Metal Roofs and Hail: What You Need to Know

Metal Roofs and Hail: What You Need to Know

Metal roofs and hail get along better than you might expect. Metal roofs can handle hail extremely well, even better than most other roof types. Even in extreme weather situations, damage to a metal roof will take the form of small dents, but not puncture, break or tear the roof.

Hail damage to a roof is usually not the hail itself, but the water that can seep through a roof damaged by hail. If there’s a crack in the roof, water can flow through it and cause serious damage to home interiors and trigger long term problems like mold and rot.

All roofing types, including shingles, tiles, and shakes can be damaged by hail, but metal roofs are highly resistant to damage. Hail damage to a metal roof, if it occurs, will very likely be small cosmetic dents and not cause structural problems, puncture the metal or compromise its integrity.


Factors That Affect Possible Hail Damage

If there is a hail storm in your area, certain factors can determine how damage to a metal roof is deflected or weathered.


Strength of Storms

The strength of the storm will determine the size of the hail that can form. Most storms produce hail that is less than two inches in diameter. Metal roofs are routinely tested in technical development to handle this size of impact. If you live in a region where more extreme hail is common you may need to consider a metal roof that has ribs or striations to deflect hail blows. 


Slope of Metal Roof

Similar to how hail damage appears on an exposed car, most of the dents occur where the surface is nearly flat. On a metal roof, the steeper the slope, the less force hail can exert directly on the surface and the less likely it will dent.


Structural Support of Metal Roof

If your metal roof has a sturdy support that limits how much the metal can flex, dents are less likely to form. Conversely, if the roof is supported by a structure but open underneath, the metal can be pushed by the hail and may dent more easily.

Other factors that can determine the amount of hail damage a roof receives are the thickness of the metal, the panels’ structure, and the paint finish. Most damages will be cosmetic damages, like dents or scratches. Your insurance may provide coverage for cosmetic repairs.


Insurance Claims for Metal Roofs and Hail Damage

Insurance companies often favor homes that have metal roofs, offering reduced rates because they give better protection against hail than other roof types. If your roof has received hail damage or you want to prepare in case it does, take a close look at your insurance plan to see what it covers.

There are differences in all policies, but most will include sections on wind and hail damage. Some policies will only cover structural failure and not cosmetic damage that doesn’t cause the roof to fail. Other policies may offer a cash value if you need to replace your roof that depreciates over time. Read the fine print of your policy so you know if you’re covered if damage occurs, or if you need to make changes to your insurance coverage.


Hail Damage Waiver

You may have been asked if you want to sign a waiver for wind and hail damage. By not signing the waiver, your policy should protect your roof both structurally and cosmetically. If you waive these potential damages you could save a little on your premium, but you lose the guarantee that your roof is protected. Your decision depends on a few factors. 


Is hail a common occurrence where you live? If you want your roof to continue looking like new despite the threat of hail in your area, consider not signing the waiver.


Is the construction of your roof one that would deter or hide dents? For example, does it have a steep slope and is it made of a thick and ribbed metal? If so, you wouldn’t need to worry about dents except in extreme situations, and you might want to sign the waiver to save some money.


If your metal roof is large and expensive, it’s worth paying to protect it. Not signing the waiver will protect your investment and maintain your home’s value.


Filing Insurance Claims for Metal Roofs and Hail Damage

How to file an insurance claim for your metal roof with hail damage:

  • Contact your insurance company as soon as you notice damage to your roof. 
  • Consult a trusted contractor to meet with you and the insurance adjuster to evaluate the damage. The contractor can provide valuable insight into estimating repair costs and follow through to make sure any repairs or potential replacement match the original in strength and appearance. 
  • Reach out to your metal roof supplier to make sure they will work with your insurance company and supply the necessary materials.
  • Find a contractor and roofing company you trust to carry out the repairs. You don’t have to use the suggestions of your insurance company. A company that you hire will be more likely to do a better job because they are looking to satisfy you as the customer and not your insurance company.

Has your metal roof undergone some hail damage? Talk to the Werner Roofing team. We regularly install and repair metal roofs and hail damage, and we’d be happy to take a look to see how we could repair yours. Reach out online or give us a call at 616-844-5382.

How Long Do Roof Shingles Last?

How Long Do Roof Shingles Last?

Depending on the material of your shingles, as well as the climate and weather events of your region, most roof shingles last from 20-30 years. Other factors that can influence how long roof shingles last include the brand of shingle or specific product line, how your roof was installed, and if you’ve performed routine maintenance on your roof.

