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How Innovative Building Designs Improve Structural Resistance

Natural disasters of some form or other affect nearly every populated region on earth. While the exact nature of the threat can vary from harsh winds to tremors in the ground, construction designs and technology have evolved to mitigate the potential fallout from natural disasters and increase structural survivability. Building codes that prescribe these innovations are a vital part of ensuring the public remains safe, even during a natural disaster.

Learn more about the structural safety innovations designed for several common natural disasters.

Lines of multicolored triangular flags stretch between buildings on two sides of a small, fast-moving river filled with rocks and rapids.


Earthquakes can cause buildings to shake, which may collapse the foundation or induce wall cracks, and can compromise the structural integrity and safety of buildings even when they remain standing afterward. When buildings shake uncontrollably, furniture and other heavy items may also collapse, causing potentially serious harm to inhabitants.

One structural solution is to install seismic shock absorbers within the building’s foundation to help lessen the impact of the shaking ground on the building’s walls. Engineers are also experimenting with installing pendulums in tall buildings to help the structure shift its weight as needed when the earth moves. 

In Japan, about 9,000 structures have been built with a rubber foundation, called a base isolator, to avoid a collapse in the event of an earthquake. When earthquakes strike, buildings with these rubber foundations experience less damage and don’t collapse like structures without this upgrade. In the U.S., only a few buildings are equipped with this technology.


Severe storms and other natural disasters can lead to destructive flooding, an issue for coastal homes. Engineers have already implemented upgraded designs for coastal homes around the world to prevent water damage, including building homes on stilt or pier foundations. These raised foundations do help keep homes safe from rising waters. 

If builders in flood-prone areas opt for ground-level construction, they may also only design these homes with the garage or storage unit on the first level. The ground level is built using breakaway walls, which break from the structure at the first signs of high water pressure. 

This allows water to flow through the structure freely instead of rising and threatening the next story of the home. This also ensures the water pressure doesn’t build up and take away the entire structure.

In the Netherlands, scientists are working on “waterworld homes,” which are floating apartments that can stay on top of high waters. The scientists designed floating hotels and conference centers in the Maldives, which have proven to remain intact, even in rising waters.


Tornadoes generally develop without warning and can tear through neighborhoods, causing structural damage and harming the structural integrity of homes and commercial buildings. Futuristic building materials may be the answer to making buildings and homes more structurally sound during these wind events. 

Wood, concrete, and steel are traditional building materials because they’re sturdy. However, with no flexibility, these materials can snap and break when exposed to the strong winds of a tornado. 

Construction engineers are experimenting with other building materials, including carbon fiber, metal mesh, and Kevlar. Not only do these materials provide some give when the wind gets fierce, but they may also protect occupants from flying shrapnel and debris. 

While it’s been proven that these flexible materials can withstand tornado winds better than traditional mediums, the cost can be a barrier for many commercial builders and homeowners. However, if these materials help save money on roof repairs or replacements, siding repair, and other tornado damages, they may be worth the investment.


Hurricanes are common in coastal areas and generally bring excessive rain and strong winds. Modern building codes require that nails are used where the roof meets the wall to lower the number of roof claims insurance companies receive after a hurricane strikes. 

While this updated code does help ensure roofs stay put during a storm, metal connectors and bracing may be more effective, especially in a strong hurricane. Most newly constructed homes in coastal areas, such as Florida, are equipped with these metal connectors. There are also retrofitting opportunities, including roof clips, that can be added to older homes to improve the roof connection and its ability to withstand the wind.


Landslides generally occur in mountainous areas when rain has caused the ground to become soft and move. In the U.S., landslides cause over $1 billion in damages and 25 to 50 deaths each year. Landslides can cause extensive damage, including:

  • Cracks in the foundation and walls.
  • Wall tilting.
  • Distortions in pillars and other load-bearing structures. 
  • Movement from the foundation.
  • Roof damage in commercial buildings and homes.

Residents rely on strict building codes to ensure their homes are safe from landslides. For example, in Snohomish County, Washington, there are rules on where homes can be built to avoid landslides. 

In 2015, the county expanded its “landslide hazardous area” in an attempt to prevent new construction from being damaged by this natural disaster. If a builder opts to begin a project in this landslide hazardous area, they’re required to follow a set of guidelines that restricts where and how they can build. 

