It’s that time of year, the December spirit is in the air.
While for adults the most exciting part of the holiday break is the opportunity to recharge the batteries, for the smaller members of the family, it’s the arrival of Father Christmas.
Yes, the arrival of Saint Nick is an occasion the kiddies wait an entire year for.
To be more specific, roughly 2.2 billion children could be collective tapping their fingers on the proverbial table, waiting for him to arrive with their presents. And if you want another general fact about this yearly event, Santa needs to travel at 3000 times the speed of sound (about 1 029 000 metres per second) in his 32 hour Christmas shift to deliver a present to every child on the list.
But for us, the interesting part is the roof trusses. After all, the man in red and white, driving a sky-bound sleigh carries roughly 300 000 tonnes of presents. So, is your roof ready to handle this much mass? Actually, can your trusses handle all the natural curveballs that this jolly man throws at it? Let’s answer these questions so the smaller members of the family don’t lie awake at night worrying. But let’s get one thing straight at the beginning, the answer is OBVIOUSLY YES!
Let’s dive into:
Uniform, Dead, and Live Load
We need to first do is calculate a few mathematical sums and understand a couple concepts – yeah, it’s not that simple. The equation is:
Load (kg) x 1 square metre = Uniform Load
Just so you know, Live and Dead Loads are sub-divisions of Uniform Loads (or total load). Live loads refer to temporary items, like people staying on the roof, and Dead is the actual rigid structures, so bricks and roof tiles.
Back to Uniform load and gauging if Santa can land. It’s also worth noting that the Uniform Load is equally distributed through trusses. This weight is then carried horizontally to the beams, down into the walls, and finally into the foundation structure.
According to Protea Timber & Building Materials International’s density tests, Radiata Pine, grown in South Africa, has a density strength of 611kg per cubic metre. So, for a very rough calculation, take the calculation above, average the load to around 500 – 611kgs, use the square metre measurement of your home’s roof, and you’ll get the answer. Simple!
Whatever it is, we’re pretty sure it’s enough to accommodate the strain of Santa, the sleigh, seven reindeer, the presents…
Coming in hot!
As we mentioned, Father Christmas is a busy man on 25 December. Actually, he works 32 hours because of time zones, and to be honest, this could be the topic of its own blog. Anyway, as we mentioned before, to make these deliveries in the allotted time, he is travelling at 3000 times the speed of sound. “You know North Pole Corp has been at the cutting edge of technology for ages.”
At this speed, his sleigh will cause a loud sonic boom, but also like a space shuttle launch it creates a massive amount of heat. Since it’s hard to gauge how hot going at this speed would make the sleigh, let’s say it gets as hot as the space shuttle, which is 1,650°C. This means your roofing material would need to be able to handle this temperature.
Luckily, the average South African roof tile is pretty tough, with it being rated to handle such temperatures. Also, worth noting locally, December isn’t the coldest time of year. So, no temperature shock damage. Those with snow on their roofs… well, let’s say it shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s also worth mentioning that the melting point of titanium is 1,668°C, so when ordering a roof from us, maybe ask for the titanium option… Also, tungsten has the highest melting point for metal – 3,422°C. So that’s also an option.
Speed of Wind
Like a car whizzing past you on the freeway, Father Christmas’s sleigh is going to generate a lot of wind drag. Which means when it is flying overhead, your house’s roof will need to withstand this intense gust of wind.
On average, it is believed that winds in excess of 210km/h would be needed to rip your house’s roof off with the correctly installed truss. We think, even at full pace, Santa’s sleigh won’t blow your home over. Maybe it will rattle the Christmas tree, though.
After looking at all the figures and sharing them with the little ones (yeah, your home has tungsten nails, #GreatFibsForChildren), we think you should ensure your braai’s chimney is open for a holiday guest to slide down.
From all of us at EndoTruss – we wish you a Merry Christmas!