Standing Seam: Hail Damage

Guest User
2/28/2013
OK, I would like to gather some input on a very touchy subject here in texas: hail damage to standing seam roofs. Here's the control: Standing Seam Roof 7-8/12 pitch Installed correctly Hail Storm impacts ( or any impacts for this purpose ) Hail storm had stones ranging from small to baseball in the area Only impacts that show on this roof are average at best So heres the question: At what point are hail impacts to a standing seam roof no longer considered "cosmetic" and thus considered no longer viable ( damaged, out or performance: any number of preferred terminology ) From all the research and homework I have done i can not find any manufacturer that will put a gauge on the impact size for a damage assessment. I get answers such as " if its not cracked its not structurally damaged " or "impacts don't impair performance" and " if the coating is damaged it is a coating warranty issue " ( which FYI: will then be subbed over to that respective company or department and treated for a warranty claim which when found to have been damaged by hail will be denied under those terms ). Simple questions: Is there any noted document stating a particular size impact ( of any origin ) to a standing seam metal roof has impaired its performance ? When is a roof ( SS ) considered to be damaged ? When is the coating considered to be damaged ? And if damaged; is re-coating ( to factory specs ) even feasible in relation to cost of replacement. Disclosure: This post is for my educational benefit and is for the intent of use against any person or company . This is only as a result hearing so many numerous versions of the above statements from contractors, ins adjusters, and "experts" over the years while working through storms as a contractor. Thank you all in advance, Chris
David Stermer
3/1/2013
Chris, Thanks for the question. I do not know of any published researched that would coorelate hail impact size with damage level. Varying the panel material thickness, zinc treatment, the thickness of the paint layers and the type of paint would vary the performance. There are a few industry standards concerning hail damage such as UL 2218 which considers failure to be tearing, fracturing, cracking, splitting, rupture, crazing or other evidence of opening through the roof covering. FM 4473 considers failure to be visible cracking or breaking. TAS 114 Appendix F (from Florida Building code) includes some weathering and considers cracking, splitting, separation, or rupture to be failure. Typical paint warranties only cover the paint film under normal atmospheric conditions and exclude coverage due to 'falling objects'. Having said that, my experience is that the majority of hail damage is aesthetic, leaving the paint film intact and performing. Also, in my experience, field-applied coatings do not compare well with factory-applied coatings. I suspect that field-applied coatings would not perform as well in a hail event. Regards, David Stermer
Guest User
12/19/2013
I've been a Texas insurance adjuster for 11 years and I personally have never covered a standing seam metal roof for hail damage that did not create a physical hole or crack in the metal or coating. There is no set hail size that would deem the roof damaged (Due to the fact that all hail is different in density and size in every storm). If you are dealing with a specific roof I would consult your insurance policy, you insurance adjuster, a public adjuster (if needed) and/or a insurance lawyer (If needed). Some policies have a waiver or endorsement to a policy that excludes coverage for cosmetic damage to the roof caused by hail. As for the coating unless it was directly chipped, cracked or penetrated it would not be considered damaged. I wish you all the luck in seeking the answers you are looking for. Best of Luck, Jason Rasco
Eric Novotny
An informed customer is the Best Customer!
12/19/2013
Great post Jason. Thanks for contributing to the information and for the future readers. Please continue to post as it would be great to have some regular content from the insurance side of the industry. How do you feel about metal in general for roof application?
Guest User
5/31/2014
Here is what happens, after hail hits the .24 gage standing seam roof it leaves dents and these dents fractures the paint which is baked on and in a few years they will be rust spots where each dent is. So this is functional damage. Of coarse the insurance companies do not want to pay but the bottom line in your roof is not the same after hails hits it and most if not all roofers and manufactures void warrantee
Guest User
6/21/2015
Broken fasteners and rivets? Is that not compromised integrity?
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
6/21/2015
David, that does sound compromised. Do you have a particular job you're working on?
Guest User
6/24/2015
Good morning gentlemen, first time participant, interesting subject and a constant concern for home owners. UL has a Hailstone Impact Resistance Test UL 2218 (Class 1, 2, 3 and 4, Class 4 is the harshest test) that measures the depth of the dents due to hail versus the loss of functionality of the metal roof such as fractures or leaks. As far as for the aesthetics or the paint damage it's the home owner's battle to prove to his insurance using expert advise, that the life span of the paint or the protective coating such as Galvalume or Zinc were affected.
