Wind Mitigation & 4-Point Insurance Inspections
Florida Residential & Commercial Property Insurance Inspections for Qualification and Discounts
Want to Buy a Property in Florida?
People from outside of the area are often surprised to learn that if you want to insure a residential or commercial property in Florida, homeowner’s insurance companies require insurance inspections. Our South Florida residential & commercial property inspectors can provide you with Wind Mitigation Inspections, 4-Point Inspections & Roof Certification Inspections in the Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm-Beach areas! Here’s what you need to know:
What is a Roof Certification?
Roof certifications for insurance carriers are generally performed at the request of your homeowner’s insurance provider.
If the roof on a building is of a certain age (normally about 15 years old), the underwriter may request that you order a Roof Certification to verify that the roof is still in good condition.
What is a Four Point Inspection?
The 4 Point inspection Report in Florida gives the property insurance agent basic information they need about the four primary components of the building and mainly focuses on life-safety related issues. All 4-point inspections cover the following areas:
The electrical system includes all of the wiring in a building, for example, our inspector will look at each of the electrical panels at the property, outlets, and any additional visible wiring.
What are we looking for?
1. Electrical Panel Brand
Electrical Panels that are branded with Federal Pacific (F.P.E.), Zinsco, or Challenger are usually more difficult to insure than other brands.
Over the years, investigations have shown that the electrical panels branded with F.P.E., Zinsco, and Challenger have a higher risk of failing.
F.P.E. panels are flagged because many of them have defective breakers which can cause fires.
Zinsco and Challenger panels are flagged because they have issues with overheating that have been know to cause fires.
2. Wiring Type
Cloth Insulated wiring and Aluminum Branch Circuit wiring types are usually more difficult to insure than other types.
The cloth insulation that wraps the conductor (or metal wire) deteriorates over time and has been shown to have a higher risk of causing fires. Although in most cases the wiring itself normally be completely functional, insurance companies are not interested in the added risk associated with it. This wiring can most commonly be found in buildings that were constructed in the 1990’s.
Aluminum as a metal expands and contracts at a higher rate than other electrical conductors. This expansion and contraction can lead to loose wire connections. Additionally, when aluminum wiring is connected to wiring that uses a different metal type, such as copper; oxidation, increased resistance, and increased heat can occur which can all lead to a fire.
3. Other Deficiencies
Other things our inspectors will look for include any exposed, loose, or improper wiring present in the building. For example, junction boxes that have been left open or wire splices that are improperly done or left exposed.
The plumbing system includes all of the piping in a building, water fixtures, and appliances such as the water heater.
What are we looking for?
1. Any plumbing leak that is present, including those that are found under washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, toilets, sink drains, water heaters, hose valves, etc.
2. Plumbing Pipe Materials
Building are equipped with all different sorts of plumbing pipe materials. Over the years the research shows that some are more susceptible to failure than others, including Cast Iron and Polybutylene.
Although Cast Iron drain pipes are very durable, over time they can rust. Rust can reduce the flow of water and in extreme cases can cause the pipes to collapse. Additionally, tree roots that interfere with rigid cast iron can cause breakage and severe leaks if left unchecked.
Polybutylene piping was used in homes from around 1975-1995. They are made from a plastic resin and were thought to be a cheap alternative that would last longer than other materials that were being used.
However, over the years it has been found that the materials they are made from are not strong enough to withstand common disinfectants that are found in the water supply, and the metal connectors used at joints oxidize and can cause swelling that leads them to break. Many homes with polybutylene piping have dealt with widespread flood damage.
A/C & Heating System
The A/C & Heating System normally consists of the condenser located outside of the building and the air handling unit located on the interior in a conventional split system. However, there are many different types of A/C systems that are used.
What are we looking for?
1. Our inspectors analyze whether the condensate drain lines are blocked and/or leaking in the building which can lead to water damage in the building.
2. The air handling unit located inside the building has an evaporator coil that can become clogged with dust over time. In South Florida’s Broward, Palm-Beach, and Miami-Dade counties we do not have cool temperatures very often. Due to this fact, many homeowners do not run their heating system for long periods of time. If evaporator coil has become clogged from dust and the heating system is powered on, the evaporator coil, which becomes very hot, can ignite the dust and cause a structure fire.
Clean AHU Coil
Roof systems are very intricate and can cause many problems for a structure if not taken care of properly. Failures in the roof system can lead to leaks on the interior of the structure and can be weak points during wind storms.
