Concrete Masonry and Hurricanes: Keeping You Safer
When it comes to concrete masonry and hurricanes, ask yourself what type of structure do you want surrounding you and your loved ones in the midst of a hurricane or tropical storm?
In a report from the Masonry Association of Florida (FloridaMasonry.com), strong arguments were made against wood-frame construction and for the strong security of concrete masonry buildings. Following is an excerpt from the “MAF Masonry Fact Sheet ‐ 1.0 A Strength Comparison” document.
“Wood frame structures have always suffered from a connection problem. The difficulty comes from trying to tie together all of the individual pieces of lumber making up a wood structure. The typical wood frame home contains roughly 2,000 nails and connectors. Making sure all of these connectors are installed properly is a huge and complicated task.
The failure of even a handful of these connectors can and has been catastrophic in the actual performance of wood structures under wind load. Think about trying to connect a severed 6-inch diameter branch back onto a tree with its original strength. These complicated connections, combined with the recent discovery that wood only possesses a fraction of the strength previously attributed to it, brings the poor performance of wood structures into a clearer focus.
Concrete masonry construction offers a clearly superior alternative to the structural weakness of wood frame. Connections are made with steel bars and concrete grout. Because of advances in manufacturing and installation, structural design values of concrete masonry have actually increased. While costs are extremely competitive, the superior performance of concrete masonry is overwhelming, and costs for wood frame will be increasing due to the decrease in the 2 x 4 design values.”
“MAF Masonry Fact Sheet ‐ 1.0 A Strength Comparison” can be found at floridamasonry.com/assets/resources/masonry_fact_sheet-1.0a-strengthcomparison.pdf. Arm yourself with facts to support what you already know about concrete masonry and hurricanes: the undeniable strength of concrete masonry.