ProtectingYOUR EXISTING HOME FROMWind Damage
Blueprint for Safety...A Blueprint for LifeWhen severe weather threatens, protecting life andproperty automatically becomes top priority for millionsof Florida residents. Nothing is more importantthan making sure your friends and loved-ones seek safeshelter from an approaching storm, flood or wildfire.Often, that "safe shelter" is your own home.Perhaps you've prepared an emergency readiness kit,complete with large supplies of water, non-perishablefood items, first-aid supplies, flashlights, batteries –even a weather radio. All of these items provide basicsafety and comfort in an emergency situation.However, they offer little protection to life andproperty if your home is weak and vulnerable insevere weather or a natural disaster.Is Your Home Protected?Without proper connections and coverings, highwinds from a hurricane or tornado can demolish ahome's garage door, blow out windows, and even ripoff a roof. Roof coverings might fail in severe rain orhail, leading to costly water damage inside the home.Wildfire can claim a residential structure in no timewithout a "buffer zone" around the home. Evenminor weather events can lead to serious injuries andexpensive, time-consuming repair jobs.Building or renovating your home using the latestand strongest building procedures available is the bestway to protect your family and house from adverseweather. In Florida, that means building withBlueprint for Safety SM . It just might be the mostimportant blueprint you'll ever see.
What is Blueprint for Safety?Blueprint for Safety is not a product or service, and it'snot for sale. Blueprint for Safety IS the most comprehensiveset of disaster-resistant building techniques available inFlorida today. Complete with an interactive Web site, freeconsumer guide and contractor's field manuals, Blueprintfor Safety outlines techniques for protecting both newand existing homes against flooding, wildfire, hurricanesand tornadoes.A blue-ribbon panel of architects, building professionalsand engineers developed Blueprint for Safety. TheBlueprint technical advisory committee, led by the FloridaAlliance for Safe Homes – FLASH, Inc., a non-profitdisaster safety education organization, worked for morethan a year to create "code-plus" guidelines forsingle-family residential construction. Those guidelinesnow comprise Blueprint for Safety, and today, homeownersand homebuilders from the Florida Panhandleto the Florida Keys are using Blueprint to build safer,stronger, more disaster-resistant homes.Do Safer Building Practices Cost More?Building "disaster-resistant" means going beyondconventional building methods and adopting a "code-plus"approach – extra nails in the roof decking, hurricane clips onthe structure framing and water barriers along the roof joints.These methods may cost more at the time of construction.However, safety experts, disaster victims and a growing numberof homebuilders agree that building beyond the codebefore disaster strikes delivers priceless life and property savingvalue to homeowners who reside in harm’s way.Rebuilding homes after a disaster can take from onemonth to three years, bringing personal disruption, financialcosts and relocation away from jobs and schools. Whileinsurance will replace most possessions, it cannot replacecherished personal items like wedding albums and specialfamily keepsakes.Homeowners can find peace of mind and ensurelong-term savings by following the Blueprint for Safetyrecommendations for high wind resistance. Call1-877-221-SAFE, visit www.blueprintforsafety.org ore-mail email@example.com for free technical assistance today.
Blueprint for SafetyProtecting Your ExistingHome From Wind DamageIf you adhere to the following Blueprint for Safetyguidelines during renovation, you'll reduce the risk of winddamage to your existing home. Sharing this Blueprint forSafety pamphlet and its companion materials with yourproject designer and contractor will help you get started.ConnectorsBlueprint for Safety recommends all specifiedconnectors and fasteners, listed in theguidelines below, should be galvanized to preventcorrosion. If the home is located within3000 feet of a saltwater shoreline, stainless steel connectorsand fasteners are recommended to prevent rustingand structural failure.Protecting the OpeningsWindblown objects can easily shatter unprotectedstandard glass windows and doors, allowing entry of damagingstorm water and wind into your home. Once thewindow glass fails, the resulting wind pressures inside thehome can cause total destruction. Even if the frame with-stands the high winds of a storm, water damage maycause severe or total destruction to your home's interiorand your personal possessions.Protecting windows, entry doors, sliding glass doors,garage doors, gable end vents and skylights is the mostaffordable and effective way to secure your home's openingsand to ensure building stability during high windevents. Many products and systems are available to meetthis challenge; however, it is critical that any product orsystem be both tested and approved for wind load (force)and windblown objects.Blueprint for Safety recommends that allwindows, entry doors, sliding glass doors,gable end vents and skylights comply withthe most recent version of ASTM E1996,SSTD 12 or Miami-Dade protocol PA 201 or be protectedby shutters that comply with one of those standards.