Metal building frame system

How Steel Buildings Can Withstand Hurricanes – Part II

Not All Steel-Frame Buildings Are Equal

Now we’re back to where we began – in the factory.

Some of Absolute Steel’s competitors may be cheaper, or even look stronger, thanks to cross-braces between the wall and the roof. But here’s the thing: They’re weaker. In fact, they must use that extra bracing for safety’s sake. Why? Because they’re saving money on production by using lower-quality, weaker steel.

That money you save in the initial sale is money wasted if your building fails to withstand a hurricane a year or two, or more, down the line.

Absolute Steel’s highest-yield strength steel withstands 80,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. That’s the steel we use for everything, including our 2×4”, 2×3”, and 2×2” 14- and 15-gauge steel tubes. Our “slip-fit system” gives our critical base components more integrity too. This is because nothing gets crushed, bent, or rolled to make it fit in joints.

Once something gets bent or crushed to make it fit, it’s now weaker than it should be. It compromises strength and integrity, so that’s not an option for our sidewalls. After all, those sidewalls bear brute force from hurricane crosswinds for hours and days at a time.

You’ve probably experienced the weakening of compromised steel in day-to-day life. Ever had a cheap fork or spoon that somehow bent while you were eating? From then on, it always seems to bend with even less pressure.

Same thing with metal joists, beams, and studs. Once compromised, always compromised.

Absolute Steel’s base rail system uses unbent, unstressed metal, maintaining its top strength. Our vertical inserts allow for six inches of overlap between two pieces. This doubles your steel for uncompromised strength, but also easier installation. You’ll never need a sledgehammer to whack our pieces together.

Fewer Pieces, More Strength

Our competitors’ multi-piece sidewalls mean more pieces to assemble. That translates to more opportunity to install things wrong. This, in turn, means more chances for things to fail, like when weathering a hurricane.

Our single-piece sidewalls mean the top to bottom framing is one strong, uncompromised piece. It runs from the base to the “power bend” used for eaves and roofing. This power bend is an example of how we use smart engineering to solve problems.

Once metal gets bent, it’s weaker, right? Right, but also wrong.

There’s a correct way to bend metal. Our power-bend method adds strength because it’s not crushed or stressed in the bending process. Instead, our method creates an overlap. The excess steel becomes rolled edges, adding six surfaces to the original steel tube. These compensate for any strength lost through bending, but they also add extra strength.

An unsafe steel frame
The Worst Connection
(Crushed and bent)
Standard steel framed building connection
A Better Connection
(But still uses stressed metal)

The BEST Connection -Ours
(No bends = uncompromised strength)

A Mulch (multi)-Piece Sidewall
It stands to reason that with more parts and connections, you get less overall strength.

Our Single-Piece Sidewall
This is ours. No additional parts to mess with, no extra connections to make. Result: A simpler, stronger sidewall.

Click here for more technical information on metal building frame systems.

External Panels Are A Different Matter

We’d love to make assurances about our panels withstanding hurricanes too, but we can’t. They may rip, tear, or fly into the horizon, because that’s the nature of paneling in a hurricane.

But repairing or replacing panels is an affordable, doable job.

It’s the steel frame itself you can expect to stay standing, if erected right. Think of it like when a roof comes off a brick home – at least the base remains. With a metal building, the roof framing should remain intact. External panels and windows may need post-hurricane remediation, typical of most buildings in hurricanes.

Carports: Different Structures, Same Strength

Our metal carport systems get that same commitment to quality and strength. From RV covers to T-frame and cantilevered covered parking solutions, they’re all rated for 140-mph sustained winds.

Our buildings and our carport systems have approval from the toughest customer out there, the US Armed Forces. For decades, all branches of the military have used our products in climates all around the world.

Integrity Comes from the Finish Too

Having tough steel won’t do much when it’s sandblasted by saltwater day after day, year after year. Did you know scientists often use seawater to find corrosion rates for metals? Seawater is that insidious for metals.

If you’ve vacationed in humid seaside climates, you’ve seen the rust everywhere. From shower rods to door hinges, everything rusts because saltwater air is pervasive.

We stop corrosion before it starts by galvanizing our frames with G90 protective zinc coating. G90 is tougher than the industry minimum standards of G60 coating. Those numbers reflect the amount of zinc used in the galvanized coating. G90 has 0.90 ounce per square foot, while G60 has 0.60 ounce per square foot. That’s 50% more zinc in our coating than the construction industry requires.

But what does the zinc do?

Zinc, of course, is also a metal. When it’s applied to galvanize steel, it bonds to the steel. Over time, there may be light rusting on the surface. If so, it’s zinc taking one for the team – the zinc tarnishes, not the steel.

As for G60 versus G90, think of it like painting a car. One coat’s okay, but extra coats and a protective layer can make all the difference in the long run.

You may not see any difference with our G90 coating on day one, but after a decade or two, you will. And preventing that rust is important, because it can weaken structures long before any hurricane rolls in.

And galvanized coating matters whether you’re using steel framing indoors or out. Of course, it’s ready for priming and painting too. Proper rust-inhibiting paint further increases protection between the elements and your investment.

(sources: Sharret’s Plating, and

Building for the Future

We’re always looking for ways to make our structures even tougher. Good thing, too, because storms are getting stronger. Scientists predict that we may not get more hurricanes in the years to come, but they’ll be bigger. They’ll be more powerful and may last longer. This means more wind, more rain, more force, and over longer periods. It may also mean hurricanes travel wider and further inland.

These future predictions matter to us, but also to you. That building you’re installing is a serious investment. You want it lasting for decades, and so do we. Even if you’re not in a hurricane zone, you can’t go wrong in building beyond the minimum safety codes for your area.

From Factory to Footings, Structures Made to Stand

From salt mines to the Canadian tundra to the Gulf Coast, our buildings stand the test of time all over the world. They work hard and they last because that’s what how we design them.

We manufacture all our steel-framed buildings. And we always use 100% American-made steel, because quality is critical to us – and you.

We don’t sell metal buildings, we sell protection – protection from the elements. Protection for property and people, jobs we take seriously. And if we haven’t got a ready-made kit for your needs, talk to us, because we build to spec all the time. If you’ve got tough climate to weather, we’ll work with you and your regional codes to ensure we do our job right. Then, the installation is up to you.

If you’re not confident tackling things like soil compaction and all-in-one slab/footing pours, call us. Find out what’s needed for your region and we’ll refer you to someone who can help. We’ve got a list of local contractors and other experts we’re happy to recommend to you.

Whatever your concerns or questions, we’re here for you. Give us a call today.

Go to Part I – It Starts with Groundwork


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