Wind is one of the most common, and costly, sources of damage for Florida homes. Hurricanes with 75 mph plus winds put tremendous pressure on a home and can seriously endanger its support system.
As framing subcontractors in Central Florida, we at Steve Allen understand the importance of having a home that can stand up to wind damage. In this article, we wanted to give home owners and contractors information on the areas of your home that should be secured.
Retrofitting Your Roof
In a previous blog article, we went in-depth on how you can help your roof stand up to storms. While it’s a good idea to always reinforce your roof, no matter what the style, gabled roofs in particular tend to be most vulnerable to wind force. Because of a gabled roof’s shape, wind is able to push up against the edges of the roof, creating uplift, which can rip the roof from the walls beneath it. To secure your roof, braces should be installed. Bracing involves connecting multiple rafters or joists together with two pieces of lumber known as a strong-back. Hurricane clips should also be used between the roof’s trusses and the walls beneath them. These various connections help the roof perform as one structurally sound unit rather than as individual pieces.
Securing Exterior Doors and Windows
Strong windows and doors are meant to act as the gatekeepers of your home. If they fail during a hurricane and allow strong winds to enter, internal pressure can build up. This could end up contributing to your roof being ripped off! For windows and doors made of glass, storm shutters or impact resistant glass are the best bets. But home owners also need to remember that the strength of a window doesn’t just depend on its glass, but also its frame. Windows must be securely anchored to the home’s structure to protect it from blowing completely out of the frame during a heavy storm.
Reinforcing Your Garage Door
Garage doors, especially doublewide doors for two-car garages, can become incredibly dangerous during high winds. They can end up being ripped from their tracks and thrown by the wind, making them dangerous to others, and also exposing the inside of your home. Installing horizontal braces to the panels and replacing the hinges with hurricane-strength hinges are good retrofits for existing garage doors. But if you’re building a new home, we highly recommend installing a garage door that is hurricane-rated.
Using Additional Connections
Adding protective connections between the roof, walls and foundation are an important part of keeping your house steadfast in a storm. Straps and clips should be used to attach roof rafters to exterior wall studs, as well as for connecting the wall studs to the bottom plate. Anchors can be installed to then hold the bottom plate to the slab. These connections help transfer all the loads of a home to the ground.
Thinking of retrofitting your home for protection against high winds? Or perhaps you’re in the market for a new hurricane proof home? At Steve Allen Construction we can ensure that the frame of your home is ready for the storm. Give us a call or reach out to us on our contact form with your framing construction questions. You can also talk with us any time on our social channels.
— Steve Allen Inc. (@SteveAllenOcala) October 29, 2014