Mounting Solar, Fall Protection, & More

Exposed-Fastened Metal Roofing Do’s and Don’ts

RapidMaterials and S-5! Attachment Solutions teamed up to take the mystery out of solar and exposed-fastened metal roofing. Together, we cover the best practices for working with various types of metal roof profiles and attachments, why metal roofs are a perfect solar platform, and how to attach solar the right way.

In addition, we answer frequently asked questions from customers on topics like fall protection and the pros and cons of various systems, seaming roof panels, and how to handle penetrations. Watch the video below for an in-depth discussion on the categories of metal roofing, exposed-fastened mounting PV to rails and direct attach, and how to identify your metal roof.

Or read below to review the Do’s and Dont’s of Exposed-Fastened Metal Roofing and the best Fastener Technology and S-5! Attachment Solutions.


Most pressure-treated wood is treated with chromated copper arsenate. The metal present in the treatment chemical (copper) may be dissimilar to the metal roofing. Overtime, trapped moisture will cause corrosion and potentially degrade the metal roofing. It is best to avoid using lumber material as an attachment system with metal roofing.


Although plastic is a better option in comparison to wood it still lacks the durability an attachment system should hold. When attaching solar panels or satellite dishes to a metal roof, you want to ensure the attachment is strong enough to support the device while protecting the integrity of the roof. Plastic is not an ideal material to use when selecting an attachment solution.

Lumber application pictured on left; plastic application pictured on right.

Notice this method uses a combination of lumber and malleable metal strips. The fasteners attaching the metal strips to the roof leave unsealed holes in the roofing panels, compromising the integrity of the metal roof. 


Corrosion is the destructive alteration of metal by a chemical or electrochemical reaction within its environment. Corroded parts fail for a variety of reasons including loss of mechanical integrity and fatigue that creates cracks in the fastener.

Externally applied caulk sealants weather and flake off, rendering the attachment less and less effective with time. It would be in your best interest to avoid both fasteners susceptible to corrosions and externally applied sealants and caulk.


Peel and stick adhesives as well as glue on a metal roof can cause extensive and irrepairable damage. You should NEVER attach a solar panel, lightning rod, etc. directly to your roof with glue.  This method could leave a  property owner with no option except to replace a roof which could be an extremely costly expenditure.


You should NEVER attach a solar panel, lightning rod, etc. directly to your metal roof with glue and adhesives, but luckily there are a line of products available to attach any and everything to a metal roof. S-5! Attachment Solutions clamps and brackets attach to the panel seam by tightening the “bullet-nosed” stainless steel setscrews against the seam material. (This is usually done with an industrial grade screwgun.) The setscrews compress the seam material against the opposite wall of the clamp. They will “dimple” the seam material, but will not penetrate it. Threaded holes in the clamp (and stainless hardware provided) enable the easy attachment of various ancillary items to the clamps.

S-5! offers various clamps and products for all metal roofing profiles, specifically designed to be used with lightning protection. View the selection here.

Roof-mounted utilities, such as split system condensing units, duct supports, communication equipment and service walkways can support a building envelope or compromise it. The S-5! GRIPPERFIX system, with S-5! clamps and brackets are The Right Way® to mount to any metal roof using our lifetime “double-seal” performance – or no roof penetration at all. GRIPPERFIX is quick & simple to install, preserves warranties and lasts the as long as the roof itself.

Don’t leave it to chance: Fix it, so it never needs “fixing.” S-5! affordable mounting products ensure roof integrity preserved from corrosion, leaks, rust, or algae. Done once- the right way – It’s ripper!

Although there are many products similar to S-5! Attachments, their performance does not compare. S-5! products are now installed on over 1.9 million metal roofs worldwide, providing strength and longevity never before seen. Architects and metal roof contractors endorse S-5! as the safest engineered products and the most trusted name in the metal construction industry.

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