If you own a log cabin, you must have wondered, can it withstand a tornado? Even though logs cabins don’t seem strong and reliable, unlike traditional houses, there is something in them. On the other hand, tornadoes are very powerful and can do a lot of damage to everything that gets in their way. But can a log cabin survive a strong and powerful tornado? I did some research, and the results that I found surprised me a bit. So let’s start.
Can Log Cabins Survive A Tornado?
So, Can a log Cabin Survive A Tornado? Log cabins are usually built on strong foundations and have strong log walls that are capable to withstand harsh storms and tornados. While hurricanes and tornados are able to destroy most homes, log cabins are able to withstand such powerful winds.
However, log cabins are not built to serve as storm shelters. Instead, their purpose is to serve as temporary homes and places where you can relax. If a log cabin is not professionally built, it may not withstand powerful winds and tornados. Some log cabins are even built to resist the damage from trees that fall on them during bad storms.
Although it all depends on the built quality and how it is made, the log cabin should withstand the strength of a tornado. Keep in mind that there are several types of tornadoes, where some can even reach speeds up to 300 mph. Below we will go through some important questions that are also related to this topic, so keep reading.
For those who want to know more, be sure to read Can A Log Cabin Be Moved? Expert Explain.
How Strong Is A Log Cabin?
Although many people think that log cabins are a thing of the past, they are wrong! Traditional log cabins have much more advantages compared to conventional homes. That’s why people today have a big interest in them and are looking for quality sustainable cabins (homes).
Homes that are built out of logs can withstand strong storms and bad weather. On the other hand, hurricanes and tornados are powerful enough to destroy normal city homes. If the log cabin is well made, it can withstand even the damage from trees that fall on them during bad storms.
Log homes are usually built out of dead timber. In addition to all of these advantages that we’ll talk about, we must mention that log cabins last much longer than brick homes. Did you know that building a log cabin requires much fewer resources than when you build a home out of bricks? Yes, it’s true!
Trees are used to be in bad and stormy weather, and that’s why they are the perfect choice as material. It should also be noted that the way the log cabins were built has changed a lot since the golden age of the pioneers, and today’s cabins are much more durable than they used to be.
The Strenght Of A Tornado
Tornadoes come in many different shapes and sizes, and they can range from only a few yards to one mile in width. Usually, the size and shape of a tornado are not an indicator of its strength and capabilities. The speed at which they move can reach up to 60 mph (96 km/h).
Note! Tornadoes are considered extremely dangerous because they can change direction very quickly.
The winds inside the tornado are strong enough to lift heavy objects such as cars or even people off the ground. The power of a tornado can even carry objects a few miles away from their location.
Based on their wind speed and resultant damage, tornadoes are classified into three broad groups:
|Tornado Type:||Tornado Scale||Wind Speed|
|Weak Tornado||EF0, EF1||65 to 110 mph|
|Strong Tornado||EF2, EF3||111 to 165 mph|
|Violent Tornado||EF4, EF5||166 to 200 mph or more|
Since 2007, the most commonly used method for estimating the strength of tornado and wind speed is Enhanced F-Scale.
What Makes A Log Cabin Strong?
1. Fire Resistant Log Walls
Did you know that most log homes are fire-resistant? The logs from which the cabins are made are difficult to ignite because of their large size and density compared to other trees and materials from which traditional homes are constructed.
During strong storms, a tornado can suck up electrical objects and poles that can cause a fire. As cabins are made of strong logs, they are not easy to ignite, and it takes much more than a couple of sparks to cause a fire. As fires are common today, log cabins have been shown to withstand even large fires and temperatures that have engulfed the area around them.
2. Walls Made Of Log
The walls from which the cabins are made are usually from strong logs. These logs are not only strong but also long-lasting, which means that regardless of the weather, they can withstand natural disasters. Logs are exposed to all weather conditions; so it is normal to expect them to be good material for the cabin as well.
