Metal Roofing Performance and Wind Events

By: Robert A. Zabcik, P.E.

In the wake of recent hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria as well as other severe weather events, such as hail and snowstorms, the importance of structural integrity and performance of building materials cannot be overstated. It is well documented that buildings with secure, storm-resistant roofing materials like metal are less prone to damage from hurricanes and high-wind events. Metal roofing’s strength and durability provide safety and security for building owners and occupants alike.

When it comes to metal roofing and wind events, it is as much a quality control issue as anything else. On the engineering side, particularly in the metal building business, professionals go through great efforts to make sure the public is protected. Metal roofing industry leaders, in fact, do a great deal of testing and research through organizations such as the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), the Metal Construction Association (MCA), and the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues, Inc. (RICOWI), which was established in 1990 as a non-profit organization to identify and address important technical issues related to the cause of weather-related damage.

When a major weather event occurs, public safety is the number one concern. RICOWI, for instance, will often gather experts in the area, go to the site and have a network of committed volunteers available to help document the problems; they will then use that information to help with insurance industry issues and product development, etc., with the goal of ensuring roofing products and installation meet the most stringent standards.


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