April showers bring May flowers, and May severe weather brings . . . hail damage. Most Minnesota property owners are familiar with sound of golf balls hitting their roofs through the summer months. While some manage to get through storm season with little or no damage, others aren’t so lucky.
In the post-frame construction business, our clients often ask us if asphalt shingles or steel roofing is a better option for hail. Here’s a look at these two popular roofing materials and how they stand up to summer storms.
Steel Roofing v. Hail: Who Wins?
Large, flat steel panels versus tiny ice projectiles. It sounds like hail would win that fight hands-down. But it’s actually not so. Average-sized hailstones typically will not dent a steel roof. However, those softball-sized whoppers may do some damage.
A steel roof’s ability to withstand hail comes down to three factors: thickness, malleability, and seams. Roof panels fabricated of 26-gauge or thicker steel are more likely to resist dents and punctures than thinner panels are.
The seams between steel roof panels are also factors in hail resistance. Corrugated panels are stronger than their flat cousins and hide damage better, too. But if you really like the look of flat panels, choose those that are double-seamed and striated for added strength.
Shingles v. Hail: Who Wins?
While steel roofs are gaining in popularity, asphalt shingles are still the building standard in many cases. Though individual shingles may be susceptible to hail damage, it is easier to replace one shingle—or a section of them—than the entire roof.
Hail damage on shingles can be obvious or very tricky to spot. Sometimes, hailstones leave a large mark. Other times, roofing inspectors have to take a close look to discern any damage. But whether damage is obvious or subtle, both types can cause roof leaks. Any-sized hailstone may cause damage to shingles. So, while a few dents in a steel roof may be a little visible, they’re unlikely to actually cause damage to your structure. The same cannot be said of seemingly minor damage to a shingled roof.
While Structural Buildings has installed both shingled and steel roofs, steel roof technology has gotten so good over the years that we use steel roofing systems on most of our buildings. We often recommend corrugated steel panels or standing seam panels with striations to reduce the chance of hail damage. You can check out dozens of steel-roofed buildings in our project gallery.
Ready to learn more about your roofing options? Structural Buildings is here to help. Contact us today with your questions!