It’s estimated that hail causes as much as $1 billion dollars – or more – in damage to property and farm crops every year. Hailstorms can shatter windows, damage the building’s exterior, and, most important, destroy or damage the roof.
If your commercial building is in the Midwest it’s likely to be in a hailstorm at some point and when that happens, damage may occur. Even a relatively minor hailstorm can compromise the watertight integrity of your commercial roofing system. Getting a reliable contractor that has a lot of experience will help you with the issues that might occur after any extreme weather just like hailstorms. Dublin Roofing Company has a lot of experience with reputable and trustworthy experts with a quality of workmanship in roof installation.
Moreover, let us understand how vast the potential impact of hailstorms on your commercial roofing.
What size hail can damage my commercial roof?
This depends on the type, condition, and age of the roof, wind speed, and direction, intensity of the storm as the shape of the hailstones. Even if the size of the hail is small, sharp hail and the concentration of stones can cause significant damage. We have seen roof damage from ¾” hail and no significant problems from 4” hailstones.
On average, 1” hailstones are considered big enough to damage some commercial roofing systems, depending on the age of the roof, type of substrate, and overall roof condition. Larger-sized hail will, of course, create more significant issues.
Metal roofs are generally very resistant to hail but can be dented (like automobiles). Insurance may or may not cover a claim for dented metal roofs as some carriers determine denting to be cosmetic damage only, not covered under the policy.
What are the signs of roof hail damage?
After a hailstorm of any magnitude, you should visually inspect your roof or have it evaluated by a professional.
New dents and/or divots on the roof following a hailstorm are a clear sign of hail impacts and possible damage. Hail can also scuff the surface, creating “cleaner” areas on membranes or bare spots on roofs with granular surfaces. Other signs of possible hail damage are tears, cracks, or material that has been deformed or stretched in spots.
Hail can also cause damage that you don’t notice right away. Thin cracks and delamination of materials can be difficult to see until the roof weathers significantly. If there’s no visible damage to the roofing material, check your AC unit, coping metal, gutters, flashings, and vent covers for dents, indicating that a severe hailstorm has potentially compromised your roof.
When does hail damage mandate roof replacement?
This largely depends on the age of your current roof and the condition of the material it’s made from. A single storm can cause enough damage to require replacement, especially if the roof is already at risk due to age or other factors. For example, an older membrane roof may be more brittle and less resilient to smaller-sized hail.
However, if constant repairs become more expensive than getting a new roof, or your roof is aging to the point where another weather event could cause significant problems, it makes more sense to replace it. Don’t let unreliable roofs damage the building structure, threaten inventory or equipment or compromise the safety of staff and visitors.
If roof replacement is needed, the first choice for commercial roofing needs is the Duro-Last roofing system. Since 1978, Duro-Last has manufactured prefabricated PVC commercial roofing solutions that are customized to the specific needs of each rooftop.
How does insurance work with respect to commercial roof hail damage?
Hail is a fairly frequent event in our part of the country and most commercial property insurance policies cover hail or storm events. Don’t wait until after a hailstorm to review your policy to verify hail damage is covered. Even if hail is covered, not all policies are the same.
Cosmetic damage, such as dented metal, is covered by some policies and not others. Insurance companies also differ in how much damage they require to consider a roof in need of replacement. This can be based on the type of damage or the number of hail strikes in (for example) a 10’ by 10’ area. You should also make sure that your deductible is set at a level you are comfortable with.
After a hail event, addressing the rooftop situation sooner rather than later gives you a better chance at making a successful insurance claim. It may be hard to prove that the damage was caused by the hailstorm if you don’t have documented proof in a reasonable time frame following the event. Work with your insurance company claims department to begin the process following a storm. It’s handled just like any other covered event, including the application of your deductible.