17 Aug The Power of Steel: Protecting Your Family/Property from Natural Disasters
Throughout many decades, people have witnessed and experienced the devastating impact of natural disasters, including wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Unfortunately, these occurrences have become more frequent and increasingly severe. Since 2017, the overall number of billion-dollar climate disasters in America has nearly doubled. Given this escalation of threat, it is crucial for current and future homeowners, just as important, businesses must recognize natural disasters as a primary concern. While prefabricated steel buildings cannot prevent natural disasters, they offer unparalleled protection in multiple ways. Whether for residential or commercial use, steel buildings stand strong and durable in the face of Mother Nature’s element, safeguarding your family, investments, property, come to realize steel saves lives.
Severe Storms and Flooding Zones
Flooding often poses a significant risk to buildings, compromising their structural integrity. Materials like wood are prone to warping and moisture absorption, leading to the growth of mold and bacteria in the structure and foundation. In contrast, steel buildings can withstand sitting in floodwater for extended periods, lasting days or even weeks, without being affected. The steel panels are coated to protect against moisture and corrosion. When the floodwater recedes, this benefit saves a tremendous amount of money in terms of damage control. Rather than having to replace irreparable flooring, drywall, or the entire structure, the main steel frame remains undamaged. The undeniable advantage of steel architecture against water also extends to its durability against hurricanes, too.
Hurricanes and Tornadoes
When confronted with hurricanes or tornadoes, steel buildings prove to be the most resilient structures. Steel’s resistance to excessive water and extreme wind makes it an ideal choice for such events. Prefabricated steel buildings are designed to bend, even move when met with overwhelming impact, enabling them to withstand wind forces of up to 180 mph. In contrast, other materials subjected to this level of impact often break or fracture, resulting in catastrophic damage. Moreover, steel buildings are less susceptible to the accompanying chaos of flying debris and fire. These exceptional projectile resistance features ensure the survivability of steel structures, serving as the armor that bolsters their structural integrity.
Steel not only lacks combustibility but also does not contribute to fire growth, spread, or smoke generation. Its fire-resistant properties allow it to retain structural integrity up to approximately 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Even at temperatures of 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit, steel remains strong, with its strength only diminishing to 50%. It can endure this heat for up to 20 minutes without permanent effects. Although fire still affects steel to some extent, the damage is incomparable to that of other material frameworks. Wood structures, for instance, burn rapidly, engulfing everything inside and outside the building, exacerbating the fire, promoting its spread, and generating dangerous amounts of smoke. Over the past five years, the United States has experienced five separate billion-dollar wildfires, resulting in a staggering total of $67.9 billion in damages and claiming 180 lives. During the devastating `2017 “fire season” in California, the city of Ojai was ravaged by the Thomas Fire, destroying 1,000 structures. Amid the wreckage, one home stood unscathed—a couple’s home constructed with the strength of steel. Unlike the majority of their community, they were able to return to their home. Numerous reports indicate that people in California are now opting for steel construction to protect against unforgiving wildfires and the costly damages they inflict.
Investing in steel buildings is not only the safest choice for your family to seek shelter during a natural disaster, but it also ensures the long-term security of your property, regardless of the environmental factors at play. Pre-engineered metal/steel buildings (PEMB) epitomize what a wise investment should be. By putting your money into steel buildings, you gain a structure that offers longevity, cost savings, and a multitude of benefits. For more information, contact a building consultant at Universal Steel of America, www.universalsteel.com.