Living in Florida means dealing with hurricanes and tropical storms on a regular basis. As a Jacksonville homeowner, you know all too well the damage these storms can cause. When hurricane-force winds blast through, they can tear off shingles, break windows, cause leaks, and even lift the roof right off your home!
That’s why getting a wind mitigation inspection is so important for Jacksonville homeowners. A wind mitigation inspection looks at how well your home is built to withstand hurricane-force winds. The results of the inspection can save you money on homeowners insurance and give you peace of mind knowing your home is ready for storm season.
What is Wind Mitigation Inspection?
A wind mitigation inspection is a detailed examination of your home to see how resistant it is to wind damage. The inspector looks at the roof covering, roof deck attachment, roof-to-wall connections, opening protections like shutters, exterior doors, garage doors, and more.
The inspector will also check that the structure is adequately attached to the foundation. They look to see if the roof structure is reinforced to handle strong winds. A thorough wind mitigation inspection covers all aspects of the home to determine its ability to stand up to hurricanes and tropical storms.
Why Get a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
There are several excellent reasons for Jacksonville homeowners to get a wind mitigation inspection. The main benefits include:
Save Money on Homeowners Insurance
The biggest reason to get a wind mitigation inspection in Jacksonville FL is that it can lower your insurance premiums. Insurance companies look at the results of the inspection to determine your home’s wind resistance. If your home is well-built to withstand hurricane-force winds, you could qualify for discounts on your policy.
Over time, the savings from reduced insurance premiums can really add up. A wind mitigation inspection that qualifies your home can save you anywhere from 5% to 90% on your homeowners insurance costs. For the typical policy, discounts are usually 20% to 30%. But even a 5% discount on your premium results in significant savings.
Strengthen Your Home’s Wind Resistance
The wind mitigation inspection report will note any vulnerabilities in your home’s structure that allow for wind damage. You can take this information to make upgrades that improve wind resistance.
Common improvements recommended after a wind mitigation inspection include:
- Adding roof straps and fasteners to better attach the roof structure
- Installing hurricane clips to strengthen roof-to-wall connections
- Replacing roof covering with impact-resistant shingles or metal roofing
- Adding window shutters for opening protection
- Reinforcing garage doors and exterior doors
Making these types of enhancements guarantees your home is ready to stand strong even in the fiercest storms.
Qualify for Disaster Aid After a Storm
If your home does suffer damage in a hurricane or tropical storm, having a current wind mitigation inspection report is key to qualifying for state or federal disaster relief aid. It provides proof that your home was up to code before the storm.
Many types of post-disaster assistance are only available to homes that were properly wind-resistant. The wind mitigation inspection shows your home met code requirements at the time of the storm. This makes a big difference in getting the maximum disaster recovery resources.
Increase Home Value
A detailed wind mitigation inspection report also adds value when you go to sell your home. It shows prospective buyers all the ways your home is built to withstand hurricane-force winds. Buyers are willing to pay more for a home designed and upgraded to reduce the risk of wind damage.
The wind mitigation inspection gives buyers confidence that your home won’t require expensive repairs after storms. It makes your property even more attractive to buyers who want a home ready for Jacksonville’s stormy weather.
Peace of Mind in Storm Season
Wind mitigation inspection Jacksonville FL gives you assurance during hurricane season. When you have a recent wind mitigation inspection report, you know exactly how well your home is built to withstand storms. There’s comfort knowing your roof, windows, and doors are ready for hurricane-force winds.
You’ll worry less about damage when storms come through. The inspection provides confirmation that your house won’t be the one losing shingles or patio screens in high winds. Your home’s reinforced structure will keep your family safe through Jacksonville’s stormiest weather.
What to Expect During Wind Mitigation Inspection
So what exactly happens during a wind mitigation inspection for your home? Here are the key things the inspector looks at:
- Roof covering material (shingles, tiles, metal panels)
- Roof deck attachment method
- Roof shape (hip vs. gable)
- Roof-to-wall connections
- Wall-to-foundation connections
- Reinforcement of roof structure
- Protection of window and door openings
- Condition of garage doors, exterior doors, and skylights
- Bracing of gable end walls in attic
The inspector will access your roof, attic, and exterior to examine these components. They will also look for any obvious vulnerabilities or deficiencies that could lead to wind damage.
