Besides abundant sunshine and tourists, Fort Lauderdale gets more than its share of hurricanes. This is why High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) roofing is built into Florida’s building codes. Changes within the past five years have highlighted Fort Lauderdale’s dubious distinction of being in the area that can experience the very highest wind speeds. Knowing what an HVHZ roof encompasses could help prevent lasting damage to your Fort Lauderdale business from the next hurricane to hit.
Back in 2010, the wind-borne debris region maps were changed, putting Fort Lauderdale and Broward County on notice to plan for 180 mph wind speeds. This means anything not built to withstand such high wind speeds and torn loose can become an airborne missile.
Not only is an HVHZ roof designed to prevent its parts from becoming dangerous airborne missiles, it is built to hold up well against damage from other debris. These new designations have been around for more than seven years, but for many Fort Lauderdale buildings, more still needs to be done to make roofs resistant to hurricanes. HVHZ roofs are mandatory in only two Florida zones:
- Miami-Dade County
- Broward County
For the 2014 (the 5th) edition of Florida Building Codes, HVHZ regulations are incorporated into each building category, such as structure, roofing, mechanical, etc. Sections 1512 through 1525 deal with HVHZ requirements for roofs. Guidelines provide three risk categories:
- Risk Category I Buildings and Structures: 156 mph
- Risk Category II Buildings and Structures: 170 mph
- Risk Category III and IV Buildings and Structures: 180 mph
You can discuss with your commercial roofer how to get your Fort Lauderdale building into compliance with HVHZ roofing requirements. Consider:
- Your building’s location
- Predominant wind direction
- Nearby structures
- Natural vegetation, waterways or rocks that could imperil your roof
Existing roofs can be made sturdier; reroofing work can be made more durable; and roofs for new construction can be made much stronger. HVHZ roofs set a new standard simply because they can outperform typical roofing. Businesses equipped with HVHZ roofs could be open after a hurricane before their competitors, offering a financially attractive advantage and keeping vital services available to devastated communities.
Contact us at PSI Roofing to learn how HVHZ roofs could improve your commercial property’s ability to withstand the worst that Mother Nature throws at us. We can provide inspection, planning and HVHZ roof installation for new and existing construction.