In the Pacific Northwest, residents and builders alike have found that the key to preventing catastrophic damage in a landslide is to prevent consistent erosion from water flow around the property. Avoiding installing permanent irrigation systems on the slope of a property may also minimize damage.


Wildfires generally occur in wooded and dry areas and are spread by wind. California and other wooded states are prone to wildfires in dry seasons. While no building can ever be fire-proof, builders in these wildfire-prone areas are experimenting with sturdier materials to minimize damage. 

Builders are considering building new homes with clay tile roofs and frames made from concrete with reinforced steel. Staying away from wood and other flammable materials may provide families more time to evacuate their homes before the fire causes substantial damage.

Extreme Temperatures

Homeowners waste a lot of energy heating and cooling their homes. With extremely hot and cold temperatures becoming more prevalent, construction engineers are experimenting with technologies to make heating and cooling homes and commercial buildings more efficient, including the following:

  • R25 polyisocyanurate composite insulation material: Unlike standard insulation, these insulation panels are airtight, so they provide a tighter seal and keep hot or cold air inside the home longer.
  • R10 insulated vinyl siding: An upgrade to this type of vinyl siding saves you money on your heating or cooling bill. Scientists are also looking into adding insulation to the siding to ensure the home is even more protected from extreme temperatures.
  • Polymeric Vacuum Insulation Spheres (PVIS): This strong material reduces damage from nail holes and other construction projects, which ensures the home is sealed tight. 
  • Vacuum Glass for R-10 Windows: Vacuum glass windows reduce the amount of heat that is lost from regular windows while also making the home more airtight.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funds these experimental projects in the hopes that this technology will soon be available to U.S. home builders and owners dealing with extreme climates.

With the current numbers of natural disasters and climate events, builders, construction engineers, and scientists have dedicated their efforts to finding solutions for homes and commercial buildings. Some of these designs have been implemented globally or domestically while others are still in the experimentation phase.

How You Can Contribute to Local Smart Growth

Smart growth is a land development initiative that attempts to combat the “urban sprawl” that’s become prolific in many areas. By focusing on mixed land-use developments and building more affordable residential opportunities near public transportation hubs, smart growth attempts to save natural land and other resources. 

A bright red train station exterior, with white trim and a single person standing on the street outside.

This land development strategy relies on architects, city planners, business owners, and landowners to be open to compact neighborhoods and repurposing current structures so they’re more useful. While smart growth initiatives promote growth and change, they also avoid gentrification in focused areas. You can improve your area and contribute to smart growth without changing the atmosphere and essence of the neighborhood itself. 

Many initiatives set urban growth boundaries to ensure new construction doesn’t overtake surrounding areas. Smart growth initiatives also focus on beautification to attract new residents and business owners. If you’re interested in becoming involved in smart growth initiatives in your area, review the following information to find out more about volunteering opportunities and other actions you can take to support the cause.

Share Your Building or Land

Mixed land-use is a common strategy for smart growth initiatives. With mixed land-use, one building is used for multiple purposes. A single building may include residential units, retail stores, restaurants, and/or office spaces. 

With mixed land-use, residents can live, work, and recreate in one small area, which avoids the need for transportation. It also makes the community more walkable and bustling, which attracts visitors, residents, and business owners alike.

If you own a commercial building, you may be able to implement the mixed land-use concept. You could rent out space to a clothing boutique downstairs and renovate your third story into a loft apartment. When you put businesses and residents under one roof of a commercial building, you eliminate the need for additional construction in an area. To learn if your building is eligible for mixed land-use, contact your city planning department.

Embrace Compact Living and Working Spaces

In many cases, when a community grows, additional houses are constructed next to each other or shopping centers are erected on unoccupied land. However, a compact building grows when the number of stories is increased, not the amount of land utilized. 

When developers create compact living and working spaces, they generally choose land that’s already been developed and simply add on to existing buildings. Developers may also secure empty lots or those with additional land near another building to construct compact spaces.

As a business owner or resident, embracing the concept of a compact living and working space will help you reinforce smart growth initiatives in your area. When compact building designs are implemented, land is saved and not as many construction materials are used. 

In compact communities, residents find more affordable and convenient housing that doesn’t require as much transportation. Business owners benefit from small offices and retail spaces with lower rent and more foot traffic accessibility.

