Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30, meaning that for five months of the year, Floridians are at high risk for exposure to severe winds.
Trust us, high-velocity hurricane winds are no joke— reaching anywhere from 74 to over 150 mph depending on the category of the storm. In order to safeguard your home and family against these turbulent winds, Floridians often take special wind mitigation measures as part of their overall storm preparedness.
In this post, we’ll discuss why wind mitigation in SWFL is so important, what a wind mitigation inspection involves and a few ways you can dramatically increase your wind safety before the next hurricane.
The True Power of Florida Winds
When a hurricane hits Florida, it often hits us hard:
- Wind can damage windows and doors. Without hurricane-proof windows and doors, storm winds over 100 mph can hurl heavy rocks and other debris at your openings and shatter or break them completely. Even small cracks can allow water into your home and can cause moisture or flood damage. Sometimes moisture can even creep in through improperly sealed frames— and what seems like mild water damage can lead to long-term mildew problems.
- High wind can blow debris into your home. Water damage isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. If a door or window frame becomes exposed in the middle of a hurricane, anything tossing around outside can enter your home— from torn-off branches to airborne patio furniture— threatening the safety of your family and the interior of your home.
- Strong hurricane winds can cause structural damage. Worst of all, high-powered wind can cause damage to the external structure of your home, from pulling off shingles or taking whole sections of your roof off.
What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
During a hurricane, your home is most often damaged by wind or water intrusion. In order to prevent these forces from getting inside or wreaking too much havoc on your home’s exterior, Floridians typically bring in a professional for a routine wind mitigation inspection.
A wind mitigation inspection is used to determine the suitability of a structure's construction in the event of strong winds.
During your wind mitigation check, the inspectors may look at your home’s exterior construction— like your roof shape and how it was constructed, the age of the roof covering, door and window opening protection, the year your home was built, etc.
They’ll take a look at both the features your home came with, as well as any additional wind protection you may have added yourself. For instance, your home may have a roof that was grounded with staples and an inspector might recommend securing them with stronger nails instead. Or the inspector may commend you for installing a hurricane-resistant garage door!
Applying Your Mitigation Recommendations
After the inspection, your home will receive a hard “pass” or “fail” rating, and you’ll either be given a mitigation certification or be told you need to make some improvements before you can receive one.
If you didn’t pass, the storm professional will detail out a wind mitigation plan for your home, recommending specific upgrades for helping to resist or withstand storm hurricane winds. For example, you may need to install a roof wrap/covering or replace your entire roof deck in order to pass the inspection next time.
After you make those necessary upgrades, you’ll invite the crew back to your home for a follow-up inspection and hopefully receive a wind mitigation certification from the inspector!
The Benefits of Having a Wind Mitigation Certification
Since homes with wind protection features suffer less wind damage, home insurers are willing to lower fees— meaning you could pay less for your insurance coverage.
Wind mitigation discounts are typically given out for having wind-resistant features such as concrete block construction, impact-resistant glass, reinforced garage doors, window shutters, the presence of a secondary water-resistant barrier and a hip roof, but that’s not all. Be sure to ask your insurer what discounts may apply to your Florida home with your wind mitigation certification.
Overall, you don’t need a wind mitigation cert as a Florida resident, but it can unlock insurance savings and add even greater protection for your family.
Your First Step to Passing the Certification— Impact Windows!
Because impact windows have stronger glass, framing and sealing than traditional windows, they are an excellent way to impress your wind mitigation inspector and get one step closer to receiving your certification.
Discover what makes hurricane-proof windows different from your everyday window here. Or, while you’re at it, download our 12 Things You Need to Know About Impact Windows resource for free, today.