When it comes to protecting your home from natural disasters such as hurricanes, choosing the right roofing material is essential. With hurricane frequency and intensity increasing in hurricane-prone areas, many homeowners are turning towards metal roofs as a durable and dependable solution. But are metal roofs really better suited for hurricanes?
Top Hurricane Threats to Metal Roofing
Hurricanes can bring about many unexpected issues, but most roofing issues stem from these issues.
Lack of Proper Engineering
Performance expectations are typically determined by local building codes, but it never hurts to consult an engineer for more specific advice and product data review.
Spending several thousand dollars on engineering fees may seem like a costly investment, but it will help you “weather the storm” and most people would agree that it is worthwhile. Poor engineering is often to blame for metal roof failures during hurricane events.
Poor installation is often to blame for hurricane-related roof failures. Sometimes these errors are deliberate, while others could have been made accidentally. As it directly impacts panel performance during wind and uplift, clip spacing is an example of poor workmanship that needs to be addressed.
Engineers might design a Southern Florida standing seam system with clips at 1’6″, but an installer might place them at 3’0″.
No matter the cause, roof failures can be caused by incorrect fastener sizes, clips placed too closely together, mismatched fasteners and storm damage.
An appropriately engineered metal roof system can withstand high winds, but it will collapse if a door or window that is not performing well blows out. This could result in increased upward pressures within the home due to inadequate ventilation.
Tear-Off/Uplift of Metal Roofs
Metal roofing that has been correctly designed and installed tends to remain attached to the structure after a storm has passed, providing extra protection in case there is no flying debris or physical damages.
The overall performance of a metal roof is dependent upon several variables, such as wind speed and uplift pressures.
When hit by a hurricanes, the amount of force a structure will experience depends on its height, shape, roof pitch and width of metal roofs.
Old Time Roofing’s metal roofs can withstand winds up to 200 mph in many conditions, proving the durability of metal roofing.
Manufacturers test metal roofs to guarantee they remain watertight even during extreme weather conditions.
It is essential to observe all installation details to prevent wind-driven rain.
The Key Design Factors
- Performance is highly dependent upon the spacing and dimensions of substructural framing or decking for panel attachment. Open framing purlins that are closer together will provide better performance; thicker metal or wood decking may also give similar results.
- Important factors when installing panels include their attachment method (face fastened, clips or panels) and frequency of attachment. Installing clips 1′ from the center will improve their resistance to extreme winds. Exposed fastener panel systems that are exposed will perform better under uplift conditions if they are located 20 inches on center instead of 30 inches.
- Though total roof collapses can occur, it is more often the case that only a few panels are damaged. In hurricane-prone areas, using symmetrical panels allows for single panel replacement when damaged. On asymmetrical systems they often necessitate the removal of some damaged panels in order to access the roof section.
- Performance is also affected by panel design. Panels that snap together and engage in conversation tend to perform worse during hurricane events due to extreme uplift pressures that could cause them to snap apart. Exposed fastener panels attached directly to purlins or roof decks can withstand strong winds better, making them a popular choice for hurricane-prone areas due to their superior wind lift performance.
- Performance factors also come into play when selecting panel widths and gauges. Panels with a narrower profile are more resistant to wind uplift, while heavier gauges perform better than lighter ones.
- It is essential to design all major components with care. A building’s strength in high winds depends on its weakest link; if doors, windows or walls fail, a metal roof could also collapse.
Select Your Partners Carefully
Partner with a metal roofing company that has invested in the technology for in-house testing or third-party product testing to confirm their published load tables.
Certification and testing demonstrate the manufacturer’s commitment to safety and engineering.
By opting for a metal roofing company that adheres to local building codes, you can save yourself the expense of hiring an engineer. This usually includes taking into account hurricane winds as well.
Insurance Discounts and Storm Clean-up Bonuses
Homeowners living in hurricane-prone regions may find discounts from insurance companies on homes with metal roofs. Although not guaranteed, these discounts can help bridge the cost gap between metal roofing and shingles.
When evaluating roof materials and their costs, it’s essential to inquire with your insurance provider about metal roof discounts.
When selecting a roofing material, it’s important to factor in after-storm repairs. Metal roofs are an ideal option for hurricane prone areas due to their longevity and resilience against high-speed wind gusts.
With metal roofs, you won’t have to worry about needing emergency repairs after hurricanes. Although no roof is immune from hurricanes or wind damage, metal roofing could provide you with an alternative that allows you to skip the hassle of searching for a contractor and price gouging in the days that follow a storm.
By doing so, you may save yourself the hassle of insurance claims and roof leaks.
Request a Free Estimate
If you live in a hurricane-prone area and want to safeguard your home against extreme weather conditions, Old Time Roofing‘s hurricane-proof metal roofs are the ideal solution. With years of experience in this industry, our metal roofs are engineered for extreme winds and hurricanes – contact us today to arrange an appointment!
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