Wind Mitigation Inspection
Our wind mitigation inspection services seek to confirm what building-related efforts were made in the building of your home to make it resistant to high winds, like those experienced in a hurricane. Some of those features are “hip” roofs (which you can read more about HERE). The inspector will assess and list construction/configuration features that are included with the structure of your house which will help to protect against the damages caused by passing storms.
The Florida Department of Financial Services, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Florida’s Foundation, and Florida Safe Homes Alliance, all endorse and apply the same scientific/research-based guidelines and recommendations for alerting and warning the general public regarding these storm-saving, safety-protecting building items. The results of this guidance have culminated in a “Unified Disaster Mitigation Checklist” that you may submit to your insurer to consider in order for them to provide you with a substantial discount.
Florida Statue 627.0629 requires that insurance companies provide “discounts, credits, or other rate differences to the residents of the State of Florida…” for building techniques proven to lessen wind damage caused by hurricanes and other tropical storms. Features mentioned in this report should be verified by a licensed inspector. Some ways an inspector may verify these components are by permit numbers, bills, installation date records, and engineering approval numbers for materials. Photographs showing that various criteria are met should also be included with this report to allow acceptance and review.
It is important to note that neither the Inspector nor the Homeowner has any say or input regarding a decision made by the Insurance Company of your choice regarding whether or not a discount is offered or considered as part of this report. In some cases, you may be presented with opportunities to obtain further discounts for adding missing materials/components, such as storm windows. It has been our experience that most of our customers receive discounts because you are entitled to receive every discount, but are ineligible for others. The reports gained are valid for over 5 years, and may be provided to other insurance companies for quote purposes if you are shopping around (provided that the reports are no older than 5 years). We have observed and been informed of substantial discounts on customer premiums of hundreds to thousands.
So, what is an examiner looking for?
Your inspector will be recording your application for building permits, checking if it is from / post 9/11/94 (Miami-Dade and Broward; High Winds) or from / post 3/1/2002 for the rest of the state. This is because those buildings were built according to either the South Florida Building Code (SFBC-94) or Florida Building Code (known as Florida Building Code, 2001, or FBC). On March 1, 2002, the Florida Building Code was established as the overriding code for all other local building codes within the state of Florida. Buildings built before those dates may not use the same construction standards, since building codes are standards contractors are required to pass to build their projects.
Building codes have become more strict over time, and they are improving how we build our buildings. We have learned from our mistakes, and have tightened our standards every time a revision is passed, which happens in Florida every 3 years.
To help your inspector, do not hesitate to gather any permit dates, occupancy certificates, or other building documents showing the time of the construction of the home. Here, too, an inspector will be documenting the date of installation, but for the roof itself (not the whole house). Obviously, if the whole building meets that criteria, the roof will too. Often, though, a roof may have met this criterion, but the building did not, because the roof materials were replaced later on (and did so according to the most current Building Regulations).
Roof installations following those dates, then, show they were permitted/installed under FBC. This means the materials were evaluated, the type/spacing of the fasteners, number of fasteners per shingle/tile, etc. Similar to building construction dates, you may assist the inspector by compiling any receipts or documents reflecting installation dates (of your roofing). When it comes to wind mitigation reports, the Roof geometry section is the important one.
As you are probably aware, most home roof systems are dependent on evaporation suppression (not water sealing) to keep water from getting into our homes. This is typically accomplished by the roof surfaces being slanted in order to create a continuous draining route for water.
For a good, thorough write-up of the subject, please see here (which you may want to read at a later date, rather than right now).
So, those shingles, cement, or perhaps clay tiles that are on your roof are there to wick the water away and absorb the effects of harmful UV (not for water protection). For an in-depth discussion on the mitigation aspects, and how they protect your home against wind forces, read our wind mitigation blog article. For the other inspection services we provide, please visit our Services page. For information on a 4-point inspection, you can learn more by reading our blog on this topic.