Minimise your Fear of Storms

There are few words which spread more fear and trepidation in the Caribbean than ‘storm’ and ‘hurricane’.  
The more first hand experience, the greater the cold spinal shiver and, as regular as clockwork, those TV predictions make weather reports the worst news of the day.

The best way to minimise your fear of storms, is by being proactive, making a plan and taking action.

You can’t stop storms, but you can learn from the past, adjust, even change your risk factors by building  effective resistance against a common annual enemy.

If you have already had a taste of what nature can do, you are well aware of the weakness in your building defences and have hopefully addressed them.  If not, imagine your building as a tent, placed in the path of persistent high winds and driving rain.

The wind lifts your entire structure as it gusts and with its energy, it places the guy ropes and pegs which hold the tent down,
at high risk, systematically pulling the covering from its anchors.

The way the wind flows around the tent creates a fluid motion levering the weakest points, while twisting and bending the structure.  This is known as torque and on any building is the most lethal of actions, on the way to disaster.

The torrential rain on the other hand has
a three pronged attack.  

  • Firstly, the consistent down weight on the roof pressurises the structure, forcing energy to its anchors and attempting to dislocate them.  
  • Secondly, the ensuing flood of rain will attempt to wash out and destabilise the ground and immediate surroundings.  
  • Thirdly, a massive accumulation of water, forced through small spaces and blockages near your tent, will potentially wash your structure away and with it, risk loss of life and massive exposure.

Your building is a thousand times more resilient than a simple tent, but the same forces apply.

Creating any durable structure requires strong foundations, a reliable, energy dispersing, well anchored framework (columns, beams, joists, rafters, etc), an aerodynamically sound and well constructed sealed covering and effective means to quickly disperse water away from the building and its surroundings.

Foundations, Columns and Beams

A strong foundation is not just about volumes, or types of cement, with embedded steel.  It is about the appropriate depths and ground anchors, gauges of rebar, tamped backfill, lateral combinations of rebar and welded mesh for floors and strong connections with the framework of columns and beams.  

All of this works together, built with reliable steel, to create a resistant structure, which will withstand the test of time.

Roof Covering

With well secured rafters and ridgepole in place, these should be completely covered with T1-11 plywood and the lateral timber purlins, which will receive the final roofing screws.  

A Plyco Plyfoil® Roofing Insulation will reduce radiated heat by up to 96% and help preserve the quality of the roof.

A successful and durable steel roof covering such as COLORBOND®, the industry standard, depends upon the quality of installation and use of appropriate screws, sealant tape and bat proofing.  

All of these measures will create a sealed structure which is stable and secure from the ravages of torque, infestation and damp.

Rainwater Management

Channeling roof water can be a challenge.  

We recommend K-Style aluminium guttering, with an easy wipe finish, leaf guard inserts and a complete range of fittings and connections.

This simple, low maintenance system will allow for managed water storage, directed to customised or standard galvanised water tanks. 

It will also leave more time for the real task of making sure that runoff drains and water exits inside and beyond your property are unblocked and in good order.

Let these suggestions be the prelude to vastly improved stability, safety and durability of your construction 
and the basis for contacting our experienced and knowledgeable sales staff, who will guide you through
the process of obtaining the best possible materials
for your building upgrade.

NB. This article is for general information purposes only and is meant as an incentive to the reader, who should then research and seek advice from their architectural and construction professionals to confirm that the ideas expressed are possible within the building codes of their territory or within the limitations of their home's architecture. ECMIL only recommends their own products and third party products which they supply, as part of their company's roofing solutions to customers.