Recently, Dallas homeowners succumbed to not one but three tornadoes; meteorologists have estimated they ranged from EF1 to EF3. While many Dallas residents are just now getting power and fallen trees are being removed from major roadways the damage to homes and commercial buildings are estimated to be in the billions. While tornado storm systems are common in the southern United States between March and May and are accompanied by hail storms the recent Tornadoes in Dallas were unexpected and happened in October; unfortunately, the ability to detect these storms are always limited. In these major storms the roof framing is susceptible to the most destruction, along with wall framing and foundation, it’s easy to see how many homes are being categorized as a total loss. Even when damage isn’t so apparent, structural damage that could only be seen by an engineer is caused by internal pressurization caused by the positive pressure on windward walls.
The science behind these storms can be complicated but if your home has been in the line of a tornado, regardless if there is cosmetic damage, you should always seek out the services of a Dallas general contractor with a strong focus on roof replacement that can give you a thorough internal and external inspection. Ideally, this should happen before the first rainfall after the tornado event to prevent further interior damage.
Tornados are categorized by the Enhanced Fujita scale, this scale is based upon the strength of wind speeds that this storm system inflicts.
EF0 65-85 MPH Light
EF1 86-109 MPH Moderate
EF2 110-137 MPH Considerable
EF3 138-167 MPH Severe
EF4 168-199 MPH Devastating
EF5 200-234 MPH Catastrophic
Lets look at the type of damage these tornados can cause on homes and buildings:
EF0- Even though winds are intense in this category of storm, the destruction will be light. Chimneys can shift and crack and debris from vegetation can damage shingle on roofs. It is common to see bent road signs, broken trees, and destroyed landscaping.
EF1- Winds that are over 86 MPH can easily lift a roof from a home, an EF1 tornado can cause total destruction to mobile or prefabricated homes. Vehicles are at risk of being overturned and pushed into homes. Because of it’s light weight construction garage doors can be damaged. The pressure difference from the storm can shatter glass windows.
EF2- Large trees can become completely uprooted and cars can become lifted and thrown. Homes can be deviate from their foundations and large sections of the homes roof can be removed, large amount of flying debris can threaten roof structures.
EF3- This tornado category can collapse exterior walls and structures with weak foundations can completely collapse.
EF4- Well constructed homes and commercial buildings can be leveled, paint can chip from homes and vinyl siding will be torn away.
EF5- Strong framed houses can be violently lifted from foundations and thrown about, asphalt can be ripped from roads and bark from trees can be removed.
Tips to consider after a tornado-
Be on the lookout for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report to utility company in a timely manner.
Stay out of damaged buildings.
Take pictures of damaged roof, windows, walls and your homes content and prepare an inventory of all items missing.
Call your Dallas general contractor to schedule an appointment to inspect for damage.
How to Prepare your home for a Tornado
-Consult with your Dallas Professional roofer to inquire about reinforcing your roof, this can be done by the installation of hurricane clips or straps and will help in the prevention of your roof flying off your home. These clips attach to the roof’s trusses and rafters and will also be attached at the studs of load bearing walls. The straps will attach the walls to the foundation of the home. Generally, a roof is attached to a home by nails that are inserted at an angle, as you can imagine this leaves a home vulnerable to high winds removing the roof. An average 2500 square foot home will need several hundreds of these clips or straps to be effective but luckily they are about $1 a piece without considering the labor to install them. These clips have been proven effective in tornadoes ranging from EF0 to EF3, more violent storms will require a storm shelter for adequate protection to human life.
-Install bracing products on garage doors; again, you should consult with a professional general contractor for professional installation. Metal vertical bracing can be adequate for providing extra protection on a multi-car garage door.
-Consider impact resistant windows, also known as hurricane glass. This type of glass is designed to resist wind-borne debris and high wind pressure and tested to withstand a 8 foot 2×4 being shot at it at 34mph. This glass has also proven to be useful when a storm has looters have shown up in a area that has been ravaged by the effects of a storm. If impact resistant glass isn’t an option, storm shutters are effective in protecting the glass from shattering from wind-borne debris.
-Entry doors should be secure with three hinges and two inch deadbolts. The door frame is also an area for concern but can be easily corrected by your Dallas General Contractor and needs to be anchored well into the exterior wall with stronger and longer nails than the typical industry framing nails. A home may have a steel door but unless the frame is mounted correctly then it can be useless to the effects of an EF3 tornado or debris from a hurricane.
While it is impossible to make your home completely impervious to the whims of mother nature there are always tips like the ones that are provided to help protect your home in a major weather event like a tornado. When considering your options to protect your home you should always seek the professional skills of an experienced Dallas general contractor like West Construction Group. Contact us at 972-730-2594 for help with repairing your tornado damaged home or for roofing Plano, TX.
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