2021 Brings Change to Florida Building Code for Roof Repairability

by Abel Crean, PE

Discussions about roof repairability are commonplace during settlement negotiations for property insurance claims. Knowledge regarding current building code requirements is inherent in accurately applying coverage. Previously, the question of whether or not salvaged roof tiles constituted a substantially equivalent material was a subject of debate among insurance claim professionals.

The 2020 Florida Building Code Section 1511.5-Reinstallation of Materials now specifically states “Existing or salvaged slate, clay, or concrete tile is permitted for reinstallation or reuse, to repair an existing roof provided it is of like kind in material and profile.” (Analysis of Changes for the 7th Edition 2020 Florida Codes. FloridaBuilding.org).

In short, Florida roofs may be repaired with existing tiles from an area of the same roof, which has been replaced. The recently adopted code language now states that salvaged tiles from other roofs are now permitted, as long as the tiles are of “like material and profile.”

The reference to like material simply indicates that clay tiles must be used on a clay tile roof, concrete on concrete, etc. The phrase “like profile” may leave room for interpretation. For example, the Code does not state that tiles must be the exact same size. This poses the question, how close in size constitutes “like profile”. Generally, a replacement tile should be able to be installed continuous to existing tiles without any substantial variations. Identification of “like profile” tiles may require an expert.