June/July 2018 MRA Update

It’s Time For Local HOAs To Encourage Defensible Home Strategies
By Renee Ramey, MRA executive director

The MRA is calling for HOAs to do more to allow member homeowners to make improvements that increase their neighborhood’s resiliency and offer greater protection.

Many U.S. homeowners appreciate their local associations (HOAs) for working to maintain style standards, keep their neighborhoods cohesive and tidy, and protect local home values through agreed-upon “CCRs” (covenants, conditions and restrictions).

Increasing A Neighborhood’s Resiliency & Protection
However, in the face of climate change, the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) is calling for HOAs to do more to allow and encourage member homeowners to make improvements that increase their neighborhood’s resiliency and offer greater protection. That includes giving homeowners the opportunity to use materials such as metal roofing that can make a home more defensible, especially as the impacts of extreme weather and wildfire dangers increase.

Lauded as an ignition-resistant material, metal roofing also offers a myriad of other benefits, including long-lasting durability, the ability to stand up to extreme weather and better energy efficiency. While the latest consumer research conducted by the MRA indicates that metal is now the second most preferred roofing material, some HOAs are still restricting the use of metal roofing in favor of outmoded materials.

The issue is particularly relevant in wildfire prone areas. Wildfire season in North America starts earlier, lasts longer and affects more areas than ever before. Over the past 12 years, every state in the western United States has experienced an increase in the number of large wildfires as compared to the annual average from 1980 to 2000. To help protect homes, 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. Metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, the highest available. That’s important because roofs are extremely vulnerable to flying embers from nearby wildfires, which can travel up to a mile away.

HOAs Represent More Than 40 Million U.S. Households
Yet some HOAs still prevent the use of metal roofs and they are a powerful influence on U.S. homeowners. Statistics indicate there are more than 351,000 HOAs, representing over 40 million households or 53 percent of owner occupied households in America. There’s no doubt HOAs can make a massive difference by ensuring homeowners can choose the most effective, long-lasting and durable materials designed to offer better resiliency against climate change impacts for their homes.

While the MRA doesn’t believe that HOAs are intentionally putting homes at risk, old-school thinking can prevent options that “harden” homes and create more defensible neighborhoods. One major misplaced reason for that is due to a lack of understanding of the many style options now available with metal roofing. HOA boards who establish design standards for their neighborhoods may not realize that today’s metal roofing comes in a wide array of color options and can beautifully mimic traditional styles, patterns and designs, including clay tiles, wood shakes and even asphalt.

Education A Very Important Factor
Bottom line, if style is holding HOAs back from allowing local homeowners to choose metal roofing as an option, it’s time to re-evaluate in the face of increasing climate-related threats. Architects, metal roofing manufacturers, installers and contractors can help by working to educate local HOAs in their area about the many benefits and style options available with metal roofing, to help ensure homeowners are not only able to choose roofing options that protect, but also add tremendous value to homes and neighborhoods.

About The 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 www.metalroofing.com.

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