What are we looking for?
1. Although they can last longer, generally, roofs last about 20-30 years depending on the materials that were used to build it. Many insurance companies today are not willing to insure a property that does not have at least 3 to 5 years of roof life expectancy remaining.
2. Any and all damage (including, but not limited to, cracked tiles or fascia damage) and/or leaks that are present in the roofing system. Learn more about our roof inspection service by clicking here.
Although you will receive a copy of the four-point inspection report for your records, 4-Point inspections are meant to help the insurance companies avoid liability for things they do not want to insure. Click here to view a copy of the state regulated four point inspection form.
What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
A Wind Mitigation Inspection, also know as a Uniform Mitigation Inspection Report or a Windstorm Inspection, is another type of inspection for homeowner’s insurance purposes that is required for residential and commercial properties located in South Florida, and other areas.
This insurance inspection will identify how the inspected building will hold up against strong winds, which in South Florida, is usually during a hurricane.
‘Positive’ findings on our wind mitigation report can lead to you saving money, many insurance companies will offer discounts for the right conditions.
Mitigation Inspections only require that we send out one of our licensed home inspectors to evaluate the property.
What are we looking for?
Our team of home inspectors will evaluate many different areas for the Wind Mitigation Inspection, including:
1. Year of Construction
Insurance companies are interested in the year of construction because it can determine what building code was used at that time. Over the years, codes are constantly updated which, in most cases, make the structure safer.
2. Roof Covering Type
Some roof coverings are more resistant to high wind speeds than others. It’s also important that roof coverings are not damaged which can create weak spots in the entire roofing system.
Our professional roof inspectors can give detailed estimates on remaining life and current conditions. Book your wind mitigation now.
Concrete & Clay Roofing Tiles are resistant to expansion and contraction more than other types of roofing materials which give them longevity. These tiles are also very good at insulating the structure and are overall, very low maintenance.
Concrete & Clay tiles can potentially last up to 100 years, however, it is much more common to see them last between 20-30 years with the proper maintenance.
Asphalt Shingles are one of the most common types of roof covering in Florida. Shingles are relatively inexpensive compared to other materials and can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years.
However, It’s important that shingles are regularly maintained and secured to the roof properly. In strong winds, a single shingle that is pulled off of the roof can lead the entire roof system failing.
Metal Roofing systems are also very desirable in South Florida. They are very durable in high winds, they will not erode, and can also be impact resistant.
These roofs can also reduce your cooling costs because they absorb a lot of the heat given off by the sun.
On the down side, these roofing systems are very expensive, normally are quite a bit louder during rain storms, and if they do end up retaining water, can be seriously damaged.
3. Roof-Deck Attachment Type
Nails that secure the roof deck should be adequately spaced at a maximum of 6″ apart and at least 2″ long.
4. Roof-Wall Attachment Type
The roofing system is secured to the building itself by a roof-to-wall attachment. In most cases this is a metal strap that is embedded into the concrete on the top-plate of a buildings wall which a certain amount of nails that are nailed into the roofing trusses.
This insurance inspection asks for the weakest form of strapping, therefore, if you have 1 area that has a weaker strapping type than the other, inspection reports will show that weakest form.
5. Roof Geometry
Roofs can be built with many different types of geometry, including Hip Roofs, Flat Roofs, and Gable Roofs; among others.
The Hip roofing type is the strongest during a wind storm. However, a building can only qualify for the Hip Roof rating if more than 90% is of the Hip type.
6. Opening Protection
Opening protection refers to all windows and doors. Every opening in a structure needs to be properly protected or the entire building is considered to have no protection. In other words, if all of your windows are impact windows, but one door is not rated, the entire building becomes not rated.
There are many ways to protect a building’s openings, including Impact Rated Windows/Doors, Metal Hurricane Panels, and Accordion Shutters.
We’ll even hold a time slot in our schedule while you finish shopping around!
Order Additional Inspections
- Comprehensive Inspections
- Commercial Inspections
- Septic Inspections
- Seawall Inspections
- Well & Water Inspections
- Mold & Fungus Inspections
- Swimming Pool Inspections
- Radon Inspections
- Lead-Based Paint Inspections
- Chinese Toxic Drywall Inspections
- Asbestos Testing
- Wind Mitigation Inspections
- 4 Point Inspections
- Roof Certification Inspections
Have the seller make any needed repairs, or negotiate a lower purchase price to cover repair costs. Hire a Reputable Home Inspection Company