A wind mitigation inspection report is something we can provide as a stand-alone service for an existing homeowner or it can be done in conjunction with your 4-point or home inspection. Homeowners will oftentimes benefit from reduced insurance premiums when they submit a wind mitigation report to their insurer. The inspection will often pay for itself in the first year and credits are good for 5 years. After that, a new wind mitigation inspection will be required to make sure you still qualify for these credits. Its up to you – make sure you’re taking advantage of the wind credits available to you!
Following Hurricane Andrew, Florida citizens were shocked and upset over skyrocketing insurance premiums and deductibles. In response to this, the Florida legislature passed a law requiring insurance companies to offer their customers discounts and credits for existing building features and home improvements that reduce damage and loss from windstorms. In order to qualify for this discount, homes must undergo a certified wind mitigation inspection. As easy as this is however, many Floridians do not know of this law and unlike some home inspections, (a 4-point inspection for example), this one is not mandated by your insurer or lender.
A wind mitigation inspection report will document for your insurance company if your home has implemented certain building techniques that can limit damage caused by intense wind. Specific factors looked at include your roof and home openings, such as doors and windows. As state certified home inspectors, our inspection report will examine and document these key features:
- Roof Shape
- Roof Bracing of Gable End
- Roof Deck Attachment
- Roof Covering
- Roof to wall connections
- Secondary water resistance
- Doors (Entry, Garage and other)
- Protection of Openings (windows and other openings)
In Florida, our primary concern is wind damage caused by hurricanes. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. That’s five months every year Floridians are at risk for exposure to high winds. Wind and water intrusion from hurricanes are the primary damages we face in Florida. Water directed by rain through soffit vents or poorly sealed windows and doors can lead to mildew and mold within days. Wind damage through poorly sealed entryways can cause uplift forces on a roof due to increased pressure in the home. For the majority of homeowners, their home is their largest asset, their primary shelter and holds unlimited sentimental value. Strengthening your home by employing these mitigation techniques will help protect your greatest asset while minimizing the expense of recovery should a disaster happen.
There are a few cost effective measures you can take to safeguard your home and reduce your hurricane wind premium. For example, securing or reinforcing your roof with hurricane clips or wraps as well as the foundation-to-wall connections, and protecting your windows and other openings are the biggest ones. To qualify for the opening protection credit, windows and doors must be protected wind resistant glass or shutters. This also includes a hurricane resistant garage door. While we don’t have to worry as much in the Tallahassee area as those on the coast do, protecting your home against high winds will only help to increase the value of your home.
What if I have a new roof?
A new roof is not automatically updated with your insurance company to comply with wind mitigation discounts. If you’ve recently replaced your roof, now is the perfect time to get a wind mitigation inspection. Your insurance company will be looking for verification that the roof deck was nailed down properly, with the correct spacing and the correct size fasteners were utilized.
Who can issue a wind mitigation inspection report in Florida?
A authorized inspector must hold an active license as one of the following:
- Home inspector licensed under Section 468.8314, Florida Statutes, and who has completed both the statutory number of hours of hurricane mitigation training approved by the Construction Industry Licensing Board and a proficiency exam
- Building code inspector certified under Section 468.607, Florida Statutes
- General, building or residential contractor licensed under Section 489.111, Florida Statutes
- Professional engineer licensed under Section 471.015, Florida Statutes
- Professional architect licensed under Section 481.213, Florida Statutes
- Any other individual or entity recognized by the insurer as possessing the necessary qualifications to properly complete the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form (OIR-B1-1802) required by Florida law