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Volume ∞ Issue ∞

Is a tornado proof home possible?

By Lyndon Lee

Tue, May 27th, 2014
Posted in All Ask the Expert

With tornados becoming more common with global climate changes, it makes a lot a sense to build homes that are tornado proof. Not only can we save more lives but our rebuilding costs for Insurance companies and FEMA will save us all money. Is it possible? Well yes and no. ICF concrete walls can be made to withstand the 250 mph winds that the strongest tornados can produce, but flying debris can penetrate windows, doors or a wood framed roof. We can anchor the roof with special long straps that are cast into the concrete and wrap around the trusses, but the roof can still be vulnerable if the tornado is a direct hit. We can build the roof out of concrete, but the safest option for a truly tornado proof home is to build a interior “safe room” with no openings and a steel door. A favorite location for the “safe room” is the mechanical or utility room because you can isolate all the noise of the mechanical items, furnace, fresh air system, washer and dryer etc. and make the interior comfort better. Another huge benefit of making the house tornado proof is that a lot of insurance companies are giving discounts of up to 25% for concrete homes. The rebuilding cost of concrete homes hit by tornados is a fraction of the cost to rebuild compared to stick framed construction where the house and contents are typically a total loss. Concrete Homes are Stronger, Quieter, Healthier and More Energy Efficient. Build Different, Build Better.

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