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How can I get a better wind mitigation report and reduce the cost of my windstorm insurance in Florida?
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Here’s a breakdown of the seven categories in the Florida Wind Mitigation Form (OIR-B1-1802, Rev. 01/12) and how to get, or improve, your discount in each one:
1) Building Code - This discount is given for homes that were built after the first version of the state-wide Florida Building Code took effect in March 1, 2002. For homes in Miami-Dade and Broward counties only, the discount applies if the permit date is after September 1, 1994. You can’t really do anything to upgrade this one. Your home either was built after the FBC or Miami-Dade codes went into effect, or not. The exact date of the permit application must be entered on the form if it is near the year the new codes took effect. Only the date for the original construction of the home is used, and later permits for home additions or roof replacement do not change it.
2) Roof Covering - This concerns whether the roof covering material is approved by Florida Building Code or Miami-Dade County. Date of roof permit application of 3/1/02 or later; or original construction permit from 2004 or later can be used here, or markings on shingle of Miami-Dade approval. If any part of the roof does not qualify, you do not get this discount. For the HVHZ (High Velocity Hurricane Zone in South Florida), a permit application of 9/1/94 or later, or original construction permit of 1997 or later qualifies for the discount. Having a newer home or putting a new roof on your house will get you this discount.
3) Roof Deck Attachment - If your home was built after the Florida Build Code went into effect on 03/01/02, or your roof was replaced after 10/01/07, then your roof either had a stronger nailing pattern when constructed, or the nailing was Improved when the roof was replaced. The inspector has to document the nailing pattern as part of the report. Having a newer home or putting a new roof on your house will get you this discount.
4) Roof-To-Wall Attachment - There are several levels in this rating. If the roof is older and only nails were used as a connection (toe-nailed), you get no discount here. Also, if the house has metal hurricanclips or straps, but they are not nailed to the trusses or rafters with three or more nails, you lose this discount. Older houses that don’t meet the connection standard can often be retrofitted with metal fasteners or additional nails added to the fasteners—but this work can get expensive.
5) Roof Geometry - Because a hip roof (one that slopes inward on all sides) is more hurricane-resistant that other shapes—like a a gable, flat, or shed roof—it gets a good discount. You can’t really do anything to change the shape of your roof, but you can recognize when house-hunting that a hip roof will save you money on insurance. At least 90% of the roof, as measured at the fascia line—must be a hip to get this discount.
6) Secondary Water Resistance (SWR) - This discount is given for a self-adhering bituminous roofing membrane installed instead of a roofing felt as a base for the roof; or, it can be installed in strips over all the plywood joints, with a regular underlayment over it. The membrane does not require nails to hold it down, and is self-healing of small punctures. A popular brand is Grace Ice & Water Shield®. You need to request an SWR membrane when your roof is replaced to get this discount. Some homeowners confuse the new synthetic roofing underlayments, such as RhinoRoof®, for secondary water resistance—but they do not qualify for this discount.
7) Opening Protection - We do not inspect for this discount very often in North Florida, because the area is not in a wind-borne debris hurricane zone like South Florida. It requires careful documentation by the inspector of any stickers, imprints, or etched markings that specify product approvals for impact-rated windows, doors, or shutters around the home exterior. Impact-rated fenestration is mandatory in South Florida, but only high-wind-resistant windows are required further north in the state and they do not receive a discount. You need to replace windows, doors, and skylights—essentially all openings, or protect them with shutters to get his discount. Also, product approval paperwork from the installer can be used to verification if markings on the product are no longer legible. Again, because the weakest area must be used, if only one opening is not protected, the whole discount is voided.
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