This is the last post in our discussion of concrete barrel tile roofs and hurricane mitigation discounts. The current inspection form does not include these roofs, because there wasn't enough data about their performance when the form was designed. The upshot for homeowners is denial or revocation of discounts on their insurance policies. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has been talking with policyholders and insurance professionals about this and other problems with the form.
Though the company that provided the mitigation data to the state didn't have enough data on concrete barrel tiles, there have been studies of tile roofs' performance in a hurricane. The Federal Emergency Management Agency looked at data from Hurricane Charley, which (who?) hit Florida in 2004.
According to that report, the tiles performed well. Both concrete and clay tiles blew off in the worst of the storm, but they kept the water out of the buildings. Charley was a category 4 storm, with maximum winds of 150 mph.
Interestingly, the FEMA report found that most roofs fared better when they were installed correctly and attached using hurricane-proof methods. The materials weren't the major factor in damage.
Another report, by the same company that conducted the 2002 research the form is based on, looked at all tile roofs, both concrete and clay. The results showed that one company experienced 30 percent more in losses with tile roofs -- not good news.
The tiles may keep the house dry, but they are expensive to repair. It turns out they crack more easily than other roofing materials. It also seems that replacing tiles isn't always the best option because it's difficult to match colors of new and old tiles. Adding to the expense, then, is replacement of the entire roof.
This report, too, concluded that good installation was more important than roofing material. In their study of Hurricane Charley data, they saw the positive effects of the 2000 Florida Building Code. Homes meeting the new code sustained only half as much damage as the rest.
Policyholders around the state are hoping that it won't be up to them to fight for discounts. The barrel tile could be in their court, though, until the OIR has concluded its work.
Source: Sun-Sentinel.com, "Tile roofs don't qualify for insurance discounts under new rules," Julie Patel, 06/20/2011