You do not need to be home for the wind mitigation inspection. The inspector only needs access to the property. The inspection usually takes 1-2 hours to thoroughly examine the home and document findings.
When complete, the inspector provides a detailed wind mitigation inspection report. This includes descriptions and photos documenting the home’s wind resistance. You also receive an itemized list of which wind mitigation discounts you qualify for based on the inspection results.
How Much Does Wind Mitigation Inspection Cost?
Wind mitigation inspection costs range from $200-$400 for a typical single-family house in Jacksonville. The final price depends on factors like:
- Home size – Larger homes take longer to inspect
- Roof height and pitch – Higher and steeper roofs are more difficult to access
- Age of home – Newer homes tend to be easier to inspect
- Location – Inspections may cost more in higher demand areas
While wind mitigation inspections are an added expense, keep in mind that the savings on your insurance premiums will make up for the cost. Most homeowners find the inspection pays for itself within 2 to 3 years through reduced insurance rates. It ends up being very cost-effective protection.
Some homeowners insurance companies offer wind mitigation inspections for free or at a discounted rate. This incentive is because the insurer knows the inspection results will lower your rates, so it is worth their cost to conduct the inspection. Check with your insurance company to see if they offer this.
Otherwise, you can hire any licensed wind mitigation inspector to do the evaluation. Look for inspectors who have at least 3 years of experience specifically with wind mitigation inspections. They should also carry errors and omissions insurance as protection for their work.
When to Get Wind Mitigation Inspection
To gain the full benefits, it’s ideal to get wind mitigation inspection Jacksonville FL:
- Upon purchasing or building a new home. A new inspection establishes your wind mitigation discounts from day one of your policy.
- After making wind resistance improvements. The updated inspection locks in higher discounts.
- Within 90 days of hurricane or storm damage. The inspection proves your home’s resistance prior to the storm.
- When switching insurance companies. The inspection verifies discounts with your new carrier.
- Every 5-7 years. Wind resistance can change over time, so periodic inspection keeps your discounts current.
Aim to schedule the inspection about 90 days before hurricane season, which runs June 1 through November 30 here in Florida. This ensures the inspection report meets submission deadlines for insurance companies to adjust your policy discounts for the coming storm season.
Finding the Best Wind Mitigation Inspector
With the right wind mitigation inspection, Jacksonville homeowners can save thousands on insurance and avoid costly wind damage. But not all inspectors are created equal when assessing your home’s wind resistance.
Here are tips for finding a thorough, reliable wind mitigation inspector:
- Check credentials: Verify the inspector has proper licensure, insurance, and required certifications. They should have at least an inspector license and 5-point certification.
- Look for hurricane experience: Find an inspector with ample experience specifically with wind inspections in hurricane-prone regions. This shows they know what to look for.
- Ask about advanced training: Additional training in engineering and storm-resistant construction demonstrates extensive qualifications.
- Check ratings and reviews: Choose an inspector with overwhelmingly positive feedback from past clients on services like Google or the Better Business Bureau.
- Get a sample report: Ask the inspector to provide a sample wind mitigation inspection report so you can assess the quality and detail.
- Compare pricing: Cost can vary greatly between inspectors. Compare quotes to find a fairly-priced inspector with top credentials.
Taking the time to select the right wind mitigation inspector pays off through maximum insurance discounts and peace of mind about your home’s wind resistance.
Leverage Wind Mitigation for Savings and Protection
As a Jacksonville homeowner, wind mitigation inspection provides multiple layers of benefits. It reduces your insurance costs year after year, prevents costly wind damage to your home, and gives you confidence that your house is ready for anything hurricane season brings.
Contact a qualified wind mitigation inspector today to schedule your evaluation. Be sure to ask any questions you may have about the inspection process, pricing, report documentation, or recommended home improvements to strengthen wind resistance.
This small investment in inspection and upgrades creates long-term savings and protection for your biggest investment – your home. Get ahead of storm season with wind mitigation inspection Jacksonville FL. Your home and wallet will thank you!