Hail damage ranks among the most serious and challenging threats
to roof system performance. Failure of a roof membrane caused by
hail can result in flooding and damage to a building's inventory
and equipment. This makes protecting against hail damage one of the
ultimate tests of any roof system.
Although hailstorms generally are seen as a regional and
seasonal problem, the Hail Belt area of the U.S. appears to be
getting larger, according to research from the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Severe Storms
Laboratory. Areas of the U.S. that were not particularly vulnerable
to hailstorms now are receiving hail, and areas that regularly
received hailstorms are seeing more storms with larger hail.
Sections of the Midwest and East are particularly prone to
receiving hailstones greater than 3/4 of an inch in diameter. This
size generally is considered the minimum threshold for property
damage by industry professionals and government entities such as
the National Severe Storms Laboratory. This makes roof protection
against hail damage a greater priority. Given escalating material
and construction costs, building owners and managers will face
higher costs for any repairs or replacements necessitated by hail
damage, not to mention the ramifications of water damage to
equipment, inventory or documents.
Using information obtained during numerous site studies, I have
been able to review the performances of several roof systems with
regard to protection against hail damage. Although it is clear
these materials perform in a more than acceptable fashion in most
circumstances, they sometimes struggle to maintain their protective
qualities when facing...
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