Your Hazard-resistant Home Checklist

Claudette Reichel  |  7/2/2008 7:33:42 PM

Multi-hazard Resistance


__ Emergency back-up power system

__ Easy access shut-offs

__ Emergency kit storage

__ Multiple escape exits

Flood Damage Reduction

Built above anticipated flood levels:

In noncoastal A zones, floor is above BFE using one of these
     foundation types:

__ Slab on compacted fill, extending max. 2 ft. beyond house footprint

__ Slab cap on compacted fill within a stem wall foundation

__ Unfinished, floodable crawl space with flood vents

__ Pile, post, column or pier open foundation; enclosures vented or
    designed to allow entry and exit of flood water

__ In V zones and coastal-A zones, lowest horizontal structural 
    member is above BFE with:

__ Continuous pile, open foundation

__ No or minimal obstruction as allowed by local ordinance

In areas of minimal risk (Zones C and X) near A or V zone property:

__ Lowest floor is above BFE of nearest flood zone

Additional design features:

__ Decks, porches built and anchored to resist flood forces

__ Garage above BFE or includes flood vents if below BFE

__ Garage floor, patios, etc. min. 4 in. below living floor

__ HVAC, electrical, mechanical systems elevated above BFE

Additional flood protection features:

__ Backflow valve in sewer line

__ Flood-resistant materials and assemblies on first floor (drainable,
    cleanable, dryable)

__ Appliance styles, installations that minimize damage in shallow

__ In areas protected by levees, designs and materials that are
    submersible, drainable and easily flushed

Hurricane and Tornado Resistance

(See wind design speed map and associated wind resistant building code for specific requirements; checklist below includes general guidelines for hurricane zones)

General features:

__ House is < 60 ft. long

__ No more than two stories (levels)

__ Wall height of each story is < 10 ft.

__ Exterior cladding (siding, roofing, etc. rated for wind design speed)

__ Reinforced safe room within house

__ Storm storage for outdoor items

__ Outside accessories securely anchored


For wood frame construction:

__ 2x4 studs spaced 16” o.c., or 2x6 studs spaced 24” o.c.

__ Bottom plates anchored to foundation

__ All load-bearing studs anchored to bottom and top plates with metal 
    hurricane connectors or structural sheathing with load-specific
    nailing pattern

__ Upper story anchored to lower story

__ Structural sheathing or inset shearwalls to meet shear load

__ No windows, doors near corners

__ Corner hold-down hardware at ends of each shearwall

For masonry construction:

__ Rebar connects foundation to wall (4-ft. spacing typical)

__ Rebar reinforcement full height of walls

__ Vertical rebar reinforcement at corners and both sides of windows
    and doors

For SIPS, ICF, Shotcrete and other building systems:

__ Engineered for wind speed of local wind zone

Roof, Overhangs and Attachments:

__ Wind-rated connection of roof to walls

__ Hurricane straps over every rafter/truss (preferable to clips)

__ Roof pitch between 3:12 and 12:12 (< 7:12 preferred)

__ Hip roof design (preferred)

__ Gable roof end walls braced or balloon framed

__ Overhangs < 2 ft. (or engineered, if larger)

__ Roof decking nailed or screwed to rafters (not stapled) at 6 in. o.c.
    or to code (ring shank nails preferred)

__ In tornado zone, 5/8-in. plywood roof decking

__ Roof deck seams sealed (with adhesive roof tape or membrane)

__ Min. #30 roofing felt (consider tear resistant type) or peel and stick

__ Wind-rated roofing, properly installed

__ Attic vents protected from wind-driven rain

__ Soffits of rigid material and fastened securely to framing

__ Porch, patio, carport designed, anchored for wind load

__ Columns anchored to foundation and roof beam

Windows and doors:

__ Height < 6’-8”

__ Meet code design pressure ratings (typically > DP 30)

__ Glass protections (plywood panels or certified impact-rated storm
     shutters, panels, screens, or window/door units)

__ In tornado zone, passive protection (impact rated windows)

__ Pressure-rated or reinforced garage door

Fire Protection

__ Fire resistant wall cladding

__ UL Class A roofing

__ Fire resistant materials around fireplace and in kitchen

__ Smoke alarm (combination type, battery powered)

__ Lightning rod and grounding system

__ Residential sprinkler system

__ Planned extinguisher mounting locations

Hail and Freeze Hazards

__ Hail-resistant roofing (UL Class 4)

__ All plumbing in heated space or well-insulated

__ Pressure relief exterior faucets

__ Pex piping (flexible)

Termite Resistance

__ No untreated wood left in soil or stored near structure

__ Moisture managed construction (See Moisture Control section)

__ Professional soil treatment under foundation

__ Termite barriers at hidden pathways

__ Best: no untreated structural wood or vulnerable insulation

__ Borate-treated wall/roof framing, cellulose insulation, foams

__ Pressure-treated (not borate) or composite wood decking

__ Masonry, concrete or steel construction

Slab foundation:

__ Monolithic poured slab

__ Slab specifications to minimize cracking

__ Steel mesh epoxied pipe collars within slab

__ Consider treatment of control joints and cracks

__ No wood forms, stakes, etc. left in ground

Raised foundations:

__ No hollow concrete blocks below grade

__ Hollow block foundation walls capped with concrete

__ Piers are solid, resistant material

__ Termite shields between foundation and framing to force termite

__ Floor joists >18 in. above ground

All foundations:

__ No vulnerable foam insulation under ground (below grade)

__ Min. 8-in. clearance between siding and finished grade

__ Min. 6-in. clearance between wooden steps and soil

__ Foundations detailed for ease of inspection and detection

__ Porches, terraces not filled with soil

__ Porch supports separated from house min. 2 in.


__ Downspouts, sprinklers, drain lines discharge >2 ft. from house

__ Plantings placed min. 3 feet from foundation

__ No mulch near house or termite-resistant types

__ Plumbing and conduit off the ground, no wood supports

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