MRA Declares ‘Love Your Roof’ Week Beginning October 6

The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) is declaring the week of October 6–12, 2019 as “Love Your Roof” week 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:

1. 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. 

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

For more information, visit https://www.metalroofing.com.

MRA Offers Discount, Educational Seminars at Metalcon 2019

Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) is offering more opportunities to save and learn during MetalCon 2019, held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 16-18.

As the largest event dedicated to the metal design and construction trade in North America, MRA members and non-members can now register for the event at www.metalcon.com for discounted price of $55 using promo code: MRA2019. That represents a $40 savings off regular MetalCon registration prices (manufacturers, suppliers & distributors are excluded).

MRA also is hosting two expert seminars during MetalCon, exploring topics designed to help attendees capitalize on the booming metal roofing business, including:

Young Installers – The New Labor Force

Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 4–4:30 p.m. (room: PPG theater)

It may be one of the biggest issues impacting the industry today: how to attract, recruit and retain a young workforce. This MRA session will explore tips, tools and inexpensive techniques for how to create an engaging workplace that will appeal to an up-and-coming labor force.

Quality Metal Roofing – Why it Matters

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019 from 5–5:30 p.m. (room: Learning Center #1947)

Sub-par materials that do not perform to consumer expectations give the metal roofing business a bad rap. Through testing, research and experience, the industry has developed an agreed-upon set of product specifications to ensure residential metal roofs meet or exceed expectations for durability, aesthetics, longevity and overall performance. Learn how quality metal roofing helps build long-term customer satisfaction, reduces call-backs and increases referrals.

Pre-registration for MetalCon and MRA seminars are available by visiting the MetalCon website at www.metalcon.com. For more information about the Metal Roofing Alliance, including how to become a member, visit www.metalroofing.com.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Offers Comprehensive Metal Roofing Course

To help support the booming demand for qualified metal roofing installers and providers, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is offering an extension course this winter entitled “Metal Roofing from A (Aluminum) to Z (Zinc).”  

Held Dec. 5-6, 2019, early registration is now open at https://epd.wisc.edu/course/metal-roofing-systems/. A special $150 discount off of tuition for members of the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) also is available using code S-5DIS.

For contractors, construction and renovation businesses, and others looking to build their expertise in the metal roofing industry, this course is designed to be among the most comprehensive available. It covers fundamental principles and advanced topics in both low-slope and steep-slope metal roofing systems and focuses on a wide breadth of essential topics, such as commonly-specified materials and coatings, typical seam profiles, attachment techniques, sealants, flashings, underlayment, snow retention, re-roofing concerns, and design details.

“Demand for metal roofing is outstripping the supply of experienced, qualified installers and providers. That makes it an excellent time to capitalize on the metal roofing business opportunity,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director, the leading nonprofit trade association representing the industry in the U.S. and Canada. “Comprehensive educational resources like these are key for the industry’s continued growth and expansion.”

“Metal Roofing from A (Aluminum) to Z (Zinc)” is suitable for anyone involved in metal roofing design, manufacturing, construction, maintenance, repair and re-roofing, or those looking to enter the field. Course participants can earn Continuing Education Units (CEU), Professional Development Hours (PDH) and AIA Learning Unit Health, Safety and Welfare (LU/HSW) credits.

For more information and to register for “Metal Roofing from A (Aluminum) to Z (Zinc)”, visit https://epd.wisc.edu/course/metal-roofing-systems/. To learn more about the MRA and membership benefits for trades involved in the metal roofing industry, visit www.metalroofing.com

Metal Roofing Alliance Announces New Members

The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) is gaining new members and affiliates as the metal roofing business opportunities in North America continue to expand. New MRA members include three new regional manufacturer members and three ancillary members.

MRA serves as a leading voice in driving market adoption of metal roofing and raising awareness for its exceptional durability, environmental benefits and all-season protection in any climate. As a nonprofit organization, MRA members benefit from increased marketing support, online lead generation and increased awareness through consumer and contractor information and educational initiatives.

