Natural Disasters Are Causing Insurance Costs To Rise. So, What Can We Do About It?
Hurricane season got you down yet? It’s only September and the first hurricane of the season took the east coast by storm (quite literally) after wreaking total havoc on the Bahamas. Heavy rainfall, storm surge, and high winds are almost a guarantee each year for coastal home and business owners. With every passing hurricane season, insurance companies are bound to massive payouts, replacing roofs, damaged floors, lost siding, and waterlogged drywall. In turn, insurance costs rise. Repairs are made, communities return to business as usual, and the cycle repeats itself.
But tropical storms aren’t the only thing posing a threat. Nationwide, severe weather events and other natural disasters like wildfires are causing unprecedented property damage. In 2018, economic and insured losses reached an annual total of $92 billion, no thanks to Hurricane Florence and the deadly California wildfires. According to Aon, a global professional services firm, that’s 97% higher than the median for each year since 2000. Contractors and community members are forced to be more proactive – instead of focusing on the rebuild, how can we plan to use more durable, sustainable building materials? What resources are available that can withstand the brutal force of nature?
The solution? Standing Seam Metal Roofs.
Standing seam metal roofing is a strong, durable roofing style that uses a concealed fastener metal panel to protect even the most vulnerable buildings from weather events. This system can also be used for metal walls to offer the same level of protection around the entire structure. The concealed, vertical seams effectively prevent leaks in the event of heavy rainfall. The weather-tight seal is designed to accommodate expansion and contraction as the seasons’ change. And, when SSMRs are installed to code, they will also perform in hurricane-force winds.
The specific standards and tests required for a standing seam metal roof are designed to ensure that your roof meets a higher wind load standard. Based on the wind variation and speeds in your specific region, metal panel systems are tested for wind uplift. In hurricane conditions, these metal roofs are designed to withstand winds of 150 miles per hour.
Why does it cost less to insure standing seam metal roofs?
In 2014, a study by the Metal Construction Association and the Zinc Aluminum Coaters Association projected that a properly installed standing seam metal roof should last a minimum of 60 years. This is far and away from the longest service life of any competitive roofing material on the market. Insurance adjusters make visits to homes and businesses with metal roofing solutions significantly less often than those with traditional roofing materials.
In coastal regions, insurance costs have risen year after year to accommodate longer and more damaging hurricane seasons. SSMRs are engineered to withstand hurricane-force winds, effectively reducing the risk of needing to replace roofing materials after a storm. But more importantly, SSMRs are more reliable for protecting everything under your roof. While they are compatible with all building types, they provide the highest level of safeguarding when combined with a prefabricated metal building. When buildings are custom-engineered to last in even the most extreme weather conditions, insurance costs naturally fall.
How do SSMRs protect against fires?
Wildfires are a growing concern for homeowners, business owners, commercial investors, and insurance agencies alike. Standing seam metal roofs have a Class A fire rating. When combined with a prefabricated steel building, the bare structure is non-combustible. That’s great news for both your safety and your bottom line. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire accidents increased by 5 percent between 2016 and 2017, resulting in over $10 billion in fire-related property damage. Fire-safe structures translate to lower insurance costs and more money in your pocket.
What are the other benefits of standing seam metal roofs?
When most consumers think of metal roofs, they are more than likely picturing SSMRs. However, a metal roof can mean metal shingles or a variety of other metal roofing materials. SSMRs are the most popular choice, and not just for their strength against the elements. The wide, flat surface between each vertical seam creates a highly recognizable look that many consumers flock to for a more modern, sleek aesthetic. For homes and businesses in hurricane-prone areas, SSMRs offer not only a durable solution to high winds and heavy rainfall but a variety of colors and finishes to create a stunning roof design.
The energy performance features of standing seam metal roofs provide long term cost savings, another bonus feature of using steel. Not only are the roof panels 100% recyclable, but advanced coating systems are also designed to reflect light that would usually be absorbed as heat. The results of this green roofing technology are lowered cooling costs and more comfort in the late summer and early fall when hurricane season has set in. For business owners who opt for SSMRs, the elimination of heat-islands caused by other roofing materials can also cause reduced labor productivity. Green metal roofing reduces labor loss, emissions, and air pollution.
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