"When used in the construction of residential roofs, hurricane ties are extremely useful as a means of keeping structures connected during high winds and in seismic situations," said Jeff Barber, housing and environmental design specialist, University of Missouri Extension.
According to Barber, who is also a registered architect, hurricane ties resist and often prevent the moment of "lift-off" when a roof passes the tipping point of no return.
"We have all seen the slow tipping images of roofs as they disconnect from their supporting walls and fly away, often as an intact system. Hurricane ties would greatly reduce the instances of that," said Barber.
The use of the hurricane ties adds tested connection strength and redundancy when placed on each rafter and truss connection point.
"Two poorly placed toe-nails can fail easier than a six-nail engineered connector," said Barber.
The total added cost for a moderate size house would approach $500 according to Barber. This cost needs to be contrasted to what it costs to replace a lost roof.
"Resistance to straight line winds, updraft, downdraft and tornado winds, boils down to a matter of strength and the difference between two nails and six nails," said Barber.
According to Barber, hurricane clips can be added to an existing roof if the eaves are open or the soffit materials are removed.
"The clips are not present on most new construction because they are not typically required by Missouri building code ordinances," said Barber.
To be as effective as the hurricane clips are designed to be, the framing contractor should carefully follow the instructions for the placement and type of fasteners.
For more information, contact Barber at the Greene County Extension Center in Springfield at (417) 881-8909.