Storm-Ready Vinyl Roof Soffits

Project: Storm-Ready Design, Episode 8, Part 2

Bob reviews storm-ready features and visits with the homeowners and Tom Moorad of Moorad Painting as he applies a proprietary concrete staining product that will complement the Porcelanosa metallic-look tiles inside. This stain is dripped on, spread with a squeegee to avoid pooling, and topped with a clear coat sealer to give a long-lasting color finish. Joe Breese from Alcoa and Leslie-Chapman Henderson from FLASH join Bob for the vinyl soffit panel installation. Soffits are a major cause of roof failure and water intrusion during hurricanes, so this home has a reinforced soffit construction to tie it to the building walls and enhanced construction to make the panels grip tighter during high winds rather than pull apart. These panels channel air through grooves and provide 80 percent more ventilation than traditional vinyl panels. Bill Zoeller and Lance Keeling explain the energy efficiency measures that will save the home $100 per month in operating expenses like low-e glass that blocks up to 70 percent of solar heat gain, insulation in the concrete walls to prevent heat transfer, air conditioning ducts that are dropped in the attic floor and insulated with soy-based foam, and a 14 SEER heat-pump air conditioning unit.
Part 1: Color Staining a Concrete Floor
Part 2: Storm-Ready Vinyl Roof Soffits
Bob looks at storm-ready features on the Punta Gorda house, starting with the front door that is out swinging with a stop to prevent blow-in. He also points out the impact-resistant glass that is being used throughout the house. Leslie Chapman-Henderson talks with Bob about soffit details that are being incorporated in the storm-ready house. The problem with poor soffits is that during a storm wind-driven rain and wind force their way up under the roof, into the attic where wind force attacks the structure and rain soaks the insulation and walls. In humid climates, wet insulation and wallboard begin to grow mold within hours. Closing the soffit to penetration is not currently a code requirement but is critical to smart building in storm zones. Joe Breese from Alcoa shows Bob the vinyl soffit that is being used in the Punta Gorda house. The locking panel system means that wind will force the panels to grip tighter to one another rather than pull apart. The panels are connected to a j-channel that is attached to the wall. They are installed with 5/8-inch stub nails spaced every 16 inches. The soffit panels are cut to fit and stapled in place. There are no ventilation grilles evident on these vinyl panels. All air moves through the grooves in the panels to ventilate the roof and attic space. Still, these panels have about 80 percent more ventilation capacity than standard vinyl soffit panels. Todd Davison from FEMA is with Bob to talk about Hurricane Ivan and the power of storm surge. Ivan, unlike Hurricane Charley, had a very wide path and was slow moving. As a result, the storm surge was tremendous and the damage widespread. In the Florida Panhandle, 15, 000 homes were destroyed and another 25, 000 were rendered uninhabitable. Storm surge built with this hurricane because of its slow, forward-moving track that pushed Gulf water ahead of it. This surge lifted bridges off their supports and homes off their foundations. Davison points out that there are building guidelines to prevent such damage. FEMA is actively involved in promoting guidelines for how to rebuild to fend off future damage. Protecting against storm surge is a huge focus for building practices because it forces water under slabs and presents a vertical risk of uplift to the home. Model codes now require that new homes be raised above the projected flood height. The Punta Gorda storm-ready house is nine and one-half feet above the water, a move that will save the homeowners more than half of the non-code premium for flood insurance. For homes built before the code, they are grandfathered and eligible for insurance but at a much higher rate.
Part 3: Building an Energy-Efficient Florida Home
When hurricanes strike again and again, as they did in Florida in 2004, the effects are devastating. Bob Vila and crew work to completely rebuild a damaged house, using new standards for storm-ready housing. Along the way, Bob investigates a home's vulnerabilities in extreme weather and learns why some building systems fail and others succeed.

