In the United States, nearly 1300 tornadoes occur every year which can result in lost homes and lives.  As a result, it is extremely important to construct a tornado-proof home.  By spending time and money on crafting a home that is resistant to destructive winds, owners can protect their home and family from the disastrous consequences of a tornado.  Whether this involves including a safe room or insulated concrete blocks in the building plans, there are a number of options available to home-owners.  Keep on reading for several construction tips to keep in mind while constructing a tornado-proof home. 

Shelter Creation

First off, woodframe houses are particularly at risk of being destroyed in the event of a tornado.  For example, their siding and roofing can be sucked in by the wind.  Even wall studs attached to plywood and frames can be peeled away.  Woodframes can be disastrous as they will exacerbate the consequences of heavy winds, and these pieces of lumber can quickly tumble down.  Further, sheets of plywood can sometimes act like sails during heavy winds.  As a result, any homeowner who is looking to construct a tornado-resistant home should avoid relying on woodframes. Essentially, a tornado will reduce a woodframe home to a pile of sticks easily pushed around by the wind. 

After beginning to search for ways to create a tornado proof home, owners should also consider sustainable construction methods.  Sustainable construction methods offer a variety of benefits.  For example, builders should look for ways to standardize their processes in order to reduce their energy consumption as well as maximize their time.  While building a tornado-proof home, designers should search for ways to minimize their waste as well as use materials that are widely available, such as concrete. Especially while constructing a tornado-proof home that will last through natural disasters, owners should emphasize the need for sustainable materials.

ICF Construction

Homes that are constructed with insulated concrete forms, known as ICF, are much-more likely to retain their integrity before and after tornadoes.  In fact, ICF homes can protect against winds of over 200 miles per hour. Compared to woodframes and even steel framed walls, ICF are proved to be more-effective in withstanding heavy winds.  Along with protecting against heavy winds, ICF construction will also avoid damage to non-structural parts of houses, including the plumbing and wiring. 

Insulated concrete forms are one of the best practices for constructing tornado-resistant walls.  For example, conventionally framed walls will generally fail to prevent airborne debris from penetrating walls.  However, ICF walls will protect from flying debris moving over 100 MPH.  Engineers and experts will agree that insulated concrete form walls offer the top protection to a home and its occupants in the event of a storm. 

Safe Rooms

Tornado safe rooms can also be effective in protecting occupants from harm and even death.  Safe rooms are unique in their ability to prevent occupants from being uplifted and overturned by the raging winds of a tornado.  Plus, ICF safe rooms are effective in protecting against flying debris.  As an added bonus, a safe room can even increase a home’s value.  If they are properly constructed, a residential safe room will create a safe space for occupants to turn to in the event of a tornado-emergency.

A properly constructed home can offer maximum safety to its occupants during an emergency.  Whether this involves ICF walls or a safe room, homes should be specifically designed to protect against tornadoes.  These elements are essential for offering maximum safety.

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