CertainTeed-credentialed Roofing Contractors Now Can Quickly Locate Homes Damaged by Hailstorms

A partnership between CertainTeed Corp. and advanced weather forensics company HailStrike aims to help CertainTeed-credentialed roofing contractors quickly and accurately locate homes damaged by hailstorms so they can connect with homeowners in need of roof repairs. Three services are available: HailStrike tracking, OneSite reports and AniSwath hail map. Roofers with HailStrike tracking have access to radar-based storm-tracking software that trails the heart of the storm and provides the size of hail. The OneSite tool provides site-specific information for hail activity at exact locations. The AniSwath service gives direct access to a colorized, fully animated hail swath map. Contractors interested in learning more about HailStrike can contact their local CertainTeed territory manager.

Commercial Roofs Will Be More Difficult and Expensive to Insure

Early in the evening hours of June 12, 2014, Abilene, Texas, was hit by a hailstorm that covered approximately 40 percent of the town.

Early in the evening hours of June 12, 2014, Abilene, Texas, was hit by a hailstorm that covered approximately 40 percent of the town.

Early in the evening hours of June 12, 2014, Abilene, Texas, was hit by a hailstorm that covered approximately 40 percent of the town. What made the storm unusual was the size of the hailstones combined with the intensity and duration of the storm. Hailstones varied in size from 2 to well over 6 inches and fell for more than 23 minutes. Most of the stones were frozen rock-hard; some pieces formed when two to three mid-size hailstones froze together.

Some residents reported multiple deck and ceiling punctures with several homeowners reporting stones that penetrated deck and ceiling to smash flat-screen TVs. The damage covered most of the downtown business district; Hardin Simmons and Abilene Christian universities; and a large regional hospital complex, including outlying medical and laboratory facilities. Auto damage was severe and widespread, exacerbated by the large number of visitors gathered downtown for a popular monthly event. There were a few injuries, but no deaths, other than some animals at the local zoo. Initial damage estimates topped $400 million, a sizeable amount for a town of 100,000.

Hailstorms are not unknown in our area though not as common as might be assumed. Since I have been in the roofing business, we have had damaging hails in 1967, 1973, 1988, 2011 and 2014. Our company, now in its 124th year, did not keep records of storms prior to 1967. It has been my experience that no two storms are alike, each taking on a life of its own with regard to how the insurance industry reacts. The last several years, Texas has had major storms in a number of areas, including Amarillo, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Austin and Rio Grande Valley. In these areas, roof claims litigation has exponentially increased, driven by a cottage industry of public adjusters, roof consultants, restoration contractors and attorneys, all making a business of inserting themselves between the insurance carrier and the building owner/policy holder. While there can be legitimate need for all these people at times, it does appear some may have crossed the ethical line to shake down insurance carriers with inflated claim demands.

The last several years, Texas has had major storms in a number of areas, including Amarillo, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Austin and Rio Grande Valley.

The last several years, Texas has had major storms in a number of areas, including Amarillo, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Austin and Rio Grande Valley.

We experienced a little of this activity during our 2011 hail, but it was limited because the hail coverage area included few commercial properties. I was personally aware of several claims made in areas where there was no hail and the damages claimed far exceeded the value of the building.

In response to these perceived abuses, the insurance industry in 2014 has become much more aggressive in its claims handling, especially with gravel-surfaced built-up roofs. Gravel-surfaced roofs remain a significant portion of the roof inventory in this market. Adjusters have been paying for modified bitumen and metal roofing without too much argument. But, since the June hail, we have looked at dozens of buildings with gravel-surfaced roofs that, in our opinion, should be total losses, only to have the adjuster, who is often only vaguely familiar with gravel roofing balk at paying and call in consulting engineers to take sample cuts for lab analysis.

So far, it appears that in the absence of multiple punctures, the assumption is that there is no damage—or at least damage short of a total loss.

So far, it appears that in the absence of multiple punctures, the assumption by adjusters is that there is no damage—or at least damage short of a total loss.

My roofing intuition suggests this activity is a prelude to claims denial. So far, it appears that in the absence of multiple punctures, the assumption is that there is no damage—or at least damage short of a total loss. I can understand the adjuster’s desire to have incontrovertible evidence to base his payment or denial decision, but my experience as a contractor suggests that lab analysis is not foolproof. Some of the tests are based on theories that are at least debatable. The public adjusters and restoration industry have their own labs and tests to compete with the carriers. Regardless of tests, my experience as a contractor suggests that a built-up roof, even with gravel surfacing, is no match for a 20-minute pounding of baseball-sized hail. It is my hope that our industry does not devolve into an adversarial system, which pits dueling laboratories and experts into the claims process.

My suspicion is that it will become much more difficult and expensive to insure commercial roofing, with limits on coverage, much higher deductibles and more specific language to define what is damage. The real loser will be the building owner, forced to assume a much larger portion of the risk.

