Every summer in Florida, we have summer rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Living in a beautiful paradise comes with dealing with mother nature. Moreover, most of us would agree that it is a sacrifice we make to not deal with freezing cold temperatures and snow storms. However, do you know how strong your home is going to be in one of these storms? This is where a Wind Mitigation Inspection comes into play.
What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection? It is an examination of a homes ability to withstand storms and water intrusion. It examines the roof and any openings in the home. While it is not required, you can save on your home owners insurance if you have it done.
Let’s take a look at why homes in Florida should have a wind mitigation inspection, who conducts the inspection, the length, cost, and what is checked.
Why Homes in Florida Should Have a Wind Mitigation Inspection
Florida is prone to strong storms and hurricanes. Homeowners Insurance companies (and home owners) want to make sure their homes can withstand the high winds and rains that come from these weather makers. In order to know this, you need a wind mitigation inspection.
For example, here in Florida a law passed after Hurricane Andrew that requires insurance companies to offer their customers incentives and credits for building structures that reduce structural damage based on wind. This law requires a home owner in Florida to undergo a certified wind inspection on their home in order to receive the discounts.
However, once completed, the homeowner receives substantial insurance discounts post inspection. With that being said, homeowners in Florida should undergo wind inspections on their homes in order to receive the discounts afforded to them by the insurance companies.
Who Does the Wind Mitigation Inspection, Length, and Cost
Depending on the state you live in, the wind mitigation inspection can be performed by general contractors, engineers, architects, building inspectors, or home inspectors. Here in Florida, a certified home inspector is generally used to complete the wind mitigation inspection report.
A wind mitigation inspection takes about 30 minutes and costs about $100.
How Long the Wind Mitigation Inspection is Valid
Wind Mitigation inspections will cover you for up to five years. Simply put, they are valid on your insurance premiums for up to five years.
Seven Areas Covered in a Wind Mitigation Inspection
1. Construction Year of the Home
The year that the home was completed will tell the inspector what the building codes were for that year. Therefore, to ensure proper state statutes were followed, the inspector will look up the year it was built and compare with the state statutes for that year.
2. Roof Covering
This refers to the type of roof used. Tiles, shingles, or metal will tell the inspector all he or she needs to know with regards to materials used and structural soundness. Newer roofs, installed sooner than March 1st of 2002, can receive a discount with insurance.
3. Roof Decking
Roof decking is the nail size and spacing of the roof decking attachment. It has to do with what size nail was used to apply the deck sheathing to the truss and how spaced out those nails are. To receive the discount, you need 8d nails and spaced every 6 inches at a minimum.
4. Roof To Wall Attachment
This can refer to the type of material used to attach the roof to your walls. In most cases, the best bang for your buck in roof to wall attachment is the “clip” thus ask your inspector or insurance company what you have. Learn more about upgrading your attachment here.
5. Roof Shape
This would refer to the slope or style of your roof itself. To qualify for this discount, more than 90% of the roof shape must be a hip roof. This is where all sides of the roof come down to meet the wall. Rather than making a point/triangle which is common above front entries and garage and knowns as a gable.
6. Secondary Water Resistance
This often refers to the material between the shingles and the roof decking.
7. Opening Protections
This inspection looks at “glazed openings” which are openings with windows or glass and “non-glazed openings”, which are entry doors and garage doors and how impact resistant they are. Therefore, the inspector will check for windows that are shatterproof, bracing on the garage door, doors that are hurricane-rated, and storm shutters.
These are important as without these, flying debris can cause destruction. A good piece of advice is to put up hurricane shutters before the inspector arrives to make sure you get the credit.
After the Inspection
After you had the wind mitigation inspection, you will provide the report and results to the insurance company. Remember, a wind mitigation inspection must be current, as in within the last 5 years.
Benefits of a Wind Mitigation Inspection
Two of the biggest reasons for ordering a wind mitigation inspection are to save on insurance premiums and for peace of mind. Each state along with each company varies on what they will give discounts for so check with your state insurance website or contact an insurance agent.
However, some of those discounts include the following: newer roofs, longer nails placed closer together, upgrade materials, hipped roofs, secondary water resistance, and high rated doors, windows, and shutters.
Peace of mind is a benefit because you will know that your home is ready for the next weather event that comes your way.
Here is a great video that explains Wind Mitigation Inspection.
Other Inspections to Think About
Additionally, many inspectors will offer a discount to perform multiple inspections on your home. For example, a professional building inspector will offer to complete a wind mitigation, home inspection, and four point inspection at the same time. This allows the home buyer a variety points of information and saves them money in the long term.
A home maintenance inspection might be good for you as well. This is a visual examination of your home’s systems, mechanicals, and structure. It let’s you know what existing problems you have in the home so you can fix them.
Lastly, if you live in Florida, a 4 point inspection may be required if you are purchasing a home that is 20 years old or older or changing insurance policies.
When to Call a Professional
Call a professional to have the wind mitigation inspection done. Remember to find out requirements in your state. Not sure where to find the professional? Take a look on google and check reviews. Also, put a question out there on Next Door Neighbor and ask for a referral from friends. It is a great idea to have this done for safety and peace of mind. Lastly, it will basically pay for itself with the savings you will get in the end.
A home is a big investment and you want to make sure it is able to hold up in a weather event. Having a wind mitigation inspection is important so you know that the roof and door openings can withstand the winds and rain that may come your way.
Additionally, if your insurance company will give you discounts on your policy, it is even more of a reason to have the inspection done. Waypoint Property Inspection East conducts Wind Mitigation Inspections in Boca Raton and surrounding areas.