Also from Storm-Ready Design

  • Episode 1 - Rebuilding to Beat a Hurricane


    Bob is in hurricane battered Punta Gorda, Florida, to build a storm-ready home in Season 1 of Bob Vila. Bob visits two homes in the same neighborhood, one that was completely destroyed by Hurricane Charley in August 2004, the other that was built to exceed hurricane codes and was left unscathed by hurricane winds and water from the same storm. Scott Buescher of Mercedes Homes shows how enhanced building practices and technologies can create a storm-resistant home, while Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings and Secretary of Community Affairs Thaddeus Cohen discuss rebuilding Florida. Building inspector Randy Cole and Mercedes Homes’ Jesse Gonzalez review the site and watch the pour of a three-stage steam wall that sits below grade and ties the slab foundation to the ground. The resulting foundation will resist water penetration from storm surge by allowing water to move around the foundation without encountering entry points. Bob reviews the house plans with Scott Buescher of Mercedes Homes and learns how the house is constructed as an integrated system. Building connections are emphasized and reinforced rebar and steel mesh are extended from the stem wall to the roof line in preparation for the solid concrete pour that will form the exterior walls.
  • Episode 2 - Building a Reinforced Concrete House


    Bob recaps construction of the stem-wall foundation and integral concrete slab, the vertical steel reinforcing, steel mesh, window bucks, headers, and spacers put in place for the cast-in-place concrete walls. Cameron Parker and the crew of Solid Wall Systems spray the aluminum wall forms with an organic oil spray to prevent adhesion from the concrete and set the forms for the pour. Bob joins Wayne Sallade, Charlotte County Emergency Manager, to review cleanup, demolition, and repair one year after Hurricane Charley. sallade explains that housing built in the 1960s through the 1980s, before the Florida Unified Building Code, had stick framing, gable roofs, and siding. "It didn't stand a chance," he says. Looking at surviving 1920s Florida architecture, it's clear that unified construction, concrete walls, protected windows, and hip roofsare the way to design wind-resistant homes. Back on site, bob watches the pour, learns how the walls and window openings will be vibrated to eliminate voids, and sees the bracing set to hold the walls square before leaving the site to let it cure overnight. Once the forms are removed, Jesse Gonzalez explains how a traditional three-coat Florida plaster job will complete the exterior once the structure has cured for two weeks.
  • Episode 3 - Building a Storm-Ready Roof


    This episode of Bob Vila will focus on roofs, how they are built and tied down to keep structures safe. Leslie Chapman-Henderson from FLASH, the Federal Alliance for Safe Housing, explains how FLASH brings information about safe housing technologies and practices to homes across America, to protect them against floods, winds, hail, and wildfires. Chapman-Henderson explains how a connected house works as a system to beat back the pushing and pulling forces of wind. Randy Shackelford of Simpson Strong-Tie shows Bob the embedded truss anchors that will tie down each truss member of the roof framing, as well as retrofit tie-downs and heavy connectors designed to fight wind uplift forces. Jesse Gonzalez walks Bob through the steel-framed interior that has a master suite and bath, and lots of open space. Bart Cox of Hanson Roof Tiles brings factory-extruded cement clay-look tiles that are pre-drilled for mechanical installation. Dave Peck of D. Peck Roofing explains that stiffer 5/8-inch plywood sheathing, 30 pound felt that is nailed, hot mopped with asphalt, and covered with 90 pound felt makes a strong, water-resistant roof deck for the tiles. Metal nailer boards keep cap tiles in place when wind strikes.
  • Episode 4 - Impact-Resistant Windows for a Storm-Ready Home

  • Episode 5 - Storm-Ready Doors, Fiberglass Wallboard, and Power Backup

  • Episode 6 - Faux Columns and a Gunite Pool

  • Episode 7 - Storm-Ready Stucco Paint, Foyer Tile, and Textured Finishes

  • Episode 9 - Kitchen Finishes for the Storm-Ready House

  • Episode 10 - Pool Deck, Toto Washlet, and Wind-Proof Garage Door

  • Episode 11 - Sustainable Landscaping, Water Use, and Termite Control

  • Episode 12 - Hurricane-Safe Pool Structures, Pool Mechanicals, and Safety

  • Episode 13 - Surge Protection, Plumbing, Bamboo Blinds and Garden

  • Episode 14 - Completing the Punta Gorda Storm-Ready House



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