Preventing Roof Tiles from Becoming Wind-Borne Debris in High Wind Regions

Guest Blogger Sam Hensen, engineering manager

This week, I’d like to introduce Sam Hensen as the first guest blogger for the Structural Engineering Blog. Sam is the engineering manager for Simpson Strong-Tie in the Southeastern United States. Sam will be posting occasionally on topics that are relevant to our work. We will continue to post on a regular weekly schedule (usually Wednesdays) to the blog. In the future, we hope to expand the voices on the blog to include more Simpson Strong-Tie engineers, along with other industry colleagues and associates.

I tend to think of designers as dealing with either wind or seismic design, yet the Southeast region contains everything that Mother Nature can throw at a building. This includes high seismic areas along the New Madrid and Charleston faults, hurricanes along the Gulf and Eastern coast, and tornado prone areas throughout the South and Midwest. Sam participated in the investigation and was a co-author of the Damage Study and Future Direction for Structural Design Following the Tuscaloosa Tornado of 2011, which gives him some very recent experience with tornado damage. This week, Sam will be discussing a topic not often thought about by structural engineers – the importance of proper roof tile attachments. Here is Sam’s post:

According to recent studies by the Insurance Institute for Business Home and Safety (IBHS), roof coverings are a major problem area in wind-related events and account for 95% plus of home claims after the event.

Roof Tile Damage

Preventing roof tiles from becoming wind-borne debris in high wind regions is essential for several reasons, and may also have an effect on insurance premiums. In this post, I’d like to discuss two reasons that roof tiles can pose a significant threat to life safety:

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