Posted by Doug Lethin
We have been asked if a SkyLift Hardware supported patio cover will fly off the house. The basis of the question is centered on the perception that a SkyLift supported “fly-over” cover is like a wing and will lift off the roof. We use the word “Lift” in the SkyLift name to describe the lifting of the patio roof over the primary house roof by the means of the riser column of the hardware and not to indicate a “Lift Off”.
The question is answered in several ways.
First: The shape of a “fly-over” SkyLift supported roof is not a “wing” shape. The shape of a wing is specifically designed to create lift with a specific arc that contributes to lift. The typical SkyLift supported cover is shaped like a straight shed roof and acts more like an airfoil you would see on the back of a race car. The pressure of the wind blowing at a SkyLift cover is pushing down on the cover, so the wind coming at the SkyLift cover actually pushes the cover down.
Second: There is typically a gap between the roof planes of a SkyLift supported “fly-over” cover. This gap between the two roofs, vents any pressure from underneath the cover; this also includes wind pressure that could contribute to lifting the cover (this vent also helps remove trapped heat and bar-b-que fumes in the summer).
Third: The attachment of the SkyLift Hardware is with Simpson-Strong Tie SDS Structural Screws (or equal) to the top of the exterior structural wall. The attachment to the top plates is very secure and on the exterior wall that the roof is attached to, which is one of the strongest areas of the house.
Fourth: We have tested the standard duty SkyLift risers and they performed extremely well. As a result, we have never had reports of any SkyLift supported structures failing in any high wind conditions. SkyLift Hardware has been used many times and the results are consistent with a properly designed structure and engineered project.
Fifth: We recommend our Heavy Duty products for areas that might have high wind, seismic or snow load conditions. The Heavy Duty SkyLift Hardware has twice the attachment as our standard duty and a more substantial base plate and gusseted riser for added stability in case of extreme conditions.
Doug Lethin literally grew up in the building industry. His father launched C&R Remodeling in 1961 in Salem, Oregon, and Doug was born right around the same time. Lethin took over the business in 1989 and invented the SKYLIFT roof riser hardware in 2010.