When looking for a roof to stand up against high winds, a rating system used by UL is going to be your benchmark. Whether you're in Florida standing up to tropical storms, or along the Rockies and Great Plains, understanding the UL 580 Wind Uplift rating is key.
Wind uplift occurs when air pressure below a roofing system is higher than that which is above it. As wind passes over the roof, the pressure above the roofing system drops, while the pressure below is increased through holes and entry points. Like an airplane wing upon take-off, this effect draws the roofing panel upwards, possibly damaging or tearing the roof.
There are a number of factors that go into creating wind uplift, from roof slopes to wind gusts. Understanding the landscape your roof will interact with is an important first step in choosing the type of panel you should use.
When it comes to protecting a roof, the thickness of the metal is a key factor to resisting large-sized hail stones. Bridger Steel recommends a minimum of a 26 gauge steel roofing panel to survive a harsh hail storm. A thicker metal panel will resist punctures and form stronger seams between panels.
For hidden fasteners in high wind environments, a fixed clip system will provide a more rigid connection to the substrate. However, this type of clip is also more restrictive in allowing your roof to move in extreme temperatures and other weather phenomena.
Exposed fasteners over a solid substrate offer a more substantial solution against wind. However, these also require periodic checking to ensure proper seal.
The fabled hurricane proof roof is more of an advertising gimmick than a reality with any roof. The reason for this is the combination of factors that take place in a hurricane. From rapidly changing wind speed and direction, to debris being pushed along with the winds, there is very little that can stand up to the brute force of a hurricane.
At Bridger Steel, we have a roofing panel that comes as close as we can reasonably get to achieving this feat. The 7/8" Structural Corrugated roofing panel is rated at speeds up to 260mph. Its 22 gauge steel is among the toughest available on the market. It can stand up to incredible strains, and still come out shining. Even this panel, as tough as it is, is not hurricane PROOF.