It was Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992 that changed the way the public and government viewed the risk of hurricane damage to homes and roofs becoming a major focal point.
When it comes to wind damage, the roof of a house can be a major entry point.
Florida’s updated building code was designed to reduce the risk of roof intrusion.
“We spent a lot of time with the revised building code trying to figure out how to hold the roof structure to the building. We have ties, we have tie beams, so the idea is to try to make sure the roof doesn’t come off,” said Dr. Fred Bloetscher, a civil engineer at Florida Atlantic University.
Bloetscher said roofing material is also a factor.
Residential and commercial structures with asphalt shingle or clay tile roofs that were more than ten years old fared the worst.
“The shingles tend to tear once you get one, they all start to come off,” he said.
While flat tile and barrel roofs are attractive and popular, Bloetscher said they are also susceptible to breakage.
“So you have flying objects, coconuts are probably the most famous, but it could be anything that will go ahead and break the tiles and speed up the damage there,” he said. declared.
And what about the impact of solar panels?
Almost all new solar panel stocks have had remarkable success unless they have been hit by an object, such as a downed tree.
“The solar panels themselves were designed to be installed on rooftops in Florida, so they’re designed to deal with exactly what we might face during a hurricane,” Bloetscher said.
The decisions you make now for your roof could make a big difference in the amount of damage you sustain during a hurricane.
And a final note, data shows that the best performing roofs, regardless of age, were metal.
On Friday, November 18, we wrap up our special series of reports by looking at how various aspects of infrastructure have been impacted by Ian.
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