(NAPSI)—As the climate changes, rough weather—tornadoes, hailstorms and the like—that used to trouble single areas of the country now occur in places that never expected to see them.

The Problem

Consider these statistics:

? Rain: Over the last 50 years, much of the United States has seen increases in downpours, reports the National Climate Assessment Federal Advisory Committee. The heaviest rainfall events have become denser and more frequent, and the amount of rain falling during the stormiest days has also increased. Since 1991, the amount of rain falling has consistently been significantly above average.

? Hail: While hail has been most common in the “hail belt” covering the Midwest and Great Plains states, it is increasingly occurring in other parts of the country, just as tornadoes are not confined to “tornado alley” between the Rocky and the Appalachian Mountains. Hailstorms inflict billions of dollars in damage yearly in North America, and the cost will continue to rise, according to Insurance Journal. Last year was the 11th year in a row in which the damage from severe storms exceeded $1 billion in the United States, and 70 percent of that cost came from hail, explained Ian Giammanco, a research meteorologist for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

The Cost

Between 2011 and 2017, 84 extreme weather events in the United States caused at least $1 billion each in dam- age. Although damage from extreme weather of one kind or another can generally be felt all across the country—you can take measures to help protect your home and family.

What You Can Do?

1. Look out for your windows and doors. Get storm windows and consider storm shutters.

2. Check for cracks. Make sure the building envelope is intact and there are no holes in the walls or around the windows and doors. In high-wind storm events, holes in the building envelope can result in sudden pressure equalization that can lift off the roof.

3. Clean out clogged gutters and downspouts regularly.

4. Prevent damage from flying objects. Remove all dead and dying limbs from your trees, and secure lawn furniture, trash cans, flowerpots, sheds, doghouses, playhouses, swing sets and boats before severe storms.

5. Ensure there’s sealing around any chimneys or vent pipes.

6. Keep your roof in top shape. An effective roof can shield your home from the storm. According to a recent Harris poll, while 80 percent of homeowners believe that a roof is important to the overall protection of their house, only 48 percent perform routine maintenance and examinations of the health of their roof. Of course, it’s recommended that roof maintenance should be conducted by hired professionals, rather than by the homeowner for safety reasons.

According to a study done by the National Association of Home Builders, an asphalt roof typically lasts up to 20 years if maintained appropriately. How- ever, the day will inevitably come when all residential roofs need to be repaired or replaced. When it does, it’s wise to use top-quality shingles designed for performance against severe weather. “Severe weather activity further solidifies the need for weather performance, especially wind resistance, in roofing shingles,” explains Scott Campbell, vice president of sales—West at IKO, a leading manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing products. “A roof is the most essential aspect of shelter. It silently endures high winds, hail, heat, cold, moisture and flying debris, all while keeping what’s under it safe. If a roof fails, everything under it may be at risk of damage.”

An increasing number of contractors and homeowners are turning to IKO shingles for superior weather protection. IKO’s Nordic performance laminate shingles are engineered to

provide first-rate protection against wind uplift and water penetration. Their resilient, heavyweight fiberglass mat is designed for exceptional flexibility and tear resistance. Furthermore, the shingle features a coating of IKO’s proprietary polymer modified asphalt, which means it can act as a shock absorber. To that end, Nordic shingles have earned a Class 4 Impact Resistance rating.1

Additionally, IKO’s Nordic performance shingles derive their strength from ArmourZoneTM technology. On the back of each shingle is a tear-resistant woven band designed to help prevent nail pull-through and shingle blow-off. On the front, there’s a 1¼” wide nailing surface that guides roofers to place their nails accurately for improved fastening strength and speedier installation. This line of shingles carries a Standard Limited Wind Resistance Warranty for winds of up to 130 mph.

Not only will you feel an unprecedented level of roof protection with IKO, you will also love the way that your roof looks. IKO’s high-definition color blends create the coveted aesthetic and visual texture of real stone tiles or wood shakes, without the associated expense or maintenance worries. No matter what your style of home or personal taste, you can find just the right profile and color blend, along with matching accessory products, to create a stunning and resilient roofscape.

The Future

As for what’s to come, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, windstorms are likely to become more common and more severe. Models project there will be an increase in the number of strong hurricanes as well as greater rainfall rates. The U.S. Government Accountability Office predicts the cost to the federal government for responding to climate-related disasters could reach $35 billion annually by 2050. So, consider today what you need to do to protect your shelter from the storm.

Learn More

Investing in home improvements, such as a durable roof, can help protect you and your family from the rough weather predicted for the near future. For more facts on roofing, go to www.iko.com/na.

1IKO is pleased to present this rating for the sole purpose of enabling homeowners to obtain a discount on their home insurance premiums, if available in their area. This rating is not to be construed as any type of express or implied warranty or guarantee of the impact performance of this

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(NAPS) Investing in home improvements such as a good roof can help protect you and your family from the rough weather predicted for the near future.NAPS(NAPS) NAPS