Rima Tahler, an expert on wind resistant structures, has wondered for some time why after major hurricanes, tornadoes, and even severe wind, we keep doing things that same way.
It was searching through the rubble of some major storms that prompted Tahler to come up with a set of guidelines that seek to help us stop making the same mistakes when it comes to building that have to withstand wind.
The first thing we should consider, Tahler, says, is the slope of the roof. When a tornado hits, the roof is usually the first thing to go, yet when the slope is increased, the building becomes more aerodynamic, and there is less pressure exerted on the roof. Even better, Tahler, contends, is to have more than two slopes, (most traditional gable roofs have two slopes) as more slopes amounts to less accumulated total wind pressure.
Another suggestion is a moveable flap along the seam of the roof. Because during a hurricane wind pressure is exerted on the roof from both the inside and the outside, a flap that is open would help stabilize that pressure. Further, a flap could act as additional ventilation during hot months.
Tahler’s last suggestion is something that had been tested by researchers at the Center for Building and Science Technology in France. Hurricane clips that attach the roof to the walls more securely than nails were shown to handle twice the wind resistance of nails alone.
Tahler’s suggestions are relatively easy to implement, and while severe tornadoes that take roofs off are rare, my guess is most homeowners who have to rebuild their home would rather not have to do it twice.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national roofing company that specializes in hail damage, roofing restoration, and weatherization. ASAP has offices in Dallas, Denver, and Indianapolis.