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Home / News / GET READY FOR HOPE!

GET READY FOR HOPE!

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By: W. Harvey Cappel PE, TDI Qualified Inspector (Windstorm
Engineer)
Very soon starting March 10 the “Eight Days of Hope
(EDOH)” and the “4B Disaster Response Network (4B)”
will descend upon us with many well-meaning volunteers
to help get us resurrected from Hurricane Harvey. These
will be folks of all disciplines and skills but many will
not be aware of our unique Gulf Coast requirements for
qualifying for Windstorm Insurance. If the work is done
without Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) certification
you will lose your windstorm insurance eligibility on
your entire house or detached garage. Certification after
the fact is nearly impossible; if we (inspectors) did not
see it we cannot legally certify it; tear it down and start
over. Use the following to work with the volunteers and
contractors to be sure their help is really help and not a
future insurance problem.
I am semi-retired from Windstorm Certification work so
I cannot help you with your project; nothing in this for me
except the satisfaction of doing a public service.
Before you start any permanent repairs and or rebuilding
you must obtain a City or County Permit. Whether the
work is done by you or a contractor the City/County will
require certain inspections as work progresses. These
requirements will normally be spelled out as part of your
permit package.
Additionally, and this is very important, you should have
the work certified by a Texas Department of Insurance
(TDI) qualified inspector. I say should because, except
in some Cities, this requirement is voluntary. It should
not be voluntary because without this certification you
will not be able to obtain Windstorm Insurance from the
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) pool.
And except for the special inspections requirements and
inspection cost the Code (which is the law) is practically
the same i.e. International Residential Code (IRC) or International
Building Code (IBC).
WINDSTORM CODE INSPECTION PROCEDURES:
1) Certain minor repairs are exempt from the inspection
requirements (see list below). However if TWIA pays you
to do the work they will probably require a certification to
assure them that the repairs were done. If you get insurance
money to fix it, forget the exempt list; get the work
TDI certified.
2) Do not start any structural work without first, you or
your contractor contacting a TDI qualified inspector. He/
she will file the proper paperwork and assist you in determining
Code requirements. The inspector must determine/
design Code compliance construction and inspect
to assure actual construction is in fact in compliance.
After-the-fact inspections and certifications are nearly
impossible.
3) A TDI qualified inspector is a State employee inspector
or a State appointed Engineer. City inspectors
are not TDI qualified nor are Professional Engineers unless
they are on the TDI appointed Engineers (Qualified
Inspectors) list.
State employee inspectors can certify re-roofs, siding
replacement, window/door replacements and a few other
minor repair types. They cannot normally certify anything
requiring engineering. Their services are free. The local
office is on Hwy 1764 near the Greyhound dog race tract
and their telephone number is 409 986-9552.
Appointed Engineers are listed on the TDI website.
The Engineers are independent agents and will charge a
fee commensurate with their services. You can call more
than one to get the best deal for you. The City building
departments usually keep a list of the most active Engineers
in the City area. To get to the website list do the
following:
a) Go to: www.tdi.texas. gov
b) On the top of the page click on “W”.
c) In middle of page click on “Windstorm Inspections”
then on “Windstorm System”
d) On left side of page click on “Find an Inspector”
e) Now you will see the list of 390 appointed Engineers;
you can sort by any column header; best to sort by City.
4) The way this normally works is that the contractor
has his/her own list of inspectors that they normally
use. In theory they will see that the work is engineered
if necessary, inspected and certified. You however may
choose to handle the TDI inspection and certification
yourself. In any case make sure that there is a qualified

inspector on the job and that certification is a part of your
contract. Do not make final payments till proof of certification
is provided.
5) The paperwork involves three forms as follows:
a) WPI-1. This is the form initiating the project and notifying
TDI as to who will be doing the inspection (them
or an Engineer). Anyone can fill out this from however it
usually is done by the qualified inspector.
b) WPI-2. This is the form submitted to TDI in Austin
indicating the project is complete and in compliance with
the TDI Code. This form must be completed by the qualified
inspector. This can usually be the evidence you need
to assure your project will be certified; not 100% but in
most cases enough. The form must be submitted to TDI
in Austin. If you are unsure about whether it was in fact
submitted you can fax it yourself (Fax number is 1-512
490-1051).
c) WPI-8. This is the certification issued by TDI from
Austin. After about 10 working days after submittal of the
WPI-2 you can call your insurance agent to get a copy
of this official certification. TDI no longer mails these
however you should obtain and save this official certification.
Also you can get your own copy from the website
described above; not easy but possible.
Remember the TDI inspections and certifications are
in addition to and independent of the required City/County
requirements. Don’t; forget to call both for the required
inspections. Required TDI inspections are normally everything
structural before it is covered up. Typically:
a) Steel in slab before concreted is poured.
b) All clips and straps.
c) All nailing of plywood on walls and roof.
d) All fastening of covering items, felt, shingles, siding,
etc.
e) All fastening of components windows, doors, garage
doors etc.
f) Any doubts call the inspector.
Components and coverings must be independent lab
tested for the appropriate wind speed. Do not purchase
these items without first getting approval from your qualified
inspector.
If you were paid by TWIA for repairs including the otherwise
exempt repairs make sure you provide a copy of the
appraisal/damage report to the qualified inspector before
construction start. The certification work as listed on the
WPI-1 and WPI-2 must match the damage report. If TWIA
paid to fix it they will expect evidence to show that it was
fixed.
WARNING: If you do the work without the proper inspections
you may be faced with tearing it down and doing it
all over. Or lose the TWIA insurability of the project and
everything it is attached to.
Exempted (TDI) Inspections (partial list)
No Inspections Required
NOTE: This list applies only to TDI inspections where no
insurance payments were received for the repair. If paid
to fix it you should get it certified to prove to TWIA that
the work was actually done. This list is not to be used to
determine exemptions of City required inspections.
PARTIAL LIST: (most appropriate for storm damage repairs)
1) Repairs to roof shingles of less than 100 square feet
(one square).
2) Repairs to gutters.
3) Replacement of decorative shutters.
4) Repairs to breakaway walls.
5) Fascia repairs.
6) Repairs to porch and balcony railings.
7) Repairs to stairways/steps and wheelchair ramps.
8) Temporary repairs after storm.
9) Fence repair.
10) Painting, carpeting, sheetrock and refinishing.
11) Repairs and or replacement of interior except load
bearing structural walls.
12) Replacement of glass in windows. (Glass only not
the whole window)
13) Exterior siding repair if less than 10% of a wall.
For the complete exemption list go to the TDI website
as indicated above.

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