How to Pour a Concrete Roof for Storm Shelter

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. A concrete roof is extremely durable and will protect your home from flying debris, high winds, and torrential rains. Concrete is also an excellent insulator, so it will keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

How to Pour a Concrete Roof for Storm Shelter

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 foundation before, so if you’ve done this before, feel free to skip ahead. The first thing you need to do is find a good spot on your property to pour the concrete roof. You’ll want to make sure that there’s no chance of the storm shelter flooding, so a high and dry spot is ideal.

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. Next, you’ll need to attach furring strips to the concrete. These will create a space for your plywood and help keep the roof from leaking. Be sure the furring strips are level before attaching them to the wall.

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. If you want to include the storm shelter into your main house or garage, then this is a great time to do so.

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. Once the concrete is ready, you can begin pouring it around the rebar. This should be done slowly to avoid splashing or spillage. Keep a few buckets of water nearby so that you can clean up any messes right away.

Wearing Work Gloves

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.

Use High-quality Paint

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.

Storm Shelters Are the Safest Places

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 solid structure specifically designed to withstand extreme wind events 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 strong 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.

You Can Check It Out to: Cap a Chimney With Concrete

Frequently Asked Question

Can You Pour Concrete on Roof?

The answer is yes. If you want to pour concrete on your roof, then make sure that the surface area of the roof has been thoroughly cleaned and prepared for pouring concrete.

Roof Has Been Thoroughly Cleaned

Will Fema Pay for A Storm Shelter?

Fema has a program called the National Flood Insurance Program that is intended to help people with purchasing a storm shelter. This program provides grants for certain types of construction, including constructing or expanding your home’s storm protection and adding living space in order to raise it above flood levels.

For example, if you live in an area where flooding is always a threat, then this program can help you finance the purchase of a portable home or houseboat that will allow you to stay above water during severe weather events. If your area floods but doesn’t have any storm shelters available, then Fema might be able to provide funding for building one yourself as long as they can verify that your location meets the requirements.

Can You Build Your Own Tornado Shelter?

Building your own tornado shelter is not possible. However, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself from a tornado. One of the best ways to protect yourself from tornadoes is by finding safe places in your home where you can take cover during severe weather conditions.

You should also make sure that you have an emergency plan for when the weather turns bad and be aware of local warning signs like lightning or thunderstorms, which will alert you about impending danger.

What Type of Storm Shelter Is Best?

It is best to have a storm shelter with an underground room that can be accessed by a stairway or ladder.

Some of the benefits of having a storm shelter are:

  • It helps you avoid the dangers of being trapped in your home during storms, such as floods and high winds.
  • It protects you from potential injury caused by falling debris.
  • It provides protection from electrical hazards such as power lines, trees, and poles.
  • It prevents injuries from broken glass and flying debris.

How Much Does a Storm Shelter Concrete Roof Cost?

A concrete roof can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. This price depends on the size of the shelter and the type of materials used.

However, if you’re considering building a storm shelter at home or elsewhere in your property, it’s worth doing a little research into costs before beginning construction. This will help you get an idea of what a concrete roof would cost in your area.

Building a Storm Shelter at Home


A well-built concrete floor and 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 and tornado shelter. With these instructions and tips in mind, you should now feel confident that pouring your own roof and concrete storm shelter 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 .

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