Friday, January 16, 2015

The Dangers of Built up Snow and Ice on a Roof

As homeowners across North America brace for winter storms, many wonder if the snow and ice can create problems not just for driving, but also for their home.  In fact, a buildup of snow and ice on a roof can exert vertical loads on a roof that can cause a roof to sag, or even fail.  Although lightly packed powder snow weighs very little, slushy, wet snow can weigh over 62 pounds per square foot.

Even worse, an ice dam can form on the edge of a roof, preventing melted snow from draining off the roof.  In some cases, the water backs up behind the dam, and leaks into the home, causing wall, ceiling and insulation damage.

Some homeowners resort to raking snow and ice off their roofs.  While raking may provide a short-term solution, it can also create long term problems, such as removal of shingles or damage to the roof deck, leading to leaks.

Want to eliminate worries about snow and ice on your home?  Install a metal roof – they’re perfect for cold weather climates!

By design, metal roofs shed snow quicker than most roofing materials.  When the sun shines, its heat passes through the snow, hits the metal, and is reflected back.  Just like snow melting on the hood of a car, the sun heats up a metal roof, allowing snow to melt over the entire roof surface.  As the ice and snow melt from the bottom on a metal roof, there is an increased rate of shedding.

To see what your home could look like with a metal roof, check out the MRA’s free online tool, My New Metal Roof at

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Can Your Roof Handle Santa's Sleigh?

Is your roof Reindeer-Ready?  While Santa and his elves are finishing up toy making and preparing to pack the sled, there is an important job homeowners have to do to prepare for the upcoming Christmas holiday -- make sure their roof can handle the load.

Turns out reindeer aren't as "tiny" as the classic story suggests.  The average adult reindeer weighs at least 250 pounds.  Multiply that by eight (or nine, if you include the shiny-nosed variety), and your roof could have a ton of extra weight to support this Christmas, not including Santa and the presents.

If you want to be sure your roof is ready for everything winter has in store, including reindeer, the non-profit Metal Roofing Alliance suggests the following roof review, which can be done without a ladder:

  1. For homes with asphalt shingles, look for black areas indicating cracking shingles.

  1. For homes with shake or shingles, look for pieces that are curled upward, split, broken off or missing.

  1. For homes with slate roofs, look for black areas that indicate slate is missing.

  1. Look for heavy wear around the valleys, the areas where water runs off the roof into the gutters.

  1. Look at the materials around the chimney and vent pipes and check for cracks, gaps and missing or fractured caulking.

  1. Check eave overhangs for water damage.

  1. Use binoculars to check around the chimney, trim and other flashings for signs of cracks, shingles that are coming up off the roof and general wear.

  1. Conduct an interior inspection for stained or discolored ceilings, which most likely indicates roof problems.
"If your roof's not quite ready for the threat of harsh weather and holiday landings, you may want to consider installing a durable metal roof," said Bill Hippard, president of the Metal Roofing Alliance   "Most metal roofing is installed directly over the existing roof, reducing installation time, and clean-up. Additionally, metal roofs have long-term warranties and provide an eco-friendly, sustainable solution."

Residential metal roofing now comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, ranging from traditional standing seam to shake, slate and tile.  For more information, or to find a local metal roofing contractor, homeowners can visit

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Why Is Metal Roofing So Popular with Homeowners?

Homeowners are learning that metal roofs have many benefits, including beauty, durability, and an eco-friendly pedigree.  MRA member Interlock Roofing sums it up nicely in this chart:

To learn more about metal roofing, visit the Metal Roofing Alliance website, Pinterest page or YouTube channel.   

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Your Home With A Metal Roof

Considering a new roof?  Wonder how your house would look with a different style of roof?  With the Metal Roofing Alliance's new free roofing tool, called "My New Metal Roof", homeowners can now see a variety of roofing styles on their home with the click of a mouse.

The easy to use application, available at, homeowners can easily upload a photo of their home, or use a set of sample houses, to "try on" a variety of roofing styles.

Metal roofing comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, so this new tool is the perfect way to experiment before choosing your favorite look.  You can even save the photos or share them with friends to get a second opinion.

To hear why homeowners choose metal roofs, check out our YouTube channel.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bob Vila: Metal Roofs are Trending

Home improvement guru Bob Vila has a great new feature on metal roofing, and its many benefits for homeowners.  See the story here.

For more information on metal roofing, or to find a contractor in your area, please visit the non profit Metal Roofing Alliance.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Metal Roofing Myths Revealed

Angie's List founder Angie Hicks clears up some common misconceptions about metal roofing.

To learn more about choosing a metal roof for you home, visit the non-profit Metal Roofing Alliance at

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fall is Here! Is Your Roof Ready for What Comes Next?

Fall is here.  With temperatures dropping and leaves turning, you should really start thinking about getting your roof ready for winter weather.  No matter what type of roof you have, you'll want to be sure it's in good shape before the first blast of arctic air.

Inspect Your Roof

Look for signs of trouble- blackened areas on the roof, which could mean you have some cracked shingles.  Look for missing or curled shingles, which would indicate that the roof could be vulnerable to the harsh winter elements.  Look around the chimney, trim and other areas where there is flashing.  Look for cracks or missing flashing.  If you see anything like this, get it repaired immediately.  If you're considering a metal roof, you can find a local contractor by visiting the non-profit Metal Roofing Alliance here.

Inspecting your roof also means looking around the inside of your home.  Look up at your ceiling.  If you see water stains or other discoloration you could have a leak in your roof.  Also look carefully around all of your windows.  If you have watermarks or stains, you should re-caulk.

Clean Your Gutters
The single most important thing you can do is clean your gutters.  A gutter full of debris is a recipe for disaster.  The weight of the debris, coupled with snow and ice could rip your gutter off the house.  A full gutter could also lead to an ice dam, which will force moisture under the roofing material and create a leak.

Putting off repairs will lead to more costly repairs down the road.  Keep your family safe and sound and stay on top of repairs for your largest investment- your home.