01 Apr Winds of Change
We had delays in housebuilding this winter, due to high winds and snow storms. I had to remind myself that this too shall pass, and that change is inevitable. The good news is that we now have a solid roof that has built-in wind resistance. With climate change, we anticipate stronger winds and mightier storms.
Starting with anchor bolts
To keep a roof on in very high winds, the wide board (sill plate) at the top of the house wall had to be secured to the concrete wall with anchor bolts. These J-shaped anchor bolts went in while the concrete was wet, and then the sill plate was secured by tightening the nuts on the anchor bolts.
Securing roof trusses for high winds
Next came the roof trusses, nailed in place on top of the sill plates. Then the question became, how to make the attachments more secure, so that the roof doesn’t lift off in a storm. The answer was metal hurricane ties, which connect the trusses to the sill plate.
The gable ends of roofs sometimes pop out in high winds. To help secure these, we had 2 x 4s from the gable ends to roof trusses secured in a giant X shape.
Roof deck for high winds
Normally, one would nail in place the plywood or OSB sheets that cover the roof trusses. Instead, we attached them with screws spaced four inches apart along the roof edges, and six inches apart everywhere else. We used plywood, because screws are less likely to pull out, compared to OSB (oriented strand board).
This is the waterproofing layer that goes over the roof deck and under the shingles or, in our case, metal roof. For additional wind resistance, we used two layers. There was a stretch of several weeks waiting for the metal roof, and that under layment was really important for dealing with the high winds and rain that Nova Scotia experienced over Christmas.
Metal roof for high winds
We chose a standing seam metal roof. We had the metal screwed to the roof deck through metal clamps that hook over the standing seam and attach to the roof deck. Again, these will help to hold on the metal roof during very high winds.
When things happen that are beyond our control, there is really nothing to be done but shrug and say, this too shall pass. I knew the house would be finished eventually; I just had to be patient. There is still a lot to do, but now that the roof is on and the windows are in, we’re all set for fierce winds. For anyone with an existing house, it is still possible to retrofit for high winds, such as adding hurricane ties to roof trusses.