Home Inspectors and Wind Mitigation Inspections

General Questions About Wind Mitigations Not Specifically Covered in the Above Forum Topics.
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Robert R Sheppard
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Home Inspectors and Wind Mitigation Inspections

Postby Robert R Sheppard » March 21st, 2017, 12:09 pm

Being as this question has been floating around the Home Inspection industry since the advent of licensing, I will address it here for those receiving wind mitigation inspections performed by licensed Home Inspectors.

The question is, does the statutes and administrative code of Home Inspector licensure apply to wind mitigation inspections?

First, this is a complex question that requires a detailed understanding of Home Inspector licensure. You must have specific knowledge on the statutes and the rules of licensure to even attempt answering this question.

Just kidding, the answer is here:

468.8319 Prohibitions; penalties.—
(1)A person may not:
(a) Effective July 1, 2011, practice or offer to practice home inspection services unless the person has complied with the provisions of this part.
(b) Effective July 1, 2011, use the name or title “certified home inspector,” “registered home inspector,” “licensed home inspector,” “home inspector,” “professional home inspector,” or any combination thereof unless the person has complied with the provisions of this part.


In case you are wondering, ”this part” means the statutes and rules that apply to licensure. Without them, the license would be invalid. Hence, if the statutes and rules that validate your licensure do not apply, you are no longer a licensed Home Inspector…..period!

Any licensed Home Inspector in the state of Florida who holds themselves out to hire to the general public for ANY inspection, and uses their licensure to validate that they are in fact qualified to complete that inspection, most follow the statutes and rules of their licensure for the license to be valid. There are exceptions to the Home Inspector licensing laws, but they end once an individual holds themselves out for hire as a Home Inspector.

It's that simple.....you either are or you are not qualified with your licensure.

If you are currently a licensed Home Inspector who is completing wind mitigation inspections with your Home Inspector license, I highly encourage you to seek legal counsel and submit all of the laws and rules of your licensure for an opinion on their applicability. This should be an eye-opening experience for any Home Inspector. The statutes and rules, including the Standard of Practice, apply to any inspection you perform as a licensed Home Inspector.

This means you are required to comment on damage, deterioration, improper installation or a change in accepted residential construction standards when completing the wind mitigation form. Anything less and you are in violation of your licensure.
Licensed Home Inspector #3289
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Robert R Sheppard
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Re: Home Inspectors and Wind Mitigation Inspections

Postby Robert R Sheppard » March 21st, 2017, 5:50 pm

After posting this article, I have been contacted by a few home owners asking “why is it so important that a Home Inspector follows the statutes and rules of licensure during the completion of a wind mitigation form?”

The simplest answer I have? Because people die when things are not built according to the minimum building code requirements. At every major adoption, update, or revision to the building codes one of two things has happened. Either catastrophic damage or loss of life. There really is no other reason to have a formal building code than the protection of the public health, safety, and general welfare.

Over the past 117 years, Hurricanes have caused over 1/3 trillion (that’s trillion with a “T”) in damages and taken over 13,000 lives (Source: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/31/world/ame ... ast-facts/).

What most unsuspecting home owners do not know is that most homes are designed to withstand design event Hurricanes. Homes destroyed during Hurricane Andrew are a direct example of this. In one Dade County subdivision, Coutrywalk, brand new homes were blown to pieces by the storm. These homes were supposed to be built to the latest and greatest wind resistive building code in the nation. The South Florida building Code. When Andrew passed across the state of Florida, we had the most stringent building code in the country. There was none better, anywhere.

You can review some of the damages here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TduvuKna_-o

After the storm passed and damages were assessed, a Dade County Grand Jury Report revealed that:

a lack of proper building inspections was a major contributing factor to the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew. Faulty construction and shoddy workmanship were hidden until uncovered by the storm. This must never happen again
(Source: https://www.miamisao.com/publications/g ... 1992f4.pdf )

An insufficient level of design wasn’t the root cause of damages produced by the storm, faulty building inspections were.

So how does this all fit together? Home Inspectors are required by both statute (laws: violation can mean jail time) and Administrative Code (rules: violation typically mean a fine or suspension of license) to report any “damaged, deterioration, improper installation, or a change in accepted residential construction standards”. They are then to report any such findings to the home owner and report how to repair the deficiency. I can tell you for a fact that this is not happening.

People die during and after Hurricanes, Katrina took over 1,200 lives. Is it really too much to ask that a licensed Home Inspector follow the laws and rules of their licensure during the completion of a document that has the potential to save lives? If it saved just one life….wouldn’t it be worth it?

The next question I was typically asked was “why aren’t Home Inspectors following the laws and rules of their licensure during the completion a wind mitigation form?”.

The short answer? This is what they are being taught by instructors. Instructors are not only teaching Home Inspectors to put Florida families at risk, they don’t really care otherwise. I have had more than one heated discussion with an instructor about this issue, most could care less. There are a few minority instructors that do teach their students the right way, but they are typically beat down by an industry that refuses to accept common sense.

What could make more sense than simply verifying that an installed feature on your home that protects you family during a storm is in fact installed properly?

In a recent 2013 article, the Florida Association of Insurance Agents CEO Jeff Grady had this to say about Florida's wind mitigation program (Source: http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/south ... 102978.htm ):

Florida’s efforts to encourage homeowners to harden their homes to better withstand big storms by giving them insurance premium discounts is not getting the job done, according to a report from insurance agents in the state.”
“The agents say faulty implementation by the state’s insurance regulator — including a misplaced emphasis on granting insurance credits over making sure mitigation efforts are effective– and apparent fraud in the inspection process are largely to blame.”
“They also say homeowners are being led to believe they are safer, when they are not, and the system is contributing to woes in the state’s property insurance market.”


How can a Home Inspector, after 10 years of the program being in effect, not have the expertise to simply follow the laws and rules of their licensure and verify that these systems are installed correctly? When does common sense kick in here?

Reference materials: Florida Home Inspector Administrative Code 61-30 ( https://www.flrules.org/gateway/Chapter ... pter=61-30 ) and State Statute 468.83: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/ind ... EPart%20XV
Licensed Home Inspector #3289
ICC Cert. Residential Building Inspector B1 #8325007
ICC Cert. Residential Electrical Inspector E1 #8325007
ICC Cert. Residential Mechanical Inspector M1 #8325007
ICC Cert. Residential Plumbing Inspector P1 #8325007


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