Making the Right Connections
Importance of connections
The connection between your roof structure and the walls is one of the most important connections in your house. It’s also the first link in the continuous load path that is critical to achieving the strongest, safest house possible for high wind conditions, including hurricanes and tornadoes.
Creating a continuous load path means tying the roof to the walls and walls to foundation. Without these connections your house is vulnerable to wind forces. See how vulnerable a house can be without the right connections in this video of testing at the IBHS Research Center.
Wind forces include:
Upward or downward forces generated by the wind acting on the roof surfaces (vertical force).
Horizontal forces arising from wind pressures applied to other walls that are transmitted to the wall in question by the roof structure and diaphragm action of the roof sheathing (horizontal force parallel to the plane of the wall).
Wind forces applied to the wall in question that would cause the top of the wall to move inward or outward if it were not connected to the roof structure (horizontal force perpendicular to the plane of the wall).
Securing against wind forces
A metal connector should be used to attach each roof framing member to the wall in hurricane-prone areas.
In addition, beams or girders carrying other structural members need special consideration since the uplift loads may be significantly higher than the uniformly spaced roof framing members.
Several construction hardware manufacturers provide a variety of connectors that will accommodate most conditions.
© 2012 Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety