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Connections Across Floors

Two story houses have more wind stress applied to them than one story houses because they block the wind more and they stick up in the air to catch winds that are stronger than those nearer to the ground. Generally, you will not have any way to see or assess the floor to floor connections unless you are re-siding your house. If you are re-siding your house or have it opened up because of repairs or remodeling, you should find that either straps or continuous wood sheathing have been used to connect between wall studs on the floor above and below. If you don't find either of these and really in any case if you have a two story house, you should get a design professional to help you decide how best to connect the floors before you install the new siding. Generally, if your roof structure is poorly connected to the walls of the top floor and the first floor walls are poorly connected to the foundations, you can be reasonably certain that the connections at intermediate floors are also weak and that you home is more vulnerable than a comparable one story house to hurricane damage. If you don't have a lot of confidence in the strength of your multi-story house, do what you can for your roof, protect the window and doors, try to limit water intrusion and plan to evacuate early.

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