Experts weigh in on the adoption of new building codes for roofs

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 10:33 AM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans, Dan Mills said the vast majority of insurance claims during recent Louisiana hurricanes were caused by roof failures that could be prevented by improved installation techniques.

“As home builders, we believe that more resilient structures is the answer to providing us a long term solution to the increased numbers of weather events, wind events and water events that are occurring in our areas,” Mills said.

In 2022, the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council adopted the latest International Residential Codes.

“Those went into effect and became law on January 1st of this year,” Mills said. “This gives us the most resilient codes along the gulf coast, so this is a huge step for residents in our communities and in particular in southern Louisiana.”

The new code will call for water proofing of the roof sub surface before the shingles go down.

“Currently we didn’t have a big problem with roofs coming off of the home structurally, but what we had was a lot of shingles that came off and then we had water penetration through the sub deck and that led to ceilings coming down and water damages internally in the home,” Mills said.

About 90 percent of the damages that come in the insurance claims are to do with the internal damages to homes.

State Farm agent Rob Cameron said stronger building codes not only save properties but also lives.

“As a state and as a community here in Lake Charles, as we approach the debate about having stronger building codes, having better construction, I think that really needs to be centered around protecting human life, not just property damage or the cost of building,” Cameron said.

Cameron said better builds could bring better rates.

“As you look at the future of insurance in this state, it’s critical that we have a healthy environment,” Cameron said. “That means more competition, more carriers, and I think anything you can do to increase the ability for companies to participate in this market is going to attract more companies; anything we can do to make better, stronger construction to save lives as well as decrease damages is going to be in our best interest.”