While Florida is more well known as The Sunshine State, it is also a very windy state. Floridians see more hurricanes, tropical storms, tornados, and high-wind, severe thunderstorms than most other US states.
That’s why wind mitigation techniques and wind mitigation inspections are so important in Florida. In fact, state law even requires that homeowners insurance providers offer discounts to those who win sufficient wind mitigation credits by passing (and doing well on) a professional wind-mitigation inspection.
There are a number of ways that strong winds can damage your home, and there are ways to protect against these possibilities.
1. Sheer Force
First of all, when winds come in strong enough and blow long enough, they can rip things off of your house, such as shingles or siding. The risk is compounded when the wind hits at just the right angle to dig under siding seams or shingle tabs so as to push up on their edges with a lot of blunt force.
2. Flying Projectiles
The second major way that wind will damage a home occurs when it picks up various objects and carries them over a distance. It may also be simply a matter of blowing things over (like trees or tree limbs.)
These flying projectiles are often called “wind missiles,” and they can do serious damage to a building, including punching holes in the wall or roof, shattering windows and outdoor light fixtures, and crushing parts of porches and decks.
3. “Teaming Up” With Water
Water damage can be devastating to a home, but the fact is, wind can greatly increase the risk of serious water damage.
When wind and water “team up” during a major storm, the results can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs. Wind drives water along your roof, walls, windows, and doors, helping it to find any openings into which it can pour.
When winds drive water with enough strength and at the right angle, it can greatly increase the odds of a leak and major water damage to your home’s interior.
4. Taking Advantage of Weak Points
Another factor to remember when it comes to how wind damages homes is that it can take advantage of weak points that already exist.
Let’s say, for example, that your shingles are old and weak, that your siding was poorly installed, or that parts of your home are not sound structurally – that is like wind damage waiting to happen.
5. Lifting Things Apart
Finally, the most extreme kind of wind damage involves the wind actually lifting up your home and taking it apart. That is, during a hurricane or tornado, wind may separate the roof from the rest of the building or even lift the whole building off its foundation.
You can guard against that kind of crisis by having hurricane clips installed and foundation clips installed to help hold things together tighter. This kind of upgrade improves safety, protects your investment in your home, and earns you significant wind mitigation credits (which will help lower your monthly homeowners insurance premiums.)
Professional Home Inspections Can Maximize Wind Mitigation
In Florida, there is no law saying you have to have a professional home inspection done. But odds are that your homeowners insurer and your mortgage lender will require a home inspection. Plus, many will insist on a home inspection before signing a contract to buy a new piece of property.
In general, only a basic four-point home inspection is required. Some will go further and get a full, comprehensive, home inspection. But there are other types of inspection too that are important, including a wind mitigation inspection.
A wind-mitigation inspector will examine key points of your building to ascertain how well they are likely to stand up against strong Florida winds.
The focus is largely on the roof and roofing, but it is not limited to that. A good foundation, solid structural support, and properly installed siding are also important. The shingles-roof deck connection, roof deck-wall connection, and building-foundation connection are, however, especially important.
A specialized wind mitigation report presented to your home insurance company should be able to lower your premiums. It may also uncover some areas where you should consider making repairs or upgrades to gain additional wind mitigation credits and resultant discounts.
To learn more about the potential threat to your building from strong Florida winds and how to lower the risk of wind damage, contact Super Inspection Pros today. We can explain to you the details of how wind mitigation works and schedule you a wind mitigation inspection for your home or for one you are interested in purchasing.