PHOTOS: JERRY SIEWERT

Class 4 Hail-rated Tiles Expand to Texas

Boral Roofing's Barcelona Impact concrete roof tile

Boral Roofing’s Barcelona Impact concrete roof tile

Boral Roofing LLC, a provider of clay and concrete roof tile, is expanding its line of Class 4 hail rated tiles with the introduction of the high-profile Barcelona Impact concrete roof tile in the Texas market.

Barcelona Impact is a hail-resistant concrete tile that passed severe impact resistance testing in accordance with the FM 4473 standard. The tile is proven to withstand sequential 2-inch ice ball impacts at speeds up to 70 mph, fired from within five feet. Barcelona Impact roof tile is certified through the Roof Covering Impact Certification Program sponsored by Architectural Testing.

The addition of high barrel Barcelona Impact provides a complete Class 4 hail rated roof tile offering to the Texas market to complement our flat profile Country Slate Impact Class 4 product. Boral Roofing has been serving the great state of Texas with American-made tile products since 1974, and the expansion of the Class 4 hail rated tile offering further shows this long-standing commitment to the market.

With this performance certification and recognition, Texas homeowners can have even greater peace of mind in their homes and may obtain potential insurance cost savings by selecting a participating insurance company and requesting that their roofing contractor verify that Boral Roofing¹s Class 4 concrete tile was installed. All Boral Roofing tile is covered by a Limited Lifetime, Fully Transferable, Non-Prorated Concrete Product Warranty.

A specialized color portfolio of the new high barrel Barcelona Impact Class 4 tile is based on extensive market feedback from Texas customers. The new colors include a range of beautiful earth tone blends with Buckskin, Charcoal Brown Blend, Lexington Blend and Salerno Clay Blend.

Clean, Quiet and Safe Glass

VELUX America has introduced “Clean, Quiet & Safe Glass” for its skylights.

VELUX America has introduced “Clean, Quiet & Safe Glass” for its skylights.

VELUX America has introduced “Clean, Quiet & Safe Glass” to the roofing industry. This laminated glass will keep ENERGY STAR-certified VELUX Solar Powered Fresh Air skylights cleaner, reduce outside noise, and take the guesswork out of interpreting local building codes for the type of glass required for out-of-reach applications.

Clean: A thin coating of titanium dioxide and silicone dioxide on the exterior surface of the laminated glass will smooth the glass and, with the help of the sun, destroy organic matter deposited on skylights over time. Then, the next time it rains, this organic matter is washed away keeping the skylight glass cleaner longer.

Quiet: Laminated glass reduces outside noise by up to 25 percent when compared to a standard double pane glass and up to 50 percent more when compared to a plastic skylight.

Safe: U.S. building codes require laminated glass be used in out-of-reach applications where any point of the glass is 12 feet above the floor of the room. VELUX Clean, Quiet & Safe glass meets or exceeds this important building code requirement nationwide and also carries a 10-year warranty against hail damage on the glass itself.

In addition to its water-shedding properties, the new glass option carries a 10-year hail warranty and is superior to regular tempered glass in U-Value, UV protection and fade protection. Beginning in 2014, it will be available on most VELUX skylights and will be the standard glass option for the VELUX Solar Powered Fresh Air skylights. The new glass option is also available in Impact, Miami-Dade, White laminated and Snowload models.

The Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylight, now standard with Clean, Quiet & Safe glass, is also a No Leak Skylight and carries the VELUX 10-year installation warranty plus 20-years on glass, 10-years on product, and 5-years on blinds and controls. The units use standard VELUX engineered flashing and energy efficient LoE3 glass. VELUX solar powered skylights, along with solar powered blinds, as well as the installation costs, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.

Spray Foam Features Blowing Agent with Global-warming Potential of 1

Honeywell’s spray foam roofing system formulated with Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent

Honeywell’s spray foam roofing system formulated with Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent

Honeywell’s spray foam roofing system formulated with Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent has received a severe hail rating from FM Global. The roofing system, which was developed by West Development Group, may reduce insurance premiums for building owners. Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent is a next-generation blowing agent with a global-warming potential of 1. It is nonflammable, has received EPA approval under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program and is not a volatile organic compound.

Sunburst Mineral Surfacing Reduces Rooftop Temperatures

The Garland Co. Inc.’s reflective Sunburst mineral surfacing

The Garland Co. Inc.’s reflective Sunburst mineral surfacing

The Garland Co. Inc.’s reflective Sunburst mineral surfacing reduces rooftop temperatures and protects against hail, wind and other weather. The surfacing is an optional upgrade with StressPly Plus FR Mineral and StressPly E FR Mineral membranes. It comes standard on StressPly EUV FR Mineral and StressPly Max FR Mineral. Membrane applications include hot, cold, self-adhering and torch.

(800) 321-9336