How Wind Resistant Is Your Central Florida Home?

When hurricanes reach Central Florida, they tend to be weakened compared to when they strike the coast. The outer bands of any hurricane can still cause serious wind damage, however. Florida homeowners insurance is required to include coverage for wind damage. Demonstrating that your home has appropriate wind mitigation is one way to reduce the cost of your premiums. It can also raise the value of your property.
Unlike rain, if wind is anywhere in a structure, it is everywhere. So, a wind mitigation inspection has to take into account many different aspects of the home. There are seven specific areas of wind mitigation insurers focus on to make policy decisions.

They are:

1. Building Code
Florida building codes have advanced a great deal since 1992’s Hurricane Andrew and every year since. As a general rule, the more recent your building code, the better the built-in wind mitigation you home has. A major building code overhaul happened between 2001-2002.

2. Roof Materials
Roofs can be made from a wide range of materials, although asphalt shingles remain the most common choice. The more recent and stronger your roofing material, the greater your potential discount. Roofs should be inspected every 2-3 years to ensure they are still sound.

3. Roof-Deck Attachment
Insurers use a 1-3 scale to rate the connection between your roof and rafters on the house’s frame. Florida homes built beginning in 2002 are required to have the strongest rating. The type and number of roofing nails used has a powerful effect on this.

4. Roof-Wall Attachment
There are five options that describe the structural attachment between roof and walls, as well as two catch-all options (“unknown” and “other”). Insurers can only provide discounts if there is sufficient attic access for an inspector to document the attachment type.

5. Roof Shape
A hip roof provides the most wind mitigation, since all sides of the roof slope downward. This helps to blunt incoming hurricane winds. Flat roofs are associated with a much stronger impact when winds are at their heaviest, which can cause structural damage.

6. Waterproofing Features
A secondary water resistant barrier (“SWR”) is a type of roof underlayment or purpose-made waterproofing membrane installed under the shingles. This protects the structure from water intrusion even if the roofing system (shingles, tile, or metal) and its associated underlayment have been damaged.

There are a few different definitions of the SWR in play throughout building codes and insurance regulations. In general, SWR is installed only when a roofing system is replaced. Because some valid SWR sit directly on the roofing deck, a visual inspection is not always possible.

You don’t need an active SWR to get a discount on your homeowners insurance premium in Florida. SWR is optional and relatively rare. Still, it’s a good idea to save any documentation of roof replacements or upgrades you do so you can verify wind mitigation features.

7. Opening Protection
A wind mitigation inspection will spend a lot of time on windows and doors – known in the paperwork as “glazed” and “non-glazed” openings. Tempered glass or storm shutters are primary options for bringing windows up to speed. This also includes skylights.

Documenting all the wind mitigation features of your Florida home is a major undertaking. Still, the experienced team at Super Inspection Pros can get it done with a 24-hour turnaround.

To find out more or get started, just contact us.

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