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Wind Mitigation Update

Good Sunday Morning Everyone.  Been a few weeks with our blog and we have an exciting one for you. This week we want to talk about Wind Mitigation. But not like we talked about before. And also before you start making some purchases such as hurricane wind resistant devices, its a good idea to check to see if they will give you the credit on home owners insurance. And last, we want to talk about town home wind mitigation reporting. Yes, believe it or not you can get one as well. So lets begin.

When we talk about wind mitigation reporting the report is to identify to the insurance company about what kind of  devices you have on your home to receive proper credit from the insurance company. Now all insurance companies will be different as far as credits. For example your home may have single wraps or toe nail credit. The home may had a new roof installed and you never received the proper F.B.C. credit. Or you upgraded the garage door, windows or entry doors. Again, another credit that its not looked at.  Even when you add this type of upgrade after the previous wind mitigation report, its good to always update this with the insurance company. Also, always ask about the Secondary Water Resistor when getting a new roof. This is one credit that may cost a bit then but will save you time and time again.

Now the garage door needs to have a wind speed verification for the credit. The windows have to be impact resistant and have an approved code on the windows or noted on the paperwork. The engineering devices and nail spacing is determined as well and is an additional credit.  Now you say, I have shutters, or wind resistant screens, or wood panels or we had a storm coming in and made up the cover and do I get credit. Well that answer is maybe. Here is why.  The shutters will be stamped with an approval code on them. The wood panels have to meet the FBC 2007 Edition of Table 1609.1.2. And yes we verify that.  The screen system is a sticky subject. Some systems will state its approved by the Florida Building Code. Got it. But it is not approved for the proper credit for wind mitigation.  Also, you may want to check to see if they are ASTM approved.  I mean come on. Why spend all this money that you think will protect your home and then you find out, well nice system but sorry no credit. (True story) Additionally, you have one type of check off that it maybe approved or not and that is determined by the underwriters of the insurance. It can’t be verified, maybe due age and can’t read the coding. Or a make shift item and looks like an approved system but not sure. Check with the insurance agent about this. Again, why waist time and money.

Now lets talk about wind mitigation for flat roofs, mobile homes and town-homes.  Yes you deserve the proper credit for these as well. Some people may say, I do not have attic access. That’s ok, we aren’t going to demo the ceiling to try to get in the attic. You too get some type of credit.  For flat roofs other then two types of credits your home still applies to most of the inspection report. And for town-homes your home even though connected still gets the credit it should deserve. For example garage and entry doors, windows, shutters, etc.  Then we have the mobile home or manufactured home. I want to clarify that mobile homes do not “Normally” get a wind mitigation report.  They always get a 4 point or roof certification report.  Now keep in mind I said normally. If you upgrade your windows and door to hurricane resistant, have installed shutters, call us. Even if we do not service the area such as Tallahassee or Miami .  However, we do service the Greater Tampa Bay area from Crystal River to Sarasota, and from Tarpon Springs to Sumter. We can refer you to an inspector that can assist you.  For more information about wind mitigation go to:  or call us anytime at 352-322-2700. Thank You and blog at you next Sunday!



Roof Inspections

We have had a few phone calls from seniors about inspecting their roofs. Now we do a roof certification for insurance purposes, but this was more for their own personal knowledge.  A lot of companies feel that during any type of inspection they just don’t need to walk the roofs. Can’t explain it but to me on any inspection the inspector should get up there. Lets think about it. Inspect roof, inspector not inspecting roof for roof inspection. So lets begin about what we did to handle our client.

While talking to the client and the concern he stated to me that their is companies that are using other companies with drones. {Great, little machine, doing human work} But the operator is not a trained inspector.  The machine will not be able to tell soft spots on the roof and then they will say call a roofer. This is purely bs.. So our office stated we will do a small report and match the drone company report. This was kinda curious for us as downsizing the reports we do. Upon completion the owner of his home got a report and was noted that some warranty repairs needed to be corrected. This then turned into other neighbors near by with the same concern.

