Building officials with one Florida Keys county think they have part of the solution to the damage storms like Hurricane Irma bring to the region: requiring metal roofs.

Monroe County commissioners have proposed requiring all new or replacement roofs to be made from standing-seam sheet metal to protect against the damage Irma caused to the region in September 2017.

It’s an idea that the Metal Roofing Alliance, a group of manufacturers that promote the use of metal as an alternative to asphalt shingles, says is a good one.

“When it comes to exceptional performance and protection, it’s hard to beat the benefits of metal roofing,” said Renee Ramey, executive director of the Metal Roofing Alliance. “Given a roof is one of the most vulnerable areas of the home in extreme weather conditions, metal roofing is the smart choice for long-term value, reliability and peace of mind for homeowners.”

MRA officials point out that many scientists say that extreme weather events will become more common in ensuing decades, making metal roofing a good idea in many parts of the country besides Florida. The association said metal roofs can last 40 to 70 years, save energy and some can handle wind gusts up to 140 mph.

“There’s no doubt that homeowners everywhere need to consider materials that can withstand more extreme conditions,” Ramey said. “Thankfully, there are options like metal roofs available to help them do just that.”​

County officials held public discussions on the proposal in November and December. A date for a final vote has not been set.