When you own a home or a business in Florida, there is a great deal to learn about maintaining the exterior. This includes learning about the roof of your home or other type of building. Roofs are long-term investments, but unfortunately, they do not last forever. In Florida, which annually experiences hurricanes and serious storms, it is common for homeowners and business owners to experience roof damage. Also, normal wear and tear over time requires that roofs be replaced. Whether you have small areas of damage or if your entire roof is old, you need to learn about Florida roofing laws.
Basics of Florida Roofing Regulations
Florida has more roofing regulations than you may realize. There are laws regarding who can work on roofs, how roofs must be installed or repaired, when roofs may be reroofed and much more. Most of these laws are found in the sixth edition of the Florida Building Code, which went into effect on Dec. 31, 2017. Other roofing rules are found in Title XXXII of the Florida Statutes, Chapter 489 on contracting. It is not essential for you to know all of these laws. Instead, when it comes to dealing with your roof, it is best to find a licensed and experienced roofing contractor who knows the Florida roofing rules for roof replacement and repairs.
Can a General Contractor Do Roofing in Florida?
When it is time to repair or replace your roof, you need a licensed professional to do it. To lawfully repair, replace, extend or alter in any way roofs in Florida, a professional must be a Certified Roofing Contractor. This requires at least four years of education and/or training and passing the state roofing exam, as well as the business and finance exam. Florida law allows for very limited circumstances when a general or residential contractor could perform a roofing task on a new building of their own construction.
Don't assume you can hire any general contractor to work on your existing roof. Always check whether a professional you hire is licensed to perform the roofing task you need and to work with the type of materials you wish to use for the roof of your home or business. Contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for information.
Florida Statutes for Roof Replacements
If your roof was damaged due to a storm, hurricane or other weather event, you may wonder whether you can simply repair the damaged areas or if you need to replace the entire roof. The Florida Building Code dictates when a roof can be reroofed, repaired or entirely replaced. There can be differences in these laws depending on whether your building is in a high-velocity hurricane zone, or HVHZ. If you live in this type of area, which includes Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, the code has additional requirements for your roof, including wind load requirements, performance requirements and secondary water barriers.
Another important Florida roofing rule is the 25 percent rule. This law states that if more than 25 percent of a building’s roof must be replaced within a 12-month period, then the entire roof may need to be replaced. There are slight differences to the rule for buildings in or out of an HVHZ, so it is important to know where your building lies. For homes inside an HVHZ, if more than 25 percent of the total roof must be repaired, replaced or recovered within one year, then the rest of the roof must be replaced to conform with the code.
- University of Florida: Roofing and Roofing Requirements
- Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association, Inc: WHAT EVERY PROPERTY OWNER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HIRING A ROOFING CONTRACTOR
- 2018 Florida Statutes: Qualifications for Practice
- 2018 Florida Statutes: Windstorm Loss Mitigation
- FEMA: Mitigation Triggers for Roof Repair and Replacement in the 6th Edition of the Florida Building Code
- Xavier Arnau Serrat/Photodisc/Getty Images