In the United States, hail accounts for $15 billion in damage to buildings annually. Hailstorms range in intensity and severity with hailstones, as small as 1 inch, still able to cause serious damage to your roof. You might think all hail damage is obvious, but unless you know what to look for, a lot of the damage goes unnoticed. Unnoticed damage will grow with time, leading to substantial repair costs.

Types of Roof Damage

There are two categories when it comes to roof damage: cosmetic and functional. Even if, after a hailstorm, you don’t immediately experience leaks during a rain, you should not assume that roof damage caused by the storm is only cosmetic. Issues may go much deeper than they initially appear which is why diagnosed damage should be promptly repaired.

Hail Damage to Commercial Roofs

The damage hail causes may differ depending on your roofing material. While a professional roof inspection should be conducted following any significant weather event, it is beneficial to understand the effects of hail damage yourself as a property manager.

Single-Ply Roof Membranes: Hailstorms can prove catastrophic to plastic, single-ply roof systems (TPO and PVC). These are the most common commercial roof systems because of their installed cost, UV resistance, and reflectivity.  A weakness of these systems is their puncture resistance. If you have a TPO or PVC single-ply roof, keep an eye out for a concentric semicircle pattern in random spots that can look like a spider web, as this indicates hail damage. EPDM rubber, as a single-ply roof membrane, is more durable and flexible than the more common plastic materials, but it also can suffer damage from hail. Hailstones can puncture exposed EPDM membranes, leaving underlying materials and a building’s interior vulnerable.

Metal Roofing Panels: Metal roofs are very durable, if the hailstones are small, your roof may not suffer any damage. However, if the hailstones are on the larger side, you should look for cracks or indentations. Extremely large hailstones may even cause metal panels to split or fracture.

Modified Bitumen and BUR Roofing: These roofs are known to be the most resilient to hail events. However, MB and BUR roofs can be damaged by severe hail if the roof system was designed with a smooth or granulated cap sheet exposed to the elements. Hail damage to these roofs will show as indentations or splits in the cap sheet.

Be Prepared For Extreme Weather

As a commercial property owner or manager, there are things you can do to protect your properties against severe weather. A trained roofing professional can provide you recommendations for bolstering your roof’s resiliency against hail and wind. And, at Innovative Roofing Group, we can add your properties to a proprietary weather tracking software called NextHail, which will immediately alert you of any extreme wind or hail event in the area of your property.

Get Help from The Professionals

After a hailstorm or any severe weather episode, schedule a roof inspection ASAP. Even a small storm could end up being catastrophic for your roof if you do not act promptly. For commercial roofing repair and maintenance, contact Innovative Roofing Group by calling 404-594-6038 or emailing us today.