Reinforce Roof Against Falling Trees?

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Hi! We are about to get our roof replaced but are looking into structural changes to make the roof safer in the event of severe weather. We live in an area that has occasional hurricanes and even small tornadoes.
Our property has hundreds of tall oak trees (approximately 1-2 feet in diam eter x 70 feet? tall) that are gorgeous but certainly dangerous should they fall on the house. It is not a realistic option to remove all the trees a nd bracing all of the trees would result in a spiderweb of wires all over t he place that is not a safe or realistic option either.
Is there anything we can do to improve our own safety with respect to these trees? I have seen too many news stories during hurricanes where people w ere killed when a tree fell on their roof.
We have a two-story gable roof with plywood sheathing and architectural shi ngles. Would it help to reinforce the trusses with horizontal or cross met al braces? Could we put metal sheathing beneath the plywood? Our goal is not to make the roof impervious to trees but rather to give us at least a s mall amount of time to escape the house safely should a heavy tree fall on the roof.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Reinforce Roof Against Falling Trees?:

shingles. Would it help to reinforce the trusses with horizontal or cross metal braces? Could we put metal sheathing beneath the plywood? Our goal is not to make the roof impervious to trees but rather to give us at least a small amount of time to escape the house safely should a heavy tree fall on the roof.
I'm assuming that you have a wood frame house under that roof; in which case there is not much you can do if one of those trees fall. The weight of the tree is likely to collapse the frame exterior walls as well as destroy the roof.
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ral changes to make the roof safer in the event of severe weather.  We li ve in an area that has occasional hurricanes and even small tornadoes.

ameter x 70 feet? tall) that are gorgeous but certainly dangerous should th ey fall on the house.  It is not a realistic option to remove all the tre es
You don't have to remove all the trees. Just enough so that none can reach the house. Or if you're most worried about a structural collapse but willing to tolerate some lesser damage, then you could leave trees where the top 1/4 or so could reach the house. That load may cause damage, but it's not likely to cause a major collapse that kills people.

r the place that is not a safe or realistic option either.

se trees?  I have seen too many news stories during hurricanes where peop le were killed when a tree fell on their roof.

hingles.  Would it help to reinforce the trusses with horizontal or cross metal braces?
No, because it's not just the roof, it's the fact that everything else, ie what supports the roof, the two floors, etc is not designed to carry the additional weight of a 70ft tree.
 Could we put metal sheathing beneath the plywood?  Our goal is not to make the roof impervious to trees but rather to give us at least a small amount of time to escape the house safely should a heavy tree fall on the roof.
Metal sheathing is just going to crumple and the roof deck is still going to collapse. And replacing the whole roof deck to add that isn;t gonna be cheap. Just to replace a sheet of plywood is $50.

Cut back the tree line.
Or get out of there before a hurricane and live with the risk of a tree coming down anyhow in an unforecasted more regular storm, eg a severe thunderstorm, high winds, etc.
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On 5/6/2013 5:26 PM, Nona wrote:

changes to make the roof safer in the event of severe weather. We live in an area that has occasional hurricanes and even small tornadoes.

diameter x 70 feet? tall) that are gorgeous but certainly dangerous should they fall on the house. It is not a realistic option to remove all the trees and bracing all of the trees would result in a spiderweb of wires all over the place that is not a safe or realistic option either.

trees? I have seen too many news stories during hurricanes where people were killed when a tree fell on their roof.

shingles. Would it help to reinforce the trusses with horizontal or cross metal braces? Could we put metal sheathing beneath the plywood? Our goal is not to make the roof impervious to trees but rather to give us at least a small amount of time to escape the house safely should a heavy tree fall on the roof.

Cut the trees down. At some point you'll prolly have to anyway.
Neighbor's insurance company refused to renew his policy until he had two trees removed.
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changes to make the roof safer in the event of severe weather. We live in an area that has occasional hurricanes and even small tornadoes.

diameter x 70 feet? tall) that are gorgeous but certainly dangerous should they fall on the house. It is not a realistic option to remove all the trees and bracing all of the trees would result in a spiderweb of wires all over the place that is not a safe or realistic option either.

trees? I have seen too many news stories during hurricanes where people were killed when a tree fell on their roof.

shingles. Would it help to reinforce the trusses with horizontal or cross metal braces? Could we put metal sheathing beneath the plywood? Our goal is not to make the roof impervious to trees but rather to give us at least a small amount of time to escape the house safely should a heavy tree fall on the roof.

