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Is There Such a Thing as a Hail Proof Roof?

December 1, 2017

In most cases…no. When you think about a hail proof roof you need to consider the entire roof system, which includes not only the roof covering material but the deck, valley metal, other metal flashing details, vent pipes and skylights.

There is however “degrees” of hail-proof and some materials simply lend themselves to greater impact resistance than others. When we talk about roofing most people think only of the roof covering material, such as asphalt, metal, clay, rubber, plastic, wood or concrete. Each has its own level of impact resistance but one must also consider the substrate (deck) to which the roofing material is attached to.

What happens when hail (larger than 2”) hits various roofing materials?

  • In the case of asphalt shingles, it can cause a dent or depression that weakens the bond of the granular coating, dramatically shortening its usable life, and often will crack the shingle itself.
  • A metal roof can generally take the impact and will not be compromised however you are often left with large visible dents covering the surface and the cosmetic appearance is ruined. This may or may not be covered by insurance so it is wise to check your policy.
  • Clay, concrete and hard plastics, being a much harder surface are not as forgiving on impact and can crack.
  • Rubber roofing offers a tremendous level of impact resistance due to its energy absorbing nature and its return to original shape after impact (think car tire hitting a pothole) however if the object striking any roof is large enough it is possible that the deck underneath could crack or split from the combination of speed and mass of the object (think tree branch or extremely large hail-4” or more).

There have been reports in both Canada and the USA of hail large enough to pass through 3/8” decking covered with asphalt shingles and actually enter the attic space of a home. When we think of a “hail proof roof” we need to think beyond the roofing material and look at the roof as a complete system, which includes the deck underneath.

Your best bet? If you live in a hail-prone area with the risk of hail exceeding 2” and you are re-roofing or building new, consider a Euroshield rubber roof and a thicker (1/2” to 5/8” or more) substrate. It will be worth the peace of mind in the end. Our roofing systems are Eco Friendly Green Roofing products, made from up to 95% recycled materials, the primary ingredient being rubber from recycled tires. Choose from profiles offering a 2″ hail warranty or choose the New Vermont Slate SC, the world’s first warrantied Hail Proof roofing material. Learn more about our products Beaumont ShakeRundle Slate and Ranchlands Shake.