Early Snows Surprise Many: How Metal Roofs Perform in Winter

The early winter storms experienced by much of the Northeast this past weekend remind us all, that like it or not…Mother Nature is in charge!  As of November 21, 2016 , Leader, Minnesota has 24 inches, Buffalo, New York 20-25 inches and Boston is reporting 15-20 inches of snow.  And it’s still snowing in many areas. 

Snow on a metal roof

This winter surprise is a good reminder to all homeowners to make sure their roof is ready for winter’s harsh weather.  Energy-efficient metal roofing is a great choice for snowy areas, as they easily shed snow loads.

Most metal roofs have a fairly smooth top surface.  When the sun shines, heat from the sun passes through the snow, hits the metal, and is reflected back outside.  The sun heats up the metal roof allowing the snow to melt over the entire roof surface.  The snow and ice will melt from the bottom creating the opportunity for the snow and ice to shed more quickly than other roofing materials.

Although lightly packed powder snow weighs very little per square cubic foot, slushy, wet snow can weigh over 62 pounds per square foot.  It is this heavy wet snow that causes so many problems.  The presence of snow and ice on a roof exerts vertical loads that can cause a roof to sag or bow downward.

snow-on-a-roof-by-fema

Some homeowners choose to rake the snow and ice off their roofs.  While it may solve the problem in the short term, chances are good that this will cause significant damage to a roof.  “If you rake an asphalt shingle roof, chances are you’ll take some shingles off along with the snow and ice,” states Dick Bus, president of the Metal Roofing Alliance.   “One easy way to avoid heavy snow loads and ice dams is to consider installing a metal roof.”

In addition to heavy snow loads, homeowners need to keep an eye out for ice dams.   Icicles hanging along the eaves of your house may look beautiful, but they spell trouble. That’s because the same conditions that allow icicles to form—snow-covered roofs and freezing weather—also lead to ice dams: thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the eaves. Dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and pour into your house.

Icicles On Roof

A homeowner who doesn’t have a properly insulated attic could be faced with an ice dam upstairs. Heat from the attic melts snow on the roof, and the melted water pools and gets in the house.

If you’re looking to replace your roof, consider installing a metal roof.  Find a quality metal roofing contractor here on our website.

Five Things You Need to Know About Metal Roofing

The demand for sustainable, eco-friendly and energy efficient home improvement materials continues to grow in North America. According to a new study conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics, the residential metal roofing industry saw a big jump in market share last year, moving from approximately 8% in 2014 to 11% in 2015.

5-things-you-need-to-know

A new range of products designed for use on homes, with the added benefit of extreme durability, have resulted in continued growth for metal roofing in the residential market.

Country Manor Shake by Classic Metal Roof

“Metal is the perfect choice for homeowners who don’t want to think about their roof. For most families, a metal roof is a one-and-done purchase that provides years of eco-friendly, energy efficient protection,” says Bill Hippard, executive director of the Metal Roofing Alliance.

Five Things You Need to Know About Metal Roofing

  • Today’s metal roofs offer a variety of styles and colors to match any style of home, and can fit into any community. Metal roofing is available in traditional vertical seam profiles or can be manufactured to resemble wood shake, slate, shingles or clay tiles.
  • A metal roof is designed to withstand decades of abuse from all weather conditions including rain, hail, wildfires, and high winds. They also offer long term warranties, providing additional peace of mind.
  • Metal roofs featuring highly reflective coatings provide year-round relief from high energy costs. Many “cool” roofs even have Energy Star ratings that qualify homeowners for tax credits.
  • Metal roofs are NOT noisy in the rain. A properly installed investment grade metal roof has the same insulation and decking as any modern roof.
  • Metal roofs are environmentally friendly. Most metal roofs contain more than 25 percent recycled materials. At the end of its long life, metal roofing is also 100 percent recyclable. Traditional roofing products, such as asphalt, contribute 13 billion pounds of waste to U.S. landfills annually. Many metal roofs can also be installed over an existing roof, without tear-off and disposal.

To learn more about roofing, and see how your home would look with a new metal roof, check out the Metal Roofing Alliance website: http://www.metalroofing.com.

Wildfire Season Busy & Costly

Wildfires are a threat to many communities across North America. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, there have been 33,852 fires in the U.S. so far this year, which have burned a total of 3,478,169 acres to date.   The annual economic losses from wildfires in the U.S. has averaged $1.3 billion since 2000.

August through September are considered the  height of the fire season with ten states reporting large fires.  California currently has seven major fires, Wyoming eight and Idaho five.  And, while it may seem that wildfires are only common on the West Coast, wildfires occur in many areas of the United States.

Wildfire

A wildfire is an unplanned, unwanted fire that starts in an undeveloped area.  Forest fires can become a ‘firestorm’ which is a deadly mix of unending fuel supply and thermally-induced high winds.  These fires can approach inhabited areas with the speed and power of a locomotive.  Sheer winds uproot trees, fences and roofs with unnatural ease.  Anyone who’s experienced a wildfire can tell you it’s not something they’d like to repeat.

California homeowner Susan Lord explains, “In November, 2008, a wildfire went through our neighborhood.  Our house was a total loss.  That’s why we decided to install a metal roof when we rebuilt.”  See more from Susan in this short video:

Metal roofs are naturally very tough and highly resistant to fire damage.  Fire will not penetrate a metal roof.  Metal roofing materials interlock, forming a protective barrier that other roofing materials do not provide.

Most forest fires decimate residential communities through burning pine needles and other debris blown from roof to roof.  More conventional roofs, such as asphalt, catch fire relatively easily and the home is at danger of burning to the ground.   A metal roof is not combustible, so it doesn’t provide additional fuel for the fire.  That’s why many fire chiefs recommend a metal roof.  Here’s  another clue – you’ll notice that a lot of fire stations have metal roofs.

Firehouse with metal roof

In addition to installing a metal roof, homeowners in wildfire-prone areas can create a defensible space around their home, clearing all potential wildfire fuel from within 100 feet of a structure is critical for fire prevention.   For example, if you have a wood pile, move it away from your home.  In addition, homeowners should clean gutters and roof of debris that can ignite.  You can also design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind.  Select materials and plants that can help contain fire rather than fuel it.  

To download a checklist of steps to take to protect your home, download this checklist created by FEMA.    Visit the following websites for more information:

http://www.fireadapted.org

http://www.firewise.org

 

Why Choose a Metal Roof?

According to a recent survey, metal roofing is now the second most popular style of roofing in the U.S.   Why do homeowners choose a metal roof?  The top two reasons are longevity and strength and protection for their home.  See below for all of the survey results:

 

Why Homeowners Choose a Metal Roof

With long-term warranties up to 50 years and the built-in strength of steel or aluminum, a metal roof easily outlasts other roofing materials. For most homeowners, a metal roof is the last roof they’ll ever have to buy for their home.  A standard asphalt shingle roof lasts 12-15 years, while metal roofs typically last 50 years or more.

Want to see how your house could look with a metal roof?  Check out our free “My New Metal Roof” tool on our website.  You can upload a photo and “try on” a variety of styles and colors of metal roofs to help you choose the one that you like best!