Holding Down the Roof in High Winds
Q: My daughter lives in hurricane country in a 15-year-old stucco house. Can she install hurricane clips to prevent her roof from blowing off?
—Don, McKeesport, Pa.
A: Tom Silva replies: Those galvanized metal straps and clips that strengthen the connection between walls and rafters really do help to hold a house together in high winds. But it will be next to impossible to reach those spots from the attic. The only way to retrofit hurricane clips in most houses is by cutting out a section of the siding and the wall sheathing at every spot where a rafter rests on a wall or taking off the roof sheathing at the eaves.
Here's an easier option: Go up into the attic and run a bead of construction adhesive alongside each rafter where it meets the plywood roof deck. That simple measure will roughly triple a roof's resistance to being torn off by wind.