Editor’s note: For almost three decades, Florida contractors and building officials have operated under two different building codes: One for most of the state and another for the southeastern corner – Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, known as the High Velocity Hurricane Zone. Those counties in the 1990s were allowed the special carve-out because they were deemed the most vulnerable to the strongest hurricane winds and, as such, required stronger construction rules.
For years afterward, “Meets Miami-Dade Standards” was a stamp of approval and marketing tool for building materials and techniques around the country.
But in recent years, some Floridians in the building trades have argued that the rest of Florida has caught up with and has surpassed southeast Florida’s code, especially on roofs. This has led to complications that affect builders, property owners and, especially, the Florida insurance industry, which is often asked to pay for roofs damaged in storms.
The Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors recently posted an article in its Florida Roofing magazine about the conflict between the statewide building code and the south Florida requirements – and Miami-Dade officials’ resistance to change. The Insurance Journal is reprinting that article here, with minor edits, along with a response from Miami-Dade County (see inset, below).
Miami-Dade is the Weak Link in Florida’s Roof Underlayment Requirements