Posted by McElroy Metal ● September 26, 2018

Are Metal Roofs Hurricane Proof?

While it is impossible to call any roof hurricane proof, a properly designed metal roofing system can be capable of handling wind speeds in excess of what is often experienced in hurricane-prone regions.

Metal Roof Wind Performance

Are metal roofs hurricane proofOne of the advantages of a metal roof during high winds is that it should not lift off from the house and, barring physical debris damage, it also shouldn’t leak. However, a lot of variables affect uplift pressures in addition to wind speed. The height of the building, shape, roof pitch, width of the building and topography all affect the amount of force that a building may experience during a hurricane – so there is no easy answer to how much wind a metal roof can withstand. But for the sake of comparison, our Maxima or 238T panel systems are capable of safely withstanding wind speeds in excess of 200mph for a 2-story building with a low slope, in open terrain, and sufficiently thick deck material.

The main contributing factor that affects wind performance of metal roofs is the spacing and size of the sub-structural framing or decking that the panel will attach to. Open framing (purlins) spaced more closely together will have better panel performance than those spaced farther apart. Similarly, metal or wood decking that is thicker will have better performance than similar, but thinner, materials.

In theory, a thru fastened metal roof could withstand almost any amount of wind if the appropriate amounts of fasteners are used. Snap-lock style panels would be the worst as far as uplift performance is concerned, and mechanically seamed panels typically perform exceptionally when clips are able to be spaced closely together.

If you are interested in learning more about installing a metal roof in high-speed wind prone areas, FEMA has this document, “Metal Roof Systems in High-Wind Regions,” which covers some of the basic best practices for designing and installing a metal roof system to enhance wind resistance.

How Do You Make a Metal Roof More Wind Resistant?

There are some general ways to make a metal roof more resistant to higher wind speeds. Some of these options include:

  • metal roofs hurricane proofWindClamps
  • More Clips          
  • More fasteners
  • Heavier gauge
  • Narrower Width
  • Sealants/Adhesives

There are also specific options for increasing wind resistance. Choosing a mechanical seam over snap lock (using a tool to lock the seams during installation rather than a system where the panels are snapped together), can increase a home’s wind resistance and water-tightness. In fact, standing seams increase water-tightness in general. Additionally, choosing a higher gauge metal for your roof system helps make the roof more resistant to impact damage and to wind damage.

Using Kynar 500® (PVDF) coating over SMP paints will not affect uplift performance but it will affect the roof's long-term aesthetic beauty by providing excellent fade and chalk resistance. 

Insurance Discounts and After Storm Clean Up

For homeowners in hurricane-prone areas, some insurance providers offer discounts for homes with metal roofs. For instance, State Farm states that they offer an insurance discount for qualifying metal roofs. When pricing roofs it can be worth your while to contact your insurance provider and inquire about discounts for metal roof options because insurance discounts could have an impact on cost comparisons over the life of the roof.

Another cost consideration is after storm repairs. As discussed above, metal roofs are long-lasting and durable, resisting damage from even high-speed winds. This means that in the event of high-speed winds the chance of needing to perform emergency roof repairs is lessened. Again, no roof is hurricane or wind proof, but a properly installed metal roofing system could help you avoid the costly repairs that often need to be performed after a storm. A metal roofing system could mean avoiding needing a contractor at a time when they are in high demand, price gouging for materials and labor, lack of available materials, damage from long-term roof leaks as you wait, and the hassle of insurance claims.

And, if damage does occur and your roof needs to be repaired, metal roof systems like our 138T allow for single panel replacement. This means that less of the roof will need to be replaced if it is damaged, resulting in lower costs and quicker complete time than a total roof repair/replacement.

Learn More

The best way to maximize your metal roofs durability and longevity is to work with an engineer or qualified distributor/contractor of metal roofing systems. You can find a McElroy Metal Distributor or Contractor here.

Find a Distributor/Contractor

Learn everything you to know about Residential Metal Roofing.

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The family-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 13 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer. More information can be found at http://www.mcelroymetal.com.

Topics: Metal Roofing

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