Below, we will look at the basics of Florida wind mitigation inspections, at their most important benefits, and at what inspectors look for when performing this type of home inspection.
What Is A Wind Mitigation Inspection?
A wind mitigation inspection is performed by a licensed inspector who has been trained to identify various factors of a Florida home that will increase or decrease the overall wind resistance level of the building. The inspector will carefully examine and assess both the interior and exterior of the property as well as relevant elements of the landscaping.
The idea is to determine how prepared your home is for a potential storm that could cause it serious damage. Photographs will be taken of features listed on the wind mitigation form to document their condition at the time of the inspection, and you will be handed a comprehensive inspection report.
Many people suppose that wind mitigation is all about anti-hurricane protections on your windows and other hurricane-related upgrades, but that is only a small part of what these inspections are all about. In reality, the inspection will cover numerous key components of your building like roof contour, roof-house attachment strength, rafter and truss condition, type of glass on windows, roofing material, and water resistance rating of the roof and building.
Also, most inspections will determine if your building is up to code. That means finding out when the roof and home was built so it can be determined what code was at the time of construction.
What Are the Biggest Benefits of Wind Mitigation?
There are many distinct benefits to ordering a professional wind mitigation inspection done. First of all, it lets you know how secure your property really is and gives you a list of make-sense upgrades you could make. Implementing such upgrades will make your home safer and could prevent damage later on in the event of a major storm.
Secondly, you are likely to get at least some kind of discount on your home insurance premium based on having a wind mitigation inspection done. Florida has mandated, since 2006, that home insurers offer price reductions for insuring homes that have had such an inspection done by a qualified inspector. And if your home gets high marks in the inspection report, or if you make some key upgrades based upon the report, you could save yet more.
Most existing Florida homes have at least some existing structures and features that would qualify them for an insurance discount. The great majority of the time, you save more than you spend when you get a wind mitigation inspection done. While many discounts are modest, they accrue every month – and there are cases where people have saved upwards of 40% on their home insurance premiums.
What Do Wind Mitigation Inspectors Look For?
Before ordering wind-mitigation, you should get acquainted with the basics of what will be on the report. So, what exactly are the inspectors looking for? Here are the main things they focus on when assessing the wind-resistance strength of your home:
- The condition of the roofing. The first line of defense against strong winds from the top is the roof covering (roofing shingles or other roofing material). It is important to know when it was installed, what is the wind-resistance rating of the material, if it is up to code, and how it was attached to the roof decking.
- Roof deck-roof structure attachment. Next, it is crucial to know what type of roof deck is used (usually plywood of some kind), whether it is attached to the roof structure with nails or staples, and how long the nails are and how far apart they are.
- Roof-wall connection. How the roof trusses and rafters are attached to the building below is also a major factor. Hurricane winds or tornadoes have been known, after all, to lift roofs clean off of the house below them. Installing hurricane clips and having double instead of single wraps is a plus as to wind mitigation scores.
- Roof shape. The height, pitch, and contours of your roof matter too. And that in relation to the prevailing wind patterns where you live. Hip versus gabled roofs score differently. If you have gable ends, it’s best if they are braced or otherwise reinforced in accord with state-of-Florida building code standards.
- Wall construction. The way walls are framed, the materials they are built from, and how they are reinforced (steel or concrete reinforcement can win wind mitigation points) all matter on the report.
- Opening protections. Closing shutters, impact-resistant glass, steel doors, hurricane rated doors and windows, and other features that strengthen your building’s openings can improve your wind-mitigation score.
- Secondary water barriers. Newer homes these days often have a secondary water barrier that can protect the interior against wind-driven rain that may get through the primary water barrier.
These are only a few of the most important points that will be looked at by your wind mitigation inspector. There are literally hundreds of items to be inspected and checked off. Many of these have to do with the roofing system, but other parts of the home too have an impact on a building’s overall wind mitigation rating.
Who Should Get a Wind Mitigation Inspection Done?
There are several reasons to get a wind mitigation inspection. Here are the most common situations where one would be advisable:
- You are considering buying a new home and want to make sure it will stand up against strong winds and major storms.
- You are getting homeowner’s insurance soon and want to get as low a premium as possible – OR, you have home insurance and want to see if you can lower your current monthly payment amount.
- You just had new roofing and some other improvements done on your home and believe you would now qualify for wind mitigation discounts that you wouldn’t have gotten before.
- You are selling your home or thinking about listing it soon. Being able to say that you have had a wind mitigation inspection done and scored high on it would be a key selling point.
In all of these common situations and more, a wind mitigation inspection is a wise move. The sooner you get it done, the better. The only question left is who should you trust to do the inspecting?
Super Inspector Pros have been in the home inspection business for many years, and we have a long track record of doing thorough inspections that save our clients money while improving the safety of their homes. To learn more about wind mitigation or other inspection types, or for a free consultation, contact us today!