Preparing Your Roof For A Hurricane With Wind Mitigation Upgrades
Preparing your roof for hurricane force winds is important in Palm Beach County and Martin County.
It makes sense to do all you can to fortify the roof since this is the structure that helps support your home. Ever since Hurricane Andrew, building codes have changed to include wind mitigation upgrades in Palm Beach County and Martin County.
The Florida Building Code has changed over time to incorporate more stringent requirements for construction that factors in wind load design. Here in Palm Beach County and Martin County, roofing construction now incorporates these new building codes for all new construction as well as roof replacements.
Roof retrofits (also known as roof mitigation, hurricane straps and fortified roof deck attachments) incorporate wind mitigation upgrades. This can be done during a roof replacement, or by accessing the roof trusses via your attic. And since 2006, some insurance companies are requiring older homes to have mitigation upgrades.
There are different risk categories assigned to coastal regions like Palm Beach County, Martin County and throughout the state of Florida with a variety of methods to fortify a roof for wind resistance. As mentioned, a wind mitigation upgrade can be done on older roofs and is required to be done on new construction and during certain remodels in Florida.
Hurricane Straps and Clips
A hurricane strap, or clip, either wraps around the trusses of the roof and connects to the wall, or is not wrapped but nailed to the trusses. This helps to hold down the trusses which support the roof deck and shingles when hurricane wind tries to force the roof upward.
By fortifying the connection between the roof structure and the walls with metal straps, clips, anchor bolts, or toe nails, the roof is more resistant to hurricane damage. Toe nails are the weakest type of roof-to-wall connection with the anchor bolts generally being the strongest. There are different methods used for roof-to-wall connections depending on what type of walls and roof decks are involved.
Roof Deck Attachments
A roof deck can be more securely attached to the trusses with a variety of fasteners. Staples, screws, 6D and 8D nails, and other fasteners can be used. As hurricane force winds create negative air pressure, the roof deck or sheathing can literally be torn away from the rafters and trusses.
Gable End Bracing
One of the reasons that Hurricane Andrew was so destructive to homes is the separation of the gable ends from the walls. This separation causes significant damage to the roof and the rest of the home. Gable end bracing is done by reinforcing the gable construction with timber or metal products. There are various ways to install the bracing and the method used is determined by the type of roof structure and roof load involved.
Check With Your Insurance Company For Roof Upgrade Discounts
Many Palm Beach County and Martin County homeowners’ insurance companies will reduce the premium if a roof wind mitigation upgrade is done. Your savings could be as much as 33 percent if you have the roof fortified for wind resistance. This beneficial upgrade could result in insurance premium savings and will provide a stronger roof structure.
How Do I Know If I'm Required To Get A Wind Mitigation Upgrade?
You need to have a roof inspection to determine whether you are required to get a wind mitigation upgrade. The existing structure will need to be assessed first, so call The RoofSmith for a roof inspection.
The RoofSmith highly recommends the upgrades if you are replacing the roof. Also, consider installing a secondary water barrier which will reduce the risk of water penetration into the home. If you haven't had a roof inspection done in the last five years, it's time to get one done. At the very least, you will know all about the current condition of your roof and what to expect from it over the next few years.