Today, homes and office buildings look pretty much the same as in years gone by. But aesthetics aside, some of the newer storm-resistant construction techniques that are finding their way into new construction projects take weatherproofing to a whole new level. For example, there are specific recommendations for constructing roofs that resist high-velocity wind events, no matter what their source.
- A home with a hip roof is less vulnerable than a gable roof home. Very low-sloped roofs increase uplift; steeply sloped roofs create lateral wind loads. The ideal slope is moderately pitched below 6/12 and greater than 4/12.
- For roof sheathing installation, consider 8d nails spaced at no more than 15 cm on center. Ring shank nails improve wind resistance for a small cost. Sheathing should be a minimum thickness of 1.5 cm for added strength.
- Use baffled ridge and soffit vents to minimize the number of roof penetrations that are vulnerable in high winds. Baffled vents slow airflow and prevent wind-driven rain from entering the attic through the ridge vent.
- Wrap hurricane straps over the top of the roof truss or rafter. Strap each part of the wall assembly together or anchor it from the foundation to the roof to provide a continuous load path and to connect the roof to the foundation for stability.
- A low-profile house is inherently less vulnerable, so a one-story home is less likely to experience wind damage than a two-story.
Better-built homes cost a bit more, but their resistance to severe weather makes them a wise investment in areas prone to severe weather.