Once we were done, our reporting was then sent over to other roofing contractors. So for a short blog this week. Lets think about the next time you need service. Call a company that stands by their reputation and will share to clients why its better to have inspectors with contractor experience then a machine with none.

Thank you again everyone for following our blog and if you need this type of service or others in the Tampa, Clearwater, Hudson and Lakeland Florida areas feel free to call us anytime. . 352-322-2700


As we are now into the new year, I hope everyone had a great holiday season. This weeks blog is about Permits. Not about home inspectors needing permits, however home inspectors searching for permits on the property they are inspecting. So, lets begin.

Just about every scenario we do, we are always in contact with the local building departments for building permits. At the end of the year a repeat client of ours was purchasing another property. They wanted to know about any open permits since the home had been just recently renovated. So, in our search we found 2 open permits.  Which brings us to this blog.

The work for the permits had been performed correctly. The building department was in error because they did not close the permit. It happens. Now what about other scenarios. For example, there maybe new electrical panel box and no permit. This is always noted on our reports. Or new garage door and opener but no permit. This happens too. So why permits?

A permit is to protect the home owner and government. For example, if the current home owner applies for a permit for finishing a garage area then their is multiple trades involved. Additionally, it protects government because they have a record on the property. If there is ever a bad error then the work can be pointed back to the contractor on record or the building department. Also, if no permit then their maybe repercussions when closing and a property appraiser sees new work that was not properly recorded.  The worst case scenario is a home is about to close and no permit was applied for upgrades and the county records office catches that a new kitchen was installed prior to closing. This will definitely raise a red flag.

So, when you are about to purchase a property or change insurance companies and need an insurance inspection, ask your inspector about permits. It is easy to obtain and we provide this service at no cost to our clients. For more information contact us anytime at 352-322-2700 or  Our inspections usually range from Clearwater to Odessa and from Zephyrhills to Hudson Florida areas.


4 Point Inspections

This weeks blog is about 4 point inspections. The purpose of 4 point inspections and some tricky sales gimmicks of other companies that inflate the inspection process. So lets begin.

A “Four-Point Inspection” is an inspection catered to the insurance companies. With this type of inspection an insurance carrier does not want to go thru 50 plus pages of a home inspection report. There is a lot of software out there and all is different reporting styles when it comes to the actual 4 points.

The 4 Points inspected are: Roof, Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC. So for example, the roof is inspected to make sure no leaks, no turn shingles and also no condensation in the attic. The electrical has to be in good working order. This means the panel box has no double taps, no over heated breakers and that if aluminum multi-strand wire, the wire has an oxidizing agent applied to the wire. When the plumbing is inspected there can not be any leaks under sinks, hot water heater is in good working order, no corrosion on pipes and if a well is on premise the well pump and filtration system is in good working order.

Lastly, is the HVAC system. Here in Florida, a lot of times we will see heat pumps. This is your a/c and heat. The air handler unit is usually in the garage or the attic. We check to make sure the system is performing properly. No burnt wires inside the housing, the coils are cleaned on the units, drip pans are not clogged, the disconnects to the units work properly and the thermostat is working properly. I usually check the ambient temperature to compare to the outside. Keep in mind that the a/c can not be checked if the outside temperature is below 60 degrees. This may cause damage to the compressor and other components of the system.

So above is the inspection points of the Four Point Inspection. The inspector also, has to check with the local government building department for permits on the home, for the 4 Points.

Now lets briefly discuss why insurance companies require them. First of all, any home over 25 years old the systems may start to enter the bonus life of the system. For example, if a hot water heater is over 15years of age. Its time to replace or really start to budget for that item. So the insurance carrier wants to see if there are any updates been done to the home. The 4 Point Inspection is not to be considered a full general inspection, nor is it never to be. The reporting for the 4 Point is on insurance dedicated forms. For example, “Citizens Insurance”, ” Tower Hill” or “State Farm” insurance.