Also, schedule the funerals for your parents and wife. At some point you'll prolly have to anyway.,

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On 5/7/2013 1:05 AM, micky wrote:

changes to make the roof safer in the event of severe weather. We live in an area that has occasional hurricanes and even small tornadoes.

diameter x 70 feet? tall) that are gorgeous but certainly dangerous should they fall on the house. It is not a realistic option to remove all the trees and bracing all of the trees would result in a spiderweb of wires all over the place that is not a safe or realistic option either.

trees? I have seen too many news stories during hurricanes where people were killed when a tree fell on their roof.

shingles. Would it help to reinforce the trusses with horizontal or cross metal braces? Could we put metal sheathing beneath the plywood? Our goal is not to make the roof impervious to trees but rather to give us at least a small amount of time to escape the house safely should a heavy tree fall on the roof.

I'm not sure what you're alluding to but I think it's illegal. ;-)
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wrote:

Steel beams enbedded in concrete, at least 10 feet deep. Have these vertical steel beams extend at least 5 feet higher than your roof. Place one beam into the ground every six feet around your entire house. Then weld more steel beams horizontally across the top of all these vertical beams. Also have horizontal beams extend across the roof at 6 foot intervals in both directions. Apply several more at 45deg angles on each corner, crossing the roof. To be even more secure, have more beams at an angle from the top down to the ground, and sink them deep into the ground with several tons of concrete. Be sure to run more beams in a horizontal manner, around the entire house every 6 to 8 feet from the ground to the roof.
What you'll have when complete is a huge solid steel cage around your house that should handle even the heaviest tree.
As for the guy who said to cut the trees down, please remove your sexual organs. At some point you'll prolly have to anyway.
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a home around here got damaged by a tree, it smashed in part of the roof:(
It made the news because although the insurance company paid the claim, they threatened to cancel the home owners insurance unless the other trees endangering the home were removed. Cant say I blame them the trees were massive, over 50 feet tall and right against the home.
The people didnt have the bucks to remove the trees, and insurance wouldnt pay to remove them:(
I think a weathy person saw the story and paid the costs like 7 or 8 grand......
The OP would probably be better off getting the hazardous trees removed before something bad happens....
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On 5/6/2013 5:26 PM, Nona wrote:

changes to make the roof safer in the event of severe weather. We live in an area that has occasional hurricanes and even small tornadoes.

diameter x 70 feet? tall) that are gorgeous but certainly dangerous should they fall on the house. It is not a realistic option to remove all the trees and bracing all of the trees would result in a spiderweb of wires all over the place that is not a safe or realistic option either.

trees? I have seen too many news stories during hurricanes where people were killed when a tree fell on their roof.

shingles. Would it help to reinforce the trusses with horizontal or cross metal braces? Could we put metal sheathing beneath the plywood? Our goal is not to make the roof impervious to trees but rather to give us at least a small amount of time to escape the house safely should a heavy tree fall on the roof.

Only safe thing you can do is cut down any tree that would endanger the house if it fell. I'm sure its not all of the trees.
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I'm worried about mine, which are so close to the house.the biggest trunk has my water line tied up. The power company is going to trim soon. I'm going to ask how much can they do.
Greg
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wrote:

Wad up a handful of $20s and see if that doesn't help sell "It sure looks like it could hit the power line" and off you go.
Those guys with that big Asplundah can make a tree disappear before the boss misses them.
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Remove the closest trees that can endanger the home.
For safetys sake build a safe room somewhere in your home, or underground but nearby.
Think steel and concrete reinforced storm shelter. near center of home is probably the most safe, make it big enough for emergency supplies like food and water this room could be useful for all sorts of disasters.....
my neighbor had lots of beautful trees, first he removed the closest ones that if they fell could hit his home. he wasnt satisfied and removed all the trees:(
he is elderly, and wanted to protect his home.
He fell over a year ago in his driveway and broke his hip:( he has been in a nursing home ever since.
His family had the home cleaned out, and its being sold......
they would of got more for the home before all those beautiful trees were cut down.
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wrote:

