Encouraging Changes

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IMGP0181Finally, rebuilding has begun in earnest. Most of the destroyed buildings have been removed, repairs have begun on the existing buildings, and new structures are popping up daily. But, I have noticed that some of the things that we perceive as new are really old ideas just renewed. In Collins Past World Atlas of Archeology, I found pictures of domes made from bones in the Ukraine during Paleolithic times and in France at the same time, there were round structures made from animal skins and wooden poles. Obviously, the materials have changed, but the round structure has been home to man for thousands upon thousands of years.

It has been most encouraging to see people embracing alternative building methods after the recent onslaught of storms. We have a couple of ICF homes being built. With this system, insulated foam blocks are stacked to make walls. Rebar is laced between the blocks and concrete is poured into the blocks, creating an extremely strong structure. After these homes are completed, they appear to be conventional structures. They are energy efficient, durable, and a wonderful alternative when one wants to have a “normal” looking home.

IMGP0182 (Large)IMGP0205 (Large)The Elks Lodge is building an ark on pilings. I am not familiar with the exact process of construction, but it looked like they were putting together a 3-D concrete puzzle. The walls are massive. It looks extremely strong and durable. I don’t know if the Elks are planning on hosting hurricane parties, but if I were going to one it would be there.

More round kit houses are gracing the beach these days. The house comes in segments that are put together on site. Construction is quick and the round shape affords some advantages against strong winds. The kit homes on the beach that have been through several storms seemed to have fared reasonably well. With a few additions to the building process, these homes could become even more impenetrable.

Using Peel and Seal will greatly reduce your leaks, even if the shingles are compromised or missing. It will keep your roof intact long enough to repair the shingles and will help you avoid any further damages when rainy weather arrives. Peel & Seal is a multi-layer, self-adhering roofing membrane system that goes on fast. It is easy to apply in temperatures above 60 degrees. All you need is a clean, dry roof area and a pair of scissors or utility knife. Simply cut to shape, remove the backing paper, and press into place directly on the roof.

We have even seen people use it under the siding of their homes. Great idea!!!!

When the storms drive the rain into a home whose sides have been Peel and Sealed, the walls are not IMGP0210compromised and wind driven rain is not an issue. (You might get water at your windows/doors, but the Peel and Seal will protect your walls from penetration.)

The most useful advice we could give to those building a conventional structure is to use a closed cell foam to spray under your roof and on the inside of your exterior walls. This procedure will strengthen your home’s integrity and make it almost invulnerable to the destructive high winds. The foam bonds the roof to the structure so when the winds swirl around trying desperately to liberate your roof from your structure, the roof retains its integrity.

Another advantage: The foam will not absorb water. We used foam insulation throughout the Dome of a Home because we knew even if we did have a leak, the foam would eliminate the mold and mildew growth so often found on fiberglass insulation. And, of course, it is a much more effective, energy efficient insulating product for the humid climate we live in.

You don’t have to live in a Dome to have a hurricane resistant home. You can build smart by using products and processes that make sense for coastal living. Three of our favorites are the closed cell foam, peel and seal membrane, and ICF building blocks.