How Hurricanes and Wildfires Drive Demand for Metal Roofing and Why?

Demand for metal roofing is rising because there is compelling evidence it offers better protection from hurricane winds, hailstorms, and airborne embers from wildfires landing on the roofs of homes and commercial buildings.

A standing seam metal roof on the house

That theory has been tested in 2017 as the hurricane season has been among the worst in recorded history and wildfires in the West destroyed more than 8,400 structures in California alone and damaged countless more.

Related: How to Deal with Roof and Home Damage from Hurricanes like Irma and Harvey

About the forest fire season, Chris Wilcox of the National Interagency Fire Center said, “This one has been a longer season. It really hasn’t stopped since the fall of 2016”.

Eagle Creek wildfire burns as golfers play at the Beacon Rock Golf Course in North Bonneville, Washington. REUTERS/Kristi McCluer

Let’s review the advantages of metal roofing using fire and wind data that supports the rise in demand.

Metal Roofing vs. Fire Flames

Max A. Moritz, fire ecologist at UC Berkeley, when discussing fire prevention says, “The most effective thing to consider is the roof.” Metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, the highest available. Roofing given this rating must withstand flames up to four hours and resist tests using 15 cycles of gas flame turned on and off.

While other materials including fiberglass mat composite asphalt shingles have a Class A rating, nobody in the industry suggests asphalt roofing materials offer the same level of protection against fire driven by wind.

The FEMA paper states, “Some roofing materials, including asphalt shingles… are often less resistant to fires than others.

When wildfires spread to homes or businesses, it is often because burning branches, leaves, and other debris buoyed by the heated air and carried by the wind fall on roofs.

If the roof of your property is covered with wood or asphalt shingles, you should consider replacing them with fire-resistant materials such as standing-seam metal roofing.”

When finished with PVDF-applied Kynar coating, standing-seam metal roofing meets the American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM-84 building materials test Zero Flame Spread Index and Zero Smoke Developed Index, tests most other roofing materials cannot meet.

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