... but how much is it worth with a tree in the living room? ;-)
I had a 40' mango tree land on my screen cage and about half of a much bigger fichus land on the shed. When I got the crane and the 3 Latinos it was the Florida chain saw massacre. After Charlie they had claw trucks and 18 wheelers with 40' hort trailers driving around and I filled up a truck and a half. There are no trees that can fall on my house and the trees that are close are trimmed up so no limbs will hurt anything. I still have plenty of trees, just not tall ones.
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<stuff snipped>

Careful, God will hear you and prove to you that he can work mighty wonders like taking a tree (or a cow or a car) from you neighbor's house (or the next town over) and smashing it into your home. (-: I learned a long time ago that God has more contingencies than humans have contingency plans.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/us/25questions.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
says: <<In 1995, researchers at the University of Oklahoma wanted to study the pattern of debris carried long distances by tornadoes. So after a tornado, they asked people to send them identifiable objects, for example, canceled checks, which helpfully include the name and address of the check writer, making it easy to figure out how far the check has traveled. In five years, more than 1,000 objects were collected, said John T. Snow, dean of the university's College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, who led the tornado debris project. Among the odder ones was a man's bowling jacket. "It had his name stenciled on the back of it and the name of the bowling alley," Dr. Snow said.
Most of the objects landed fairly close, 15 to 20 miles from where they started. A few traveled more than 60 miles. The farthest an object traveled was more than 150 miles. - KENNETH CHANG >>
I remember reading a SciFi novella a while back that described a time where the winds starting increasing for no apparent reason until the Earth was constantly being subjected to 200+ mph winds. It turned out that the best form of building to resist the effects of wind-driven debris was a pyramid shape. Makes sense since the Egyptian pyramids seem to have weathered all sorts of sandstorms and other bad weather for thousands of years.
At the U. of Buffalo they used to tie rope lines tied to posts driven into the ground next to the walkways so that students could "rope" their way to class during the frequent "lake effect" blizzards. I was reminded of that when I read about the Sherpas who allegedly tried to kill three climbers on Everest who had allegedly interfered with their rigging climbing lines.
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/south-asia/everest-brawl-exposes-mountaineerings-deep-rifts
It was hard enough to keep one's balance on level ground at sea level when the "lake effect" blizzards blew through. I can only imagine what it's like to end up high on Everest when a similar storm strikes. I guess that's one reason a lot of people don't come back from their expedition to Everest. Mallory must be rolling over in his grave - no wait, he doesn't have a grave - he's been lying on the ice near the summit for almost 100 years
--

Bobby G.





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Actually, the very closest trees are probably not as dangerous as ones that are far enough away to allow the tree to fall over and gain a lot of momentum. The close trees are likely to slide against the house and do less damage than the ones that fall over from far enough away to swing like a hammer. All the serious hits I recall seeing were from trees set some distance from the foundation
We had a tornado 5 blocks away a while back and it scattered an entire park full of tall 2' foot wide oaks like pickup sticks. If you are in the direct path of a tornado, no amount of bracing is going to help a typical residential structure. I rode around after the storm and took pictures and one was of a poor guy standing in front of his split-level home that was split in half by a massive oak tree that had been almost 50' away from the house. The tree was tall enough so that the top of the trunk cut the house like buzzsaw. He had this "stunned mullet" look on his face that officers used to get after being chewed out by Gen. Schwartzkopf
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/gulf/oral/waller/1.html

Yes! These events *usually* have some forewarning, and if you're really concerned you can get a weather radio that will sound an alert to give you time to reach a shelter.
http://www.tornadoproject.com/safety/safety.htm
http://www.tornadoproject.com/safety/noaawxra.htm

I've always believed in having at least a "retreat" room if not a safe room. I've yet to be able to convince my wife that we should dig an escape tunnel from the basement to the park behind us. Lots of animals have dens with emergency escape tunnels. If' it's good enough for a fox, it's OK with me. (-:

Elderly people get funny like that. I think the realization of one's mortality makes them want to stack all the odds in their favor. For instance, I've read that a lot more people take cholesterol meds than are really helped by them because, as Rutger Hauer's character said in _Blade Runner_ ,"I want more life, fu&er." Everybody wants to beat the Reaper. Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.