New regional manufacturer MRA members include:

Cornett Roofing—Since 1991, Cornett has served as a Midwest leader in metal, slate, tile and solar roofing options. The company has offices in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio & Kentucky. www.cornettroofing.com

Sound Building Supply—Based in Renton, Wash., Sound Building Supply has been in business for more than 30 years and currently serves the Pacific Northwest territory, including Hawaii and Alaska. www.soundbuildingsupply.com

Vicwest—Founded in 1930 and headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, Vicwest is a leading supplier of quality metal roofing and exterior building products for all segments of the construction industry across North America. www.vicwest.com

New ancillary MRA members include:

Arkema-Bostik—A global leader in specialty adhesive and bonding solutions, including those designed for the construction industry. www.arkema.com

MarketSharp—A software provider that delivers innovative marketing and management systems specifically for the home improvement industry. www.marketsharp.com

Mosaic—Software and financing solutions designed to help contractors and homeowners finance projects faster and more conveniently. www.joinmosaic.com

 “It’s a great time to get into the residential metal roofing business and our members are benefiting from expanded marketing opportunities and increased awareness among homeowners,” said Renee Ramey, executive director of the Metal Roofing Alliance. “Continued growth depends on the collective efforts, support and participation, so we’re thrilled to welcome fantastic new partner members this year.”

For more information about how to become an MRA member, visit www.metalroofing.com.

MRA Offers Free Resilient Housing Guide for U.S. and Canadian Homeowners

With climate extremes, natural disasters and severe weather affecting homeowners in greater numbers throughout the U.S. and Canada, the Metal Roofing Alliance has partnered with Green Builder Media to offer an extensive Resilient Housing Guide. The free guide includes in-depth tips and information for owners of new and existing properties to help their homes withstand nature’s fury.

With the worst-case scenarios in mind, the 47-page guide covers a listing of flood resistant materials, tips for earthquake readiness, information on wind and wildfire resistance, common building flaws and solutions, structural innovations and considerations, ways to increase a home’s resiliency and more. The Resilient Housing Guide can be downloaded for free at the MRA website.

According to Matt Power, the editor of the Resilient Housing Guide, a key takeaway of the guide is that both materials and process matter. If buildings are designed and assembled with extreme weather vulnerabilities in mind, they inevitably perform better when the crisis strikes.

That includes metal roofing, which offers proven performance as an exceptionally long-lasting, durable and sustainable material choice that can withstand heavy rain, snow and hail, hurricane force winds and resist wildfires, all while being energy efficient and low maintenance. Homes with metal roofs have withstood some of the worst of severe climate conditions affecting the U.S. and Canada. So much so, a proposed mandate in a Florida county hit by hurricanes even considered requiring homes to be built with metal roofs.

“Metal roofing is a big part of the story when it comes to increasing housing resiliency and better protecting homeowners,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director. “With the spring and summer remodeling and building season upon us, we’re very pleased to be able to offer this important resource for homeowners.”

For more information, visit www.metalroofing.com.

MRA Reports Top 5 Regions Driving Demand for Residential Metal Roofing

According to the latest figures from the Metal Roofing Alliance, metal roofing is growing in popularity, especially in states that experience severe climate conditions.

The nonprofit organization, which serves to connect thousands of U.S. and Canadian residential homeowners seeking metal roofing with qualified member installers, says the top five states for interest in metal roofing are Florida, Pennsylvania, California, New York and North Carolina, with Texas close behind.

While these states represent major population hubs, they also have other factors in common: All have experienced increasingly severe weather and extreme climate conditions. From wildfires and hurricanes, to rooftop ice dams caused by polar vortex winter weather, all-season durability and performance have become top priority for homeowners in many states, especially for those looking to repair or rebuild after a climate-related disaster. Because quality metal roofing lasts 50-plus years, carries the highest Class A rating for fire protection and is strong enough to stand up to hurricane winds, hail and heavy snow, it is increasingly popular in regions where better protection against Mother Nature’s unpredictability is essential.

The latest MRA figures also suggest that local demand may be outpacing the supply of qualified metal roofing installers in some regions. In states such as California, New York and North Carolina, the high number of metal roofing leads provided by the MRA are keeping a small handful of member contractors extremely busy.

