I’ve personally thrown this question out to several people in the past and the answers have all been somewhat similar, “Why on earth do I need to build my Tiny House to withstand a hurricane?”.
The forces of wind are often overlooked when designing and building tiny houses. Most people build for warmth and weather proofing their houses, mainly rain and snow. A large number also know they have to make sure the exterior can withstand the wind force that will be exerted on their tiny houses when being towed.
But, Very Few, Build For a Hurricane
Why a hurricane, or better put, hurricane force winds? One very simple but important reason, you won’t always be driving your tiny house around in ideal weather, you might get caught in a storm with high winds, or a good head wind. Anyone who has towed a trailer in heavy crosswinds knows what that is all about, but head winds are a little different.
Head winds in particular are the ones you need to take into consideration. If you are towing your vehicle at a moderate 60 mph and you have a head wind of say 30 mph, in reality, the wind force on your tiny house is a whopping 90+ mph force – and that’s with only a 30 mph head wind!
Batten Down The Hatches!
With the potential forces of wind your tiny house may have to stand up to, it is wise to build the exterior of your tiny house to deal with these forces. Here are a few things to consider…
- Roofing must be well secured around the perimeter of your roof and the ridge to prevent peeling up in high winds
- Roofing must be sealed to prevent wind from blowing rain up into flashing and ridge caps etc.
- Siding or Panels, and trim must be very well secured and sealed. This will ensure nothing comes lose and water is not forced behind the exterior finish
- Windows must be able to withstand high winds and it is important to install windows so wind flows over them and not in-between panes (sections of the windows). Trim and flashings around windows should be very well secured and sealed too.
- Any plumbing pipes, stove pipes and other piping or objects protruding from your tiny house should be secured well enough to withstand 120 – 140 mph winds.
That is just a few of the things that come to mind. There is more, but have a thorough look at your tiny house, or plans if you haven’t built yet, and pay attention to anything that could be adversely effected by strong winds.
This Isn’t Just About Damage To Your Tiny House – No One Wants To Get Sued!
Most of us can deal with some unexpected damage, fix it and away we go again. However, the bigger issue that you might have to deal with if your house comes apart in high wind may not be damage, but liability, aka as you might get sued if parts of your tiny house start flying off and hitting cars or trucks behind you – maybe causing an accident.
This above all else is the #1 reason to make sure your tiny house can withstand the forces of a hurricane. No one wants to be responsible for an accident or injury because their tiny house started to peel apart.
If you travel a lot, it is also a good idea to do inspections before each trip and make sure everything is staying secure and tight.
Play it safe, build your tiny house to withstand these forces and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your tiny house will stay together under the worst of conditions.