Contribute to Beautifying Initiatives

There are many ways to beautify your community, including street art, gardening, landscaping, and street lighting improvements. When a community completes beautification projects, it attracts more potential residents and business owners. The more people who live and work within one area, the less need for public transportation and urban sprawl.

If you’re interested in contributing to beautification initiatives in your community, contact your local government office. Most areas already have project leaders and organizations that take on these developments, making it easy to get involved in the next project.

Support Preservation of Natural and Historic Areas

Not only are residents attracted to great places to work and live, but they’re also attracted to communities that are close to beautiful parks and natural areas. To support smart growth initiatives in your community, consider helping with the preservation of natural and historic buildings and areas. 

To assist in the rehabilitation of historic buildings, you could contribute to repairs, such as hiring a roofing contractor to install a new roof or painting the building’s exterior. Natural areas should be kept clean and free from pollution, so you could help by joining a volunteer group that picks up trash in these areas or tends to the wild landscape.

Support Diversity

Communities with diverse residents and businesses are the only way for areas to flourish. With smart growth initiatives, communities can offer various types of housing that may be more affordable and attractive for minorities. The location and convenience of this housing also attract a variety of potential residents and business owners, contributing to a neighborhood’s diversity.

If you want to ensure your community is diverse, consider getting involved in smart growth initiatives that rehabilitate properties to make them more liveable and affordable for potential residents. You could help volunteer groups with interior upgrades or landscaping improvements on current residences to encourage new tenants to move in.

Support Senior Citizens

With urban sprawl and large, expensive home construction, many senior citizens find it financially impossible to continue living in their current communities. Rising home prices and inflation make it hard for these senior citizens to afford to remain in their current homes. 

Since many smart growth initiatives are focused on creating affordable housing within walkable communities, senior citizens may find these innovative areas beneficial. Mixed land-use and compact living spaces also eliminate the need for public transportation and allow for a better quality of life for senior citizens.

When you get involved with smart growth initiatives in your community, you’re helping senior citizens delay or avoid moving away from the communities they call home. Volunteer groups and local contractors may focus on rehabilitating current residential buildings, including replacing the roof or repairing the siding. These improvements allow residents to enjoy their space without paying out of pocket for costly repairs.

As a business owner or resident, you want to see your community thrive. When you help your community implement smart growth initiatives, you’ll save neighboring land, create a bustling downtown environment, and provide more affordable living and working spaces.

How much does a new roof cost in 2021? – Atlanta, GA

Over time, the covering on your roof will wear out and you’ll be forced to replace it. This is one of the bigger home improvement projects you’ll have to undergo as a homeowner, so it’s important to budget adequately for your new roof.

Roof replacement using GAF Camelot shingles in atlanta, GA

There are a variety of things that come into play when you are trying to determine the cost of a new roof, but this article will give you a high-level overview of the costs you might expect.


As you might expect, there are loads of different options when it comes to a new roof. The most common choice in Atlanta is a standard architectural shingle that will last about 30 years and come at a fraction of the cost of other options like metal roofing. You can expect an architectural shingle roof replacement to cost between $2.60-$3.00 per square foot. We’ll discuss what determines exactly where you fall in this pricing range below.

If you’re really looking for a top notch option, slate and cedar shake shingles are among the top of the line options for roof coverings. However, the question of asphalt shingles versus slate or tile is only one component of the cost. What are all the factors you need to take into account when budgeting for a roof replacement?


One of the biggest determinants in the cost of your new roof will be the size of it. As discussed above, it’s common in the roofing industry to price roofs on a “per foot” basis. While you might be tempted to simply thing of size based on the square footage of your home, there are a couple of factors other than your foundation footage that impact roof size. Keep reading to learn more!


The pitch or slope of the roof also affects the price. As this can affect how the job gets done. If it’s a steep pitch that isn’t walkable, crews have to use specialized safety equipment, you can’t stack materials safely so it takes more labor just to transport materials.

As safety is a factor insurance rates are higher for more dangerous roofs and those costs are passed on to the homeowner in the form of higher costs.


When a roof is being installed, every time there is an edge or change in facets, a small amount of shingles will be wasted because they have to be cut to the perfect size. A very simple roof might have as little as 7% waste, while an extremely complex roof structure can have waste up to 30%. The more waste there is, the higher the cost of your roof replacement.