**Exception: Two entry doors should use a unit (not a shutter)that meets impact-resistance and wind load standards thatwill allow for adequate ingress and egress (escape) in theevent of a fire. All products must be installed permanufacturer's specifications.Garage doors and track systems must be hurricane-resistantand comply with the mostrecent version of ASTM E1996, SSTD 12 orMiami-Dade County protocol PA 201. Usingone of these testing protocols, the product must becertified with a design pressure rating equal to or greaterthan the wind pressure calculated to be exerted on theproduct according to ASCE 7-98. This calculationshould use a Basic Wind Speed defined by ASCE 7-98,but not less than 120 mph.Securing the RoofAll roof coverings eventually wear out and need to bereplaced. Fortunately, a complete re-roofing job is thebest time to install the necessary hardware to keep your
home's roof from blowing off. When the old roofingmaterial and roof deck is removed, the home'strusses/rafters and roof-to-wall connections becomeexposed, allowing the perfect opportunity to install thenecessary reinforcements. Homeowners and contractorsmust carefully plan and coordinate to fully benefit fromthe installation of wind-resistant hardware during are-roof. The overall costs should be less expensivebecause increased access to the exposed roof connectionswill allow for faster installation, and a single roofing crewcan perform both jobs.A proper roof covering system is important to preventwater damage to the interior. The use of solid plywoodroof sheathing, a secondary water barrier such as "peeland seal" and impact-resistant roof coverings, will all helpto increase durability and protection in a hurricane orother high wind event. Blueprint for Safety recommendsthe reinforcement of gable end walls to prevent majorroof damage in a high wind event.Even if re-roofing is years away, it is possible forbuilding professionals to access and reinforce an existinghome's roof-to-wall connections with properly designedhurricane straps and clips. Spray-on structural foam orconstruction adhesive applied to the underside of theroof deck at each truss/rafter is another option to consider.Ease of access to the home's exterior or interiorspaces will depend on original design and construction.Blueprint for Safety recommends hurricanestraps or other hardware connecting the roofto the walls should be installed with theproper number and type of nails per manufacturer'sspecifications. These connections should bedesigned using rational analysis based on wind loadscalculated according to ASCE 7-98. This calculationshould be done using a Basic Wind Speed defined byASCE 7-98, but not less than 120 mph.All gable end walls must be tied back to the roofor ceiling structure with bracing designed usingrational analysis based on wind loadscalculated according to ASCE 7-98. Thiscalculation should be done using a Basic Wind Speeddefined by ASCE 7-98, but not less than 120 mph.Roof sheathing material, if replaced, shall be CDX plywood(not oriented strand board), and be rated for Exposure 1.The sheathing shall have a minimum nominal thicknessof 5/8" (or 19/32") and shall be continuous over twoor more spans with face grain perpendicular to supports.Roof sheathing panels shall be provided with a minimumof 2" x 4" edgewise blocking at all horizontal panel jointswith edge spacing for a distance at least six feet from eachgable end.Roof sheathing should be nailed using 10d common nailsevery 4" along panel edges and every 6" in the field of thepanel. Nailing pattern can be determined using rationalanalysis based on wind loads calculated according to ASCE7-98. If re-fastening, use 8d ring-shank nails or #8 woodscrews two inches long, no farther apart than 4 inchesbetween fasteners.Attach roof sheathing with construction adhesive onto thetrusses/rafters from the underside of the sheathing if reroofingis years away.A secondary water resistance system of self-adhering polymermodified bitumen strips (commonly referred to as"peel and seal") with a 4" minimum width shall be installedbelow the roof membrane system at all roof deck joints.The system shall be used in addition to the roof systemunderlayment material.Roof coverings must comply with the most recent versionof ASTM D3161, modified to reflect 110 mphfan-induced wind speeds or Miami-Dade protocol PA 107,be certified to meet minimum wind speeds of 110 mph andmust be installed per manufacturer's specifications. Roofsystems may have only one layer of covering.
