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WOOD: Wind Uplift on Rafters

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Okay, more dumb question time:


I had noticed in the tables in the 2000 IRC (and I’m certain this is the same as in the earlier SBC, BOCA and UBC as well), the rafter loading considered is always DL & LL, Wind is never mentioned.


Now I’m looking at the newly-purchased WCFM, and the tables therein for “Roof and Wall Sheathing Suction Loads” (Table 2.4) states specifically that it’s “for sheathing and sheathing attachment).


So where the heck does the wind go after it hits the attachment? Why does it APPEAR that the rafters never “see” the wind effects? Is this another of those arcane “residential design” things that we discuss here from time to time?


When I design a flat-roof with, say, steel joists, it is always understood that there is wind uplift transmitted to the joists, which often results in a NET uplift force. So why not the rafters in a sloped roof? Or am I missing something here?


Thanks for any insights you can give.


Bill Polhemus, P.E.

Polhemus Engineering Company

Katy, Texas USA