Next to size, the type of materials you choose for your roof replacement will be one of the biggest determinants in cost. Here are some of the average atlanta roof replacement material costs (all include installation and accessories):

  • 3-tab Asphalt Shingles: $2.50-$2.70 per square foot
  • Architectural Asphalt Shingles: $2.70-$3.00 per square foot
  • Designer Asphalt Shingles: $3.25-$5.00 per square foot
  • Standing Seam Metal: $7-$9 per square foot
  • Slate Or Cedar Shingles: $10+ per square foot


The condition of your current roof may have an impact on the cost of your roof replacement. It’s common in Atlanta for roofers to charge a relatively small fee for rotten wood replacement that isn’t visible until the old roof covering is removed.

The condition of the flashings on your home may have an impact on the cost of your new roof. Metal typically has a life of 50+ years, but if you own an older house, it’s possible that the metal flashings on the roof will need to be replaced. This is typically an additional charge among Atlanta roofing companies.

This should give you a full picture of the budgeting considerations if you’re getting close to needing a new roof. However, to get an exact estimate of how much your roof will cost, it’s best to schedule a free estimate today.

Are metal roofs better?

metal roofing green roof

Durable metal roof

Metal roofing isn’t just for old barns and storage sheds anymore! Why? Homeowners have discovered the benefits of metal roofing versus asphalt shingled roofing. The benefits they are finding to be worth the expense of metal roofing are: 

  1. The old roof doesn’t have to be torn off before installing metal roofing
  2. Metal roofing is a lighter material
  3. Metal roofing is more energy efficient
  4. Metal roofing has little required maintenance
  5. Metal roofing installation earns a tax credit
  6. Metal roofing is fire resistant and earns insurance discounts
  7. Metal roofing is more durable and weather-resistant than asphalt shingles
  8. Most metal roofing sheets are made from recycled metal and are recyclable at the end of roof life
  9. Metal roofing has a longer warranty than asphalt shingles
  10. Home has a higher resale value with metal roofing because of these benefits

What is the best color for a metal roof?

It surprises most people to find out that metal roofing has unlimited color options today. Gone are the days when the only choices for aluminum, steel, or tin metal roofing were dark gray or reddish-brown.

Copper metal roofing is a material that is a color all its own, including the patina green it acquires as it ages. All colors eventually fade, but copper undergoes the most drastic change as it oxidizes. Over twenty years, the appearance will change significantly.

Some metal roofing factories add color there so that it is baked onto the metal material. Any metal roofing company you choose to work with can explain this to you in more detail and talk to you about painting the roof after it has been installed. Things you want to keep in mind about metal roofing colors are:

  • The pigment: the color or hue.
  • The resin: the surface appearance.
  • The solvent: the evaporating liquid part of the paint.
  • The fading: this relates to the pigment and can change as the elements interact with moisture and UV rays.
  • The chalking: this is the whitish appearance that builds up metal roofing over time. 

Remember, muted tones won’t fade as fast as pure colors on metal roofing. The quality of the paint will determine how quickly the paint fades or becomes chalky, and choosing lighter color reflect the sun and dark color absorb heat. 

Does a metal roof need gutters?

The purpose of gutters is to funnel water off the roof and away from the structure. They prevent damage to the foundation from rain, sleet, or snow, which left to puddle up around the foundation can cause severe damage to the property. So, strictly speaking, no, your metal roofing does not require gutters, but the foundation of your house and the landscaping around will be protected with a gutter system installed. 

Can you walk on a metal roof? 

Have you heard that you cannot walk on metal roofing? Well, whoever told you that was misinformed, because, depending on the style you choose, you can walk on metal roofing. You can walk on metal roofing with a less likely chance of damaging the roof than with ceramic tiles. Repeated foot traffic will cause damage to asphalt roofing before it will metal roofing. Even fifty years down the road, your metal roofing will hold up to foot traffic.            

red metal roof

What maintenance is required for a metal roof?

Most homeowners choose metal roofing for durability and minimal maintenance features. Where asphalt shingles come loose in the winds and wood shakes split as they age, metal roofing doesn’t damage easy, remaining reliable, steady, and sturdy. 

