Saturday, August 4, 2012
How Hurricanes Destroy Houses...
Since it appears that ERNESTO will soon be a hurricane bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico, its time for an explanation of how hurricanes destroy buildings.
After four hurricanes struck Florida in 2004 a study was launched called "Project Safe Windows." They were amazed that some houses remained intact while others next to them were completely destroyed. Why?
The answer was simple: Windborne debris. With hurricane force winds you also get flying debris. Glass can flex up to a point, but it will break if it passes its tensile strength, usually when a piece of debris - gravel or a tree limb -- hits it.
Buildings are designed to withstand EXTERNAL pressure, not internal. Once the wind gets inside, it tries to find a way OUT. The easy way is for it to UPLIFT the ROOF. It basically blows the house apart. Tornadoes do the same. One Conoco Phillips engineer (whose house we did) told me that he calculated that a hole in your window was enough to produce 50,000 lbs of UPLIFT on the roof!
Avoid the breach of your buildings weakest link, its windows, avoid losing your house (assuming you are not in a water surge area). That why Armor Glass security film fills an important purpose that until now was done by plywood, an outdated technology that makes little sense - ever try carrying a heavy piece of it up a ladder in a wind?
(More Details in our forthcoming book).
Armor Glass sells hurricane/tornado explosion-rated security window film. The same film was installed on federal buildings in Washington DC after 9/11. CEO Michael Fjetland is the founder and a former terrorism analyst who established Armor Glass to protect people and their property from breach of their weakest link. Details on how people live in "Houses of Straw" (free ebook) at our website www.ArmorGlass.com Follow on Twitter@ArmorGlass and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ArmorGlass).