What Is A Wind Mitigation Inspection
As the name suggests, a wind mitigation inspection is done by a qualified home inspector, and it looks for features on your home that make it more resistant to wind damage.
These wind mitigation features are intended to help your home resist and withstand high winds caused by major storms and hurricanes. Some features like SWR (Secondary Water Resistance), impact windows and doors, and roof-to-wall attachment can help your home resist wind damage. If these are present in your home, you may be able to save on insurance.
After your inspection is complete, you’ll get a report that you can present to your insurance company to prove that your home has wind-resistant features.
How Can I Save On My Insurance With A Wind Mitigation Inspection
Insurance providers offer some credits and discounts on home insurance premiums for homeowners who take proper steps to protect their homes from wind damage. In Florida, these are referred to as “Wind Mitigation Credits.”
Therefore, showing your insurance company that you have had a wind mitigation inspection and that your home has been protected against wind damage can save you a lot of money each year – more than enough to pay for the cost of an inspection.
And don’t worry. There is no risk that your premiums will increase after a wind mitigation inspection. Your costs will never rise due to the results of your inspection, so it’s risk-free.
What Can I Do To Increase My Home’s Resistance To Wind?
Not sure how you can make your home more wind-resistant? If you have not yet taken steps to protect your home from wind, there are many improvements you can make before you have a wind mitigation inspection! All of these improvements may help reduce your insurance costs.
- Secondary Water Resistance (SWR) – SWR is a self-adhering polymer underlayment applied directly to the sheathing. This is applied as an extra layer of water-resistant material below your roofing material to help reduce the risk of water intrusion. (Standard underlayment’s or hot-moped felts do not qualify)
- Roof deck attachment – The wood roof deck can be securely attached to the underlying framing with strong fasteners to prevent it from loosening or blowing away in high winds. There are several ways on how the truss/rater is connected to the wall top plate, and some give more credits than others.
- Impact-rated window/door coverings – Impact-rated doors and windows or storm shutters. These must be able to withstand wind speeds of up to 140 mph. In addition, impact-rated windows and doors or storm shutters/doors help prevent windows from breaking. When windows break during strong winds, high wind pressure builds up below the roof. This high pressure, combined with the low pressure of the wind blowing over the top of the roof can result in the roof literally peeling away from the home, and being blown away.
- Impact-resistant garage doors – Garage doors are often a primary point of failure during windstorms and hurricanes. Hurricane-rated garage doors can often withstand wind speeds of up to 200 mph or more without failure, due to the high-quality materials and strong anchoring of the doors.
You can certainly save on your insurance policy if you make just one of the above improvements to your home, and have it inspected. But for even more savings, and to ensure your home is protected from hurricane damage, we highly recommend that you consider making as many wind mitigation improvements as you can.
- When getting a new roof make sure the SWR is “peel-n-stick”. Although SWR is required by code in most areas in Southwest Florida, not all roofers will install the same type. If it’s anything other than the “peel-n-stick”, the Wind Mitigation form won’t accept it and no credit will be given.
- When getting new impact windows or doors – DON’T REMOVE THE STICKERS! There are stickers in the sill or jams that verify the type of impact they are rated for; this will show the inspector for certain that they qualify. No sticker could mean no credit.
- If your previous inspection shows that you have toe nails under the roof to wall attachment (section 4 on the form) you can have a third nail installed to qualify for extra discounts. There are several companies that retrofit roof connections just for this reason. One comany that we work with often is called Maximum Solutions.
- If you have hurricane windows and doors – or some type of hurricane coverings, know that the Wind Mitigation form goes by “all or nothing”. ALL openings must be protected including skylights, decorative glass, fixed glass panels, garage doors, etc. And if your overhead garage door has decorative windows, there’s a good chance you can lose this credit.
Make Wind Mitigation Improvements And Get An Inspection!
If you’re a homeowner in Southwest Florida you can save big on your insurance if you take steps to minimize the risk of wind damage. So don’t wait! If you’ve already made wind mitigation improvements, schedule an inspection now. And if you’re just getting started, contact a reputable contractor near you to learn more about your options for residential wind mitigation.