Most homeowners are grateful for the roof over their heads. Yet home experts say that roofs are often one of the most neglected areas of the home, leading to issues that can turn into a major, expensive ordeal when ignored.
That’s why the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA), the leading nonprofit organization representing the metal roofing industry, is declaring the week of Oct. 6 – 12, 2019, as “Love Your Roof” in the United States and Canada. The purpose of the designation is to help call attention to the important role roofs play in protecting homes and encourage homeowners to give their roofs some TLC to make sure they are prepared and ready for the coming cold weather season.
“There’s no doubt that roofs have a huge impact on a home’s all-season performance, including lowering energy costs, protecting against threats such as severe storms and keeping occupants safe and more comfortable,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director. “With the transition from summer to fall, now is an ideal time to perform rooftop maintenance and consider necessary repairs or replacement before cold weather season starts.”
A good roofing system is essential home protection because roofs take the brunt of the worst that Mother Nature can dish out, shielding homes against ultraviolet radiation, wind, rain, snow, hail, and ice. They also are a major investment. Homeowners can protect that investment and maximize rooftop performance with regular care and maintenance, and by choosing quality roofing material and installation methods designed to stand up to regional climate conditions.
For the seven days of Love Your Roof Week, MRA has prepared seven key tips to help all homeowners ensure their roofs are in tiptop shape and ready for the winter season, including:
- Get an inspection
Now is a great time to get a professional evaluation of your roof’s condition. An experienced pro can safely identify potential trouble spots, point out needed maintenance and recommend proper repairs for minor problems before they turn into major issues. If hiring a professional is not an option, MRA recommends that at minimum you perform a simple roof inspection yourself. A guide on what to look for as you inspect your roof can be found in the new MRA Buyer’s Guide, available for free at www.metalroofing.com. If a roof replacement is needed, look for worry-free roofing options that will last for decades, hold up to climate extremes and deliver low-maintenance reliability to maximize long-term savings.
- Keep gutters clean
Regular gutter maintenance is essential for helping your roof properly drain water. Year-round contact with wet leaves and dirt build up can not only damage a roof but overflowing gutters can lead to much more serious problems, including foundation issues and the potential for leaks.
- Trim trees and bushes
Keep your trees trimmed and away from the roof. Doing so will help keep gutters clean and is a good safety precaution, especially in areas prone to wildfire threats or heavy snow or ice which can lead to broken branches or falling trees that can damage roofs.
- Deal with dirt and debris
Dirt and debris, combined with wet, cool weather can lead to rooftop moss and algae. That can cause rot and displaced singles for susceptible roofing material including wood shakes and asphalt. If replacing a roof in climates prone to these issues, choose a smoother, easier to clean material such as metal roofs, which tend to shed debris easily and naturally resists moss and algae without the use of harsh chemicals.
- Pay attention to what’s underneath
Adding or replacing attic insulation and ensuring proper venting will keep your home comfortable and protected in any season. Have a professional conduct an energy audit in your attic and make sure it includes adequate venting. Selecting energy efficient roofing materials with proper coatings that help reflect damaging sun rays can lower energy costs.
- Put your guards up
Last year, major winter cold snaps led to costly ice dam issues, especially for owners of asphalt roofs. Metal roofs can help prevent ice dams from forming in the first place, but it’s always a good idea to take extra steps to ensure safety in areas that experience heavy snow and ice. For example, snow guards can be installed to help keep frozen precipitation in place and cause it to melt or slid off in small pieces rather than dangerous chunks.
- Ensure safety above all else
Last but certainly not least, safety is the number one top priority for any type of roof maintenance or care. Rooftop falls can be dangerous and even deadly. Never get on a roof without proper safety gear, in inclement weather conditions, or if you feel unsafe, insecure, or unsteady. Better yet, leave all rooftop inspection and maintenance to a qualified, experienced pro who is licensed, bonded, and insured.
About Metal Roofing Alliance
Representing metal roofing manufacturers in the United States and Canada, the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) was formed in 1998 to help educate consumers about the many benefits of metal roofs. The main objective of MRA is to increase awareness of the beauty, durability and money-saving advantages of quality metal roofs among homeowners, as well as to provide support for metal roofing businesses and contractors. For more information, visit MRA.