Sunshine State's Best Home Inspection Criteria

Wind mitigation is the implementation of certain building techniques in order to limit damage caused by intense wind.

A Few Facts About Windstorms and Wind Insurance

  • In 2006, Citizens Insurance,  one of the largest property insurers In Florida, requested a 45% rate  increase for wind insurance. Other insurers took similar actions.iIn Florida, the portion of a  homeowner's premium covering wind damage can be up to 70% of the total, depending on location.

Incentives for Wind Mitigation

  • Florida passed a law requiring insurance companies to offer their customers discounts and credits for existing building features and home improvements that reduce damage and loss from wind. In order to qualify for this discount, homes must undergo a certified home wind inspection. However, many Floridians do not know of this law.
  • Those with windstorm insurance  can avoid a costly deductible. Deductibles for homes in hurricane-prone areas can exceed $20,000, meaning that mild to moderate wind damage might not be covered by insurance at all. If proper wind mitigation techniques have been used, these expenses can be avoided altogether.
  • Wind mitigation helps protect the home from damage. Even if a home is insured, it is always costly when a house is damaged, both for the homeowner and the insurer. Repairs can take months, especially during material shortages that follow massive destruction to entire communities, as was the case after Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana.
  • Lenders in Florida require homeowners to carry windstorm insurance in order to be approved for a mortgage. Insurers may not provide windstorm insurance to homes that are vulnerable to wind damage.

Sunshine State's Wind Mitigation Inspection  consists of documenting and photographing the 8 factors in determining the insurance credit


  1. Roof Covering: we will research and determine when the roof was installed and does if it meets building codes. In Florida, the code standard was updated in 2001.
  2. Roof Deck Attachment: we will determine what type of roof decking is used and how it’s attached to the underlying structure, like if it’s nailed or stapled down. If nails are used, nail length and spacing between each will also be noted.
  3. Roof to Wall Attachment: the roof attachments become the focus here: are trusses attached with nails or hurricane clips? Are the wraps single or double? The more secure your roof, the better impact on your wallet!
  4. Roof Geometry: is your roof hip or not? Nope, we don’t care how cool it is, just how it’s shaped - a hip roof resembles that of a pyramid, and is a definite qualifier for a discount.
  5. Gable End Bracing: if the roof is a gable style, we will review if the gable ends are braced to Florida Building Code standards. Gable ends measuring more than 48 inches tall should be braced for reinforcement, and we will be checking for this qualification for discount.
  6. Wall Construction Type: we will review the construction materials used on your home for framing, reinforcement, and outer fascia, and at what percentages. Steel reinforced concrete block homes may yield a better discount than one with a plywood-only frame and plastic siding.
  7. Secondary Water Barrier: This is a newer item for roofs. If your roof was installed or upgraded before 2008, it’s fairly unlikely you’ll have this sort of barrier. As with most newer features, photo documentation, at a minimum, will be required for a discount in this area.
  8. Opening Protection: Here, we are looking for shutters and installed-protection devices from wind-born debris for doors and windows. We will also be checking the rating of the devices, if you have them (as in- are they hurricane-rated?). 100% of all openings need to be covered with Hurricane rated protection to qualify for this discount. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Checklist for Wind Mitigation Techniques:

      1.   GARAGE DOORS:  These commonly fail during windstorms due to inadequate door-track strength and                           mounting  systems; and flimsy metal panels,  The following features can protect a garage door                           from wind damage:

  • no windows;
  • the tracks for the door that have six to nine mounting brackets, or continuous mounting;
  • track brackets that are securely attached to the wall; and horizontal and/or vertical       reinforcement


  • Glass  doors and windows should be replaced with impact-resistant glass. They should be structurally attached to the building in order to prevent the entire window from popping out of its frame. 
  • Sliding glass doors are  especially vulnerable to flying debris due to their large expanse. Once an opening is created during a windstorm, the pressure within the house can rise high enough to cause the roof to fail in areas of low pressure.

    3. ROOF COVERING: There are many kinds of roof covering materials, and some resist wind damage better                     than others. 

  • The most common roof covering materials in Florida are composition shingles and tiles. 
  • A key factor in roof covering performance is the method of attachment of the roof covering material to the roof deck.      
  • Nails, not staples, should be used to fasten these materials                                                                                                                                                     4. ROOF SHAPE:  "Roof shape" refers to the geometry of the roof, rather than the type of roof covering. 
  • The end-walls of gable roofs extend vertically to the  sloping roof line. These gable end-walls, if not properly built or braced, have been known to fail outward due to the negative suctions on the wall. 
  • Additionally, field testing has shown that hip roofs receive up to 40% less pressure from wind than gable roofs                                                                                                                                                     5. ROOF DECK ATTACHMENTS:  According to insurance claim data, a house becomes a major loss once the roof deck fails, even partially. The most common roof deck types are plywood and OSB. The most important feature of the roof deck by far is the attachment to the framing compared to the deck's thickness. The following building techniques can help prevent wind damage:

roof coverings using shingles that meet the FBC requirements; 

  • roof decks that have been installed with large nails and close spacing; 
  • hurricane clips/straps that hold the roof structure to the walls; and 
  • protection of windows and glass doors with impact-resistant glazing or other protection systems.
  • roof-to-wall connections: This connection is a critical safeguard that keeps the roof attached to the building and acts to transfer the uplift loads into the vertical walls. This connection is crucial to the performance of the building due to the large negative pressures acting on the roof. Proper installation      is essential to connector performance.
  • secondary water resistance: This is a layer of protection that shields the home in the event that the roof covering fails. It will reduce leakage if the shingles are blown off. A secondary water barrier is relatively rare in homes. The two most common types are:
  • self-adhering modified bitumen underlayment, which is applied to the exterior of all joints; and
  • foam seal, which is sprayed onto the underside of the decking.