Are Steel Buildings the Answer to Hurricane Devastation?
As Tropical Storm Barry rips up the coastline in Louisiana and Mississippi, we can’t help but be reminded of the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria in recent years. With millions of homes destroyed and damage in the hundreds of millions of dollars, these weather tragedies left many of us to wonder what could be done to reduce the destruction. Are steel buildings the key to surviving coastal disasters?
Even here in North Texas, high winds are a familiar part of our annual tornado season. These violent storms barrel through with enough force to toss vehicles around and uproot trees. Homes built with wooden frames are especially vulnerable to wind damage, and it seems the storms get more severe and costly by the year. That’s why more people are turning to steel-framed houses and buildings to ride out the storms in safety.
How Steel Buildings Resist Severe Weather
When Hurricane Michael made landfall at Mexico Beach, FL, one dramatic photograph showed a single standing home amid a field of devastation. That home had been built with hurricanes in mind. Built on high stilts, framed in steel and encased in concrete, it was the only house in the neighborhood to escape the storm intact.
The key is in the design and materials. Hurricane-proof houses are built using commercial quality, 26-gauge premium steel for framing, reinforced concrete casing, and designs that allow water to surge past them and winds to blow over harmlessly.
Steel buildings are becoming a better investment as time goes on and more advances are made in design and engineering. With the proper design, it is now common for steel buildings to withstand winds of up to 170mph, though a former fire chief in Turtle Beach, FL, has built a home that will resist winds of “250 mph from either tornadoes or Category 5 hurricanes and hold up to the brute force of a 9.1 Richter Scale earthquake”.
Steel buildings that go above and beyond the local building code requirements offer benefits beyond weather resistance. They may also bring long-term financial benefits. Homeowners, their communities, and even the banks financing their mortgage can benefit from higher home appraisal values and lower insurance premiums for having a fortified home.
At the Short Iron Store, we understand the importance of having a safe home, especially during the more volatile weather seasons. North Texas is our home, and it lies at the tail of Tornado Alley. We have seen firsthand the destruction that tornadoes leave behind, both in our current region and in the coastal cities of our state. It is our hope that steel buildings will gain in popularity and building standards will soon be adopted that protect families from losing their homes during catastrophic weather events.
The Short Iron Store: Your Steel and Metal Supplier in Dallas-Fort Worth
When you’re looking for steel or other metal supplies for your next project, come to the Short Iron Store! We are a metal supplier, fabricator, and custom design company located in Haslet, just minutes north of downtown Fort Worth. We offer stainless, carbon, aluminum, tool steel, and even specialty alloys. If we don’t have it, we can special order nearly anything for you. We are the solution for what your next project needs, whether it’s big or small, residential or commercial.
Our talented team of professionals has been in the metal industry for years, and they are always happy to recommend the best materials for the job. Call us today or stop by to take a look at our impressive inventory!