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khansen46 01-26-2013 08:00 PM

Wind Zone Construction
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We bought our house in Oct 2010. It was built in 2000. It is a concrete slab, wood frame, and Hardieplank exterior. We had to have a windstorm waiver for insurance because there is not a windstorm certificate on file for the house. The roof was replaced in the summer of 2010 due to damage from Hurricane Ike, so there is a windstorm certificate on the roof. This home was a foreclosure, so we have no history on it. I believe we are in Wind Zone 2. The house is just outside Alvin, Tx.
A couple of weekends ago I started to remove the ceramic tile in a couple of rooms to install laminate floors. During the process of removing the baseboards I found some mold on one wall, and ants in the two exterior walls. I have remediated the issues, and currently have all of the sheet rock removed except for the ceiling. All of the walls have metal straps at the tops and bottoms, and makes me think that it was built with windstorm requirements in mind. I'm curious if anyone here knows anything about windstorm building requirements. I will try to post a picture or two to see if anyone can tell me if this looks like it was built to windstorm specs.
I'm not looking for a definitive answer, just some opinions. I'm going to see if I can get one of the state recognized structural engineers (Texas) to come look at it before I start putting things back together, and see what needs to be done to get windstorm certification.

inspectorD 01-27-2013 05:29 AM

It sure does look that way to me. If the bottom of the walls are also strapped, you have a good chance. The only straps that are missing are the diagonal from the top to the bottomcorners. However it may have been done on the outside with plywood. I would get the engineer out to give you a better look at your certification.

Good luck!

khansen46 01-27-2013 07:22 AM

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Yes, the bottom is strapped, too. The outside is sheeted with plywood. There are only a few engineers in the area that can sign of on wind zone certification, so I'm going to call all of them this week to see if any of them have any records from when this house was built. Maybe just an item or two was missed during construction that I can fix. That's my hope anyway. Thanks for the reply. That gives me a little hope.

Wuzzat? 01-27-2013 08:03 AM

IIRC my copy of the 2000 IRC has wind zones shown and req'mts for those zones. I'll have to dig it up.

The straps prevent uplift.
If you also have diagonal strips/braces/rods your house will resist almost any force. Using screws as fasteners is even better, you can almost peel off those nailing plates with your fingers but they are easily installed.

I guess at some level of wind force and direction the windows get sucked out, so money is better spent reasonably safeguarding against something less than total catastrophe.

nealtw 01-27-2013 09:24 PM
I'm in an earthquake zone and I have never seen anything built that strong. The only thing we don't see are hold down bolts but even if their not there they may have some kind of stap tie in the concrete nailed on the outside of the plywood.
You may want to research vapour barrier for your area. Some here point out that is more often warmer on the outside so they argue that it should be on the outside. I don't know but that may be a factor in your mold problem.

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