roofs that protect against hail

Impact Resistance: The Best Roofs That Protect Against Hail

Picture of Brian Friend

Brian Friend

President, Just Roofs and Gutters

Colorado is right in hail alley, so our roofs need the best protection. Insurance agents in our state know that prevention is preferable to patching. Shoddy materials mean more claims next storm season. So, when clients need repairs, make sure they get roofs that protect against hail damage.

Impact Ratings 

There are scientific tests to determine the best roofs for hail. For example, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a non-profit organization that sets the standard for roof impact resistance testing. The test materials by repeatedly dropping 2-inch steel balls on the same spot. Similarly, the FM Approval Rating uses its freezer ice balls to evaluate hail resistance. Both tests certify materials on a 1-4 scale, with Class 1 being the lowest and Class 4 being the highest. 

Bear in mind that hail-resistant is not the same as hail-proof. Resistance testing happens on brand new materials in laboratory conditions. In addition, over time, exposure and weather reduce a roof’s durability. So, the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) developed tests simulating real-world conditions that consider roof aging. 

What kind of roof is best for hail?

The best roof materials are all rated Class 4 on impact resistance scales. For example, rubber and stone-coated steel are the top-of-the-line material for protection against hailstones. 

Roofing Materials

Certain materials withstand hailstones better than others. Knowing the options allows you and your clients to make informed decisions. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type of roof. 

  • Rubber roofing membranes, called Ethylene Polymer Diene Monomer (EPDM), is the sturdiest Class 4 material to protect against damage. This material is typically found in flat and low-slope commercial buildings. 
  • Metal roofing is flexible and durable. Lightweight steel holds up well and lasts decades. Unfortunately, hail sometimes causes dents in dimples in metal shingles. Stone-coated steel, however, is a solid, Class 4 material with lovely aesthetics to boot. 
  • Tile roofs come in materials like concrete and clay. Concrete is durable but also very heavy and may require extra support. Clay, however, chips quite easily—not recommended for hail-prone regions like Colorado. 
  • Asphalt shingles are found in most homes in the U.S. They hold up moderately well in hail storms, but they’re not the best. The good news is that you can reinforce it with fiberglass that lasts up to 20 years. 
  • Slate roofs are durable and long-lasting. Unfortunately, they are also heavy and take a lot of maintenance.

Roofs That Protect Against Hail

The first step in choosing roofs that protect against hail is to determine the impact ratings of the materials. From there, you can select what fits your budget and style of home. Our expertise in the insurance, mortgage, and roofing industries gives us insight into installing roofs with the best impact resistance in Colorado. We will walk you through the process one step at a time. Give us a call at 719-374-8304 or 303-834-1126.

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