Do you despise your old, ugly roof but don’t have the financial means to replace it? The largest roofing manufacturer in North America may have a brand new roof waiting just for you.
GAF and the Lifetime show, “Designing Spaces” are hosting a contest called “Ugly Roof Makeover, A Tribute to the Great American Homeowner.” GAF offers advanced quality roofing and 125 years of expert experience. In addition to roofing, GAF handles decking and railing as well. The corporation has more than 4,000 factory-certified contractors, plus manufacturing locations all across the country.
Due to its reliable track record and impressive legacy, GAF is routinely encouraged to appear in leading home and garden publications and home improvement shows on networks such as HGTV and Lifetime. The “Ugly Roof Contest” is one such collaboration.
Most of the new code requirements had applied to new construction only, but that began to change in 2006 when the Florida state legislature turned its attention to existing homes. Laws now require a variety of upgrades to homes built before the tougher codes took effect — measures that must be taken when certain parts of the home are remodeled. I’ve already described one of those requirements, gable-end bracing and reinforcing, in a previous article (“Gable-End Retrofits,” May 2008). In this article I will look at another new requirement: the need to reinforce the connections between the roof and wall framing.
Legacy Roofing This new requirement is triggered whenever a qualifying house gets a roof replacement. I say “qualifying” because the upgrade doesn’t apply to all houses. It’s only required for detached single-family structures valued at $300,000 or more that are in the “wind-borne debris region,” where design wind speeds exceed 120 miles per hour, a zone that extends about 5 miles inland in most of northern Florida, but includes almost half of the southern tip of the state.
The first task is to find out whether the existing connections are already strong enough. The code assumes that if enough fasteners have been driven into the truss, enough have also been driven into the plate, even if you can’t see them. A hurricane strap or clip with four nails into the truss or rafter will meet code minimums, and you won’t have to expose the wall plate. If, on the other hand, there are not enough nails holding the clip to the truss, it’s up to the engineer to decide whether the wall plate must be exposed.
Sometimes it’s easy to inspect these connections, as when they’re exposed in an unfinished garage or attic. If that’s not the case, then you have to go through the roof or soffit.
The feasibility of inspecting the connections through the soffit depends on soffit construction. Even with a closed soffit, you can sometimes see through the soffit vents with the aid of a good flashlight. And if you can remove the soffit vents without damaging them.
Published on 19 January 2012