Home and Roof Shapes that Hold Up Best to Hurricanes

There are certain roof types and home shapes that will be able to better withstand the winds produced by hurricanes than others. Getting to know what these are may help you protect your Florida home from the assault of the all-too-common hurricanes and tropical storms that frequent the region.

Home Shape

According to research, home’s with square floor plans (even better is octagonal or hexagonal plans) that have a multiple-panel roof with four or more panels, will have the lowest wind loads. If possible, when having your home built, try to adhere to this shape.

Roof Slope

A roof that has multiple slopes, such as hip roofs, with four slopes, will perform much better under wind forces than a gable roof, which only has two slopes. While gable roofs are more common because they are more affordable, in regard to wind and hurricane resistance, hip roofs are the better option. The best results will be achieved with a 30-degree roof.

Withstanding Wind Forces

In most cases, the wind forces on a home’s roof are usually uplift forces. This is why so many roofs are blown off during any type of extreme wind event. Connecting your roof to the walls also matters. After Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida in 1993, stabled roofs were no longer allowed to be used.

Take Proactive Measures against Structural Failure

It is crucial that strong connections between the roof and foundation are made. In many cases, structural failure is a progressive process where the failure of a single structural element triggers other failures in the home. This can eventually lead to a complete collapse. While most connections are vulnerable, there are inexpensive ways you can strengthen them.

Use Aerodynamic Features on the Roof

There are certain parts of a building, including the roof’s ridge and the corners that are subjected to higher wind pressures. However, according to some researchers, there are a few aerodynamic features that can help to alleviate the local pressures, such as installing a central shaft, which functions by creating a connection in between the roof ridge and the internal space in the area where the largest depression is located. This will help to keep a balance in pressures which can reduce a roof’s wind load.

The Roof Overhangs

These are often subject to a wind uplift force, which may result in complete roof failure. If you want your home to withstand the force of hurricanes, then it is a good idea to limit the length of these overhangs to just 20 inches.

When you take the time to consider the design of your home and your roof you may be able to find areas where you could improve hurricane resistance. Unfortunately, regardless of where you live in the state of Florida, there are hurricanes you have to deal with. Taking proactive steps to make your home more hurricane resistant will pay off in the long run and help you protect your largest investment.

What’s the Best Type of Roof for Florida Weather?

If you live in Florida, you may wonder what type of roofing materials will be able to stand up to the heat and weather in Florida. The good news is, you have several options to consider. Getting to know what they are can help you determine which one is right for your home.

Here you can browse the top three options for your home’s roof and choose one based on your needs, as well as your budget. Being informed is the best way to make an educated decision regarding the roofing material you choose for your Florida home.

Clay Tile

This is an extremely popular roofing option in Florida. It not only stands up to the heat and adverse weather, but it will also fit with the southwestern home design style that is seen in much of the architecture. These tiles have an extremely long lifespan compared to traditional asphalt shingles. While they may require a bit of cleaning from time to time, clay tiles don’t need very much maintenance and are extremely resistant to insects and rot. Another appealing factor offered by clay tiles is that they won’t burn. One of the biggest issues with this type of roofing material is that it is heavy and may require additional support. Additionally, if you walk on the tiles, they are fragile and may break.

Concrete Tiles

These are a new option on the Florida home roofing scene. They can simulate the look of wood shakes, as well as other types of tiles. Concrete tiles are low maintenance and durable. They are resistant to mold, insects, and rot. They are also much lighter than slate or clay tiles but can provide the same appearance. The main problem with concrete tiles is that they are more expensive and may have issues with the material changing color, breaking or curling over time.

Metal Roofs

In the past, metal roofing was made out of lead, copper or zinc; however, today they are typically made out of steel. Metal roofs are also able to be made to look like Victorian metal tiles, shingles, clay tiles and wood shakes. This style of roof is extremely durable and virtually maintenance free. The metal reflects the sunlight and heat away from the home, which helps to keep the home cooler and much more efficient. This type of roofing is also inexpensive, so if you aren’t planning on staying in your Florida home for several decades, then it may not be the most economical option.

If you are considering installing a new roof on your Central Florida home, then it is a good idea to get to know the options that are available in the area. If you choose the right material, you may be able to go 20 years or more without having to worry about your home’s roof. Keep in mind, each of these roofing options will require some maintenance so make sure you know how to care for the surface properly.

Do’s and Don’ts of Building in Hurricane-Prone Areas

If you live in Florida, you know that experiencing a hurricane isn’t a matter of “if” but “when.” Even if you have been lucky enough to avoid the devastating damage that these forces of nature can cause thus far, it doesn’t mean you are going to remain immune forever. As a result, it is a good idea to get to know some steps you can take to protect your largest investment – your home.

Here you will find some scientifically tested methods of making your home more resistant to the potential damage caused by a hurricane.

Designing Your Home (Or Building)

You should try to design buildings with hexagonal, octagonal or square floor plans. Also, ensure your roof consists of several slopes, such as a hip roof with four slopes. These types of roofing will perform much better under wind forces than a gable roof that only has two slopes. While gable roofs are the more common option due to the cost, they are not the most hurricane-proof option. Additionally, research has shown that a roof with a 30-degree slope will help you achieve the best results.

Use Nails to Secure Your Roof to the Walls

When a hurricane hits, one of the most common reasons a roof will come off is due to the uplift caused by winds. To help minimize the potential of this happening, it is a good idea to nail the roof to the walls with strong nails and avoid using staples. In the past, staples were an extremely common method of attaching roofs to walls; however, after Hurricane Andrew, which devastated a large portion of South Florida, this method was no longer acceptable.

It is actually recommended that hurricane clips are used. The type of roofing that is used is also essential. Different types of roofing systems will perform differently during a hurricane. For example, if you have a tile roof, the loose tiles can become wind borne projectiles that threaten other buildings and homes in the area.

Install Hurricane Shutters and Consider Roof Overhangs Carefully

By installing hurricane shutters, you can protect any glazing that may occur due to wind-borne debris. There are several designs to choose from.

A roof overhang is also subject to the uplift force of the wind, which may trigger a complete roof failure. When you are designing a hurricane proof home, you should make sure that the overhangs do not exceed 20 inches away from the house.

The Bottom Line

Keep in mind; there is no such thing as a completely hurricane-proof home; however, there are steps you can take to help reduce the possibility of damage. If you are working on renovating your home or building a new home in Florida, you should keep all the tips and information highlighted here in mind. It will help you design a home or building that has the best possible chance of withstanding high winds and other damages caused by a hurricane. Keep in mind, if your home does suffer any damage, you may be able to file an insurance claim. This will help repair the damage and help ensure your home is ready for the next bad weather event.