If you're about to have a metal roof installed, remember to include one small detail: a barrier that prevents heavy snow and ice from plummeting down onto anyone standing under the roof edge. At first, this sounds very obvious; even non-metal roofs have little ledges that redirect rain water into gutters and downspouts. But these become more urgent on metal roofs because the slipperiness of the metal makes it much easier for snow and ice to slide off, too. If a lot of snow or ice builds up on the roof, the weight can make the snow or ice suddenly slide down without warning -- and that can cause injury.
Falling Ice and Snow Are Long-Standing Hazards
Falling ice is a major concern because it can actually injure and kill. It's not unusual in areas with lots of skyscrapers to see portions of the sidewalk roped off, complete with warning signs about falling ice. People have sustained permanent scarring after being socked in the head by a sheet of ice falling from an upper floor.
Even falling snow can be dangerous. You'd think the white stuff wouldn't be that bad, especially if falling from a relatively low roof. But that's not the case. In Turkey, for example, a woman suffered a broken arm after being hit with snow falling off a roof. Video from a camera near the entrance to the building shows a moderate amount of snow -- enough to hit her but not cover her -- yet she was still reportedly injured. Getting hit with snow falling from a roof isn't the same as being hit with a snowball.
Ledges Get a Grip on the Snow and Ice
You don't want that happening to you or your family as you walk around the perimeter of your home. When you get the metal roof installed, ask the roofers to add special ledges that stop the snow and ice from sliding off the roof. The ledges usually have several sections, some of which are attached to the roof in different areas; these sections stabilize a thick blanket of snow or ice that can form on a roof by digging into the underside of the blanket.
If you want more information about these ledges, or if you want to know about hiring a company to periodically clear snow and ice off your roof, contact local roofing companies like Allen Roofing & Construction Inc to see how they handle the issue. They should be able to show you the types of ledges they have available for metal roofing, and they should be able to see which types are most suitable for your home.