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 2015IRC 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.