Comprehensive Guide to Windstorm Roof Inspections - Residential Edition

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What is the Windstorm Program?

The Windstorm Program, the inspections part of the program, went into effect on January 1, 1988. The windstorm program was put in place by the Texas Legislature to mitigate damage to properties located in Texas Coastal areas.

There are 14 Texas Counties that are considered catastrophe areas.

The 14 Texas Counties are: Calhoun County, Aransas County, Brazoria County, Cameron County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Kleberg County, Matagorda County, Kenedy County, Willacy County, Jefferson County, Nueces County, Refugio County, and San Patricio County.

Within those 14 Counties, in order to obtain homeowner’s insurance by any insurer that provides coverage, whether it be TWIA (Texas Windstorm Insurance Association) or a private insurer, you have to go through this Windstorm Inspection Process to obtain a WPI 8 Certificate of Compliance.

Whether it be a roof, whether it be a certificate of insurance for siding, what ever work was being done on that property in order to obtain the certificate of insurance so that the property may be eligible for insurance.

How Much is A Windstorm Inspection?

If you go directly through the Texas Department of Insurance to go through the inspection process to obtain the certification, they don’t charge, it’s free. If you run into any structural damage on the roof, for example framing, rafters, or anything that might be damaged, the Texas Department of Insurance will then refer you to what is called an AQI (Appointed Qualified Inspector), such as Ezequiel Hernandez, that will help you obtain the certification.

Structural Damage Requires You to Hire an AQI or an Engineer

The engineer or AQI (Appointed Qualified Inspector) can charge anywhere from $250 to $550, it varies.

It’s quicker to hire an AQI or an engineer because you don’t have to wait weeks or months, but also from what Ezequiel mentioned, which I didn’t know before, is that if you waited all this time and you finally get the inspection and what if there is structural damage? You’ve had materials delivered as a roofing contractor, you’ve done your due diligence on finding several days of clear skies, which means you’ll have optimum weather conditions, and the crews… You found a special crew that is going to hand-nail the roof and now you’ll have to postpone it because the inspector found something structurally that they are not qualified to oversee.

Suggestion to homeowners: hire an AQI (like Ezequiel) or an engineer and you will not have to worry about that.

Is There a Special Insurance Carrier That Insures Roofs for Coastal Properties?

Any insurance carrier can provide you windstorm insurance.

Does the Same Insurance Company That Insures the Roof, Does it Also Cover the Interior of the Home?

A carrier that will provide you Windstorm Insurance can also provide you fire insurance, or flood insurance for that matter.


Graphic Showing File is Downloadable
Download WPI 1
(Application)

What are Some Unique Roof Requirements for Windstorm Coastal Areas That are Not Requirements for Non-Coastal Areas?

A roof installed the way it’s installed in a windstorm area should be installed everywhere. Ultimately what we (Windstorm Inspectors) look for is what the roof component manufacturer calls for (in specifications). The manufacturer requirements are our requirements, as well. If your contractor is not installing the roof according to how windstorm inspectors are inspecting it, means they are not installing the roof according to manufacturer installation instructions.

Pro Tip: make sure you interview the roofing contractors. Make sure they have proper insurance, make sure they have worker’s compensation insurance, make sure they know the installation standards and you should quiz them to see if they really know what they are doing in a coastal area or even a non-coastal area because these standards should apply to all homes.

Roof Components with Required Stamps

What is the Difference Hand-Nailing the Roof Shingles and Nailing with a Nail Gun?

9 out of 10 roofs installed using nail guns don’t pass inspection. Why? Because the installers will overdrive the nails or they aren’t moving enough as they place the shingle down which means they aren’t placing the nail at the correct angle. When installed incorrectly, they throw the shingle tabs down, nailing with the nail gun and if they slightly tilt the nail gun, it means the nail is going in sideways and the full head of the nail is not going to fasten the shingle properly. And then, when roofing contractors are installing roofs in the summer, the heat softens up the singles making it more probable the nail will blow through the shingle tab versus an installer who is hand-nailing the shingles, you’re almost certain they will not overdrive the nails, that the nails are not going to in crooked, and they will space the nails properly according to manufacturer standards.

Is Hand-Nailing Required In Order to Pass the Windstorm Inspection?

It is not required to hand-nail the nails during roof installation, but it is highly recommended.

Hand-Nailing Shingles on a Beach House in Brazoria County, Texas

This is where you must decide who you want installing your roof, who do you want inspecting your roof? 

