What Is Wind Mitigation, and Does Your Home Really Need It?

Bry'Ana Arvie
Written by Bry'Ana Arvie
Updated April 28, 2022
A luxury gray house
Photo: jnnault / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Wind mitigation is a building philosophy used to prevent damages caused by high winds.

  • The ultimate benefit is a safer home for you and your household.

  • Additional benefits include saving money on damages and insurance premiums. 

  • You must schedule a wind mitigation inspection to qualify for insurance discounts.

There are plenty of reasons people love to live along the coast—beach days and ocean views, to name a few. But living near the coast can also bring the threat of stormy weather, which can make your home vulnerable to wind damage. Wind mitigation is one way to help your house stand up against high gusts, while also saving money on insurance premiums. Here’s everything you need to know about wind mitigation. 

What Is Wind Mitigation, Exactly?

A beautiful luxury home exterior
Photo: hikesterson / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Wind mitigation, also known as windstorm mitigation, is the building of a structure using layouts and plans aimed at preventing damage caused by high winds. You can add wind mitigation to an existing home by fortifying the roof, windows, and doors. This building philosophy is prevalent in areas where storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes are likely to occur, such as coastal regions and areas of the South and Midwest. Wind mitigation can help safeguard against high-velocity winds and the damaging airborne debris that comes with it. 

Benefits of Wind Mitigation

Many homeowners may wonder whether they need wind mitigation. Let’s look at some reasons you should consider wind mitigation for your home.

Protects Your Home From Costly Damages

When you protect your home from wind damage you decrease the chance of paying for costly damage. And if you do have to pay out of pocket for wind damage, it’ll be less pricey because its extent is potentially less severe. 

Lowers Your Insurance Premium

Another pro you can experience by investing in wind mitigation for your home is lower insurance premiums. When you live in coastal states like Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, the potential for wind-related storms increases significantly. And while there’s nothing more beautiful than living near the water when you and your family want to take an impromptu visit to the beach, insurance companies see the proximity to the water as a costly risk.

But if you use mitigation techniques, it makes your home a less risky place to insure, allowing insurance companies to offer you a discount on your premium. Worth mentioning is that while you can save money, how much will depend on where you stay, how many (and what) methods you used, and your insurance company.  

Keeps You and Your Family Safe

One of the most notable benefits is it keeps you and your family safer during wind storms. While mitigating property damage is a priority, your family’s safety is always the top concern. When there are fewer chances to be severely impacted by storms, it protects your family physically and their peace of mind. 

Wind Mitigation Methods

Here are a few techniques to help your home put up a good fight against wind storms. 

Durable Windows and Doors

Your glass windows and doors are especially vulnerable during wind storms. If a window breaks, the opening can create enough pressure inside your home to blow out the ceiling and roof. To combat this, you can install impact-resistant glass and structurally attach frames to your house. You can also purchase storm shutters to add a layer of protection to your windows from flying debris.

Water Barrier

A secondary water barrier should be attached under the roof shingles or tiles in case they blow off. This barrier will further protect your home from potential wind and water damage. 

Fortified Roof

Both the building materials and shape of the roof can contribute to its operation during a storm. To resist high winds and rain, you want your roof to have multiple slopes like a hip roof. And the roof, walls, and foundation must be connected to withstand high winds.

Reinforced Garage Door

During a storm, if your garage door is forced open, it can cause an internal pressure buildup, risking a complete or partial blowout of your home’s walls and roofs. Wind-rated garage doors are designed to include specialized reinforcements.

How to Save on Insurance Premiums?

To qualify for discounts on your insurance premiums, you need to schedule a wind mitigation inspection. It’s a visual inspection that’ll determine how much wind your home can withstand, and it’ll help you see which credits or discounts can be applied to your home. Here are some areas that an inspector might cover:

  • Your home’s age

  • Roof covering

  • Roof deck attachment

  • Roof-to-wall attachment

  • Your roof’s shape and slope

  • Secondary water resistance

  • How your openings (windows and doors) are protected

Each state has its wind mitigation report, so the exact areas that your pro will cover depends on where you live. Contact your local home inspector for a more comprehensive idea of what your inspection may include.