Wind Resistance of Vented Vinyl and Aluminum Soffit Panel Systems
C. L. Alexander*, F. J. Masters*, M. J. Morrison**,
and S. Bolton*
*Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, University of Florida, 365 Weil Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
**Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Western Ontario
This paper addresses the wind load resistance of straight and corner sections of aluminum and vinyl vented soffits. Multiple post-storm damage assessments have documented their failure on low-rise buildings. This study used a pressure loading actuator system to apply quasi-static (ramp) and dynamic wind loading derived from wind tunnel measurements to conventional soffit systems in order to determine failure pressures. The results indicate that shorter overhangs are expected to perform well, even in very severe tropical cyclones. However, longer overhang soffits fail at significantly lower pressures. Corner sections appear to be more susceptible to wind loading than straight sections; additional guidance regarding installation (especially for corner installations) and product approval is warranted.
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