Wind Mitigation Inspections in Florida

Wind Mitigation Inspections in Florida
6 min read
24 October 2022

During our wind mitigation inspections, we look for evidence of how your house was built to withstand severe winds, such as those encountered during a hurricane. These include "hip" roofs and other unique design elements (which you can read more about HERE). During the inspection, the Inspector will look at and document any construction/configuration characteristics in your home that might assist in safeguarding it against storm damage.

Scientific/research-based guidelines for alerting and warning the general public about these storm-saving, safety-protecting building items are endorsed and applied by the Florida Department of Financial Services, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Florida's Foundation, and the Florida Safe Homes Alliance. Following this advice, you should be able to submit a "Unified Disaster Mitigation Checklist" to your insurance to get a significant discount.

"Discounts, credits, or other rate variations to the inhabitants of the State of Florida... for constructing approaches proven to reduce wind damage caused by hurricanes or other tropical storms," according to Florida Statute 627.0629. It is recommended that you have a certified inspector verify any claims made in this document. Permit numbers, invoices, installation dates, and supplies' engineering approval numbers are all ways an inspector may verify these components. For this report to be accepted and reviewed, it should also contain images demonstrating that different requirements have been satisfied.

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.

How can you tell what a test taker is searching for?

YIf you choose an insurance company, it is up to them to decide whether or not to provide you with a discount, and neither the Inspector nor the Homeowner can influence that decision. Storm windows, for example, may be eligible for further savings if they are not already included in the price of the home. Most of our clients get savings because you are entitled to all discounts, but not all discounts are available. Insurers may use the records to get a price estimate from other firms if you're shopping around for insurance (provided that the reports are no older than 5 years). We've heard of significant savings of hundreds to thousands of dollars on client premiums.

Whether you've applied for construction permits in Miami-Dade or Broward, your Inspector will check to see if it was issued after 9/11/94 or after 3/1/2002 for the rest of the state. They were constructed by the South Florida Building Code (SFBC-94) or the Florida Building Code (FBC) (known as Florida Building Code, 2001, or FBC). The Florida Construction Code took effect on March 1, 2002, and now supersedes all existing state and municipal building rules in the Sunshine State. As a result, buildings constructed before those dates may not meet the same construction requirements as those constructed after those dates.

 

Building rules have tightened over time, resulting in better quality construction. In Florida, a revision is approved every three years, and we have learned from our errors and strengthened our standards.

 

Do not be afraid to obtain any building papers, such as to permit dates, occupancy certificates, or other dates, to assist your Inspector. A roof inspector will also mark the installation date here, but on the actual roof itself instead of the shingles (not the whole house). If the rest of the structure is up to snuff, so is the roof. Even if a roof satisfies this condition, the structure itself may not, due to a subsequent replacement of the roof's materials (and did so according to the most current Building Regulations).

 

After those dates, then, FBC-permitted/installed roofs may be found. So the fastener type and spacing, number of fastening per shingle/tile, etc., were all examined. You might help the Inspector by assembling any receipts or documentation showing the installation date (of your roofing). The Roof geometry part of wind mitigation papers is critical.

 

Most residential roof systems, as you may know, rely on evaporation suppression rather than water sealing to keep water out. Typically, this is done by slanting the roofs to provide a continuous drainage path for rainwater.

 

Here is a nice, in-depth look at the topic matter (which you may want to read at a later date, rather than right now).

So, your roof's shingles, cement, or clay tiles are there to drain away water and absorb the dangerous UV rays that come from the sun (not for water protection). Read our wind mitigation blog post for more information on the mitigation components and how they protect your house from wind mitigation. Visit our Services page to learn about the additional inspection services we provide. You may find out more about a 4-point examination by reading our blog.

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