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How Your Metal Building Stands up to Inclement Weather

Daniela Vazquez

As extreme weather becomes more common, it’s never been more critical to have a stable building that stands up to the elements. Steel buildings are much more reliable than wood, brick, and other common building materials. Metal buildings are not susceptible to rust, mold, or general wear and tear. This matters in the long run because steel structures will stand strong for decades, saving owners money on repairs and maintenance.

How Does Metal Stand up Better to Inclement Weather?

Steel is renowned for its high ductility. This means that steel can withstand intense pressure and even structural deformations without failing. In other words, metal buildings can tolerate high winds, heavy snow, and even some earthquakes without compromising their structure.

How soon are you hoping to install your metal building? Talk to one of our  specialists about available dates.

Even better, steel has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any building material. Under intense pressure, steel fails to collapse under its own weight. 

To put this in perspective, steel has a strength-to-weight ratio 25 times greater than traditional wood structures. Residents in areas with earthquakes and hurricanes take comfort in the fact that steel buildings are dependable under stress.

Counterintuitively, metal buildings fare well during lightning storms. Although lightning is attracted to metal, steel structures disperse heat and electricity into the ground, keeping residents safe from harm.

Many homeowners in humid climates build with steel because it is resistant to rust. In addition, metal buildings withstand termites, mold, and other pests that plague houses around the world.

If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, a custom metal building might be a great option to keep you and your family safe.


Metal Buildings in Extreme Rains

Although Alpha Structures can’t make any guarantees, metal buildings generally perform well during extreme rains. 

During hurricane season, steel’s ductility and water resistance are essential assets. Add metal gutters to your metal building to divert water away from your home or business. A metal building will allow you to avoid unnecessary leaks and rust even during mild rains.

Metal Buildings in High Winds

Consider where your metal building will be placed. Urban settings tend to offer more protection from the wind. If you’re building on an open plain, you need to seriously consider the structural integrity and placement of your building under high winds.

Luckily, steel is resilient and fares better than wood during hurricanes and tornadoes. In the unfortunate case that a tree falls on your house during a wind storm, metal buildings usually dent without collapsing. Compare this to wood structures, which are more likely to undergo more serious damage.

At Alpha Structures, all of our metal buildings are 140 MPH/35 PSF certified. If you live in an area of extremely high winds or heavy snow, our installers can reinforce the building and certify them for heavier wind and snow conditions, but you will need to pull permits in this case.

Metal Buildings under Heavy Snow

Depending on the average snowfall in your area, Alpha Structures can find the perfect roof pitch for your steel building. Roof pitch is the angle of rise compared to the horizontal measurement of the roof. 

If your region is prone to heavy snows, a greater roof pitch will help the snow slide off. Even if your roof sustains a heavy load of snow, rest assured that steel is strong enough to withstand the intense weight, and can be reinforced for additional strength in areas of extremely heavy snowfall. 

Metal Buildings and Fire

As fires become more prevalent around the world, it has never been more important to build with fire-resistant materials. Steel is a naturally non-combustible material that tolerates high temperatures without melting.

Obviously, wood structures and vinyl siding are more susceptible to fire and these are often the first buildings to surrender to wildfires. 

Even when building with steel, be sure to check that your structure meets local codes and regulations for fire safety. 

Building Considerations for Inclement Weather

Steel is by far the strongest building material available. However, it is not impermeable to all inclement weather. Determine which natural disasters are common in your area and plan accordingly with the following considerations:

  • If high winds are common, consider the height of your metal building. You can still opt for a reinforced two- or three-story structure, but be aware that taller buildings are more sensitive to wind damage.
  • If you want a tall metal building in a high-wind area, one possible solution is to anchor your building with a reinforced concrete foundation
  • Examine the direction of prevailing winds in your area and orient your building so that its largest faces are in a neutral area. 
  • If snow is a problem in your region, consider a roof pitch that allows accumulation to roll off. 

So long as you take a realistic view of inclement weather in your area, your steel structure should withstand virtually any situation. Be sure to use an experienced and professional metal building company that can give you specific advice based on where you live.


Although metal buildings are the smartest option in terms of affordability and durability, it still pays to do your homework. After making a few simple assessments, you will be ready to construct the prefabricated metal building of your dreams. Speak with a building specialist for detailed information on how to ensure safety given the climatic and geographic specifics of your future metal building.

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