May 4, 2023
Ask Asa: Can Styrofoam Save You in a Major Storm?
You only need to experience one hurricane to gain total respect for the power of these storms. In an instant, they overturn cars and trucks, rip buildings to shreds, and force people to shelters — hoping for the best but often finding the worst.
The solution? Meet Kent Hendricks, Chief Revenue Officer of Vero Building Systems in Kissimmee, Florida. His company — and dozens of others — think the answer is structural concrete insulated panels (SCIPs).
“It puts up a significant amount of protection against Mother Nature in fire retardancy, hurricane protection, protection against mold and mildew, and termites. This is about as indestructible as you can get,” he said.
It’s withstood the test of time, too. This system was developed more than 50 years ago using a second cousin to Styrofoam called polystyrene.
“It has flourished worldwide, and some 73 other manufacturing plants have been producing and selling this product,” he said. In general terms, expanded polystyrene is enclosed in double-galvanized steel wire mesh and sandwiched between concrete panels.
Hendricks said the panels could be used for everything from the most modest homes and mansions to commercial and industrial buildings. Why? One big reason is that it’s designed to withstand calamities like earthquakes and Category 5 hurricanes.
“Hurricanes produce several different challenges for building products. So it puts a structure under a lot of stress,” he said.
Even if you’re not planning to build a new home, it’s a good idea to strengthen your existing property when you renovate or make repairs.
Written by Asa Aarons Smith
Originally Published on WJCL 22