|By Sara Sneath, Victoria Advocate, Texas|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Houses in the 14 Texas coastal counties have to be built to
Dence spent several days in
"Almost always the damage was to buildings not built to code," he said.
When building houses to withstand high winds, a major concern is trying to keep the house's roof from blowing off. Bernoulli's principle, the principle that makes aircraft flight possible, is the force that acts upon the roofs of houses during high wind events.
Air above the roof moves faster than the air below the roof, making pressure above the roof lower than below. The pressure differences creates a lift effect.
"It's not so much about a house blowing down, it's about it blowing up in a wind storm," Dence said. "The main emphasis of
Hurricane straps -- metal plates that strengthen roof to frame ties -- and an increase in the number of nails in shingles are both part of the
In 2003, Hurricane Claudette blew through
When structural damage to houses does occur, builders' first priority is to keep water out,
Builders address the threat of water by placing a blue tarp over the roof until repairs can be made.
Big natural disasters often bring in crews of outside builders, which can lead to scams.
"You should always be leery of anybody that asks for money up front. If they ask for money up front, then they're not established enough to do that job," Blanton said.
Residents in search of a contractor for building repairs after a storm should ask for references.
"Inquire if they are a member of a builders association. To be a member, they have to have at least subjected themselves to peer review," Dence said.
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