Hail is an example of a powerful force of nature that causes significant damages to a commercial/industrial building. As your building’s first protection from the elements, your roof often sustains immense destruction after a hailstorm. Whether your commercial roof is made of asphalt, metal, concrete or single-ply membranes, it can still succumb to hail damage.
While most hail damage is visible on the roof in the form of distinct indentations, there are some signs of damage that only professional inspectors will be able to identify. Hail is known to damage the soft metals of the roof, however, it is the destruction below the surface of the roof that should concern you the most. As the storm season approaches, you must familiarize yourself with insulation damages. In this article we’ll look at various insulation problems that may be caused by hail.
COMMON KINDS OF HAIL DAMAGES
More than 50% of commercial roofs in the United States are made of single-ply membranes due to its cost, efficiency, and durability. However, single-ply membranes are also the most susceptible roofs to hail damage.
PUNCTURES AND SPLITS
Punctures are the most typical form of damage that membrane roofs suffer after a hail storm. Essentially, hails of any size can puncture the roof membrane and allow water to get into the insulation. Hailstones can also compress the roof membrane into the heads of screws resulting in splitting. If not well addressed, punctures and splits can lead to wet insulation and leaks, compromising the indoor climate.
DIRECT INSULATION DAMAGES
While most roof manufacturers claim that their products exude fracture toughness and unmatched surface insulation, significant hails that hit with force can inflict damage that extends to the insulation layer of the roofing system. Large hailstones not only induce depressions and cracks on the uppermost part of your commercial/industrial roof but also end up damaging the insulation interface and the insulation facer. This can lead to water infiltration into the insulation system and cause reduced efficiency and even cause physical degradation of the foam cell structure.
BROKEN OR CRACKED SKYLIGHT
In modern buildings, skylight structures have become essential as they help add more light to the property. However, while not many people consider the skylights part of the roof, they actually are, and they may also be compromised by hails. When large hailstones hit the skylights, they may exceed their impact resistance, causing them to crack. And since the skylights are also part of the roof, having cracks may reduce your insulation system’s durability and efficiency.
WHY INSULATION DAMAGES ARE DANGEROUS
Hail damages to your insulation system may be hard to detect. However, if you don’t recognize the problem and fix it early enough, it might cause destructions that warrant expensive repairs or even a complete overhaul that will cost you a fortune.
Essentially what happens is when the hail leaves indentations on the membrane it compromises the entire roof system. Once the insulation system is punctured or absorbs some moisture, it is no longer functioning as it should to protect your building, leading to reduced efficiency and condensed lifespan of your insulation system. Additionally, water can lead to corrosion, which may be a potential danger to tenants.
Unlike the damages caused by foot traffic and wind-borne debris, hail destructions are profound and may affect various parts of your roof. Therefore, it is vitally essential that you hire a professional to conduct a thorough and competent roof inspection. Technicians at Premier Group are experienced at inspecting for hail damage and can help you determine if your insulation is compromised. We can also review your policy to make sure your claim is processed effectively. Insurance policies usually cover insulation indentation on most commercial and industrial properties. If you are concerned about potential damages on your commercial/industrial roof, including those inflicted on the insulation system by hail, contact a professional to see if you are covered and to conduct repairs before the damage escalates.