PORTLAND, Ore.—Nearly 14 percent of U.S. homeowners now have metal roofs, which experts say is an especially good choice in the winter months thanks to the exceptional energy efficiency, low maintenance benefits and ability to hold up under heavy snow and ice that metal roofs offer.
However, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA), that’s not to say that metal roofs don’t need a little TLC this time of year. By following these simple tips from MRA, homeowners can help ensure their metal roofs will perform at their best for years to come*:
1. Keep Gutters Clean
Like any other type of roofing, regular gutter maintenance is essential for helping properly drain water. Year-round contact with wet leaves and dirt building up in your gutter can damage a metal roof. Winter is the perfect time for gutter cleaning, as most leaves have fallen, so be sure to remove debris from your gutters.
2. Trim Trees And Branches
While metal roofs are exceedingly tough, constant rubbing and abrasion from limbs can damage the finish. Keep your trees trimmed and away from your roof. Doing so will also help keep gutters clean.
3. Brush Away Debris
Thanks to smoother surfaces and finishes, metal roofs tend to shed debris more easily than other roofs. However, metal roofs differ in the types and shapes of the metal sheets that are fastened together and sealed or bonded. It can be in these areas where branches or debris can sometimes get stuck. Use a brush to sweep debris off verses trying to loosen it with a hose. For safety sake, take great care when walking on any roof and minimize foot traffic, especially in the winter; consider hiring a professional to do regular roof cleaning for you.
4. Pay Attention To What’s Underneath
While metal roofs are energy efficient, adding or replacing attic insulation and ensuring proper venting will keep your home comfortable and protected in any season. Have a professional roofer conduct an energy audit in your attic and make sure it includes proper venting.
5. Put Your Guards Up
Metal roofs do a great job shedding snow and ice, but in heavy snowfall, that can be a danger to those below when large clumps of snow and ice give way suddenly and without warning. Even in climates where snow accumulation is rare, it’s always a good idea to have snow guards on your metal roof that help keep frozen precipitation in place and cause it to melt or slid off in small pieces rather than dangerous chunks. Snow guards can be installed on existing metal roofs; contact a qualified contractor or roof to ensure proper installation.
“Metal roofs are designed to last 50 years or more and offer exceptional performance,” said Renee Ramsey, executive director of MRA. “Give them some simple maintenance and care, and they’ll pay you back with years of protection and peace of mind.”
*Never attempt to perform maintenance on any roof during severe weather. The safest and best time to perform maintenance is in advance of storm seasons. It’s always wise to consider enlisting help to maintain your roof from an experienced and licensed qualified professional contractor.