Roof Strap Inspection For Florida Home Owner
Are you thinking about getting a new roof (or, like some people, do you desperately need one)? If so, make sure you are aware of the new Florida legislation that was passed this Fall. For most of us, the new law will be a mixed bag. On one hand, it will raise the cost of a new roof relative to what it would have been before the new law. On the other, you may be eligible for additional wind insurance mitigation credits that will help you offset the costs! Whether you are about to get a new roof or just put one on, there are two important inspections to know about that can result in big savings.
What are the rules now? The new legislation, which became effective October 1, 2007, requires three main things. All of these help to better protect your home, and all of them can lead to wind insurance savings:
- First, all re-roofing projects to include upgrading the way the roof deck is attached to the roof to a minimum level.
- Second, in most counties a re-roofing now requires the installation of a secondary water resistance barrier to help keep water out of your attic in a severe storm.
- Third, all re-roofing projects on houses 1) valued at over $300,000 and 2) in the Wind Borne Debris Region (including all of Broward and Dade Counties and most of Palm Beach County) are required to have the roof-to-wall connections strengthened to a certain minimum level.
- For this last requirement, if you already have good metal roof straps or clips attaching your current roof, the only new requirement may be to get a roof strap affidavit inspection from Advantage Construction & Consulting to confirm this. That way, you will be allowed to replace the roof deck without re-strapping your roof, which can be very costly. Make sure your contractor isn’t paying more than $150 for this service, as these costs may be passed on to you!
If it turns out that you don't have a sufficient roof-to-wall connection, the amount you must spend to add or improve this aspect of your roof is capped at 15% of the overall cost. In these cases, an engineer may be required to determine how that 15% should be spent in order to maximize its effectiveness.
So what's the good news? Yes, your new roof may cost more, but the silver lining of the new rules is twofold. First, when a re-roofing is done, your home and the homes of your neighbors will need to be stronger than they used to. This should help reduce potential damage from the next "big one", which in turn should help to keep insurance rates in Florida competitive and available. Second, once you have your new roof, a windstorm mitigation inspection may be able to significantly reduce your windstorm insurance premiums from what they are today, even if you've already had a wind mitigation inspection before! Once you've put on your roof, we strongly recommend that you contact your insurance agent to find out what additional discounts may be available to you. Remember: insurance discounts resulting from the new strength of your roof may help pay for the roof itself!