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Protecting Your Roof From Hail

By June 8, 2016Blog

Make The Right Choice

Is your property or home in a hail prone area? It is important to take that fact into consideration when replacing your roof. While the average lifespan of some roofs is 20 years, roofs in severe hail-prone areas often must be replaced every 7 to 10 years, according to insurance industry data. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety offers the following guidance to help consumers make the right choices when selecting roof coverings in hail-prone areas.

Evaluate The Risk

Hailstones can cause significant damage to roofs, windows, siding and more. There are approximately 3,000 hailstorms annually in the United States, resulting in average insured losses of $1.6 billion. In the Spring and early Summer it seems to be hailing somewhere very day. Determining your hail risk is the first step in deciding if your roof could withstand major damage in a hailstorm.

An IBHS review of research and testing related to hail damage indicates that there is considerable variation in the impact resistance of different types of roof coverings. Lab tests and field observations indicate that 3-tab asphalt shingles may be damaged by hail as small as 1 in. IBHS created two maps illustrating hailstorms in the last decade and in the last 55 years to help identify areas at risk from hail damage.

The roof is your home’s first line of defense against costly natural disasters such as hailstorms. Once the roof fails, it exposes other parts of your home to damage, which can lead to a breakdown of your home. Physical damages from a hailstorm or high winds aren’t the only threats to your roof’s performance; exposure to weather conditions such as extreme cold or heat can also take a toll. To keep your home’s roof in top condition, it is critical that you routinely inspect it, quickly repair any wear and tear, and replace it when necessary. Below is guidance on the different types of roofs including information on the effects of hail.

Getting the Roof Right

Having the right materials on your roof is key to its performance during a hailstorm. When repairing or replacing a roof, look for roofing materials rated by UL 2218 or FM 4473 as Class 3 or 4. These standards are recognized by any roofer or building materials store and indicate the material has been tested for impact resistance.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a lightweight, low-cost and easy-to-install roofing material. UL 2218 Class 3 and 4 impact resistance is available and should be used in hail-prone regions.


Metal roofs have a long life and are lightweight. UL 2218 Class 4 products rated for impact resistance are available; these are usually not punctured in hailstorms, but they often receive cosmetic damage or dents from hailstorms.


Slate is a very strong roofing material that can meet FM 4473 Class 3 or 4 impact resistance depending on the type of slate. High-quality slate can outlast most other roofing materials.


Tile is a solid, heavyweight, long-lasting product available with FM 4473 Class 3 or 4 impact resistance. It can be more porous than other products if exposed to blowing rain, requiring a high-quality, well-sealed material underneath it.

Ramey King Insurance is an independent, local Texas insurance agency committed to providing individuals, families and businesses with steadfast risk management solutions. For well over a century our team has helped to protect your assets – whether they be companies, vehicles, property or loved ones. To learn more about what we do and how our services can be of benefit to you, give us a call today. You can reach a Ramey King Insurance agent at 800-453-9691 or by filling out the quick and easy form on this page. We look forward to hearing from you!