a satellite map of a hurricane off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic ocean

It’s that time of year again when Floridians start inspecting their hurricane ties and straps in preparation for the potential big one. However, do you need to use them? Let’s find out.

The state of Florida has a strict code for hurricane ties and straps. All homes must be outfitted with these frame-strengthening devices so the structure can withstand high winds. Hurricanes can create mighty wind gusts that can easily tear away roofs if they’re not adequately secured.

This article will explain the requirements for hurricane ties and straps in Florida and give you some tips on installing them correctly.

What Are Hurricane Ties and Straps?

Hurricane ties and straps are devices used to secure a home’s structure during a hurricane. They are typically made of metal or nylon and appear in strategic locations, including the trusses, joists, and where the wall studs meet the floor.

Straps and ties come in different sizes and strengths, depending on the size and weight of the structure they will be securing. 

For example, you can find an option for trusses that are 2×4 feet or 2×6 feet (38x89mm and 38x140mm). There are also ties for different joints like the dovetail and saddle notch.

We have seen a variety of hurricane ties and straps as DIY enthusiasts, and I can tell you that they are essential for keeping your home safe during a hurricane.

Not only do they prevent your roof from blowing away, but they also help to keep your walls from collapsing.

Why Are Hurricane Ties Required in Florida?

Florida’s hurricane code is one of the strictest in the country because the state is located in what is known as the “hurricane belt.” This area is near the Atlantic Ocean, where hurricanes are more likely to form.

As a result, Florida experiences more storms than any other state in the U.S.

While some people may want to skip installing hurricane ties and straps, we highly advise against it. These devices could mean the difference between your home being destroyed or surviving a hurricane relatively unscathed.

The code states that all structures built after March 1, 2002, must be outfitted with hurricane ties and straps, including new construction and renovations.

If you are unsure whether or not your home meets this code, you can (and should always) contact your local building department for more information to verify.

The specifications on the straps include:

  • The strap should not have a gap exceeding half an inch from the truss
  • The strap should not have more than a half-inch gap
  • The strap should not be corroded or have any rust
  • Single wraps must have two nails in the face and one on the opposing side
  • You must have three nails or more in clips
A Florida beach during a hurricane with strong wind blowing against the water and palm trees

Tips on Finding the Right Tie or Strap for Your Home

It would be best to keep a few things in mind when choosing hurricane ties and straps for your home.

First, you need to make sure that they have ratings for the wind speed of your area. You can find this information on your local building code website.

Next, you need to consider the size and weight of your home. The straps or ties you choose should be able to support the weight of your house without breaking.

You also need to ensure that the hurricane ties or straps you choose are compatible with the type of joint they will be securing.

For example, you can find hurricane straps made explicitly for truss and ridge beam connections.

How to Secure Your Home During a Hurricane

A sill plate with a screw and bolt holding it intact

In addition to making sure your home is up to code with hurricane ties and straps, you can do a few other things to secure it during a hurricane.

One of the best measures is to install shutters over your windows and doors. This installation will help to protect your home from flying debris.

You should also clear any loose items from your yard, including lawn furniture, toys, and decorations.

These items can become projectiles during a hurricane and cause severe damage to your home or injuries to people nearby.

It would be best if you also had a plan for what to do with your pets during a hurricane. For example, you may need to make arrangements to evacuate them to a safe location or secure them in a room of your home that is unlikely to sustain damage.

Also, it would help if you had a plan for what to do with your food and water. Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are driven by a backup source of power and have a supply of non-perishable food on hand. Doing so will ensure you have food even if you lose power.

Final Thoughts

Securing your home against a hurricane does not have to be complicated. By following the tips in this article, you can make sure that your home is up to code and properly secured.

In addition to hurricane proofing your home, it is essential to plan what you will do during a hurricane. This plan should include making arrangements for your pets and having a supply of food and water on hand.

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