Rain, Wind and Storm Hacks for Roofs

Is Your Metal Roof Safe in a Lightning Storm?

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Metal Roof Safe in a Lightning Storm?

According to where you live in Australia, the risk of a lightning strike can vary significantly. Homeowners living in certain parts of the country are more likely to worry about the risk of a lightning strike and many people believe that their metal roof can increase the risk of lightning damage. Find out if this assumption is correct, and learn more about the steps you can take to protect your home from lightning. Understanding the risk of a lightning strike The probability of a lightning strike depends on several factors, which include: The topography of the land where you live (that is, if you live on a hill). The size and height of your home. The proximity of your home to other vulnerable structures, such as trees. The relative frequency and severity of thunderstorms where you live. Some Australians experience a huge number of lightning strikes. For example, the Top End of the country encounters many strikes every year. Indeed, a single thunderstorm in Darwin once caused 1,634 lightning flashes in just a few hours. In other parts of the country, homeowners would see fewer strikes than this in an entire year. Metal roofs and lightning strikes Lightning occurs when an electric current flows between the ground and the sky. A single flash of lightning can carry millions of volts, so it’s unsurprising that many people worry about the potential havoc one strike could cause. Some homeowners believe that a metal roof increases the risk of a lightning strike because metallic materials conduct electricity. In fact, a roof’s construction material does not influence the risk of a lightning strike. Lightning looks for the path of least resistance. The electrical charge must pass through the air before making contact with the ground, so taller structures (including buildings and trees) are at higher risk because the lightning doesn’t have to travel so far. As such, a plastic roof is at the same risk of a lightning strike as a metallic one, when you take all other factors into account. While the construction material does not influence the risk of a strike, the type of roof can change the impact the electric charge can have. Nonetheless, a metal roof is still one of the safest construction materials in a lightning storm. The risk of damage from a lightning strike The electricity from a lightning strike passes through some materials more easily than others. As such, if the charge hits a metal roof, the material will conduct the electricity quicker and more efficiently than other materials. A roof that is not as conductive as metal will convert some of the electrical energy into heat. In turn, this increases the risk of a fire or explosion. Ironically, during a thunderstorm, you are probably safer inside a metal building (or a home with a metal roof) than anywhere else. Lightning strike protection and metal roofs Lightning safety systems (lightning rods) filter the flow of electricity safely away from the home. Lightning rods help homeowners in vulnerable areas cut the risk of damage from a lightning strike. The rod becomes the highest point of the building, which means the rest of the house is unlikely to suffer a strike. If your home has a metal roof, you probably don’t need a lightning rod. In some ways, the metal roof acts like the rod, helping...

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Five Tips For Creating An Environmentally Friendly Roof

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are concerned about the environment and want to help protect it, you should consider eco-friendly roofing materials, colours and repair strategies. Whether you are designing a new home, thinking about replacing your existing roof or just looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly, check out these tips. They will guide you toward a “greener” roof. 1. Choose long lasting materials when installing a new roof When it comes to roofing materials, asphalt shingles are certainly not the only option. If you want something more environmentally friendly, you may want to avoid this traditional choice and look for roofing materials made of recycled elements. Additionally, look for a roof that promises to last a long time. Wood shingles last longer than their asphalt counterparts and as long as they are from a sustainable source, they are great for homes. However, if you live in an area with a high fire risk, you definitely want to stay away from wood. Instead, look at stone, clay or metal roofing materials. These materials will last a “lifetime” and some even come with a 100 year guarantee. Once you narrow down your roofing material, you need to select a colour. 2. Select roofing materials in light colours Most of the roofs in Australia are gray or black. While these colours may look nice from a style perspective, they are not great from an environmental perspective. Ideally, you want to stay away from dark colours and embrace light coloured roofing materials. If you are installing a ceramic roof, consider light pink, blue, white or any other light colour that appeals to you. If you are installing a metal roof, you can have it painted a light colour, or you can simply choose a naturally light-coloured reflective metal. Talk with your roofing contractor about more options. 3. Use the space The environmental impact your roof has does not need to be restricted to its materials and colour. You can also create a positive impact by the way you use the space on your roof. One popular way to use the space is to install solar panels on it. These panels soak up sunlight, turn it into electricity and help you power your home in a sustainable way. You can also add plants to your roof. These help to remove carbon dioxide from the air, reducing pollution. However, before you start gardening on your roof, make sure it can support it. If you are designing your home, your designer can help make a rooftop garden possible, but if your home is already built, you will need to understand how much weight it can hold – although plants are relatively lightweight, their wet soil and roots can get heavy. 4. Plant trees Even if you can’t garden on your roof, you can use trees to shade it. As soon as you can, plant trees that will grow up and shade your roof. It may take ten to twenty years for them to become full-sized, but once they do, you will notice a cooling effect that helps you to lower your air conditioning bill. 5. Maintain your roof as needed Timely roof repairs or reroofing can also benefit the environment. By repairing your roof, you prevent disrepair from spreading, and you stave off the need to...

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