What is the purpose of a wind mitigation inspection?

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Home Inspector

The wind mitigation inspection is requested by home insurance carriers in order to verify how the property is protected against hurricane winds and impact. The reason why the insurance carrier requests this form is because the state of Florida requires insurance companies to offer discounts for properties constructed with a better and stronger standard of construction i.e., Florida Building Code. In other words, the state wants its residents to get discounts in their home insurance premium, if their homes are built and protected better.

The wind mitigation answers seven questions:

1.) How old is the main structure of the house?
2.) How old is the roof system?
3.) How is the roof system attached to the trusses / rafters?
4.) How are the trusses / rafters attached to the exterior walls?
5.) What is the roof geometry / configuration?
6.) Does the roof system have a Secondary Water Resistance (SWR)?
7.) How are the openings protected (windows, doors, etc)?

When is a wind mitigation inspection needed?

This inspection is usually requested by the insurance carrier in the following scenarios:

1.) When a buyer is purchasing a house with a mortgage
2.) When the property gets a new roof
3.) When a property gets new impact windows, hurricane panels, or accordion shutters
4.) Every five years, if neither the roof, windows or owner has been changed
5.) When a homeowner is purchasing a new insurance policy

How is a wind mitigation inspection done?

A wind mitigation inspection can be done by a state licensed home inspector who has been certified to perform a Hurricane Mitigation Verification. The inspector needs to verify all 7 questions stated above in the following manner.

1. Obtaining city permits and/or roofer documents to verify the age of the property and the age of the roof covering.
2. Obtaining property schematics / drawings to verify the type of geometry based on parameters set by the insurance industry.
3. The Inspector has to crawl in the attic in order to:

  • Verify how the roof system is attached to the trusses / rafters by measuring (with a special tool) the distance between the nails on the trusses.
  • Verify the method used to attach the trusses to the exterior walls.
  • Look at roof penetrations like vents to verify whether or not the property has SWR (Secondary Water Resistance).

4. The inspector verifies the impact rate of the opening protection by documenting in the NOA or FL# of the opening protection. This can be done by:

  • Getting the information of the shutters or impact rated window / door labels.
  • Reviewing the documentation provided by the owner.

How to prepare for a Wind Mitigation inspection

Before your inspection appointment, make sure to clear the space below the attic access to allow the inspector to safely place his ladder. Gather all documentation available for the impact rated windows and doors. Most of the wind mitigation information is gathered directly from the house itself. Occasionally, labels on windows and doors come off, painted or removed, and the documentation is the only way to verify impact rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a door, window or shutter impact rated?
The impact rating comes from the standard tests TAS 201/202/203. When a manufacturer markets their products as impact rated, they must prove that they passed the TAS 201/202/203 tests. That proof is found in the NOA and FL documents.

How long does the inspection take?
The inspection takes an average of 30 minutes to complete, depending on the size of the property, and the number of openings that need to be verified for impact rating.

How long does it take to get the report?
The report is typically available within 1 to 2 business days depending on the availability of documentation, or weekend/holiday hours. If the report is delayed we will notify you.

How will I receive the report?
We will send you an email letting you know when the report is ready. You can download the report from your inspection page, or we can mail you the report (only when requested).

Can my insurance carrier obtain a copy?
Yes, we can email your insurance carrier directly, we just need their contact information.

I have personal belongings in the attic, will this be a problem?
We ask that to the extent possible, that all belongings be moved out of the way for the inspector. Without safe access to the attic the inspector will not be able to complete the full inspection.

What is the difference between a Wind Mitigation inspection and the 4-Point Inspection?
As we learned in this article, the wind mitigation inspection is needed in order to verify features used to protect the home which can qualify the homeowner for potential discounts on their home insurance premium. The four point inspection on the other hand is requested by home insurance agencies to identify any deficiencies, or repairs needed prior to renewing or issuing a new insurance policy. Learn more about 4-Point inspections here.

Zafras Property Services have served the Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach communities since 2015 with all their home inspection needs. Learn more about us For more information, call us 954-328-0605 or email us at info@zafrasps.com.