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Streamin1972 02-03-2007 05:51 PM

Florida bungalow...high wind preparedness
In light of the devastation that just took place here in Florida from tornados, and the upcoming hurricane season rapidly approaching, I began looking at my currently uninhabitable bungalow and was wondering what was keeping the house secured to the concrete piers. The answer of course is... Nothing!

I know mobile homes use straps attached to a giant corkscrew like device twisted in to the ground to secure them. What if anything can I do while in the remodeling process to better secure my money pit?

A little background is that the house sits about 18-24" above the sandy soil and I have full access to the under side of the house. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks! :D

glennjanie 02-03-2007 06:46 PM

Hey Streamin:
You could also use the mobile home anchoring system; run it up through the soffit, over the ceiling joists and down on the other side. Then you could go into the attic and anchor your rafters with truss connectors and, if you are stripping the shingles off, make sure the decking is nailed with coated nails and cover with metal roof.
With all that done your house will stand much higher winds than it will now but there is no gurantee in a tornado. The South Florida homes are built for hurricane resistance and I'm sure you know what all goes into that. It can't be duplicated in a wood frame house but there are things that can help.

Streamin1972 02-04-2007 06:42 AM

Thanks. Yes, a tornado is a whole other phenomenon. I'm better off building a steel reinforced bunker or safe room for that!

I did some online research, and will probably go with a modified mobile home anchoring system including the strapping to anchors in the soil, and connect them to the frame of the house. Since I have all the walls and ceilings stripped down the to the studs, I will nail hurricane straps from the roof trusses to the frame, and any connecting areas down to the frame.

After having seen what hurricanes and tornados can do, I realize that my 600 sq. ft. stick house doesn't stand a chance with a direct hit. But... we do get some pretty bizarre near hurricane strength winds with our afternoon T-storms and such, and a little reinforcement won't hurt. Unfortunately, if one of the giant oaks comes down... all the straps and reinforcement in the world won't help!

Thanks again for your input. :)

CraigFL 02-04-2007 07:56 AM

Have you looked at this?

Streamin1972 02-05-2007 10:58 AM

Thanks, but I was looking for a less obvious and permanant solution. :D

glennjanie 02-05-2007 12:44 PM

Hello Streamin:
I didn't realize the studs were bare; in that case you can use 18 gauge sheet metal straps to tie the joints together. They would be cheaper and will be hidden when you're finished.

G.C. Nailbanger 02-14-2007 01:08 AM

Hi Streamin, I'm a Florida Licensed Contractor and might be able to give you a little advice. The best thing you can do is to either buy hurricane shutters or make some out of plywood, have them numbered and ready for installation as the storm approaches. There are self sealing fasteners you can install so that the home built shutters will just bolt on when the time comes. The homes that are totally destroyed from hurricanes have had the door and window openings compromised from wind blown debris most of the time. Once a window or door is blown out it creates a high pressure system inside of the house, the wind on the outside is a low pressure system so uplift is created and rips the entire roof off the house. The shutters will eliminate this.

The next thing is to tie the roof frame to the wall frame because uplift is still created under the eaves. Since you are torn down to bare studs that makes it much easier. I would suggest Simpson Strong Tie products because they are the most widely used. Strap the trusses to the wall frame with either H-10 straps or H2.5 straps. The H-10 will not work if the roof is conventionally framed, but the h2.5 will work either way. The H2.5 will have to be installed on both sides of the roof framing member either way also so make sure you have the left and right handed ones. Remember to install them with 1.5" 10d galvanized nails in every hole, a palm nailer is highly advised for this, it's virtually impossible without it unless you have a positive placement gun.

Building code now requires the roof shingles have 6 nails per shingle and the first 2 runs of shingles must be glued down with tar. Once wind starts lifting the shingles that's when the roof starts peeling off, so if your roof isn't too old you should probably glue the first two runs down. If it's been on there a while you might do more damage than helping.

as far as tieing your floor down, the mobile home anchors will help on the perimeter but under the middle of the house won't do anything. I don't remeber the exact strap you need but any lumber supplier can help you figure it out. You can use a concrete fastener to affix it to the foundation piers and the palm nailer to affix it to the floor frame. Remember to only drill or shoot into the mortar joints of the blocks just incase they are not reinforced with concrete or got a bad fill.

I hope this helps you understand a little more of what happens during a storm and what needs to be done for storm situations. Wood frame houses stand up fine during a storm but must be strapped down for it.

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