Forest fires, heavy rain, snow, hurricanes, and much more have plagued building owners for centuries, causing serious damage. Thankfully, building engineers have made advancements in structural durability, one of them being pre-engineered metal building. One of the many benefits of metal buildings is their ability to withstand nature’s most treacherous moments, providing building owners with maximum damage protection. Here are the key ways that metal buildings stand against extreme weather.
Engineering is Key
When our engineers design a metal building, they design it with the area’s loads and codes in mind. For instance, a building in Florida, where hurricanes and heavy rain are present, will be different than a building in Michigan, where snowstorms take a heavy toll on buildings. Even a strong metal building that isn’t designed for a specific area will most likely underperform. MBMI provides the utmost engineering, making sure your building exceeds the local building codes. Each building at MBMI is uniquely and efficiently designed for the customer’s needs. Our buildings can withstand the most devastating natural disasters.
Ductility With Extreme Weather
Ductility is the extent to which a material or structure can undergo large deformations without failing. Metal buildings, when designed accordingly, are extremely ductile. This means that metal buildings have the capability to bend without breaking. A feature like this is extremely important in areas that are prone to earthquakes and high winds.
The strength-to-weight ratio compares a building material’s inherent strength to its weight. Basically, the strength-to-weight ratio indicates the point at which a building material will fail to support its own weight under stress. Steel has the greatest strength-to-weight ratio of any material, 25 times greater than wood.
Most materials vary in strength. For example, two pieces of the same wood species will have different strengths, same goes for concrete. Steel is a lot more specific in strength, meaning that pre-engineered steel buildings produce stronger, more durable structures with far less material and labor than other materials.
An interesting fact is that steel will not burn, it does not ignite, it won’t feed the flames, and it will not cause the fire to spread. You can take International Building Code’s word, they recognize steel framing as a noncombustible material.
Metal buildings are well equipped for earthquakes. Earthquakes shift and move the foundation of a building. Like we mentioned above metal buildings are very ductile, it can undergo a lot of bend and deformation and not fail. Metal buildings are also lighter than other buildings. This is very beneficial during earthquakes since it lessens the force that can potentially tear a building apart.
Snow might be pretty to look at but it can cause an immense amount of structural damages since it is heavy, cold, and wet. Where there are intense levels of snowfall, there are higher chances of roof collapses and other structural damages due to the added weight. Not to mention, snows moisture can also lead to rot or mold. Thankfully, a well-designed metal building can take any amount of snow. Metal support beams are extremely strong allowing them to take on a lot more weight than other buildings. Also, metal buildings are susceptible to moisture-related issues, such as rot or mold.
Here are something you might want to consider when building a metal building in a snow prone area:
- Roof pitch: We suggest higher roof pitches since it accumulates little to no snow, unlike flat roofs that require snow removal services
- Wind: Areas prone to heavy snows most likely are prone to high winds as well
- Roof Shape: Depending on your roof geometric shape you can mitigate or perpetuate the amount of accumulated snow
- Accessories: There are some great roof accessories you can add to your building to help mitigate snow load, such as snow guards.
Over the last few years, we have seen how forest fires can devastate communities and buildings. Building smart is one way to deal with such horrible natural events. Building smart includes choosing fire-resistant materials. Steel’s durability, noncombustible, and fire-resistant properties make it an excellent and smart building material for areas prone to fires. During fire exposure, steel framing can maintain its structural integrity when steel is properly designed and constructed, unlike wooden structures that will go up in flames, or vinyl buildings that will melt.
This does not mean there are no rules and regulations for fire safety and protection on metal buildings. The International Building Code has standards about metal buildings and fire safety, and the Metal Building Manufacturer’s Association partnered with the Underwriter’s Laboratory to develop standards specifically for steel and other metal building materials.
Every year, around 1,300 tornadoes damage communities in the U.S., which is by far the most tornadoes in any country. Strong winds have the power to knock buildings over. Tornadoes, the most notorious strong winds can fully move a building from one location to another.
Each metal building’s performance varies depending on the level of engineering and has its own unique wind rating, which is the force it can withstand before it breaks. Metal building’s wind ratings tend to range from 120 to 170 miles per hour. Unfortunately, regardless of the building system, a “wind-proof structure” does not exist. Not even the best-engineered building can survive the impact of a serious tornado with a wind speed of 200 miles per hour or more.
On a lighter note, metal building’s ductility is a massive benefit in these high wind instances allowing metal buildings to be able to bend without breaking. With the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any building material, building with steel can help mitigate damages from destructive winds.
Metal building’s ductility and water-resistant properties make it a supreme building option in hurricane-prone areas. Trees might fall on your metal buildings but that’ll only be a small dent in comparison to other building types where a fallen tree might destroy the building. Your metal building could flood in worst-case scenarios, but again thanks to metal’s water-resistant properties this will not lead to long-lasting structural damage.
Flooding is occurring more and more throughout the US, leading homeowners to consider metal buildings. Metal buildings’ mold resistance properties guarantee an easier repair process than that of wood. With wood, mold can destroy the structure and it is also difficult to remove. Metal buildings made with the right materials are corrosion resistant, causing minimal damage.
Normally after a flood, the paint on almost any structure would be destroyed. Luckily with metal buildings, there are no damages to the paint, saving you money on repainting in instances of flooding. Repairing a metal building after a flood may only require a few replacements of drywall, carpet, and maybe some cabinets or other objects. In the case of the structure itself, it will only need a clean-up.
Rest assured, by working with an engineering company for your metal building, your loads and codes will be designed in mind. Since there are so many different locations with different environmental needs, having a custom building will ensure your structure stands through it all. Extreme weather has no chance next to MBMI metal buildings.