The term ‘shear’ is used in construction in several different ways. Shear can be used when referring to a lateral load or force that is applied during high wind events or earthquakes, but it is also more generally used to describe stress on a wall system that occurs due to an applied load.
Homes built in high-wind areas must be able to withstand the wind forces known as uplift (which try to roll the structure over) and shear (which tries to push the structure sideways). Catastrophic damage to property and tragic loss of life have prompted industry professionals to look for cost-effective ways to build homes better able to withstand combined shear and uplift using products trades are familiar with. Now structural wall sheathing can provide the required continuous load path needed to resist high winds and meet high wind codes.