Stay Ahead of the Storm with Westfall, a Certified 'My Safe Florida Home' Contractor

Stay Ahead of the Storm with Westfall, a Certified ‘My Safe Florida Home’ Contractor

If you reside in Florida, you understand the risks that hurricanes (as well as tropical storms, windstorms, and thunderstorms) present. The State of Florida wants homeowners to harden their homes better to protect themselves and their families from storm damage

Consequently, the My Safe Florida Home program provides eligible homeowners with a free wind inspection from a qualified hurricane mitigation inspector and the ability to receive reimbursement for up to $10,000 (as a grant) in home hardening construction efforts.

What Is The My Safe Florida Home Program

The My Safe Florida Home program is a recent effort (administered by the Florida Department of Financial Services) to increase the safety of Florida homes while helping homeowners save money on specific home improvement costs and home insurance premiums. Eligible homeowners receive (i) a free wind mitigation inspection and (ii) matching grants of up to $10,000 for strengthening their homes against hurricanes.

7 Types Of Improvements Under The My Safe Florida Home Program

An inspection might uncover the need to enhance the adherence of the roof deck to the home to improve the structural integrity of the roofing system.

Following an inspection, the homeowner could be advised to add an interior or exterior secondary water barrier to keep moisture from penetrating.

Upgrading roof materials (i.e., shingles or tiles) to a stronger, more hurricane-resistant model may require replacing the existing roof with a new one.

After an inspection, the report could reveal the need to strengthen the gable-end walls with additional structural support to diminish the risk of failure.

Adding metal tie-down clips attaching roof rafters to walls will decrease the possibility that all or a portion of the roof could lift in a hurricane.

Safeguarding window openings is crucial to protecting the home during a hurricane. Protective devices (such as impact-rated glass windows) may be essential.

Within the scope of the inspection, a final report may recommend exterior sliding glass doors or garage doors receive an upgrade or additional support.

Why Is The My Safe Florida Home Program Crucial To Florida Homeowners

Benefit 1: Obtain A Free Home Wind Inspection And Detailed Report

Thus far, in the My Safe Florida Home program’s relatively short life, approximately 85,000 homeowners have taken the steps necessary to secure a free home wind inspection from a qualified hurricane mitigation inspector. Resultantly, they have learned more about strengthening their home against hurricanes. They also received a comprehensive written report explaining how to improve their home to reduce hurricane wind damage.

Within the wind inspection report, every home receives a hurricane wind resistance rating (on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 100 (highest).) The rating indicates how well a home might perform when exposed to hurricane-strength winds. Naturally, a home adhering closely to Florida’s most stringent building code requirements will receive a higher rating. At a minimum, houses must be constructed to withstand wind speeds up to 120 mph.

Florada Home with new asphalt roof replaced by Westfall Roofing

Benefit 2: Receive As Much As $10,000 In Matching Grant Funds

For every $1 a homeowner spends on an authorized home improvement project within the My Safe Florida Home program, Florida will provide $2 toward the actual project cost. For example, suppose the homeowner spends $5,000 out-of-pocket to upgrade their roof as the wind inspection report recommends. In that case, Florida will provide an additional $10,000 (the maximum allowed under the program) toward the cost of the roof improvement.

Homeowner Eligibility Criteria:

1. The home has been granted homestead exemption.
2. The home’s insured value must be under $700,000.
3. The building permit application for the home’s initial construction must be before 1/1/08.

Homeowners could apply for the program beginning on July 1, 2024, as follows:

Days 1-15Low-income homeowners age 60+
Days 16-30Low-income homeowners of any age
Days 31-45Qualifying moderate-income homeowners age 60+
Days 46-60Moderate-income homeowners of any age
After Day 60Any qualifying homeowner, regardless of income and age

Benefit 3: Reduce Your Home Insurance Premium Rates

Because Florida homes face a meaningful risk of loss due to hurricane-strength winds, insurance companies often increase premiums or make coverage less affordable to Florida homeowners compared to homeowners in other states who are less susceptible to hurricanes and other violent storms. Unfortunately, many Florida homeowners with limited financial means discover the price of home insurance premiums to be cost-prohibitive.

The My Safe Florida Home program is designed to ease the financial burden of owning a home in Florida (while better protecting homes from the damaging effects of powerful winds.) According to the bill’s sponsor, since the program’s founding, “homeowners who have completed the improvements and disclosed their insurance company premium discounts reported an average annual savings of $1,014 after doing the program.”

Using A My Safe Florida Home Program Approved Contractor

As an approved contractor for the My Safe Florida Home program, Westfall Roofing is ready to assist West Central Florida homeowners with roof improvement projects. We understand the intricacies of this program to ensure all work meets regulatory requirements. To learn more about our roofing services or schedule an appointment, contact us today!

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