Florida homeowners can save money on their insurance and protect against hurricane roof damage by adding a “third nail,” but what is it?
“The third nail is literally a third nail,” said Jason Evilsizer of LGT Restorations. The Fort Myers-based roofer specializes in putting the third nail into roof-to-wall connectors, which makes a roof more secure against heavy wind. Most homes in Florida built before 2002 only use two nails.
Since 2003, all homes valued at more than $300,000 must get that nail whenever they get a new roof, but many roofers don’t do it. “They just put the roof on,” Evilsizer said. “Sometimes we have to go in after and do this thing.”
LGT Restorations, like some other roofing companies, charge a flat rate of about $850 for the service.
Every home insurer in Florida has been required to offer credits for wind mitigation since the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. However, the amount of the discount will be based on the type of house, the type of mitigation and the insurer.
Michael Peltier, a spokesman for Florida state-run Citizens Property Insurance, said third-nail credits are most significant for homes built before 2001, and factors such as the shape of the roof and other materials used can change the amount of the discount.
Peltier says a qualifying house with Citizens built before 2001 and with little wind mitigation before this could save as much as 35%. But he strongly cautions that the figure is so dependent on individual factors that policyholders cannot know the extent of their discount without talking to their agent.
But how much difference can one nail make? About 200 extra pounds of lift protection.
“A common clip that has two nails will only give you about 300-350 pounds of lift [mitigation],” Evilsizer said. “A third nail brings that to 500-600 pounds.”
This can mean the difference between protection from a Category 1 hurricane to protection for a Category 4, according to Evilsizer. “I wouldn’t guarantee it, but that’s what the studies say,” he said.
The process, which takes between two and five hours, can be done two ways. Roofers can go into the attic if there is enough access. Otherwise, they will go in from the outside through the soffit.
“Sometimes we’ll chip a little paint,” Evilsizer said. “But repairing that is in the cost.”
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