Inspections for Florida Hurricane Prepared Homes

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Home Inspections Reveal Structural Components in Tampa Bay

General Information for Buyers to contemplate when searching for a Florida Home. A licensed inspector is required to examine and report on the components and condition of any home that you are considering making an offer on through our Buyer Representation.

Florida has one of the strongest building codes in the country. Passed statewide in 2002 after Miami-Dade County beefed up regulations in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the new rules required newly built homes to have stronger fasteners that prevent their roofs from blowing off, nails instead of staples, and impact-resistant windows in certain areas

Sellers Disclosure
- We require a seller and the listing agent to disclose any defects that they are aware of. It should be presented to a buyer in advance of making an offer. It should detail any defects that have or continue to occur and any repairs of fixes.

Hurricane Resistant Homes - Florida has responded to hurricane devastation by substantially changing its building codes. Many older homes have been updated and reinforced, so don't just judge by the age of the original structure. A well constructed home will lower insurance costs.

Tests have shown that concrete is one of the best materials
To duplicate hurricane-like conditions in the laboratory, researchers shot wall sections with 15-pound 2 x 4 lumber "missiles" at up to 100 mph, simulating debris carried in a 250 mph wind. Researchers tested 4 x 4-foot sections of concrete block, several types of insulating concrete forms, steel studs, and wood studs to rate performance in high winds. All the concrete wall systems survived the tests with no structural damage. Lightweight steel and wood stud walls offered little or no resistance to the "missile." The 2 x 4 ripped through them.

hip roof wind resistanceHip roofs are safer than gabled - Hip roofs are more complicated and labor-intensive to build, but are also more wind-resistant in a storm. Gable roofs are easier and less expensive to build, but the triangle-shaped “gable end” is prone to collapse in a hurricane force wind if not properly braced. There is a windstorm insurance discount for homeowners in Florida that have a roof shape that is at least 90% hip

ROOF - The roof is one of the most important components of the home. A damaged or poorly maintained roof can lead to serious problems, including water damage. Major roof repairs can be expensive, and must be factored into the price of the home. If a licensed home/roof inspector reports that there are only a few years of expected life in gable roof wind resistancethe roof but no damage or issues, then most sellers are not willing to replace it. Many mortgage companies will want the inspection to show at least 5 years of useful life left on the roof. This is where your Buyer Representatives negotiate for you.

Dimensional/Architectural shingles are rated up to 150 mph wind uplift rating
Class D – Passed at basic wind speeds up to and including 90 mph
Class G – Passed at basic wind speeds up to and including 120 mph
Class H – Passed at basic wind speeds up to and including 150 mph
3 tab shingles are typically rated for 60 mph winds. They are the least expensive and efficient.
The cost of architectural shingles is only approximately 20% more than the 3 tab shingles.

Roof design constructed using lumber with hurricane straps - A hurricane strap is used to help make a structure more resistant to high winds (such as in hurricanes), resisting uplift, racking, overturning, and sliding. Rafter ties are designed to tie together the bottoms of opposing rafters on a roof, to resist the outward thrust where the roof meets the house ceiling and walls. Florida home and property insurance policies have mitigation discounts for hurricane straps or hurricane clips, also known as the roof to wall connection discount. An inspector will review and take photographs of the structure for insurance purposes.

Roof certifications are usually required where the insurer needs just the remaining life of the roof.

The price for a home inspection in the Tampa Bay area starts at $250 for a home under 1800 sq. ft Fair Wind Inspections
HHH Home Inspection Services  Thomas Inspection Services

WINDOWS - Impact-resistant glass provides protection against penetration by windborne debris. It consists of two panes of glass laminated together with a polymer interlayer, which continues to protect the opening, even if the glass is broken. Vinyl windows have higher insulating properties and are therefore better suited for obtaining low energy ratings. If the windows are not yet hurricane resistant. Measure and cut wood to fit inside casing. Push plywood into window casing. Secure with temporary angle brackets or other means.
Hurricane windows and doors Armortech Windows and Doors   FAS Windows and Doors

Retro Fitting Your Home for Hurricanes
Pinellas County Building Services

Garage doors without windows are stronger than doors with glass panels. Also make sure that the garage door track has a minimum of 6 brackets, or a continuous mounting bracket for the track. Genie Hurricane Garage Doors   Banko Garage Doors

Air Conditioning and Heating - Is the outside unit at least 12 inches above ground level? Check on the age, overall condition and maintenance schedule of any heating or cooling system present in the home. 13 seer and up are the new requirement.

Clean debris from all Gutters and Downspouts. Make sure the ground slopes away from your home’s foundation by at least 6” over the first 10’

FLOOD INSURANCE - An Elevation Certificate is important as it determines the elevation above sea level. Homeowners are not covered for flooding with their homeowners insurance policy. You must buy a separate flood insurance policy to be covered. If you’re in a flood plain, and you have a mortgage the mortgage companies require it. But if you’re not in a flood plain, you’re not required to purchase it. Florida's private flood insurance market is growing and several insurance companies now offer primary or excess flood insurance coverage to consumers with coverage often similar to, or lower than, those offered by NFIP. Flood Insurance Writers in Florida
Below is a list of potential issues with older homes that should be considered. A licensed inspector will give you a full report.

APPLIANCES - Appliances only last so long, The cost of replacing appliances should be considered. Higher quality appliances last longer. It is worthwhile to do some research on the year, brand and model of the major appliances in a property to get a clear picture of what is included in the purchase price.

ELECTRICAL - Older homes may not have electrical systems up to current codes. Things like ground fault breaker outlets in bathrooms and kitchens, as well as grounded outlets throughout the house are necessary for a safe living environment, especially when you consider the current electrical load people put on their homes with new appliances and electronics. In older homes look out for aluminum wiring.

PLUMBING - Plumbing may be hidden from site in homes, but it is a large part of what makes the home livable and comfortable. Older homes with older pipes can present problems. Make sure your potential home has plumbing that works, and no serious plumbing issues right around the corner. Things like tree root growth can quickly stop up your plumbing and may be a problem with older pipes

Our team lives in Pinellas County Florida which is considered the Tampa Bay Area. We were prepared for the impact of numerous Hurricanes We will gladly answer all your questions about any property. Feel free to contact The Top Team- Type your question in the message box Click Here

Roof certifications are usually required where the insurer needs just the remaining life of the roof. It is performed on behalf of the insurance companies as a requirement for the insurer offering insurance to the homeowner.

A Tampa bay wind mitigation inspection is designed by law to save you money on your home owners policy. 4 point Insurance inspections are required on homes over 30yrs. Some insurance carriers are requiring them on over 20yr homes, when you renew your existing insurance policy or are shopping around for a new one.

The required 4 point wind mitigation inspection form includes roof certification.
The Inspection consists of an inspection and condition evaluation of: Roof, Electrical, HVAC (Heat/Air Conditioning) and Plumbing.
The 4 point inspection is not a total home inspection.

How to be prepared when a Hurricane is forecast.
Visit our other Web site

Hurricane or NOT

Items that you should always have available.
Non-electric can opener, flashlights and batteries, portable radios, candles, dry food, canned food, bottled water. Save large plastic jugs and store in garage. Fill 3/4 with water and put in freezer at least 2 days before a Hurricane is forecast to approach Florida. The frozen water jugs will keep your food in the fridge and freezer cold for at least 3 days. Our food stayed useable during Hurricane Irma.

You can also buy a portable generator or whole house generator. More Here

Coleman portable cook stove under $45 plus fuel at Walmart. We used it and had hot food. See it Here
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Inspections when buying a Tampa Bay Florida Home to protect from Hurricanes

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