“It definitely represents a major business opportunity,” said Renee Ramey, executive director of the MRA. “Typically, metal roofing is a more profitable business because these homeowners are interested in durability and ensuring top quality protection versus trying to cut corners or find the lowest price. We are actively recruiting member contractors not only in these regions, but throughout the country who can help meet the growing demand for metal roofing from homeowners.”

The MRA expects metal roofing demand to continue to rise in regions experiencing climate extremes, as well as areas where environmental awareness is high.  These areas are candidates for additional growth, given the advantages metal roofing has for being an energy efficient, recycled/recyclable material and an ideal platform for rooftop solar systems. For these reasons, MRA is forecasting growth in locations such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and a greater swath of southern states. Yet the lack of qualified metal roofing contractors remains an issue when it comes to meeting local demand.

“Frankly, extreme weather and the need for more durable, resilient building materials is an issue that impacts nearly every region,” said Ramey. “That’s driving the need for residential metal roofing into brand new territories. Just as important is making sure there are local contractors ready to meet that demand, which is why the MRA is embarking on a full-court press to recruit more qualified metal roofing contractor members.”

With the popularity of metal increasing, MRA also is helping educate homeowners about how to protect themselves against fly-by-night providers who may use unscrupulous business practices or sub-quality materials to capitalize on the growing demand. This spring, MRA plans to put out a buyers guide for homeowners providing guidance on how to choose a quality metal roof and encouraging homeowners to do their due diligence when selecting a reputable, experienced metal roofing contractor.

“There’s no doubt that choosing a quality metal roof is one of the best long-term investments you can make for your home,” said Ramey. “Our goal is to help homeowners understand the benefits and steps that go into selecting their next roof wisely.”

For more information, visit www.metalroofing.com.

MRA Names Top 2019 Color Trends for Homeowners

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019 is “Living Coral,” a bright, exceedingly perky pinkish shade, but it’s a contrasting story for homeowners this year, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA).

With more color options and styles available than any other roofing type, metal roofing color trends set the tone for the latest in residential exterior style preferences. Coming off of a seriously challenging 2018, during which U.S. and Canadian homeowners were confronted with climate extremes, severe hurricanes and storms and devastating wildfires, the MRA says the mood is more somber, reflective and nostalgic for 2019.

Instead of bold, bright hues, MRA’s predictions include weathered and “reclaimed” looks, with darker, richer colors such as Aged Bronze and Weathered Zinc to be among the most popular shades for 2019. Some metal roofing manufacturers have gone so far as to introduce designs that mimic a “rusted” appearance, such as the new Infiniti Roadhouse steel roofing style from MRA-member EDCO, which harkens back to vintage barns and farmhouses and belies the material’s underlying high-tech performance features. Natural metal materials that weather and change over time, such as copper that ages naturally into a soft green patina, are also highly-prized.

In general, MRA says homeowners are gravitating toward “lived in” looks, choosing metal roofing color tones that have more depth and contrast.

“Homeowners have gone through significant challenges and changes this past year,” said Renee Ramey. “There’s a longing and desire for things that have a connection to the past and will stand the test of time, and that’s driving the popularity for some of the vintage looks we’re seeing for 2019.”

Whatever the color trends, the lesson of 2018 has driven home that above all, performance matters most. Quality metal roofs are among the most energy efficient, durable, longest-lasting and have Class A fire ratings and the ability to survive F-2 tornado force winds. Ramey emphasizes that quality over color should always be the top consideration when choosing a metal roof that is designed to last 50-plus years and will protect homes against severe weather and climate extremes. Before falling in love with a color choice, MRA offers these tips for how to choose a quality metal roof designed to stand the test of time:

  1. Experience matters: Choose a metal roof from a reputable manufacturer and installer. Do your homework and make sure they are experienced and will stand behind the product and installation.
  2. Pay attention to ratings: Metal gauge and thickness matters. Make sure the material is properly rated and meets or exceeds regional codes for your area.
  3. Be picky about warranties: Get them in writing for both the product and installation and analyze them to determine what they cover, for how long and whether they are transferrable.
  4. Brush up on your metal: Verify what kind of metal is being used, what protective coatings it has and what standards it has been tested against.
  5. Know that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is: Protect yourself against cheap, inferior material by checking on business standings and getting referrals. Short-term savings are never worth the significant long-term costs and damage that can result from poor quality material or installation practices.