Metal roofing still needs maintenance and proper care. Here are some tips that experts have told us in metal roofing:

  • Keep Trees Off Metal Roofing: Constant rubbing by tree branches and limbs will damage the finish, loosen the fasteners, and If heavy enough, branches can dent metal roofing. 
  • Keep Debris Cleared Off Metal Roofing: Allowing debris to build up on metal roofing will damage the finish, and as it decomposes, it ruins the finish. Twice a year, using a brush on a long handle with a water hose, clear the debris off, the same time gutter cleaning is done. 
  • Minimize Foot Traffic: Minimize the amount of foot traffic on your metal roofing, but if there is a need for our HVAC technician, an electrician or plumber must access the roof, advise them when you schedule your appointment so they can plan accordingly.  
  • Avoid Mixing Other Metals with Your Metal Roofing: Some types of roofing materials don’t mix well, like aluminum roofing or copper roofing.  
  • Fix or Replace Fasteners: With your monthly metal roofing inspections, if you notice any loose or missing fasteners or screws, tighten, or use the same material to replace them. Make any repairs for holes and separations that you find while taking care of the fasteners.
  • Reseal If Needed: The sealant used on metal roofing will last longer than sealant on other roofing materials, but this needs to be check after each storm or once the snow melts. 

Does having a metal roof lower your insurance?

With most homeowner’s insurance policies, yes, there is a discount for having metal roofing. Before you invest in having a metal roofing installed, check with your agent, and if they don’t offer a discount, or it doesn’t seem to be enough, call around for quotes. 

Metal roofing has had the reputation of being noisy.  With professional installation, metal roofing with insulation today, it as quiet as an asphalt shingle roofing. The benefits of energy efficiency and the style your home will have will be worthwhile. Call (678) 365-3138 today for your metal roofing installation.

Atlanta Roofing Specialists – So many choices, how to choose?

We live in a time when there are SOOOO many options. Whether it’s choosing what to eat for dinner, picking a show on Netflix, or choosing one of the many Atlanta roofing specialists, we are constantly bombarded with endless options, so we wanted to take a moment to point out what we focus on as one of those Atlanta roofing specialists in hopes that it’ll melt those other “options” away. 😉

Atlanta roofing specialists working on residential roof replacement in Cumming, GA

There are three main components to our customer promise:

  1. Dedication to Quality:

Our workmanship is top among all Atlanta roofing specialists. Don’t believe us? Take a look at what says and our Google reviews! The most important aspect of a roof replacement or roof repair is that our customer is thrilled with the service we provided. That’s why Quality is our #1 priority on every job.

2. Trust:

We believe trust is one of the foundational components of any relationship, so as the top Atlanta roofing specialists, we take every step we can to make sure our customers trust the insights and work we provide. Whether it’s our certifications, our safety procedures, or our fully insured and licensed crews, you can trust that we have you in mind.

3. Value:

We’ve vetted all of the major manufacturers products and make sure to give you the best value options for your property. There is no one-size-fits-all in roofing, so we custom tailor the shingle options we present and maintain consistent pricing from customer to customer. You can think of us as the “Carmax” of roofing. No haggling, with great value.

As Atlanta roofing specialists, we know how expensive a new roof can be. That’s why we offer customers a variety of payment options and various tiers of shingles in order to meet the exact needs of your property.

Colony Roofers are the Atlanta roofers you can trust. We offer a full range of residential and commercial services. Find out how we can help by calling (678)-365-3138.

How Do Insurance Roof Claims Work?

A Contractor Documents Hail Damage.

How insurance roof claims work

The roof insurance claim process can seem stressful, especially if you are worried about an expensive roof repair or how much it will cost you to replace your roof. As stressful as it may be, the process isn’t quite as complicated as it seems, especially when you have an experienced roofer like Colony Roofers providing help with the claim. In fact, the claim process often begins with you getting an estimate for the repairs from a reputable roofer with insurance experience. 

Once you have an estimate, you can file a claim with your insurance company. The insurance company will weigh various factors when determining exactly what they will pay out on the claim. In many instances, your roof’s age will play a big role in what’s paid out. Any roof that’s over 10 years old might get less coverage than a new roof, if your roof has not been well maintained. Keeping your roof maintained can be a key to good coverage if the time ever comes when you need to file an insurance claim.