The elderly often develop very severe agoraphobia (fear of going outside) because they view the world as ever more threatening. It's very sad.

I have a good friend who's now in rehab after falling, breaking his wrist and lying four days on the floor waiting for someone to find him. We got him cell phones, phone dialer pendants, all that stuff before the fall - but he just refused to use them. His reasoning was that he didn't want to dial 911 and have the fireman break down his door with an axe. I think it's a little bit of dementia creeping in.

Let's just hope the tree slaughter bought him at least some piece of mind. We've lost four beautiful trees in the last few years and it really does change the entire character of the home - and the value, too.
--
Bobby G.



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On Tue, 7 May 2013 04:37:04 -0400, "Robert Green"

Not bracing, but I've heard that attaching the roof well to the top floor of the house can greatly decrease the chance of the roof coming off in a tornado. That most roofs stay on by gravity and the nails just help. But where they've learned to use whatever they recommend now, even in tornadoes the roof will likely stay on.
I rode around after the storm and took pictures and

Wasn't it split in quarters, if it was already split?

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ark

direct

I guess that depends on what you mean by "in tornadoes". If it's a tornado passing a couple block or two away, then I agree. If it's a direct hit or very close, then it's likely going to tear up the whole house, roof and all.
Using better roof attachment methods has definitely been proven to make roofs far more wind resistant. That's been demonstrated in FL, where newer roof work has greatly increased connection requirements required by code and it's worked to reduce hurricane damage.
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On Tue, 7 May 2013 12:13:19 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Yes, but if the whole house blows away, with the roof attached, I think that counts as the roof staying on,

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e park

direct

The typical destruction path of houses directly in the path of a tornado is one of complete or serious destruction. In the vast majority of photos that I've seen, you don't have whole houses blown away and put down somewhere else, roof still on. The roof and the rest of the house are ripped apart, because neither part of the structure can withstand the forces. Yes, sometimes you'll see a house that blew away and went 100 ft with it's roof still on. But in that case, it doesn't make much difference anyway, the house is still a total loss.

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wrote:

park

direct

Agreed, but the OP was concerned about hits from trees, a different case than having a roof lifted off by high winds. Probably the only realistic way to fortify a structure so that it can withstand a falling oak tree is to build a steel roll cage around the house. If cutting down all the trees drops a home's value, imagine what a giant steel roll cage would do to its "curb appeal." (-:
One other point. You've doubtless seen the swath a big tornado cuts. Those big twisters demolish wooden structures, roofs and all. I still contend that no amount of bracing or improved roof attachment is going to matter if you're a stick-built house in the path of an F3 or greater. It's sayonara time for that structure as it gets pulverized and dragged into the next county.
I will agree that it's been proven time and again that good building codes save lives. Florida's rules about attaching roofs has greatly lessened damage caused by roofs flying off and then striking other homes and even people with flying debris. While it's still under investigation, that recent collapse in Bangladesh probably wouldn't have happened if that structure had been built better with adherence to building codes and better inspection during construction.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130425-bangladesh-dhaka-building-collapse-world/
<<The exact cause of the collapse has not yet been determined, but Henri Gavin, a civil and environmental engineer at Duke University, speculated that the building's foundation was substandard. "It could be that one edge of the building was on much softer soil than the other, so that part of the building settled down a little bit more," Gavin explained. "That could easily lead to an instability that would precipitate a collapse."
Another possibility is that weight on the top factory floors-where the crack was spotted-was unevenly distributed. (Also see pictures: "Sinkhole Swallows Buildings in China.") >>

(-: The adjusters came and wrote stuff in chalk on the house remains so I guess you could say it was "drawn AND quartered."
--

Bobby G.





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