For more information, visit www.metalroofing.com

MRA Searches for Top Survivor Home of 2018

Hurricanes, wildfires, massive hail storms, snow, ice, wind and more: for plenty of U.S. and Canadian homeowners, 2018 brought it all.

Now, the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) is seeking stories from homeowners with metal roofs who survived Mother Nature’s wrath for a chance to earn the title of MRA’s Top Survivor Home of the Year and a $1,500 grand prize. To enter, homeowners simply need to submit their story in 200 words or less about the challenge their home withstood during 2018, along with a photo via the official entry page at www.metalroofing.com. For each qualified entry received, MRA also will donate $50 to the American Red Cross to help with disaster relief efforts, up to a total of $5,000. The search for MRA’s Top Survivor Home of the Year ends on January 15, 2019.

“With climate extremes becoming increasingly common, taking steps to make homes more defensible and resilient is essential no matter where homeowners live,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director. “We hear from homeowner all the time who credit their metal roofs for helping protect their home against extreme wind, rain, hail and even wildfires and major snow storms, so we decided to proactively invite people to share their stories. Hopefully, it will inspire others and showcase how homes can survive against some pretty incredible odds.”

Building and renovating homes so that they are better able to withstand climate extremes is a hot topic in the industry, given the massive challenges homeowners have faced in recent years. That includes using more durable, long lasting and stronger materials like metal roofs, in addition to construction methods that not only meet, but exceed codes for being able to better stand up against monster storms and help prevent damage from climate related events, such as wildfires.

For more information, visit www.metalroofing.com.

MRA Kicks Off Best Metal Roofing Competition for Installers & Contractors

Enter the “Best Metal Roofing Project” competition hosted by the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA). Beginning Oct. 4, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018, the MRA will award one monthly first prize winner for the project judged to be the most outstanding example of a great metal roofing project.

Open to U.S. and Canada contractors, installers and manufacturers, entries will be evaluated based on appearance, performance and originality/use of materials and each monthly first-prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize. To enter, interested participants can upload a photo of their metal roofing project and a 200-word or less description at www.metalroofing.com.

“This competition celebrates all of the fantastic work going on in the metal roofing industry right now,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director. “Not only do metal roofs perform exceptionally well, but installers getting very creative when it comes to material use and incorporating styles that add incredible curb appeal.”

With more color options available than any other roofing type and designs that range from traditional to contemporary, metal roofing can help highlight any architectural style and yet it is also among the most durable, long-lasting and sustainable option available. Demand for metal roofing is increasing, making it the second most popular choice for U.S. homeowners and helping increase profitability for installers and contractors.

For more information about how to enter MRA’s “Best Metal Roofing” competition for the trades, visit www.metalroofing.com

MRA to Host Free Residential Rooftop Solar Webinar Nov. 7

When it comes to sustainable building practices, solar is hot. With the availability and interest in residential solar systems growing rapidly nationwide, it’s important for builders, contractors and installers to know the fundamentals and brush up on best practices to help homeowners make informed decisions.

To that end, the Metal Roofing Alliance is hosting a free webinar in partnership with Green Builder titled “Residential Solar System Installation.” The webinar covers design techniques and advanced rooftop installation considerations to help optimize the return on residential roof-mounted solar systems.

The webinar will be held on November 7 at 2 p.m. EST. Free registration sign up is available here. The webinar will feature noted author, presenter and expert Todd Miller, president of Isaiah Industries, who has spent his long professional career in the metal roofing industry, including providing expertise, ideas and guidance to hundreds of homeowners planning for solar installations.

“Driven by California residential solar mandates coming in 2020, residential solar systems are becoming more mainstream nationwide,” said Renee Ramey, executive director of Metal Roofing Alliance. “To capitalize on the opportunity as well as to help guide homeowners during the planning process, it’s important for the trade to understand the essentials for residential rooftop solar installation.”

Contractors and roofing installers also can find the primer for solar rooftop installation on MRA’s website at www.metalroofing.com, in addition to information about how to become a MRA member and gain access to other education and training related to a wide variety of metal roof topics.