What are Hurricane Straps? Who has them? Why should I get them retrofitted? I’m sure you’ve heard someone mention Hurricane Straps, but what are they? What does Hurricane Strap Retrofit mean?
For starters, Hurricane Straps are the metal ties that keep your roof trusses attached to your house. Look like the photo below and made of steel:
This connection between your roof and the walls of your home is one of the most important and integral structural connections in your house. In older homes, the technique used to be to drive 2 or 3 16d nails at an angle through the truss into the wall, but now in new construction metal hurricane straps tie together the trusses and the walls below.In the early stages of hurricane strapping, code would require every other truss to be tied with only 2 nails, now with high wind construction guidelines, we install ties at every truss with 3 or 4 nails on each strap.
Now that we understand Hurricane Straps, we must identify whether or not we need to retrofit them. Retrofitting Hurricane straps means adding one or two 16d nails to the existing straps. This brings up our wind load capacity plus earns the homeowner a good 25% off or more from their premiums. Huge savings for one detail.
The issue here is, these areas where the roof framing meets the top of walls are usually hidden behind drywall on the inside of the home, stucco and soffit panels on the outside, and roof tiles and sheathing on top. While you can retrofit hurricane straps from the inside or from the attic, the roof replacement process is the most convenient and safest way possible.
Retrofitting through the outside requires removing most of your soffit panels. Retrofitting from the inside would require removing drywall.Retrofitting from your attic (most dangerous) is extremely difficult due to tight spaces on the eaves and puts you at risk of heat stroke and death. To save time and money, we can focus our efforts to the areas where uplift forces are highest. Focus on 6 ft to 8 ft from gable ends and corners. Gables are of most importance.
By Florida Code, your roofing contractor must confirm you have 3 or more Nails on your Hurricane Straps if your home has an insured value of more than $300,000. Mandated retrofits shall not be required beyond a 15 % increase in the cost of reroofing, according to FBC 706.8. So, if your home isn’t retrofitted before the time of your roof replacement, not only is it an excellent opportunity to do it then, it is mandated by the Florida Building Code.
TLDR; Hurricane Straps are vitally important to keep your roof trusses attached to your home. Current code requires you to have three (3) nails instead of the old way of using two (2) nails on each strap. If your home is valued at or over $300,000 and you don’t have three (3) nails on each strap, your roofing contractor will let you know (and is mandated to get you up to code)!
If you have any questions about Hurricane Strap Retrofit during the Roof Replacement process in Fort Myers, Estero, Naples, or Bonita Springs give Lorena a call at 2392028103.