South Florida offers wide appeal for the people who live here, not the least of which is the weather. Sunshine, sand, the ocean – what could be better?
And while it’s hard to deny the many ways in which our climate positively impacts the quality of life here, it can have a negative impact on our buildings. These buildings must stand out in tough weather conditions and do battle day-in, day-out, 365 days a year.
What the Weather Does to Our Buildings
As our climate evolves, so too have our building codes in order to keep pace. Our materials must be stronger and more durable than elsewhere in the country in order to withstand 140+ mph winds and 100+ degree days. Here are examples of some of the elements we face and what they do to our buildings:
- The Sun – Intense UV radiation and heat cause a number of problems for our building materials and their durability. Paint and colors will fade, materials will become cracked and brittle, and the natural expansion and contraction of a building that comes with temperature changes will cause additional stress on the integrity of a building’s materials.
- The Wind – Hurricane-force winds will rip off roofs and siding, break windows and doors, destroy gable end walls, and cause a whole host of other issues related to wind patterns, pressure and speed.
- The Water (and not just any water, salt water) – On its own, water is highly damaging to the structural integrity of our buildings, but when you add salt to the mix, its corrosive nature can exacerbate any problem. Steel will oxidize; bolts will rust. Salt plus building structures is not a good equation.
All told, buildings in South Florida require frequent inspections and maintenance to ensure the ongoing durability and quality of materials. When the structural integrity of our buildings weaken, serious consequences could result.
Programs like a building’s 40-year recertification for commercial properties in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties are important for safety and compliance, but more frequent building assessments should be conducted.
As you consider investing in a new property here in South Florida or building one from the ground up, please come talk to us at Seacoast Construction. We have decades of experience and institutional knowledge and are more than happy to help you understand unique factors local to the area that you need to take into account when planning your development project.
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