Metal Roof Shingles Help Protect Homes During a Hurricane

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The 2006 hurricane season has arrived. Arriving with it are fears that many homeowners have regarding their roofs. Advocates of metal shingle roofing systems have long contended that wind-resistance is among a metal roof’s most valuable features – a contention that was demonstrated last year after Hurricane Katrina roared onto the Gulf Coast.

The 2006 hurricane season has arrived. Arriving with it are fears that many homeowners have regarding their roofs. Advocates of metal shingle roofing systems have long contended that wind-resistance is among a metal roof’s most valuable features – a contention that was demonstrated last year after Hurricane Katrina roared onto the Gulf Coast.

David Rossano’s family had been evacuated from New Orleans just before Katrina came ashore. Just a year before, Rossano had a metal roof installed onto his home. “We had resigned ourselves to the fact that our home and possessions would probably be gone,” Rossano recalls. “The storm was just too powerful,” he added. When the storm had passed and they were able to navigate through the debris, the Rossano family drove through their neighborhood and saw the destruction. But when they got to the front of their home, they were surprised to find their home intact. “We looked for major roof damage—didn’t see any. We looked for minor roof damage—didn’t see any. I looked for a dent or a ding or a missing cap, anything. Didn’t see a single problem. It looked brand new. We started laughing and joking about being so worried for no reason,” he said

In a major windstorm, maintaining the integrity of the roof system is essential to a building’s ability to survive. Once the roof begins to fail, the air pressure within the building can increase dramatically, causing windows, doors and walls to fail as well.

“Obviously, every roof system has its limits, but homes and businesses with new metal shingles are among the most successful in resisting the uplift forces of hurricane-force winds,” explained Tony Chiovare, president of Custom-Bilt Metals, a long-time leader in the metal roofing industry.

Today’s metal shingles achieve their superior wind resistance thanks to their interlocking panel design, Chiovare explained. In such systems, the metal roofing panels lock together securely on all four sides. One example is the Vail Titan Select Shingle system, which Custom-Bilt manufactures and markets under a license agreement with Vail Metals Systems.

“Metal shingles such as the Vail Titan Select have been tested and shown to resist hurricane-force winds,” Chiovare said.

Chiovare notes that metal roofing systems have evolved dramatically in recent years, allowing homeowners and businesses to choose a lightweight, wind- and fire-resistant metal roof without having to sacrifice aesthetic considerations. For example, the Vail shingle system is available in a true copper finish that weathers beautifully, as well as a Kynar 500 finish in a wide variety of colors, all of which resist fading due to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, as well as corrosion due to harsh marine conditions or airborne pollutants.

In addition to wind resistance, metal roofing systems also offer a variety of other benefits, Chiovare noted. Most metal roofing systems are Class A fire resistant, as well as lightweight and energy efficient. With adequate insulation, metal roofing offers very high “R-values.” The newest metal roofs can even help lower homeowners’ energy costs by reducing the load on the home’s air conditioner, thanks to new ULTRA-Cool™ coatings that help reflect solar energy away from the roof rather than absorbing it.

Custom-Bilt Metals has been a leading supplier in the painted metal industry since 1974, and currently stocks more than 2,000 different items in its 15 national branch locations.

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Charles Cibella