Katrina States Not Enforcing Roof Codes

New roof building codes are not being enforced in a number of cities in Alabama and Mississippi. The construction methods are creating vulnerabilities similar to 2005’s hurricane Katrina.

Confirming well built roofs has proven to be a major challenge in more than 20 gulf coast cities and counties. Many areas do not inspect roofs that are being replaced. The construction of a roof determines its strength, and routine and consistent inspections could ensure higher standards are being met.

The frame is supposed to be anchored to the rafters. Gables are to be braced so they won’t blow down. Many builders use staples instead of nails to attach decking to rafters, although staples have been found to come out at lower wind speeds.

After the decking comes the liner, many roofers use felt due to low cost, but the new synthetic liners are stronger. And last but not least is the shingles; roofers are supposed to use 6 nails per shingle, but this is hard to observe as the inspectors would have to stand around and watch the roofers all day.

Roof damage still occurs even when winds are not considered high. According to the wind gust predictions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, those areas closest to the gulf should build their roofs to withstand winds between 140 to 150 mpg.

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