes

Posted by GSP Marketing on Mar 16, 2021 10:57:00 AM
GSP Marketing

One of the many benefits of using insulated metal panels (IMPs) for commercial and industrial construction projects is the materials cost-effective one-pass installation.

IMPs, also known for their spanning abilities and exceptional insulation, are becoming an increasingly popular choice of building designers across the country.

Manufacturing, recreational, institutional and government buildings and facilities are utilizing IMPs architectural advantages and energy efficiencies in sustainable initiatives.

IMP Installation Covers 7 Steps in One Material

IMPs, roof and exterior wall panels composed of steel skins surrounding a highly insulating foam core, are the most common type of insulated panels in use today.

IMP installation speed is achieved by the panels ability to cover seven key steps with one material, including:

  • Framing
  • Insulation
  • Wrapping
  • Vapor Barrier
  • Sheathing
  • Siding
  • Interior Finish

Avoiding Common Pitfalls When Installing IMPs

While the typical IMP installation will save your project on labor costs and expedite the building process, those benefits can be erased with installation mistakes.

Here are some common mistakes that are made with IMP installation that can cost your project both time and money:

Not Having Enough IMPs On-Site

In a perfect world you can order the exact number of panels to complete your project without any IMPs being damaged while in transit, stored on the job site or during the actual installation.

Those panels on hand can be installed very quickly with the Metal Construction Association in its “Selection Guide for Insulated Metal Panels” estimating that a four-man crew working an eight-hour shift can install up to 5,000 square feet of panels on an industrial project. An architectural project can be installed up to 1,100-square feet by the same size crew.

While the speed of installation is a bonus, projects can grind to a half when crews run short of material and must wait for more orders from the manufacturer.

Not Having the Proper Equipment On-Site

It is not only important to have enough panels on-site to complete the project, but installers must have access to proper equipment to complete the job safely and efficiently.

Equipment, such as forklifts, must be available with sufficient capacity to handle the lifting, carrying, and setting of the IMPs. Smaller IMP bundles, for example, can be handled with one forklift but for larger IMP bundles, two forklifts are required.

Specific equipment made to handle IMP installation can include:

  • Lifters attach to Insulated Metal Panels allowing them to be lifted with a crane, forklift, or other equipment.
  • These cups allow workers to carry small to medium sized IMPs by hand, with ease.

Not having the proper equipment on-site can lead to delays in installing IMPs and to damaging of the panels.

Not Reading the Product Installation Manuals

At the holidays you can assemble your child’s toys without reading theEngineers in mechanical factory reading instructions instructions as a badge of honor, but you can not do that on an IMP installation.

All IMPs come with extensive installation manuals for a reason – to help you safely install the panels on your project.

Green Span Profiles provides customers with two general guides as a starting point -- Insulated Metal Wall Panel Installation Guide as well as Insulated Metal Panel Handling and Maintenance Guide.

Not Treating Each Installation as Unique

Familiarity can be a great thing when you have a contractor and crew with experience handling and installing IMPs. On the flip side, it is a mistake to assume that each application is the same and that way of thinking can lead to errors.

It is critical for installers to rely on the project’s installation drawings as each project can have different requirements for sealants, spacers, and fasteners.

Green Span Profiles guide says, “Always reference the project’s installation drawings for the specified requirements. If there are differences between the installation drawings and these installation guide details, the installation drawings will govern.”

Not Paying Attention to Framing Alignment and Tolerances

Your project could avoid all the pitfalls covered above but still have problems when it comes to the structural support framing, which must be checked for straightness and alignment prior to IMP installation.

Framing alignment must be checked to verify that wall and roof panels can be installed without interference. IMPs installed on misaligned framing can lead to rippling or buckling which ultimately will require panels to be replaced.

When it comes to tolerance, Green Span Profiles says that “intermediate framing member’s alignment tolerances are as specified below:

  • zero to 1 4⁄ “ outward of the structural support line for members spaced at 10’-0” or greater
  • zero to 1 8⁄ “ outward of the structural support line for members spaced between 5’-0” and 10’ -0”
  • zero to 1 16 ⁄ “ outward of the structural support line for members spaced at less than 5’-0”

Any misaligned framing must be addressed prior to the installing of IMPs.

Contact Green Span Profiles today to learn more about our insulated metal panels manufactured in Texas with our state-of-the-art equipment. 

Topics: Insulated Metal Panels, Construction