Hailstorms are naturally occurring phenomena that any commercial business owner should be prepared for. Mother Nature can do considerable damage and with hailstones exceeding half an inch on occasions, the costs can climb very quickly.
The Identification Can Be Tricky
Because of a variety of reasons, sometimes it can be hard for a commercial business owner to recognize hail damage right away. The severity comes down to a combination of factors that includes the size and density of the hailstones, the wind, the length of the storm and of course the roofing material as well. Sometimes the damage is hard to identify, but there are signs that you can look for.
It Is Not All about the Shingles
Business owners often miss important details by concentrating on the shingles instead of looking for telltale signs elsewhere. The shingle may survive with very little damage – especially if it is new – whereas the vent and the exhaust cap can often tell a completely different story.
Accessories made of soft metal can get damaged much sooner, so it makes sense to check those first when looking for damage. That process can include the condensing unit of the air conditioner too, if there is one. If the roof has skylights, checking the trim around the glass – and not necessarily the glass itself where any damage would be obvious – is another step that is worth considering.
Hail Damage Looks Different on Certain Materials
Depending on the material of the shingles or tiles, hail damage can look very different. A wood shingle might show signs of damage all over in a random pattern, whereas an asphalt composition will have black spots all over where the ice pellets made contact with the roof. Tiles can shatter under enough force, whereas metal roofs usually show little to no damage. They have a much higher resistance to hail storms, which is the main reason why they are recommended in areas where hailstorms are common and often severe.
With asphalt shingles, the damages can be visible and harsh. Pieces could be missing, and the granules – the covering layer on the shingle that makes them more resistant – could be compromised. The shingles could also show signs of bruising and denting, though the latter is often hard to spot. Even if there are no clear signs, running your finger over the shingle could lead to the discovery of beginning deterioration.
Cracking can also occur, and the biggest ice pellets usually leave a circular shape. With wood shingles you should look for similar types of damage patterns with slight differences. Random damage can occur just the same, but while the ice pellets leave a black mark on asphalt shingles, orange or brown colored patterns are more common on the wood variant.
Occasions where Hail Is Unjustly Accused
Shingles deteriorate. Given enough time, bad weather and direct sunlight gets the better of any roof, especially the ones with wooden and asphalt shingles. They get beaten up by the year-long assault of Mother Nature, and that damage can look eerily similar to hail damage, making regular inspection even more important. With metal roofs comes increased longevity, though no roof can escape natural wear and tear completely.
Roof Maintenance Checklist for Facility Managers
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