Hail and Your Commercial Roof

Among all the precipitation that your commercial building is exposed to, hail is the most damaging. And of all your building components, the roof is the most exposed and vulnerable. As it’s the most important part of your facility’s structure when it comes to weather protection, it’s important to make sure that it remains watertight after a hailstorm.

Property losses from hail damage amount to billions of dollars every year – much of it suffered by commercial buildings. Several factors can determine the amount of damage, including the size of the hail, wind speed, hail density and the duration of the hail event.

You can’t do much to affect any of those issues, but after the storm, it’s important to inspect your roof for indications that your roof has been compromised.

Some signs can be obvious – dents, for example. Circular indents on your membrane – especially if they are concentrated in a particular area of the roof – usually mean there’s been a significant hail event. The diameter of these dents can range from one to several inches; the larger the dent, the bigger the hail stone that caused it. Your inspection should also include other components and equipment. Metal dents, so take a look at HVAC units, rooftop flashings and vents, gutters and downspouts, and similar items.

Even if there are no visible dents, your roof surface may have been damaged. Hail can cause tiny cracks to emerge. Future severe weather can exploit those cracks and shorten the life of your roof or even lead to serious failure.

It’s possible that hail can damage underlying insulation, reducing its R-value. In addition, depressions in the insulation, caused by hail, can create an irregular surface area for the roof membrane installed above it, which can hasten future weathering problems.

Your own visual inspection is important, but it’s always a good idea to call a commercial roofing contractor who has the experience and tools to do a more thorough check and who can address problems.

Don’t let the effects of a hailstorm put your roof at risk when storms come through again or seasons change. At Tusing Builders and Roofing Services, we’re ready to help you with all your commercial roofing needs.