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Steel buildings are built to hold up against the elements. Whether it’s wind and rain or snow and ice, steel can withstand decades of abuse from the most severe weather conditions. That durability extends to disasters, as well, such as wildfires, earthquakes and yes, even hurricanes. It is often the case that in the aftermath of events like these, prefabricated steel structures are among the last remaining buildings left standing. However, a bit of planning and preparation can go a long way toward ensuring that your building is ready to weather the storm.
Hurricanes present possibly the most fierce challenge to the structural stability of a steel building. These enormous swirling tropical storms tout wind speeds exceeding 160 miles per hour; more than enough to reduce a wooden building to splinters. These storms begin in low pressure systems as they collide with and draw heat energy from warm ocean waters, releasing it via thunder storms. When wind speeds increase beyond 74 miles per hour, these storms earn their hurricane classification. The most damage caused by hurricanes comes as a result of the storm surge, which occurs as the hurricane first reaches land. These surges can extend up to 100 miles inward, and are responsible for the large majority of hurricane-related deaths and property damage. As the hurricane continues inland, the strong winds and heavy rains can create tornadoes, landslides and flash flooding.
Even for steel, the pressure of hurricane wind gusts is immense, especially in vulnerable building sections like wall junctions and roof edges. With that in mind, if you live in an area vulnerable to hurricanes, the most effective way to reduce wind damage is to choose an arched, quonset style building design at the start of your planning process. These wind-resistant buildings are the most capable in the event of a hurricane because they don’t have vulnerable flat surfaces or hard edges, where wind pressure would otherwise be problematic. Mayflower’s arched buildings are Florida tested to withstand high velocity winds.
In a single day, hurricanes are capable of dumping in excess of 2 trillion gallons of rain, potentially causing flash flooding and landslides. Steel buildings are made to withstand heavy rainfall, offering unparalleled protection against leakages, rust, corrosion and mold. However, when planning your build, it is important that you avoid putting down a foundation in a flood zone. It is also important to have a strong foundation that isn’t vulnerable to erosion from flood waters.
For buildings that offer the best protection against hurricanes, call Mayflower and speak with an expert today.