Bruce Schnitzer
6/2/2011
I live on the west coast of Florida and am considering switching to a metal roof as it is time to replace existing concrete tile. I understand and am comfortable with the wind resistance from the outside with metal roofs. However, in Florida, one of the concerns is the resistance to a roof being blown off the house from the inside if a window or door fails. This happens because the pressure that builds up in the house literally lifts the roof structure off. Common sense would suggest that the heaver the roof structure, the harder it would be and the more force it would take to lift it off (all other things being equal). My existing tile roof weighs about 15 tons. My question is, since a metal roof weighs considerably less, am I sacrificing survivability under these circumstances by using architectural metal tile instead of cement tile?
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
6/2/2011
Bruce, Good questions and I am unaware of any studies that have been done in this area though there has been significant research done by an organization called RICOWI after wind events for the purpose of determining why roofs fail. I guess I have a few thoughts though ... It seems to me a very heavy roof can be a contributing factor to structural collapse. Next, if wind does rush into an attic during a hurricane, and this has been documented many times, it typically ends up making the ceilings explode downard ... this creates great damage as well as a huge mess (insulation, wiring, etc.) In that respect, I would think there would be a preference for a low weight roofing system that might allow the roof to blow through first rather than the ceilings collapse. Perhaps some others will have good information to add.
Eric Novotny
An informed customer is the Best Customer!
6/3/2011
In my estimation, no. The roof blow off issues are overwhelmingly related to improper structural tie ins and the product of poorly built structures. Most of the roof failures that I have personally observed, would have failed regardless of roof system. if the trusses are tied back to the interior and exterior wall, it doesn't matter what you have.

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