Foundation SystemsConnections between the foundation, floor and wallsystems are important for maintaining strength of theentire home from the ground up. These connectionshelp resist wind forces from hurricanes or other highwind events. Weak connections may fail in a high windevent and allow the home to slide or be lifted off itsfoundation, resulting in extensive damage or totaldestruction of the home.When renovating an existing house with windresistanthardware, you'll find that the procedure forwood-frame or masonry construction is similar. Properstructural assessment of the wall-to-foundation connectionson existing homes with concrete masonry constructioncan be more difficult and costly; however, the effortwill produce a safer, more storm-resistant home. Onceagain, ease of access to the home's exterior or interiorspaces will depend on original design and construction.Blueprint for Safety recommends that floorsystem anchoring and connections beinstalled per manufacturer's recommendationsand be designed using rational analysisbased on wind loads calculated according to ASCE 7-98.This calculation should be done using a Basic WindSpeed defined by ASCE 7-98 but not less than 120 mph.Foundation piles must be braced to provide lateral stabilityin all directions. Methods and materials used to bracepiles shall be designed using rational analysis based onwind loads calculated according to ASCE 7-98. This calculationshould be done using a Basic Wind Speeddefined by ASCE 7-98 but not less than 120 mph.Floor & Wall Framing SystemsWhen renovating an existing house, consider securingthe wall framing to the floor. This system should includeanchor bolts or connectors that tie the wall framing tothe foundation and offer maximum resistance to windforces. These connections will help the walls resist winduplift forces as well as wind shear forces that try to pushthe walls over. Special attention should be given to multistoryhomes to ensure the proper transfer of wind forcesfrom the roof and walls down to the home's foundation.During remodeling, the contractor may retrofit thewalls to increase their wind resistance by exposingsections of the wall to the studs and installing 5/8"plywood panels. (This is most easily achieved whenreplacing wall siding, replacing windows, or building anaddition to the house.) Without an extra layer of protection,many wood-frame houses are left with relatively softwalls consisting of wood studs, drywall, insulation, andexterior cladding. Windblown objects can easily penetratethese walls during hurricanes or other high wind events.All exterior walls shall be constructed as shearwalls and designed using rational analysisbased on wind loads calculated according toASCE 7-98. This calculation should be doneusing a Basic Wind Speed defined by ASCE 7-98 but notless than 120 mph.Connectors must be installed from the foundationgirder to piles, piers or stem walls. Connectors used inanchoring the girder must be designed using rationalanalysis based on wind loads calculated according toASCE 7-98. This calculation should be done using aBasic Wind Speed defined by ASCE 7-98 but not lessthan 120 mph. All hardware and other materials shouldbe installed according to manufacturer's specifications.
Exterior StructuresWhen renovating an existing home with wind-resistanthardware, special attention must be given to ensurethe structural integrity of exterior structures. Withoutproper connections, porches, screened enclosures anddecks can be destroyed in a high wind event. This cancause serious damage to the main building, roof or wall.To prevent this from happening, exterior structuresshould be anchored to the building and to the groundby metal plates or straps. Column bases must be able toresist wind uplift forces.Blueprint for Safety recommends exteriorstructures be attached to the main structureof the house with an anchoring systemdesigned using rational analysis based onwind loads calculated according to ASCE 7-98. Thisshould be done using a Basic Wind Speed defined byASCE 7-98, but not less than 120 mph.Creating A Safe Room:The Ultimate High WindProtection For FamiliesBuilding codes do not require homes to bedesigned or built for extreme high wind events,so having a home built "to code" means that thehome may not withstand severe wind events likeextreme hurricanes or tornadoes.One solution is to install a tornado safe roomor shelter that is capable of withstanding extremewind events. Safe rooms built to the FEMA/Texas Tech standards are engineered to withstandwinds up to 250 mph and offer the most effectivelife protection technique available for high windevents. In today's market, a safe room will preventloss of life, but is not considered a propertydamage prevention technique. The ultimatelife/property protection plan includes a homebuilt to the Blueprint for Safety recommendationswith a tornado safe room included.For more information on safe room construction,refer to Taking Shelter from the Storm:Building a Safe Room Inside Your Home,published by the Federal Emergency ManagementAgency (FEMA). Contact FEMA at(888) 565-3896 or on-line at www.fema.gov.
Blueprint for Safety is the product ofprivate and public interests workingunder the direction of the FloridaAlliance for Safe Homes - FLASH,Inc., a non-profit, 501(c)3 charitableeducation organization dedicatedto promoting home safety.FLASH founding partners include:the American Red Cross, FEMA,Florida Department of CommunityAffairs, Florida Insurance Council,Institute for Business & HomeSafety, Nationwide, State FarmInsurance Companies and USAA.For More Information Contact:Florida Alliance for Safe Homes1430 Piedmont Drive, EastTallahassee, Florida 32308(877) 221-SAFEwww.flash.org