What caused the damage will also affect the claim’s status. Insurers only cover damage listed under covered perils. These are events like storms or fires or even vandalism that cause damage out of your control. If your roof repair is necessary because you have neglected to maintain your roof, your claim will probably be denied. Policies will vary and it is best to check with the insurer to find out exactly what is covered in your policy. If you ever need roof insurance claims help in Atlanta, GA, Colony Roofers has years of experience dealing with insurance companies and making sure homeowners get the full benefit of their policies. When you need help with any roofing service, give us a call at (678) 365-3138.

Should I make an insurance claim on my roof?

If you need roof repairs or replacement, you’ll have to take into careful consideration whether to file a claim or not. Frequently filing claims can affect your premiums as well as the amount paid out on a claim. You may even risk getting your policy voided. You should avoid filing a claim if the estimated repair amount doesn’t meet or exceed your deductible, it’s better to pay out of pocket. If the repairs are due to normal wear and tear or lack maintenance on your part, you are better off not filing a claim. Insurers normally only cover damage caused by covered perils such as hail damage. It’s also best not to file a claim if you’ve filed one in the past three years as your insurer might void your policy if you file too many claims in one year, and you might have problems getting insurance elsewhere. 

How do I get my insurance to pay for a new roof?

When your roof’s been damaged after a storm has passed through your area, if the damage is severe enough, you might have to get your roof replacement. This can be an expensive proposition because new roofs can cost as much as or more than a new car. When you file a roof insurance claim, you’ll want to make sure everything is in order so they will cover the full cost of a new roof. Make sure you follow these steps:

  • Know exactly what your policy covers. Read over your policy so you’ll understand everything that’s covered.
  • Before you contact your insurance company, document all the damage. This means getting an estimate from a reputable roofer, but you also want to supplement your documentation as much as possible. For instance, after a hailstorm, if you can, take photos of the hailstones. 
  • Research roofers and hire a reputable company like Colony Roofers. Reputable companies will be licensed and insured and will consistently get good reviews from past customers and from trade organizations or groups like the Better Business Bureau.
  • Make sure you follow all your insurer’s procedures to file a claim and the procedures to take to file an appeal if the claim is denied.

Roof insurance claim denied

Once you’ve submitted a roof insurance claim, there is always the possibility the claim will be denied. There are several reasons for this. Most often your claim will be denied if the repair costs don’t exceed your deductible or the repair isn’t covered under a covered peril—lack maintenance won’t be covered, for instance. If you’ve filed several claims recently, your claim might be denied as well. 

If your claim is denied, you do have a right to appeal the decision. You’ll have to follow procedures set down by your insurer to file an appeal. You may also want to enlist the help of a roofing company like Colony Roofers that has experience dealing with insurance companies. They can help you get the full benefit of your claim.

Can I cancel a roof insurance claim?

For the most part, once you file a roof insurance claim, you cannot cancel it. It can only be canceled before an adjuster is assigned to it. After an adjuster is assigned, even if the adjuster does not show up, or the insurer doesn’t pay out, the claim can’t be canceled.

What do insurance adjusters look for on roofs?

After you file a roof insurance claim, an adjuster will be assigned to it. The adjuster may then come out and inspect your roof to verify the claim. They will be looking for a variety of things from the age of the roof to whether or not it has been properly installed. They are also going to check for the signs of damage reported. They may feel shingles for dents from hail or look for evidence that shingles have been lifted up from wind damage. They are confirming the damage reported to determine what the insurance company will or will not pay for.

How much does insurance go up after new roof?

Insurance coverage for roofs will vary by insurer and even by region. Depending on the circumstances, your insurance premium might go up or it might not if you have a new roof installed. How much it might go up will vary by insurer. If you’ve filed several over the past few years, the premium is likely to go up more than it would if you’ve only filed one claim. In fact, filing one claim might not cause the premium to go up. For more information on choosing your new roof, take a look at Today’s Homeowner.

A Tree That's Fallen on a Roof.

Roofing insurance claims for storm damage

When you’ve had a storm damage your roof and need help with your roof insurance claim in Atlanta, GA you’ll want to get that help from a roofing company with insurance experience. Colony Roofers has years of experience helping homeowners get the full benefit of their claims. To find out how we can help you with your insurance claim, give us a call at (678) 365-3138.