In Western U.S. and Canada, MRA Says Spring Home Improvement And Wildfire Protection Plans Go Hand-In-Hand

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May 7, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore.— Last week’s Wildfire Awareness Week (May 1-7, 2018) focused mainly on California, but the fact is that all homeowners in the western U.S. and Canada need to be aware of the increasing threats of wildfires and understand how to make their homes more defensible.

That includes incorporating ignition-resistant building materials as part of home renovation plans, especially during spring re-roofing season. To help protect homes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that in fire-prone areas, if a roof is covered with wood or asphalt shingles, homeowners consider replacing it with a fire-resistant material, such as metal. That’s because metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, the highest available. Class A roofing must be able to withstand flames up to four hours and resist tests using 15 cycles of gas flame turned on and off.

Yet even with the increasing threat of wildfires, homeowners on the West Coast have been slower to make the metal roofing switch. The latest consumer research from the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) shows that while metal roofing demand is rising overall, especially in areas like the south and southeastern U.S., less than 20 percent of western homeowners are likely to consider a metal roof replacement.

That’s surprising, says Renee Ramey, MRA executive director, especially since metal roofing not only is one of the best roofing materials to protect against wildfire threat, but offers a whole host of other benefits that western homeowners value, including being a highly water resistant, exceptionally long lasting, energy efficient and an overall more sustainable roofing material choice.

“Homeowners in hurricane prone areas understand and are quite familiar with durability, strength and exceptional wind resistance benefits that metal roofs offers,” said Ramey. “It’s time for homeowners in the west and in Canada to also realize that metal roofing can help protect their homes against extreme conditions particular to their areas, including dangers like wildfires.”

As studies show more areas in the western U.S. and Canada are vulnerable to wildfire, last year’s devastation demonstrates how quickly the problem can spread, even to areas that were previously considered safe. Flying embers from a wildfire can destroy a home up to a mile away and a roof is one of the most vulnerable areas. Yet a 2016 study by the U.S. Forest Service entitled “Recovery and Adaptation after Wildfire on the Colorado Front Range” shows that local communities and homeowners are still woefully unprepared when it comes to adapting to future threats, even after wildfires strike.

Given that wildfire season could start and strike at any time, and it is the peak season for spring home improvement and renovation projects, Ramey says it’s an ideal time for homeowners to incorporate improvements that will make their home more defensible and wildfire resistant.

“Choosing home improvement products that look great, perform well and are made to last are always top priorities for homeowners,” said Ramey. “Now they also need to consider how to better protect their home against growing regional threats and extreme climate conditions. Thankfully, there are materials like metal roofing available that check all the boxes.”

About Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA)

Representing metal roofing manufacturers in the United States and Canada, the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) was formed 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.

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