Safehand Shelters Blog

Learn about all things about Storm Shelters and Storage Building.

Steel vs. Concrete Storm Shelters


First, this is not a knock on concrete because here at Safehand Shelters we use concrete as our backfiller for our Safehand Shelters Steel Storm Shelters along with our added steel rebar anchors to make your Below Ground Storm Shelter, concrete slab all one piece. So concrete is incredibly strong in most cases. It is used in every aspect our lives, so of course by nature we think its good for everything to include tornado storm shelters. However, using the product as a below ground storm shelter is not what we professionally recommend as industry best practice.  Here is our best professional answer we can provide you for you to educate yourself while doing more research so you are able to make the best decision for you and your family. The first thing about below ground concrete storm shelters and why it tends to fails is do to shifting earth soil, changing temperatures, earthquakes and water pressure!

As temperatures fluctuate in the earth, the ground will swell and contract.  This can put a substantial amount of pressured on any buried structure. If you didn't know concrete is a rigid product by nature and this is no different from okalahoma concrete storm shelters, so when the earth shifts or when we have earthquakes the results is cracking.  Once your below ground concrete storm shelter is cracked, new problems quickly follows and these problems don't go away they continue to exist. One of those problems we often see is that moisture or water will start to seep into the below ground concrete storm shelter from the surrounding earth. Mold is often the next thing that starts to follow. Moisture and mold are two things Oklahoma storm shelter owners should not want as a problem. Our Shelter Maintenance Service (SMS) can be a helpful solution to help prevent your below ground storm shelter from continuing to have problems.

Below Ground Concrete Storm Shelter

What you should know is that below ground concrete storm shelters used today are basically modified septic tanks. If you notice these units are installed in 2 pieces (top and bottom) that are connected by metal brackets. That in itself is also a problem that is clearly visible because these units are fabricated with a large seam that wraps around the entire below ground stomr shelter when they put the lid on.  Why is this an issue? This is another point of potential failure in these shelters due moisture getting in the below ground storm shelter.

We can all agree that concrete has many strengths in terms of usage. However, we recommend our Safehand Shelters 10 gage steel fabrication storm shelters to ensure your shelter is never affected by leaks, moisture, cracking or mold. Our Shelter Maintenance Service (SMS) is a annual service you can purchase additionally from us so we can maintain your Safehand Shelters Steel Storm Shelters (Learn More). Steel does expand and contract with the changing temperatures but on thing is for sure is that your Steel storm shelter will not crack, ensuring that it will last for generations to come.