Metal hurricane clips provide a positive connection for tying the roof to the wall. The once common practice of toe-nailing the trusses or rafters to the wall is not sufficient to hold a roof in place during high winds. Most older houses don't have hurricane clips, and it's hard to see if your home has them because of insulation in the attic.

It’s very difficult to install hurricane clips in the attic of existing homes because of limited space where the roof meets the wall. After Hurricane Iniki almost tore the roof off my home, I invented a hurricane clip that could be retrofitted to the outside of a wood-frame house. Read about how I invented these new hurricane clips.

The Clincher (shown above) is made to be installed on the outside wall and wrap around the freeze board without removing any other material. They are designed to tie together the rafter, wall, and top plate on homes that never had strong hurricane ties. Previously, carpenters used a weak nail
connection or thin hurricane clips. These work as long as there is no uplift on the wall-to-rafter connection,which is precisely what develops under hurricane conditions.


 During severe winds, all it takes is a small pebble to shatter a large window and pressurize your home making the chances of destroying it go up tremendously.



The inventions shown on this web site are protected under United States Patents or are patent-pending. The following patent numbers protect these inventions: 6,205,713; 6,490,840; 6,662,517; and 6,763,634.


Other Inventions






Before investing in dies for fabricating the Clincher, we had Crenshaw Die and Manufacturing make several prototypes. I wanted to see how they fit, if the nail-hole spacing was correct, and how much stronger they were than toe nailing. Our testing apparatus was low-tech, but accurate. And the best part was that we already had everything we needed, right here. Read More...

Newsletter from Kapolei Library

My Opinion.

Hopefully we learned a lesson from Hurricane Katrina in that we should all be more self-reliant and we can not expect someone else to take care of us. As seen, the consequences can be extremely painful and grim. It seemed as though no thought was made by FEMA for mitigation and protecting their citizens homes and businesses, and we all are going to pay the price for their complete and utter failure.

I don’t think their job should be in supplying ice and water, but to avoid catastrophes from occurring in the first place. Especially, since the levees didn’t collapse during the hurricane, but after. I have yet to see any government publications that show a homeowner about significantly increasing the strength of their homes, and the reason why these actions should be taken.

It does no good to show how old-style hurricane clips go on new buildings when nobody is going to remove roofs or walls to install them. I have gone to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the General Aviation Show, and have seen what ordinary people are capable of. Their level of workmanship and ingenuity surpassed some professional aircraft mechanics.

So if you are truly serious about protecting your home I would suggest you at least make an effort to try and strengthen the weakest part. If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, then the rafter-to-wall connection should be the first thing to be strengthened on a home. And I think a valuable lesson after Hurricane Katrina is you had better look out for yourself and be prepared for any disaster that might occur. If you feel uncomfortable or reluctant to do-it-yourself, you should call a contractor and not wait until the last minute.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson, head of the Tallahassee-based Federal Alliance of Safe Homes, said the IBHS study points the way for state policymakers and the insurance industry to place more emphasis on promoting better construction rather than just paying and repaying for the same hurricane losses. "Just increasing policyholder deductibles and worrying about reinsurance is not enough," she said. "Everyone should now realize that the key to solving the insurance challenge is to build sturdier structures."

Chapman-Henderson, who serves on a legislative task force on hurricanes and is a member of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund advisor committee, said citizens need to know that just having a evacuation plan in place, and storing bottled water and flashlights is not enough. “Instead”, she said, “the public needs to become educated about the importance and benefits of taking steps to protect their homes from extensive wind damage. We do not need any more evidence to know what we need to do in order to change the cycle. It all starts at home. It's just insanity to build houses without this information.”

The great equalizer is not knowledge but ACTION.


Hawaiian Plantation style home

These post-and-beam houses used heavy, old-growth Douglas Fir 4x8 rafters, on 4x4 posts, that are stronger than modern 2x4's,and more termite resistant. But with a standard home having only 13 rafters per side, and four nails per rafter, there’s only 52 nails per side, or a total of 104 toe nails holding down the roof.

The toe nails were driven in from the top so they can be easily pulled out when a load is applied upward. What exacerbates the problem, is the long overhang on most older homes in Hawaii. The overhang helps lift the roof during a hurricane.

With my hurricane Clinchers installed, like in the model above, you can use 20 nails per rafter. On the mentioned house, there would be 260 nails per side for a total of 520 nails. Plus, all these nails would have to be sheared. This is why hurricane clips are required on new buildings.

Thomas Thompson

contact us at hurricanehotline.org


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