Western Pennsylvania winter weather can wreak havoc on homes, cars, and property. This holds true even for durable materials such as metal roofing, which has several advantages over traditional materials when it comes to inclement weather. Metal roofs are less prone to leaking, for example, and are largely impact-resistant – holding up against even the worst hailstorms.
At the same time, however, homeowners in Pittsburgh and other areas with cool weather must consider heavy snowfall and winter weather with metal roofs. These are not wholly unique to metal as a roofing material, of course, but they are still important factors nonetheless.
Before You Buy
Depending on how cold your climate can get, you may want to consider your roof color before buying. Paints can affect how much heat a material absorbs, with darker-colored metal panels heating up faster. This can prevent snow from sticking to your roof, as it will cause it to slide off sooner. While this may also mean more heat during the summer, metal is still a cooler alternative to other roofs, such as asphalt shingle roofs.
When you first buy a roof, it’s important that you plan for a cool roof – a ventilated metal roof that allows for maximum air flow. The ventilation keeps your roof cooler during the summer, certainly, but the air-flow also helps prevent snow sticking in the winter, making it a year-round consideration.
Metal and Snow
Metal roofs tend to create an adhesive bond with snow, which may try to pull your panels down. This, however, is mostly a concern for roofing engineers, who have already planned for this and designed their roofing accordingly. Even still, here are a few best practices when it comes to maintaining your metal roof in the winter:
· Avoid shade on your roof – this can lead to ice dams.
· Orient your roof east-west to follow the sun and allow for solar melt.
· Insulate your ceiling.
· Use de-icing cabling.
While hardly difficult or unique problems, they are important to understand to make sure your metal roof works for you.
In addition to melting snow quickly, metal roofing also has a very slippery surface. What this means is that metal will shed snow quickly – sometimes dangerously so. Snow shed on a metal roof has been compared to an avalanche in intensity. This is obviously a safety hazard if you are near the edge of your house, and it can also damage your gutters.
Snow guards are an appropriate investment for any homeowner, regardless of their usual winter weather. Even a single snow can cause major damage, so planning accordingly and taking these considerations will help keep you and your metal roof safe.