Floridians spend half the year under the threat of hurricane season, with the national storm average for the current active era (1995-2011) including 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. That is a lot of storms! Not to mention the damage that can still be done with more general severe weather. That is why hurricane mitigation is so important. A FEMA study concluded that $4 is saved in response and recovery for every $1 spent on mitigation. And the upfront cost of protecting your home from wind damage is offset by discounts on your insurance premium, up to 88% on the hurricane-wind portion of your policy.
If you have an older home and are thinking about updating your roof, this is the best time to discuss wind mitigation. Many of the best ways to protect your home are easily done while the roofing work is in progress. Ask your roofer about creating a secondary water barrier, strengthening the roof deck attachment, or upgrading to stronger shingles. And while they’re working on that, we can help in the following ways:
STRENGTHEN YOUR ROOF CONNECTION
Anchoring your walls to your roof and foundation establishes a continuous load path, unifying your structure from top to bottom against high winds and decreasing the chances that your roof will lift up during a hurricane. There are many types of connectors that can be used, but keep in mind that they are not all created equal and some will create a more stable connection than others. We can help you choose the right ones for the job.
REINFORCE YOUR GABLE END WALLS
Gable end bracing is important to help resist high winds. Roof slopes divert wind up and away from your house, but the gable end portion is very susceptible to direct wind pressure. We can reinforce that area with cross-bracing and help protect your walls from collapsing.
PROTECT YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS
Doors and windows can be protected by many varieties of shutters or replaced with impact-resistant doors and windows. See our next blog entry for more information on opening protection.
If you are interested in seeing what types of discounts you can get on your insurance policy for various mitigation efforts, the state of Florida has a Wind Insurance Savings Calculator.
We can tell you that for our client’s typical 2500sf one-story home, the average cost of strengthening your roof connection and gable end bracing is around $2,500. With this typical home’s insurance premiums being around $4,000 per year, the potential savings are $500-800 on the hurricane-wind portion, and your investment’s pay back period is only about 3 years!
Call us today to get started on protecting your home. We’ll help you get the most insurance savings for your mitigation efforts and help you decide which choices are right for you.