March 01, 2018

5 Tips for Creating a Storm Resistant Home

Creating a storm-resistant home is essential for protecting a house and its occupants from severe weather events like tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. Storm-resistant home design is especially essential in hurricane and tornado prone regions, like many parts of Texas. Five tips for creating a storm-resistant home design include ensuring a continuous load path of a structure, flood-resistant design, storm-resistant roof, impact resistant windows and doors, and constructing a durable and storm-resistant outer shell with the Bautex Wall System.

Tip 1: A Continuous Load Path

Building a storm-resistant home begins with creating a continuous load path that ties together the structural elements of a house from the roof down to the foundation. A continuous load path is essential to holding a house together when hurricanes or tornadoes try to pull the home apart. A continuous load path makes sure that when a load (force), including lateral (horizontal) and uplift loads, attacks a home, the load will move from the roof, wall and other components to the foundation and into the ground.  Any break in the chain or weakness along the continuous load path can cause a failure of the roof, walls, floors, and foundation, which can lead to partial or complete structural failure during a storm event.

Tip 2: Flood Resistant Design

A storm-resistant home, particularly one built in a flood hazard zone, must protect against flooding associated with storm surge and tide. Storm-resistant home design must also protect against excessive rain. Importantly, a home built in a flood hazard zone must be designed according to the American Society of Civil Engineers 24 (ASCE 24). Homes designed according to ASCE 24 aim to prevent flood damage and support the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) minimum requirements. Flood-resistant home design should include elevated structures, materials that can get wet, and design assemblies that easily dry when exposed to moisture. Flood-resistant home design in flood hazard zones is essential in protecting a house and the occupants during a storm event.

Tip 3: A Storm-Resistant Roof

In the blink of an eye, a hurricane or tornado can peel the roof off a house. Without a roof, the house is susceptible to major water damage if not complete structural destruction. A storm-resistant roof is securely fastened to a home and includes multiple layers of moisture protection. Also, according to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the shape of a roof is important for storm resistance. A hip roof (4 slopes) performs better under wind forces than a gable roof (2 slopes), and lower pitched roofs perform better than taller roof profiles. Also, roof overhangs are prone to wind uplift forces which can cause a roof to fail. In the design of the storm-resistant home, the overhangs should be no more than 20 inches long. Creating a storm-resistant home must protect against roof failure during strong wind events.

Tip 4: Impact Resistant Windows and Doors

Windows and doors allow outdoor light to enter a home's interior and provide a view. However, these glazing systems are vulnerable to storm damage from wind forces and wind-borne debris, along with leakage. In some cases, the increased wind pressures pushing outwardly on a home caused when windows or doors fail can be enough to cause the failure of the entire structure. Design of impact resistant glazing systems must resist wind, windborne debris forces, and leakage, as specified in the building code. The use of physical-opening protection systems such as shutters, screens, or structural wood panels (as allowed by the IBC and IRC in certain hazard areas) adds further protection to windows and doors.  The design of a storm-resistant home must include storm-resistant windows and doors. 

Tip 5: Construct a Storm-Resistant Outer Shell with the Bautex Wall System

A home built with the Bautex Wall System is a storm-resistant home. The Bautex Wall System creates a home that will maintain its integrity during intense winds of over 200 mph and resist damage from debris flying caused by an intense storm. The Bautex Block wall system can be designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA 320 and FEMA 361 guidelines in storm zones with wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour. The Bautex Block also has the mass and strength to resist the impact to wind-driven debris traveling at speeds greater than 100 mph, which is possible in tornado events. In addition, the Bautex Wall System has the thermal performance required by the 2015 IRC and IBC and are fire-rated, noise-reducing, and easy to install. The Bautex Wall System is a good choice when designing for a storm-resistant home.

Creating a storm-resistant home is essential for protecting property and occupants from intense winds, flying debris, and floods. For more tips on creating a storm-resistant home visit Bautex™ Wall Systems.

The ASCE 24 is the referenced standard in the International Building Code® (IBC) and tells designers, architects, and builders the minimum requirements and expected performance for the design and construction of buildings and structures in flood hazard areas.


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