People often live in areas that are prone to storms, and while some may not want to deal with the aftermath of a hurricane or tornado, others know they need an idea for protection. If you’re one of these people who needs shelter from weather-related disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes, there is no better choice than pouring your concrete roof.
There are plenty of guides out there on how to pour a concrete roof for storm shelter, but this article will go over the basics steps that will help get you started on building your home security system. These instructions will be tailored more towards those who have never attempted to pour their own concrete before, so if you’ve done this before, feel free to skip ahead.
Step by Step Guide on How to Pour a Concrete Roof for Storm Shelter
Step One: Prepare the Foundation
The first step to pouring a concrete roof is to make sure the foundation is level. The best way to do this is by using 2 x 4s and shims like you would for your home construction. Be sure these are well-leveled before continuing with the construction of your storm shelter’s roof.
Step Two: Build the Frame
The framework for your concrete roof needs to be built out of steel rebar, which is rated for high tension use. Each corner of your storm shelter needs three pieces of steel: two vertical and one diagonal. If you want a rustic look that matches the theme of your backyard, then put the rebar up in a herringbone fashion. This is more time-consuming but gives you the unique and beautiful appearance of an old barn.
The overall framework for your concrete roof needs to be strong and completely level, so make sure that each piece of steel is well braced before continuing on with the construction of your storm shelter.
Step Three: Pour the Concrete
Once your rebar is properly placed, it’s time to start pouring the concrete. At least two people are needed to pour the concrete for the best results. Make sure both of you are wearing work gloves and long sleeve shirts to avoid getting dirt or debris inside your clothing. The cement should be mixed in a wheelbarrow until it is thick like a pancake batter.
Pour the concrete mix slowly and carefully to ensure you don’t get any dirt or debris inside your storm shelter’s roof. Each section should be poured about an inch at a time, making sure that the previous layer has dried before you start on the next. Only add the next layer once you’re sure that the previous one has dried sufficiently.
Step Four: Level and Smooth the Concrete
Once all of the pieces of your storm shelter’s roof have been poured, it is time to smooth them out and make sure they are level with one another. This is best done by using a bull float, which can be rented at most hardware stores.
After the concrete has been smoothed out with a bull float, let it dry for 12 hours. You can speed this up by using an electric fan to move air across the drying cement. Be sure not to breathe in any of the dust while you are cleaning up after decorating your storm shelter’s roof!
Step Five: Clean up and Decorate
After your concrete roof has dried, all you need to do is clean up the construction site. Sweep away any dirt or debris before touching the newly poured cement. Then, you can decorate your new storm shelter with whatever you like, whether it be some potted plants or even an outdoor barbeque.
Your new concrete roof will protect you from the elements, whether it be hail or tornadoes. Make sure to check out our other free construction plans for things like gazebos and sheds!
Step Six: Maintain Your Storm Shelter
Once your storm shelter is finished and adequately maintained, you can enjoy it for many years. However, it will need to be inspected annually by a professional and repainted every two or three years. Be sure to use high-quality paint designed for preexisting structures so that the paint will last longer.
If you follow these steps carefully, then you will have a fully functioning storm shelter or safe room in no time! If you want to find out more about how to pour a concrete roof for storm shelter, keep reading.
How Do You Waterproof a Storm Shelter?
I set out to waterproof my storm shelter, and this is the story of how I did it. It’s a small building in my backyard that can fit under most elevated homes in case of tornados. Underneath, there is room for storage and a workbench. The outside walls are made of concrete blocks, so I wanted to use concrete to make the roof.
I started by measuring out how much concrete I would need using a wheelbarrow and screed board. Concrete is sold in cubic yards, so knowing my dimensions helped me determine how many concrete mix bags to buy. When adding water to the powder form of concrete, use only as much as necessary to make it wet and workable. The more water you add, the weaker your concrete will be.
Concrete is hefty and difficult to transport, so I decided on a 10 x 8-foot area as my pour zone and brought all my materials there before mixing concrete. I already had some rebar in place for when I poured the concrete and wooden 2x4s laid out across the top of the blocks to serve as a working platform. This will help in how to pour a concrete roof for storm shelter.
Are Concrete Storm Shelters Safe?
Storm shelters are the safest places to stay during a tornado because their underground location is the only type of structure specifically designed to withstand high winds and flying debris. The Storm Shelter Association of America (SSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guide states in creating shelter systems that homeowners, schools, and businesses can use.
Concrete is the material of choice for most installations because it is one of the most durable materials available. The concrete roof must meet multiple loads: dead load (shelter weight), live load (snow, people, and furniture), and wind load. Concrete is not an ideal roofing material because it cannot dissipate heat like asphalt shingles or metal roofing panels.
For this reason, most homeowners will want to consider adding insulation before pouring the concrete roof. Although many home insulation types are available, expanded polystyrene (EPS) or extruded polystyrene (XPS) is the best option for a shelter roof. Both products have high compressive strength, making them ideal for structures with heavy loads. In addition, EPS and XPS have moisture resistance that will ensure your shelter’s longevity in any location.
A well-built concrete roof will last decades and protect you from the weather. It can also be built to withstand a significant amount of weight, perfect for storm shelters. With these instructions and tips in mind, you should now feel confident that pouring your own concrete roof is possible!
If you have any questions or need assistance with anything else related to this project, we’re here for you! We hope this article has been helpful, and we look forward to hearing back if you decide to take on this DIY task yourself. Have fun building your new home haven today! After reading this blog, you should know how to pour a concrete roof for storm shelter.
Check it out also – How to Remove Asphalt Sealer From Concrete .