Today log cabins are built with quality lumber that has a long life. There is recorded evidence that the cabin that was torn from its foundations floated in one piece of the river. If that’s not a good indicator of endurance, I don’t know what is.
3. Durable Roof
Traditional homes, compared to log cabins, are built-in one piece. This means that when a tornado strikes and one part of the structure goes down, then the whole home usually goes down. During a tornado strike, roofs are the ones that most commonly get damaged.
Also, strong winds that appear during tornadoes can pass inside the walls of houses and thus disrupt the house’s interior, which can lead the whole structure to collapse. But that is not the case with log cabins. Even when the log cabin roof is torn out, the log walls are heavy and strong enough to resist the tornado’s winds. Also, keep in mind that you can add additional hurricane straps and bracing to your cabin to make it even stronger.
4. Earthquake Resistant
Just as they are good to withstand strong winds and tornadoes, log homes can withstand earthquakes. As the constructions of cabins are built of heavy materials (logs), they can hold up their own weight and the roof’s weight.
Therefore, when an earthquake occurs, the log cabin will withstand the earthquake and will not cause any material damage. There was a case where it was recorded that the epicenter of a 5.7 Richter scale was 1000 yards from the log cabin, and nothing happened.
Vulnerabilities of Log Cabins During the Storm
Now that we’ve seen all the advantages that log cabins have, and as they are strong enough to withstand strong winds and tornadoes, there are also some downsides to consider. In this chapter, we’ll go through all the disadvantages that come with a log cabin.
1. Their Location
The biggest disadvantage of log cabins is their secluded location. Log cabins are mostly located in the middle of the forest, and if some disaster strikes, it can be quite dangerous to be left on your own. For example, if a tornado hits your log cabin and someone is injured, it could take over a few hours for police and emergency services to arrive at your location.
Keep in mind that fires can also occur in the middle of the forest. Fires can reach temperatures above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. You will not be comfortable if you find yourself in a situation where you do not have firefighters or other services available to help you put out the fire.
Although disasters like tornadoes are rare in the areas where log cabins are located, you’ll never know when they can strike. Therefore, if you have a log cabin, be aware that this could happen.
2. Log Cabin Price
Log cabins are an expensive investment. If you decide on the quality material of logs during construction, the price can be quite high. If we take the average, building a log cabin costs between $150,000 to $300,000. Add to that the cost of maintenance and landscaping, which can go up to an additional $50,000. Therefore, if you have a big enough budget, you are free to build one for yourself.
Note! If possible, it is advisable to do insurance with your log cabin so that all the money invested is not lost if a disaster happens.
You should also be interested to know more about Can Log Cabins Have Basements?
FAQ: People Also Ask
1. Can A Wood House Withstand A Tornado?
Most wood-frame houses can’t withstand the force of a tornado. There is nothing that you can do if a powerful tornado comes down on a home. On the other hand, you can always strengthen your house to be as resistant to strong winds as possible.
2. Are Log Homes Hurricane Proof?
Log homes made of strong and quality logs can withstand high winds caused by hurricanes. The strength of the hurricane should also be considered. Therefore, we can say in most cases that log homes can protect you from strong winds.
3. Can Log Cabins Withstand An Earthquake?
Log cabins can easily withstand earthquakes. If the foundations on which the log cabin is placed and the quality of the logs on which the cabin is composed are strong enough, the earthquake can’t damage it. The walls of a log cabin support each other, which means that if one of them collapses, the entire cabin will collapse, which is highly unlikely to happen.
4. Are Log Cabins Safe?
Log cabins are considered safe construction if they are made by professionals. Logs that are an integral part of cabins are very strong and durable materials. The biggest disadvantage of log cabins is their location, where you are quite far from everyone.
Having gone through all the advantages and disadvantages of log cabins, we can say that they are much safer than traditional brick houses. If the log cabin is well built, it can withstand a tornado impact. Strong walls and a solid foundation are important things to look for in a cabin. We hope that this article has helped you and that you are better acquainted with the log cabin possibilities. If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask us.