You want the highest standards to apply. Ask your roofing contractors to do 6 nails per shingle whether it’s required to pass a windstorm inspection or not because you’re going to have a better roof.

Can a quality roof that has been installed properly, up-to-code, still be damaged by a windstorm?

Absolutely, in 2015 we had a storm in the Brazoria County area with recently installed roofs (installed within 5 years time) and yes, there was damage done to the shingles. Those shingles were rated up to a certain mile per hour wind tolerance and they still sustained damage.

Wind Damaged Roof

What Are Some Red Flags to Look Out for When Hiring A Roof Contractor for Your Coastal Property?

I want them to be insured, in the event that something happens. I want the homeowner to be covered. Another red flag, I would say, is if they are asking for all of the money up front, before any work has started. Another big one would be No Contracts. As a homeowner, if I’m having somebody to come in and do work that is going to be of high value. I would like to know that there is something on paper.

Dmitry Lipinskiy from Roofing Insights, he made a really important video and you guys should for him for sure because he provides very good content, not just for roofing contractors, but also for homeowners. Dmitry Lipinskiy is basically saying that roofing contractors should never ever ask for fifty percent up front and I agree with Dmitry. 

Dmitry Lipinskiy from Roofing Insights

Roofs ONE has the business model where we only ask for 15% as a way to begin the process and 35% the morning of installation. Unless I see financial commitment, then you don’t really have true intent from the buyer. I think no one should ask for more, maybe 20% is ok, but nothing higher than that. Anything higher than that (15% to 20% down payment to get started) is unnecessary. 

Pay just enough to get it going but not enough to where they’re taking most of the money and could leave the very next day without doing half of the work. 

What are Some Good Signs to Recognize that You’ve Hired a Good Roofing Contractor for Your Coastal Property?

I will throw that back on you, Jairo. You’re a homeowner as well. What would you look for in hiring a roofing contractor?

When the roofing contractor is transparent and provides all of the information up front and provides a detailed list of materials, costs of the permits that need to be pulled. They have to know that. Another thing that we do, we present showing the certification of insurance and then go to showing the code requirements for that jurisdiction that they’re in.

How Much Liability Coverage Should A Roofing Contractor Have Before Being Hired to The Roof Requiring a Windstorm Inspection?

I’ll throw that back on you. What would you suggest on that?

Minimum requirement is one million dollars in liability coverage, that is for residential property with an average home value of $500,000. If they’re doing commercial roofing, it should be minimum two million dollars. 


Graphic Showing File is Downloadable
Surfside Beach
Permit Application

Will I Receive a Paper Copy of The WPI 8 Certification?

No, the actual copy of the certificate is posted online now. It’s posted on www.tdi.gov .

There is a search box that you can go to look for a copy of that certification. 

Search for Your WPI 8 Certificate

How Long is It Going To Take For The WPI 8 Certificate of Compliance To Be Posted Online?

To stay on the safe side, I always say about 10 to 15 business days. 

So, the house we just finished doing in Surfside Beach should be coming up soon.

What Are The Windstorm Roof Compliance Differences Between Metal Roofs And Asphalt Roofs?

A lot of metal roof manufacturers specify what decking they want supporting their product, whether it be plywood, OSB. As to asphalt shingles, they can be installed over board decking, ⅜” plywood. Another difference would be underlayment, which is what is going underneath the metal versus what is going underneath the asphalt shingles. Many times metal manufacturers want a specific underlayment to be installed underneath their product versus asphalt shingles, if you are not getting the warranty you can use any underlayment that is approved by the Texas Department of Insurance that meets the standards they ask for.

Asphalt Roof Requirements versus Metal Roof Requirements

What Products Are Approved For Installation In The Coastal Area Where Windstorm Certification Is Mandatory?

There is actually a list of approved products on TDI’s webpage that you can go onto whether it’s siding materials you are installing, shingle roofs, metal roof, windows.

Opinion Of What Comprises The Complete Roof System

I always view roofing systems as one system as a whole because, ultimately, the shingles are not going to function properly if the underlayment is not installed properly. The underlayment will not function properly if the decking is not installed properly or if there is rotten decking underneath that. I feel that everything is tied together. Another example is the drip edge along the rake edges will hold down the underlayment and help the water run down smoothly over the eaves of the roof. The roof is one system. One specific product on that roof cannot function without the other.

The roof is one complete roofing system. Let’s say you are told to repair just one shingle. How are you going to just repair one on a nail gun driven nail, when nail gun driven nails are not intended to be removed. It’s guaranteed to create collateral damage to the shingles surrounding the shingle that you are wanting to replace. And even if you were to successfully remove a nail gun driven nail from the shingle, now you are left with a hole on the underlayment, now you are left with a hole on the decking and it opens up a whole new can of worms. 

