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What Are Standing Seam Metal Roof Clips and Why Are They Important?

When it comes to metal roofing and siding, there’s a bit more to a successful project than just the metal panels, substrate, and frame. A component that may seem inconsequential but quite literally plays a pivotal role in holding the roofing system together is the metal clip system. 

Different clip systems can directly affect metal roof performance. At EXCEPTIONAL® Metals, we take pride in helping contractors provide their customers with the best possible experience. Here’s an in-depth look at roofing clip types and why the proper selection is essential.

What’s A Metal Roofing Clip?

A metal roofing clip is a concealed anchor used to attach metal panels to a substrate, such as a roof deck or other material. Sometimes referred to as cleats, they’re fastened to whatever is beneath the metal panels, like a roofing deck or purlin, before the panels are attached.

Using metal roof clips eliminates the need to drive screws through the panels themselves, reducing the chance of moisture intrusion, fastener corrosion, seal deterioration, and thermal-induced hole elongation. By attaching to the metal panel from below, they also offer a modern and clean look.

Roofing Clip Types Explained

When it comes to clip systems, you can typically choose between fixed and floating designs with low or high dimensions. Using a fixed or floating clip depends on the substrate and how much movement is anticipated.

Fixed Clips

With fixed clip systems, there are no moving parts in the clip. The ability for that clip to expand and contract as the roof expands and contracts is dependent on the substrate.

Floating Clips

If the roof is being installed over a solid substrate or if the roof plane is over a slope more than 100 feet, then a floating clip system would be utilized. The floating clip system permits the roof panel to move (expand/contract) independent of the substrate to which the clip is installed.

Low and High Clips 

Low and high clips are classified by height. Whether to use a low or high clip is typically determined by the amount of insulation. A low clip, for example, is typically used for projects with a maximum of four inches of insulation, whereas a high clip is preferred for those with up to six inches of insulation.

Things To Know When Selecting Clips 

It’s important to understand that clips provide a higher stand-off, permitting insulation to pass between the roof panel and the substrate at structural attachment points. A low clip typically has a 3/8-inch stand-off. A high clip can provide 1-inch, 1-3/8-inch, or even 2-inch stand-offs, depending on panel type. If you go with clips that are too tall or not tall enough to accommodate the insulation, the system will be challenging to install and may not perform correctly. 

Another factor to weigh when determining the best metal roofing clip system for your project is whether you’re putting the roof over a solid substrate, such as wood or metal decking. If so, low clips are preferred in most situations.

Making Metal Clip Selection Easy

While everything explained above may appear overwhelming, it’s actually not. If you know the answers to the following questions, you’re well on your way to selecting the best clip system for your metal wall or roofing panel project. 

-Is the area where the project is located subject to widely fluctuating temperatures? 

-What is the substrate material? 

-Will there be insulation or no insulation? 

-If insulation is used, what’s the type (fiberglass insulation, rigid board insulation, etc.)?

-What’s the insulation thickness? 

Your Metal Roofing System Partner 

EXCEPTIONAL Metals is a leading supplier of high-quality metal panels and related products for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. We’re proud to connect construction companies and roofing professionals with long-lasting, weather-resilient roofing systems designed for the long haul. 

The truth is a metal roof is only as reliable as the clips that hold it together. Our expert team is happy to answer any questions regarding clip systems and make recommendations for your project. We’ll work with you to determine the best products for your needs, including helping you select the correct panel profile, gauge, and color or finish. Contact us today at to learn more and get help selecting the best clips for your upcoming metal panel projects!

What Are Standing Seam Metal Roof Clips and Why Are They Important?

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