The Nuts And Bolts of Florida Wind Mitigation

Mon Dec 11 2017

Wind resistance begins with your home’s roof. Here are the components that you should be familiar with if you want your home to qualify for wind mitigation credits that can significantly reduce Florida home insurance premiums.

Wind Mitigation and Your Roof

Your roof is more than the top of your home. It ensures your home can withstand strong winds and impact. That’s why it is the primary consideration during a windstorm mitigation inspection.

Here are the elements of the roof that play a key role in wind mitigation.

Roof Covering

The roof covering is what you see on the outside: asphalt shingles, concrete or clay tiles, metal, built-up or membrane. The strongest roof coverings are concrete or clay tiles and metal. You can save a pretty penny on your Florida homeowners insurance policy if you can demonstrate on the wind mitigation form that your roof has one of those materials.

Roof Deck

The roof covering is installed over the roof deck. The roof deck is the roofing material between the structural components, the trusses and joists, and the insulation/weatherproofing layers of the home. The joists are used in the floor as column support and the trusses for the roof. Just picture the skeleton frame of the house, and that’s essentially the joists and trusses.

A roof deck is generally made up of steel, concrete, cement or wood. Steel and concrete are the superior materials. When purchasing or building a new home, it’s wise to find out what material the roof deck is made of and how that will affect the overall cost of your homeowners insurance. Insurers tend to look most favorably on masonry homes with concrete slab foundations.

Roof Deck Attachment

The roof deck attachment connects the roof deck to the trusses or rafters by various types of plywood and nails. This determines how securely the roof is attached. Ideally, a solid roof deck prevents the roof from blowing off in hurricane winds.

The greater thickness the plywood sheathing, the larger the nails, and the closer together the nails are, the lower the risk of a roof blowing off. Longer nails spaced closely together give the roof the greatest ability to withstand high winds.

Roof-to-Wall Attachments

Having the strongest roof-to-wall attachments tends to provide some of the greatest windstorm mitigation credits with your insurance provider. Roof-to-wall attachments measure how securely your roof is attached to the wall and considers which mechanism you are using to provide that support.

Toenails are the least secure attachment – this is basically a metal plate nailed to the trusses or rafters. The greatest support is double wraps, which involve metal support structures on both sides of a roof’s frame.