wind damage and modified bitumen

Florida’s hurricane building codes are some of the strictest in the nation, for good reason. Because of the strong hurricane building codes, commercial roofing is safer, buildings are stronger, and people are better protected than under the pre-2010 codes. All the Florida hurricane codes contend with some of nature’s worst weather—wind, rain, airborne debris and surges—in an effort to not only safeguard Floridians, but save money, too. 

Wind Damage

The International Code Council (ICC) released the latest Florida hurricane codes in June of this year, and include updated test protocols for High Velocity Hurricane Zones. Commercial roofing falls under Chapter 15 of the newly revised codes, and includes Section 1504, Performance Requirements, and Section 1512, High Velocity Hurricane Zones.

In addition, Section 1609, Wind Loads, calls for close compliance with codes regarding windspeed, air pressure changes and changing wind direction. This is because commercial roofing may be anything from a roof atop a single-story small business to a roof capping a multistory office building. Commercial roofing must be able to withstand punishing weather and hurricane winds. The risk is not just to the building structure, but to surrounding buildings and people who could be struck by windborne debris from a torn off commercial roof.

Modified Bitumen Commercial Roofing

Today’s modified bitumen roofing combines the old reliability of bitumen with modern, tear-resistant “felts” that often use polymers to give tough, wind-resistant protection.

Modified bitumen used in commercial roofing can be self-adhesive or torch-applied. The felts are rolled out and applied in multiple layers at right angles to each other. Most modified bitumen rolls are mechanically adhered, with additional adhesion—and increased wind resistance—from adhesives or torch-melting the material down to the undersurface.

Hurricane Code Compliant

Modified bitumen for commercial roofs is not only compliant with Florida’s hurricane building codes, it is an economical alternative to single-ply roofing. If your business property is a single structure or small to medium-sized buildings, this method is fast and easy to install for professional roofing contractors like PSI Roofing.

If you have concerns about the heat island effect of a modified bitumen roof, keep in mind Florida Code 1502.1 permits modified bitumen roofing with an approved ballast layer. This ballast layer can be a heat-reflecting light color, improving your property’s energy efficiency by lowering cooling costs.

To learn how a modified bitumen commercial roof can meet your needs while meeting hurricane codes, contact PSI Roofing today.