In closing a lot of home inspection companies will offer this service as an ancillary service with the home inspection, only. We offer this service as a full service for our clients. And you may here from time to time catch phrases during the inspection process of 7 points, 21 points, etc. Pay no attention to them. At Emerald Inspection Service, you have your 4 Point Inspection, our self generated 5 Point Inspection which is for mobile homes and investors only, and the General Inspection. We perform these type of inspections from Sebring to Hernando. From Saint Petersburg to Sumterville Florida within a 24-36 hour time frame. For more information about #4PointInspections  go to our website:

Or call us anytime, 352-322-2700 or 844 RADON 40.


Roof Certifications

Roof, Styles

First I want to wish everyone a Happy Labor Day Holiday.

Roof certifications is a very important document for your insurance company. First, the insurance company wants to know the condition of the roof, the age of the roof, and if there were any permits provided for the roof.

A roof certification is very important also when it comes to buying or selling a home. If you are the seller and have a roof certification, then this is telling any potential buyer that the roof is good for so many additional years on the home. Being a buyer, this can be a great negotiating tool on any real-estate transaction. For example, if the roof life expectancy is only 5 years then you may want to use this as a bargaining product for the transaction.

Lastly, a roof certification, maybe used for third parties. The third party certification can be used for roofers to certify their own work. Possibility, of Home Owner Associations to inspect the roofs for informational purposes to monitor the roofs near the end of its life span. And also, for expert testimonials when needed for lawyers and arbitration issues.

So with this blog of #Roof Certification, I hope this will help you in your needs for the next roof certification as you need. Most certification write-ups will be on the Citizens Roof Certification form and is excepted by the majority of insurance companies and Realtor. For more information, about this or any other services we offer, please visit our web-site at or call our office anytime at; 352-322-2700 or toll free at 844-RADON-40.

Thank You,

G.K. Swatzbaugh III

#Roof #Certification

Citizens Roof Certification form

Roof Inspection and Certifications

Roof, Styles

This weeks blog will be about roof inspections and roof certifications that are sometimes needed for insurance policies. Lets start off with a roof certification, or sometimes known as a roof condition report. A roof condition report for an insurance company, will report the age, condition, covering of the roof (s) and the permit from the county. This process is usually for parts of Tampa, Lutz, Lakeland and Port Richey Florida. Also, there is approximately 6 pictures that need to be taken during this process. If there is more then one roof, then all are reported the same. An insurance company will request this when the roof is metal or any style that is 10 years of age or older.

Performing a roof inspection is the process of inspecting more then just the roof covering and age. During the roof inspection, the inspector will identify and inspect over 20 line items on the roof and state their condition and if any deficiencies.  Also to be able to identify and report the style of the roof. The following information is an inspection for an asphalt shingled roof.

During the roof inspection, the inspector will first inspect the roof covering and report the type of covering. If the roof covering is starting to separate, blister, or curl at the edges. If there are any nail pops on asphalt roofs.  Additionally, looking for any torn or missing areas of the roof covering. Secondly, the valley’s will be inspected (if any) to look for debris collecting in the area, ponding, if flashing is shown and the condition, and this is a spot where nests and moss will collect. The next process of the roof inspection is inspecting the drip edge, chimney flashing and the area that joins the house siding to the roof. The drip edge is the metal strip that secures the felt paper to the sheathing. From there on newer roofs, a thin trowel covering of tar should be placed over the seam. The chimney flashing is inspected to make sure that no tar is separating from the chimney, a cricket is secured or needs to be installed and it is not damaged. Lastly is the area of the house that meets the roof. Sometimes there maybe flashing, and sometimes there is not. It depends on the style of the home. But in this aspect the inspector should be checking if there is any water collecting, nail pops, stucco cracks, j-channel filled of debris or j-channel missing, to name the majority of items.

For flat roof, a lot of the similarities as mentioned above but the big difference is the seams. The seams have to be water tight, no blistering and no curling. On flat roofs, we may see a tar covering over the roof. This is good for 5 years. After 5 years the sun and weather will affect the roof covering by a blister or separation effect.

I will continue this blog next week about clay tile and concrete and metal roofs. If you have any questions feel free to contact us anytime at; or call 352-322-2700.

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