Guest User
1/18/2016
Functional Damage or Cosmetic Damage? According to HAAG Engineering, functional hail damage to a metal roof (and to all roofs) is defined as follows: Did the hail damage negatively affect the watershedding ability of the roof? Did the hail damage shorten the life of the roof covering? Unfortunately, these questions have proven to be very subjective and hotly debated . Many disagreements exist, especially between contractors, insurance adjusters and engineers, defining what functional hail damage to a metal roof really is. It is very common for an insurance adjuster to deny an insurance claim on a metal roof based on their conclusions that the hail damage is only ‘cosmetic damage’ (only affecting the ‘appearance’ of the roof). HAAG Engineering, who works solely for insurance companies, and teaches and instructs 1000's of insurance adjusters every year, is the biggest advocate of ‘cosmetic damage’. And why not? They represent insurance companies only- which most often results in a denied claim! HAAG believes ‘functional damage’ to metal roofs only occurs when metal seams are broken, ruptured or disengaged. HAAG also suggests that hail stones must be 2.5” or greater in diameter to cause functional damage to modern metal roof systems. The problem with this determination is that hail can cause unseen damage (fracturing of the zinc or zinc-aluminum coating) to metal roofs that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Moreover, this hidden damage (oxidation and rusting) will occur over a period of time, making it difficult to assess the true damage on the spot. Imagine a small chip on your windshield of your car. You don’t even know it is there, so you pay no attention. Then one day you come out to your car and see a crack. Perhaps you ignore it. However, over time, this small crack becomes a large crack. The unseen initial damage is progressive! So how is this hidden damage caused? Hail stones are naturally formed and can have jagged and sharp projections protruding beyond the body of the hail stone. This can cause roof impacts to initially be concentrated on the sharp projections of the hail stone rather than on the smoother rounder surface of the hail stone. The impact energy of the hail stone being concentrated on these projections or jagged edges causes the projections to dig into, gouge and develop micro-fracturing in the Galvalume or galvanized zinc coating on the steel surfaces. These micro-fractures on the coating can either penetrate through the coating or thin the coating at the impact sites. It is important to note that most R-Panel roofs are G-30 or G-60 coated which is a THINNER zinc coating versus G-90 coatings which are typically found on standing seam roofs. If this zinc coating is fractured or compressed, moisture (humidity or otherwise) will soon cause oxidation under the impact area, eventually causing rust to occur in the core of the metal panel. So the question is; are those dimples caused by hail really just ‘cosmetic’ in nature? Well, perhaps so if the hail was small (pea to quarter size) and round with no jagged edges. However, an argument can be made that every dimple caused by hail can become small basins that pond water, until the water can evaporate. This allows for extended hidden damage to occur from rainwater or snow that contains salts and impurities that may land on the roof and are retained in the dimples. When the water is evaporated from these dimples the impurities remain in the dimples and begin to react with the steel core under the thinned, fractured, scraped or gouged Galvalume (zinc) coating on the steel surface. Because these impurities remain in the dimples until the next rain or snowfall, the oxidizing strength of these impurities increases after each rain or snowfall. The net effect is to increase the concentration of the impurities causing an increasing rate of rust damage to the roofs at the hail stone impact areas. Because of this effect, the functional damage to the roof is two fold. The first is the water shedding capability allows for water to accumulate in the impact site dimples which concentrates the impurities causing deleterious (harmful in a subtle or unexpected way) and delayed negative effects (oxidation, rust, delamination of zinc) under the surface of the Galvalume. This reduces the life expectancy of the roof because of the damage caused by the imposition of the concentrated deleterious impurities. The second is the scraping, gouging and/or formed micro-fractures on the surface thins or removes the coating on the steel roof sheet, reducing the life expectancy as well. The combined effects of the two situations cause an increasing rate of functional damage to the roofs. Because of the ‘reduction in the long term service life’ as well as the ‘reduction of value’ (resulting in direct physical loss if the owner were to sell the property) of the metal roofs and the fact that the damage is typically distributed throughout the entire roof area, the entire roof must be replaced. Bottomline: Take the damaged panel to a metallurgist! They will put it under a high powered microscope- possibly proving micro fracturing occurred that is not visible to the naked eye as well as doing an ENERGY DISPERSIVE SPECTROSCOPY (EDS) test, which is a chemical analysis of the panel. If any iron is present, the EDS test will prove it. And if iron is present, then the panel was FUNCTIONALLY DAMAGED by hail...because we all know, once iron is exposed to oxygen, humidity and water, the iron begins to oxidize and rust leading to a shortened life cycle! Sorry for the long post...just tired of adjusters who blindly argue the 'cosmetic' damage b.s. because that's what they were taught and do not understand nor try to learn anything other than their one sided position.
Guest User
2/22/2016
Brian, I enjoyed your response to Chris' hail issue. Do you mind if I use your logical discussion in a written letter to the Agent?
Guest User
5/19/2016
Thank you for the questions, Chris. Based on my 35+ years supplying, selling and installing metal roofing of all types (corrugated, standing seam, etc), I've found that the determining factor will be if the coating is micro-cracked / micro-fractured. The only way to prove this (like Mr. Lemke said) is to subject an actual damaged panel sample for physical and chemical testing by a Metallurgist. As the technical services representative for a nationally known standing seam metal panel manufacturer, I was called to investigate a large school project 8-10 years ago in North Texas that had been badly damaged by large (6"-8") hail. The school's insurance company refused their claim on the basis of "cosmetic damage". I advised the contractor and the school to send samples to a Metallurgist for review. Upon inspection under an electron microscope, the samples did exhibit micro-cracking of the Galvalume coating down to the iron steel core of the samples. I contacted U.S. Steel (our coil supplier) for a warranty response. Their reply was that if water vapor could penetrate to the inner core steel, their product warranty would be voided. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of this letter any more or I would post it. The school district won their case.
Guest User
6/16/2016
Does anyone know of a metallurgist in the Dallas area to evaluate metal?
Guest User
10/28/2016
Well said, Brian.
Guest User
10/8/2017
I am a PhD. Metallurgist in Dallas Texas. I congratulate those persons commenting. Most of what I have seen in this blog is right on. Roger, good to make contact with you again after so many years. Examples of the North Texas school district hail damage are posted on my web site www.metallurgist.com Because of the position taken by many commercial insurers we go much further in our analysis than we did in those 6-8" hail in Grayson County days.

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