How To Cut Corrugated Roofing

Corrugated roofing sheets, be them PVC or metal, are a staple in modern roofing, prized for their durability and versatility.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a DIY enthusiast, knowing how to correctly cut these sheets is crucial for a successful installation.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of cutting different types of corrugated roofing materials, ensuring a high-quality, professional finish for your project.

The Different Corrugated Roofing Materials


The key to a successful installation lies in understanding how to cut these materials properly, as each type has its unique properties and requirements:

  • Plastic Corrugated Roofing: Lightweight and easy to work with, often used for patios and greenhouses.We supply a range of thicknesses and custom lengths here at Trade Warehouse.
  • Corrugated Polycarbonate Roofing: Known for its transparency and UV resistance, ideal for skylights and sunrooms. We supply the full range here at Trade Warehouse.
  • Fibre Cement Corrugated Sheets: Durable and fire-resistant, commonly used in industrial settings.
  • Corrugated Bitumen Roofing: Offers excellent waterproofing, commonly used in garden sheds and garages.
  • Metal Corrugated Sheets: Typically made from steel or aluminum, known for their strength and longevity.
  • Fibreglass Corrugated Panels: Offers flexibility and is often used for more complex roof shapes.

Material-Specific Cutting Methods:

  • Plastic and Polycarbonate: These materials require careful handling to prevent cracking. A fine-toothed saw or a sharp utility knife works best.
  • Fibre Cement: Score-and-snap tools or fibre shears are often used for a clean cut without fraying the material.
  • Bitumen: A coarse-bladed saw or a sharp utility knife is recommended for a smooth cut.
  • Metal: Metal-specific shears or nibblers are ideal to avoid warping the material. NO angle grinders!
  • Fibreglass: A fine-toothed saw or a circular saw with a plywood blade is preferred to reduce splintering.

Key Takeaway: 💡 Each corrugated roofing material has unique characteristics that dictate the best cutting method. Understanding these properties is crucial for a clean, safe, and effective cutting process, ensuring a high-quality finish for your roofing project.

Preparing for the Cutting Process


Before you begin cutting corrugated roofing sheets, it's crucial to prepare adequately.

This preparation ensures not only the precision of your work but also your safety:

Health and Safety Tips:

  • Protective Gear: Always wear protective gloves and goggles to safeguard against sharp edges and flying debris. A dust mask is also essential to prevent inhalation of harmful particles.
  • Appropriate Attire: Ensure you're wearing sturdy footwear to protect your feet from any falling objects or sharp tools. Additionally, opt for snug-fitting clothing to avoid getting caught in machinery.

Workspace Preparation:

  • Maintain a Clear Area: A clutter-free workspace is vital. Remove any unnecessary items and ensure all tools and materials are organized. This reduces the risk of trips and falls.

  • Tool Safety: Use all tools with care. Ensure that cutting tools are sharp for cleaner cuts and less physical exertion. When using power tools, check their condition before starting, and always follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines.

  • Stable Work Surface: Ensure that the roofing sheets are securely placed on a stable workbench or surface. This stability is crucial for accurate and safe cutting.

Key Takeaway: 💡 The foundation of a successful corrugated roofing cutting process lies in meticulous preparation. By adhering to health and safety protocols and preparing your workspace thoughtfully, you not only enhance the efficiency of your work but also significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. Remember, safety is as crucial as the task at hand.


Step-by-Step Cutting Guides


Cutting Plastic Corrugated Roofing:

  • Tool to Use: A Stanley knife is ideal for cutting PVC corrugated sheets.
  • Steps for Cutting:
    • Secure the sheet on a stable surface.
    • Mark the cutting line with a pen for precision.
    • Use the Stanley knife to cut carefully along the marked line.
    • For thicker areas, a band saw with a fine blade can ensure a clean finish.

Cutting Corrugated Polycarbonate Roofing:

  • Preferred Tool: A fine tooth saw is recommended for enhanced accuracy.
  • Cutting Procedure:
    • Secure the polycarbonate sheet to prevent movement.
    • Measure and mark the sheet, then join the marks using a straight edge ruler.
    • Cut steadily along the line, maintaining control over the saw for a clean edge.
    • An air-compressor or vacuum can be used to remove any swarf from the sheet.

Cutting Corrugated Fibre Cement Roofing Sheets:

  • Tools for Cutting: Options include a score and snap knife, fibre shears, or a hand guillotine.
  • Method:
    • Position and secure the sheet on a workbench.
    • Accurately mark the cutting area with a pen or pencil.
    • Cut along the marked line using the chosen tool, ensuring any dust is directed away from you.

Cutting Corrugated Bitumen Roofing:

  • Tool Selection: Use a coarse bladed saw or Stanley knife for lengthwise cuts; a circular saw is preferred for widthwise cuts.
  • Procedure:
    • Measure the bitumen sheet and mark out the cutting guide.
    • Use the appropriate tool to cut through the sheet, depending on the direction of the cut.

Cutting Corrugated Metal Roofing Panels:

  • Tools Needed: Tin snips for aluminium, straight edge snips for steel.
  • Steps:
    • Carefully measure and mark the metal sheet.
    • Determine if the sheet is steel or aluminium using a magnet.
    • Cut along the marked line using the appropriate tool for the material.

Cutting Corrugated Fibreglass Roofing Panels:

  • Recommended Tool: A circular saw with a plywood blade.
  • Cutting Process:
    • Secure the GRP sheet on a workbench.
    • Measure and mark the sheet, then cut following the guideline.
    • Maintain a steady pace when cutting with the circular saw to avoid cracking the material.

Key Takeaway: 💡 Cutting corrugated roofing requires specific tools and techniques for each material type. Accurate measurement and marking, along with the use of suitable tools, ensure clean and precise cuts, contributing to a professional-looking roofing installation.

Selecting the Best Saw for Different Roofing Types

The right saw can make a significant difference in the ease and quality of your cuts when working with corrugated roofing. Here's a guide to choosing the best saw for different types of roofing materials:

Best Saw for Corrugated Plastic Roofing:

  • Ideal Tool: A circular saw equipped with a general-purpose, carbide-tipped blade.
  • Reason for Choice: This type of saw and blade combination offers precision and can handle the softer material of corrugated plastic without causing damage.

Best Saw for Corrugated Sheet Metal Roofing:

  • Recommended Tools: An angle grinder or circular saw.
  • Blade Selection: A diamond wheel is preferred for angle grinders to achieve smoother edges.
  • Circular Saw Use: For longer, straight cuts, a circular saw with a metal-cutting blade is ideal, ensuring a clean and straight edge.

Key Takeaway: 💡 The selection of the appropriate saw and blade is critical for effective and efficient cutting of corrugated roofing materials. Whether it's plastic or metal roofing, using the right tools not only simplifies the cutting process but also enhances the final appearance and longevity of the roofing sheets.

Concluding Thoughts

Cutting corrugated roofing sheets may seem daunting, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be a manageable task for anyone.

Whether you’re embarking on a new roofing project or replacing old sheets, understanding these cutting techniques will prove invaluable.

Additional Resources and Customer Support

For further guidance or any queries regarding corrugated roofing, our customer service team at Trade Warehouse is here to assist.

Feel free to contact us on 0208 037 6020 or email, or use our live chat for instant support. Our extensive range of high-quality corrugated sheets and commitment to customer satisfaction make us your go-to resource for all roofing needs.

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