Every day, 900 families make their way to Florida to call the Sunshine State home. People are fleeing the northern states where harsh winters cover them in ice and snow for months at a time.
And since many people are now able to work remotely on a permanent basis, workers are free to live where they want, rather than where the job market is hot.
But if you’re new to the American South, you’ll be surprised by the fact that hurricanes are real. Because of that, you’ll need wind mitigation inspections done when you buy a home down here.
But what is wind mitigation, and how often will you need to get this done? Keep reading to learn all about the importance of a mitigation inspection.
What Is Wind Mitigation Inspection for?
Every region of the country has its own set of natural disasters that hit like the plague each year. And for the southern states that border the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, that threat is the hurricane.
Otherwise known as tropical cyclones, hurricanes are storms coming in off the ocean with winds in excess of 74 mph. The 2021 hurricane season saw seven different hurricanes hit the US, which is more than usual.
A wind mitigation inspection is a report done by a qualified individual. They evaluate your home, looking at all the different features of the build to see how well it will handle high-speed winds.
The inspection will point out the strengths and weaknesses of your home, helping you to identify and improve problems before the next storm hits.
While heavy winds are only one aspect of a hurricane, they are one of the most damaging and dangerous.
Inspectors will also perform research on the home. The construction year will be included in the report. In Florida, for example, homes built after 2001 have a specific set of building codes to abide by.
Homes built before then were done so before these codes existed, so they might not be up to current standards.
When You Need Wind Mitigation Inspections?
So when do you need to order a wind mitigation inspection? When you buy a new house in the hurricane region, you’ll need to order a mitigation inspection.
While its often not required, your homeowner’s insurance will be higher until you get one. If you don’t order one then your insurance provider will assume that there are little to no features that will prevent wind damage.
This means higher rates since they will likely have to pay more for repairs when a storm blows through.
But more often than not, if you order a wind inspection, the results get sent to your insurance provider and they offer a discounted monthly premium.
How Often to Get a Wind Inspection
Each time you move into a new home in a gulf coast state, you should order a wind mitigation inspection. It gives you peace of mind, knowing that your home will remain strong in the face of heavy winds. And it may also help you save money each month on insurance premiums.
Generally, you don’t need to order multiple inspections while living in the same home, unless you perform specific upgrades that can lead to lower rates.
However, each inspection is technically valid for five years. So if you’d like to stay on top of it, you can order one every five years.
How Much Do Wind Mitigation Inspections Cost?
Wind mitigation inspections generally cost between $70 and $120, depending on the area and the size of your home. They are relatively affordable.
If they can save you just $10 per month in insurance premiums, they are absolutely worth ordering. Many times they save much more than that.
Some companies will offer a bundled inspection where they perform both a wind mitigation inspection and a four-point inspection.
Four-point inspections are often required by insurance companies. These look at the integrity of your roof, HVAC system, electrical, and plumbing systems in the home.
They let insurance companies know the quality and expected lifespan of these systems, which also affect your monthly premiums.
If you plan to get both, it will make more sense to find a bundle deal rather than pay for two separate inspections.
How to Lower Insurance Premiums
These inspections will point out anything features your home either has or needs in order to stay safe in heavy winds. While they don’t always save you money automatically, you can follow the tips provided by the inspection to start saving money.
What are some of the upgrades you can make to save money on insurance premiums?
You can install hurricane shutters on your windows so that you can protect them from flying debris in the event of a hurricane. You can swap your current garage door for a hurricane-resistant door.
You can also add a bracing kit to your garage door to improve its strength. If you have a roof deck, you can secure it to the home by using special clips.
And not every upgrade that is recommended might save you money, but it will protect your home.
For example, the inspection might recommend installing new windows that are more resistant to shattering. It might recommend replacing specific roof shingles to help your roof stay secure.
Hurricanes are very real along the gulf coast. If you’re investing in a home in this area, you want to know the details about how your house will stand up to this threat.
Wind Mitigation Inspection Near Me
Wind mitigation inspections are offered by many companies. They are often performed by general contractors, architects, engineers, or building inspectors.
Various types of companies will offer the service. But many companies exist that specifically provide wind mitigation inspections, along with a few other common inspections.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Wind mitigation inspections are very normal for anyone living in the American South. While they aren’t always required, they are always a good idea. And since they are very affordable, there’s no reason not to order one each time you move into a new home.
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