U.S. weather patterns are dramatically shifting, and meteorologist Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel is reporting from places once deemed unlikely for whatever storm is brewing. If you work in a traditionally non-hailstorm region and think, ‘hailstorms will never happen here,’ think again.

Our industry builds for the long run, so anticipating the possibility of hail in your area is prudent. A good single ply roof should last decades and it’s difficult to predict what mother nature has in store over that time period.

Hailstorms typically hover over the West and South Central regions, but they also now affect the Midwest, East and Southeast, leading to millions of dollars in damage annually. If you look closely at FM Global insurance’s hail damage map (FM Loss Prevention Data Sheet 1-34; FM 1-34), and hail storm information from NOAA, instances of severe hail storms are now wide spread across the United States. Today, about two-thirds of the U.S. experiences 1 inch or larger hailstones, and hail can damage or penetrate the roof cover and insulation.

Protect Your Roof from People
What makes your roofing assembly more susceptible when hail does strike? We can be our own worst enemy – and everyday foot traffic can be as destructive as hail, not to mention seasonless.

A crew of average-sized workers (175 lbs./person) walking on the rooftop doing repairs or general maintenance with equipment in tow, not always following the appointed pathways, provides even more opportunity for damage.

Use A Coverboard to Enhance Your Roof’s Performance
A quality coverboard will:

  • Protect and prolong the life of the roof membrane. Coverboards help to not only fortify the membrane when hail strikes but also provide a firm and smooth surface to help resist damage from typical foot traffic.
  • Protect and preserve your insulation.  Coverboards will help the insulation below withstand environmental conditions (like hail) as well as help prevent it from being crushed by things like foot traffic and equipment.

Reinforce Your Roof and Minimize Potential Damage
Coverboards can help provide peace of mind for you and extra protection for your investment. It’s a critical component to extend the life of any roof, and it prevents or minimizes potential damage from both hail and workers.

Stay tuned for a future blog on more compelling data and other reasons to protect your roof with a coverboard. In the meantime, stay well and please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information on coverboard or to talk roofing.

Since 2006, both the National Roof Contractors Association (NRCA) and the Midwest Roof Contractors Association (MRCA) have recommended using noncombustible coverboard.

Contact Warren Barber at warrenb@nationalgypsum.com. Warren is the Product Sales Manager of Specialty Systems for National Gypsum Company, based in Charlotte, N.C.