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Windstorm Mitigation Inspections

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The past few years have been turbulent ones for both homeowners and home insurance companies.  The state in their infinite wisdom has tried to standardize the credits people receive on their insurance by creating a standardized form and inspection process.  While that road was paved with good intentions what has ended up happening is many of you (those without hip roofs) end up getting smaller credits on your policy while people with hip roofs will receive larger credits.  Also newer roofs on average will be constructed to the newer codes and thus receive larger credits depending on other features.

The state also has decided to change the form, so anyone that already obtained an inspection prior to 6/1/2010 will need to have their home inspected again.  Again, in their infinite wisdom the state has narrowed the margin for the hip roof credit significantly.  On top of that they have made all previous versions of the form invalid.

What is a hip roof? Look at the picture below:

Above is a simple diagram courtesy of Wikipedia (Source).  Notice the roof line (where your gutters would be) is uniform and all walls below the roof line are rectangles.  No more than 10% of your roof line can deviate from this standard in order to receive the Hip Roof credit on your inspection.

Why do Hip roofs get the credit and other types do not?  Read up on it HERE but the bottom line can be summed up in a sentence or two "A hip roof is also ideal to have in hurricane regions. It holds up much better to high winds." (Source)


Here are some other roof types that are fairly common in Florida.  These roofs do NOT receive a hip roof credit.  They may qualify for other lesser credits.

The image on the left is a simple gable roof.  The image on the right is known as a gablet.


Other Factors and Credits

What building code revision does your permit fall under? 

This varies by county but for Martin and St Lucie county any roof permit pulled after 3/01/2002 should qualify.  There is another section about the roof covering and whether the materials used qualify under the building code.  This is a two part question and both items need to qualify to receive the credit.


What type of nail pattern was used and what are size of the nails?

The inspector will have to measure the nails and provide pictures of the pattern and size.  Staples do not count!  Depending on the pattern and how long the nails are will dictate how much of a credit you receive on this section. 


Roof Wall Attachment?

How does the roof attach to the walls of your home.  Again, the companies want pictures from the inspector.  Older homes tend to have clips.  Newer homes have single or double wraps depending on the builder.  Condos or apartments with poured concrete roofs are structural. 


Opening Protection (Storm Shutters)?

This gets a lot of people upset.  Every opening must be covered by storm shutters or by a door rated for hurricane winds and air born debris.  If the stamp is not on the product it will NOT qualify.  It does NOT matter if the door is 2 ft thick and made of solid steel.  If it has not been tested, you do not get the credit.  This includes ALL openings so garage doors and all exterior doors must qualify or be covered. 


Miscellaneous Other Items:

Gable bracing -  I do not recall ever seeing a home with gable bracing. 

Secondary Water Resistance - Same as above. 

Exterior wall Construction - Frame, CBS and Superior are the most common in Florida.

Are you properly covered?

  1. Do you have a Special form policy and its far greater covered perils?

  2. Do you have enough coverage to rebuild your home?

  3. Do you know the consequences of not having the proper amount of coverage on your home?  Even if your loss is small you may find out too late that the insurance company has the right to only pay whatever % you are insured too.

  4. What does that mean?  A $12,000 roof loss.  Your house's replacement cost is 200k but you only insured it to 100k.  Your loss payment would be 6k, since you insured for half of value you get paid for half of your loss.  This is called Co-insurance and you want to avoid it at all costs.

  5. Make sure you talk with a true insurance professional: One with several options for coverage with many different companies. Why settle for less?