Roof Damage and the 25% Roof Replacement Rule

Every year thousands of roofs in Florida sustain substantial damage from wind, hail, lightning or other debris. Many policyholders do not inspect their roof and are unaware of damage until a leak is evident. Whether you own a business or a home, it is imperative that you hire a professional to inspect your roof regularly and after a storm.

If you have discovered damage to your roof following a weather event, it is important to report the claim to your insurance company right away. If you can always take photographs and document damage. This will come in handy if your insurance company is disputing coverage. If your roof has significant damage, this is where the 25% Florida Building Code Rule kicks in.

Florida Building Code § 708.11:

“Not more than twenty-five (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 roofing system or roof section conforms to requirements of this code.”

In simplifying the building code, if your roof (commercial and residential) is damaged more than 25% due to wind, hail or a fallen tree then you are entitled to replacement of your roof or roof section. A roof section under the Florida Building Code are two sides of a sloping roof. If the damage is less than 25% then a repair or patch is warranted. However, if a path or temporary repair to less than 25% of the roof fails within 12 months from the loss, then the entire roof is required to be replaced.

If your insurance company is only willing to pay for a repair or patch to your roof, it is wise to seek a second opinion from a licensed public adjuster or roofer. Their expertise and finding will enable you to fight your insurance company if you need to duke it out in Court.

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