Roof Damage From Hurricane Ian? Understand Florida’s New Roofing Law

Florida’s 25% roofing rule is gone. The insurance lobby convinced Florida legislators to stop following good roofing construction practices this past summer. The newly passed legislation in Florida’s special session may allow insurance companies to patch rather than replace significant portions of your hurricane-damaged roof. Previously, if a roof was damaged more than 25%, it had to be replaced.

Florida’s Building Commission had the following law in place:

706.1.1 : Not more than 25 percent of the total roof area or roof section of any existing building or structure shall be repaired, replaced or recovered in any 12-month period unless the entire existing roofing system or roof section is replaced to conform to requirements of this code.

Here is the new law [Florida Statutes 553.844(5)] which effectively overrides this longstanding building code:

Notwithstanding any provision in the Florida Building Code to the contrary, if an existing roofing system or roof section was built, repaired, or replaced in compliance with the requirements of the 2007 Florida Building Code, or any subsequent editions of the Florida Building Code, and 25 percent or more of such roofing system or roof section is being repaired, replaced, or recovered, only the repaired, replaced, or recovered portion is required to be construction in accordance with the Florida Building Code in effect, as applicable The Florida Building Commission shall adopt this exception by rule and incorporate it in the Florida Building Code….a local government may not adopt by ordinance an administrative or technical amendment to this exception. …

Please note that roofs built before the effective date of the 2007 Code are exempt.

What does this mean? Many insurance companies will take a very hard line and only allow piecemeal patching. If repaired in this manner, many roofs will not be repaired according to manufacturers’ specifications, which will leave your roof vulnerable to leaking and becoming worn out far before its warranted life expectancy.

Please note that most roofing material manufacturers have exclusions in their warranties for this piecemeal patching.

If your roof suffered significant damage and the insurance company is only paying for patching, relying upon the new law, you should seek professional help.

Thought For The Day

Quite often, while I’m getting up in the morning, I think my warranty is running out on these body parts because it’s not working quite the way it used to.
—John Glenn

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