How to Strap the Roof

by on February 20th, 2011
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There is no doubt that mankind’s strongest building is no match for mother nature. She will attack a building with wind, water and earthquakes to bring it to the ground. The weakest point is where your home will be most vulnerable. This point is where the roof rests on the wall frames. There is minimum contact of only a few roof trusses resting on the top plate and tacked in with a few nails each. This weakness can be overcome by adding hurricane straps at each joist to firmly attach the roof to the walls.

8-foot step ladder
Tico nails
Hurricane straps
Work gloves
Safety glasses

Step 1
Open your step ladder so that it is spread as far as it will go. Stand the ladder on all four feet. Press down on each locking bracket on the sides of the ladder to lock them in place to prevent the ladder from collapsing. Move the step ladder so that it is parallel to the roof joists. Place the ladder so that it is just to one side of one of the end joists. Maneuver the ladder so that the unused legs are against the wall frame and the side you will climb is facing away from the frame.

Step 2
Place your hammer, nails and hurricane straps onto the tray on your ladder. Climb the ladder while maintaining three points of contact between your body and the ladder at all times. Lean forward to maintain this contact with the front of your legs while you use both hands to complete the tasks at hand. Do not climb higher than the third step from the top of the ladder as this will make the ladder unstable. Use a taller ladder if you can not reach the bottom of the roof joists from the ladder without climbing too high.

Step 3
Hold a hurricane strap against the wall next to the first roof joist. Move the strap so that the top side of the strap rests against the bottom beam of the joist and the bottom side of the strap rests against the top plate of the wall framing. Check the strap to be sure that every hole in the top and bottom sections have wood from the framing showing through them. Adjust the placement of the strap if you can see daylight through any of the holes.

Step 4
Drive a Tico nail through every hole in the top and bottom sections of the hurricane strap. Hold the strap firmly in place while driving the first nail through the top and the first nail through the bottom section to insure the placement of the strap does not change from your original configuration during installation. Drive every nail in the strap through its own retaining hole and as far into the wood as it will go so that the hurricane strap is locked in place.

Step 5
Climb down and take the tools off of your ladder. Move the ladder to the next joist. Place your tools back onto the folding tray on the ladder. Climb up the ladder and install the second hurricane strap. Repeat the procedure until you have placed a strap on both ends of every joist.

Work gloves and safety glasses are required when working with hand tools.
Maintaining three points of contact between yourself and the ladder (also known as the “three-point rule”) will keep you as safe as you can be when working on a ladder.
Never use a ladder that shows obvious signs of damage or extreme wear.

Home Owner How-To’s Directory; Hurricane Straps/Clips/Anchor Bolts; Palm Beach County, Florida; 2010

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