With heavy snow rolling around the corner, many homeowners have to worry about how Canada’s tough weather conditions will affect their roofs. Last year, many Ontarians reported losing asphalt shingles due to the strong winds that hit the province and sent roof shingles flying off. Others had to deal with unwanted snow piling up on their rooftops.
Now, this is an expected occurrence when the asphalt shingles have been installed and in place for a very long time. However, there are instances when asphalt shingles defy their guaranteed longevity and fail to stand the test of time.
In order to avoid recurring problems with asphalt shingle roofing, many contractors and homeowners are now resorting to metal and steel installation because of how efficient steel and metal roofs have proven to be.
Why Asphalt Shingles Fail in the Winter
Asphalt shingles have around 30 years of warranty, but what contractors don’t explain to you is that, in dire weather, asphalt shingles are more likely to deteriorate in much less time than initially promised. With asphalt as the sole material in roof shingles, your roof is more likely to fall apart much more quickly than with metal or steel roofing, forcing you to deal with having to install a new roof altogether.
When subjected to terrible weather conditions like Canada’s, asphalt shingle roofing is expected to only last for an underwhelming 10 years, 20 years less than promised! What happens in this situation is that the shingles either start to curl and look unappealing, or they weaken to the point where they don’t stay put and fly off the roof, which is an even bigger issue in its own right.
Why asphalt shingles aren’t suitable for the winter:
- The durability of asphalt roofing is determined very early on; as early as the manufacturing process. According to an article by The Washington Post, the main culprit for the decaying of asphalt shingles is poor manufacturing. The key to efficient asphalt shingles is to subject the asphalt to enough air to disallow the material from melting and dripping from the roof in hot summer days. And apparently, blowing more air into the asphalt than necessary is enough to cause a roof to weaken and eventually fall apart.
- When installing an asphalt roof, many things can go wrong. If the nail is placed too high up on the shingle rather than across the nailing strip, there is a fair chance that this shingle won’t tolerate strong gusts of wind, and will ultimately fall off.
- Asphalt roofs are basically reservoirs for rainwater and snow. Asphalt roofs become brittle over time which makes it very easy for water and snow to get collected and trapped in the nooks and crannies of the asphalt. This can present a huge problem because even with additional insulation, you may find yourself dealing with a disastrous roof leak.
It’s clear that asphalt shingle roofs aren’t the most reliable when it comes to handling difficult weather conditions. This is why roofing companies are gradually leaning towards metal or steel roof installation, seeing as how proficient and cost-effective they are.
The Advantages of Installing Metal and Steel Roofing in Winter
The benefits of metal and steel roofing are immense, which is what has ultimately made them the number one roofing option right now. Some of the metal roof advantages include:
- Better warranty
With metal roofs, you have a minimum warranty of 50 years during which your roof is guaranteed to look as good as new. Furthermore, under ideal circumstances, metal and steel roofing can live up to an impressive 100 years. So, when you invest in metal and steel roofing, not only are you signing up for a trouble-free winter season, you are also making a life-long investment.
- The perfect waterslide
Unlike asphalt shingle roofing that grows brittle and rough overtime, for the most part, metal and steel roofs remain smooth and even. This characteristic helps metal and steel roofing slide water and snow right off which, at the end of a wet day, will ensure you avoid a leaky roof.
- Insulation and heat preservation
An important feature that adds quality to metal roofing is that they are terrific insulators. The fact that metal and steel roofs allow water and snow to easily slide off innately makes them ideal for insulation and preserving heat. As a result, they are energy-efficient and can save you a lot of money in heating bills.
How to Make the Best of Your Metal & Steel Roofing in Winter
Although steel and metal roofing is perfect for insulation on its own, there are many methods by which you can improve your roof’s insulation performance in the biting cold:
Metal Roof Snow Guards
Snow guards (also known as snow stoppers) for metal roofs are devices that are installed to help contain the snow so that it is no longer a source of danger. Installing snow guards is a great way to trap snow and put an end to an impending avalanche. The proper installation distance between a snow stopper and a roof gutter is usually 6in. This distance is ideal in case of heavy rain and snow and guarantees that water doesn’t overflow and spill over the gutter.
Without a snow stopper, the weight of the water and snow will separate the gutter from the body of the metal roof, creating a gap between the gutter and the walls of the house. Over time, moisture will inevitably seep through that gap and damage the integrity of the house’s foundation.
This traditional technique is simple and straightforward, which is why it’s one of the cheapest available and will guarantee you a hazard-free metal roof.
Roof Heating Cables
Installing a roof heating cable (also known as a roof de-icing wire) is a fantastic way to stop snow from accumulating on your roof. It is virtually impossible, let alone highly unsafe, to sprinkle rock salt on your roof. This is where roof heating cables come in super handy. Roof de-icing cables are usually installed in a zigzag pattern all around the roof and use heat to melt snow off your roof.
You can find roof heating wires at major retailers like The Home Depot and Canadian Tire.
Heat tapes work in the same way roof heating wires do, but they are considered more mobile. Similar to a heating cable, roof heat tapes work to melt the snow off the roof so that it doesn’t pile up and become a risk.
Install a Metal Roof Before Winter Comes!
If you are looking to invest in a new roof, consider metal roof installation. It’s quite clear that when it comes to snow-compatibility, metal roofs are the number go-to option for roofing right now. By joining the metal roofing bandwagon, not only do you reap tremendous metal roof benefits specifically for the winter, but you also elevate your property’s overall value. Just make sure you will get all metal roof details from a trusted professional.