People or homeowners that manage or own properties along the entire coast of Texas, how can they get a hold of you so they can ask you questions and hire you, not just for residential, this is especially for commercial roof windstorm inspections, too. Maybe we can come back and do a video only on commercial windstorm roof inspections. 

Absolutely.  Please tell the audience how they can contact you. 

I can be contacted in two ways: First by phone: 979-313-8515 or by email. Ezequiel Hernandez email is: vientoinspections@gmail.com

Read this article for HOW TO PASS A WINDSTORM INSPECTION: (click here)

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Comments

I have black stains on my roof. How can I get rid of them? My neighbors have them, too; now that I think about it

Hi Aristi, thank you for your question. Use oxygen bleach to clean your roof and please read the article we wrote because it explain with great detail how to do it correctly. We even gave tips on ladder placement. Better yet, let us do it. Contact us for exact pricing. (https://www.roofs.one/the-roof-report/how-to-remove-algae-stains-from-your-roof) Our roof cleaning service starts at $200 and goes up from there. Thank you

It's my understanding buying a class 4 shingle will lower my insurance premium, but will it lower my coverage?

Hi Bailey, thank you for the excellent question! The safe answer is "please check your coverage detailed in your policy". For the more thorough and deeper way to answer your question, I asked many colleagues and only one had a unique answer. Robert from Oklahoma City said one of his clients that bought class 4 shingles did receive a lower premium, but he lost the hail coverage. I was shocked to learn about this real world example about how this specific insurance company handled this upgrade. It could strictly be a case of correlation and not causation, but it's still interesting. Thank you for taking the time to ask your question.

One of your employees left a postcard on my door and I figured you could answer my question - What questions should i ask roofing companies before i hire them?

Hi Chad! thank you for your question. Several very important questions you need answered before hiring a roofing company are: - what is the square footage of my roof? - what waste % are you calculating for the complexity of my roof? - what brand/type of shingles are you offering me? - how much are you paying for the shingles from your supplier? - show me your certificate of insurance - show me your certificate of worker's comp insurance - show me where you have added me as an additional insured on your insurance policy - do you have a 3 day cancellation fee? if so, waive it. - how much will deck repairs be per sheet of plywood when decking is exposed and visible? - show me the list of materials necessary to install to keep the asphalt shingle warranty valid - what are the additional steps you are taking to protect my home from debris and nails being left behind? - provide me a full list of materials that are being installed on my roof. - what is warranty for labor? for how long? This list of questions is a great place to start. Most roofing companies don't want you to ask them because they are underinsured, overcharge for materials, cut corners by reusing your old roof parts, etc... I hope this helps!

A company is telling me I can get my roof for free from the insurance and they would cover the deductible if I hire them. Is this true? (I'm in Texas)

Please don't do that. The insurance deductible is a contractual agreement you have with your insurance company. In Texas, Texas Law House Bill 2102: It is illegal for contractors or roofers to offer to waive a deductible or promise a rebate for all or part of a deductible. Under the new law effective September 1, 2019; violators could get up to a $2,000 fine and up to six months in jail. If a contractor offers to waive a deductible, report it to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508. Do not commit insurance fraud by accepting unethical and illegal practices. Thank you for your question

This article will certainly help me make an informed decision.

Hi KD, glad we could help. We'll have a new feature on the website where you'll be able to get a Date of Loss for your insurance roof claim. Coming soon, FREE!

How long should it take for a company to give an estimate?

Hi Holly, responsiveness is a great way of showing a customer we care. We can do an informal estimate within a few hours and a formal estimate within 24 hours.

The last roofer gave me a two line estimate so I asked for more information. Haven't heard anything yet.

Hi Melinda, a detailed estimates should have detailed line items of the type of products including brand, quantity, color (if possible), with price. If you would like contact us and we can help you with a detailed quote. Thank you.

Great information. What city are you referring when you give the $350 to $450 average?

Hi Sally8100, thank you for your comment. This article is referring to Texas and Oklahoma City.

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How will I know how many layers of flat roof my house has before I commit to re-doing the roof? I don't want the roofers to discover a second or third layer and then the job exceeds budget

Hi Kasey, thank you for your excellent question. Pay the roofing company to perform the test on a small area of your flat roof before you start the project. Have the contingency in place that the price paid for the test includes the repair in the event you don't proceed with your new flat roof.

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