Hurricane-force winds can literally blow the roof off a home – and cause other damage. Tropical storm winds can also make things interesting for Florida homeowners. To help limit wind damage, homeowners can take several important steps to make their homes more resistant and keep their families as safe as possible. When they do, they likely will save significantly on their homeowner’s insurance premiums (which makes sense since the Florida Division of Emergency Management reports that wind-damage risk makes up 15% – 70% of home insurance premiums).
Here are some techniques to prepare for and hopefully avoid wind damage (known in insurance terms as ‘wind mitigation’):
Good Roofing Material. The shingles, tiles, or metal sheets that cover your roof can earn you wind mitigation credits if they are in good shape and have a high wind-resistance rating. You can also earn credits when the roofing is attached properly to the roof deck with nails (not staples), and is properly spaced, well-positioned, and in sufficient quantity. Your insurance agent will help you secure a proper roof inspection to see if you qualify.
Secondary Water Barriers. You can prevent indirect wind damage when you support your roofing material with a secondary water barrier like quality felt underlayment, modified bitumen rolls, and foam-seal products applied below the roof deck. These barriers will protect your home if wind rips off shingles or blows water up under a shingle.
Roof-to-Wall Anchoring. The roof-to-wall connection keeps the roof attached to the building and transfers the uplift loads into the vertical walls. When properly installed, this connection is crucial to the performance of the building due to the large negative pressures acting on the roof. Hurricane clips or straps also can strengthen the roof-wall attachment – and earn you significant wind mitigation credits.
Window and Door Coverings. Protect windows, doors and other openings from the impact of strong wind and flying debris by installing shatterproof windows, storm shutters and hurricane-rated doors. Garage doors with large openings should also be hurricane rated and should have additional bracing installed.
Roof Shape. If you are in the market for a new home, look for homes with non-gabled roofs that will bring some premium discounts. Hip roofs (with no vertical ends) are best as they receive up to 40% less pressure from wind than gabled roofs and are the least likely to be damaged in a major windstorm. Keep in mind that the end-walls of gable roofs, which extend vertically to the sloping roofline, might not be properly built or braced, and can fail outward during a storm.
Generally, a wind mitigation inspection by a certified inspector is needed to determine which discounts apply to your home. VRYD is happy to put you in contact with third-party wind mitigation inspectors. Call us today at 888-806-VYRD (8973) or reach out to your agent.