In this post, we’re going to take a deeper look at the average lifespan for various shingle types, common causes of wear to roofing shingles, and how to know if you can get away with a few repairs or if it’s time to install a new roof on your home.


How Long Do Roof Shingles Last?

Different materials and shingle types have different life expectancies. The most common shingle type, asphalt roof shingles, last 15 to 25 years. 3 tab shingles, which are a popular affordable asphalt roof shingle, will last an average of 10-20 years. They hold up well for moderate climates, but sometimes need repair after high winds or extreme weather. 

Architectural and premium asphalt shingles are more durable and reinforced to handle high winds. They last around 20-30 years, varying with brand and installation. Higher quality shingles have extended warranties that guarantee roof protection over their lifetime. Other shingle types have similar lifespans. Cedar shakes and composite roof shingles can last 30 years with regular maintenance and offer similar wind resistance.


Causes and Signs of Wear to Roof Shingles

The outside world is no friend to shingles. Your roof shingles’ purpose is to protect you from the elements, but the elements cause continual wear and tear on your shingles. Here are some of the common causes of wear to roof shingles and how to spot them.


Heating and Cooling of Roof Shingles

Just like asphalt on the roads, asphalt on your shingles expands and contracts with fluctuating temperatures throughout the year. Repeated heating and cooling of asphalt shingles can cause cracking and curling. Shingles are reinforced to withstand seasonal temperature changes, but over time shingles will weaken under these conditions. Sun exposure can also cause oxidation and fading of your shingles, making them appear older and weakening the holding power of the asphalt binder.


Weathering of Roof Shingles

Common weather damage can also include rain and moisture, especially if you live in a climate that is particularly humid. Moisture can work its way under shingles and through the protective layers if they are old or have tears or cracks. If you live in an area that receives significant snowfall, cycling freezing and melting can cause asphalt to crack.

Wind is also dangerous to shingles. While most quality shingles are reinforced to stand up to high wind speeds, sudden gusts can loosen, displace or remove low or medium quality materials. Other storm damage such as hail or falling tree branches can break or pull off shingles.


Age of Roof Shingles

Over time, roof shingles naturally get older and lose their ability to protect your home. Eventually, all roofing materials need to be replaced. If your roof is approaching 20 years old, it might be time to start shopping for a new one.


Is it Time to Repair Roof Shingles or Get a New Roof?

If your roof is showing signs of wear and tear such as cracks, thinning surface material, curling, loose or missing shingles, faded color or other abnormalities, it may be time to fix the affected shingles or install a new roof. It can be difficult to know when it’s time to repair versus replace your roof.


Repairing a Shingled Roof

If damage to your roof shingles is only on a certain part of your roof, such as the result of a hail or storm event, you may be able to fix the affected area without replacing the entire roof. A good way to tell if you can repair a small area is if most shingles appear to be in good shape and there isn’t deeper damage that compromises your roof’s ability to repel water and protect your home. If this is the case, you may be able to attach new shingles and blend them with the existing roof material. 


Replacing Your Roof

If the damage to your roof covers 25 percent or more of the surface or you notice curled or cracked shingles in multiple areas of your roof, it’s probably time to replace it. If you have more extreme damage that is causing your roof to sag or leak it’s definitely time for a new one. You’ll want to replace your roof before water or weather damage affects your home’s structure, as those repairs will be more extensive and costly to fix.

Additionally, if the roof is over 20 years old it’s probably nearing the end of its life, so it makes more sense to invest in a new roof rather than keep patching it just to replace it later. If your roof is getting old, it will likely be faded so new patched shingles would stand out. A new roof will be consistent, have reinforced protective power for your home, and add to your property’s value. 


Time for a Professional Roof Installation?

Certified installers of high-quality products will help you make the most of your new roof. They can recommend which products will work best for your home, based on industry knowledge and climate considerations. 

If you notice your shingles are starting to wear a little thin or you’re unsure if it’s time for a new roof, Werner Roofing can help. We’re here to help you assess how long your existing roof shingles last and install a new roof if needed. We can help you find a new shingle option that’s warranted to last as much as 50 years! Give us a call at 616-844-5382 or reach out to us online for a free roofing estimate.

Pros and Cons of Solar Roofing in Michigan

Pros and Cons of Solar Roofing in Michigan

Installing solar roofing in Michigan has many advantages and few drawbacks, but it’s important to have a clear picture before investing in new roofing and energy technology. Let’s look at a few of the perks of going solar as well as some flaws that currently exist in the incentives package.


Advantages of Solar Roofing in Michigan

Solar roofing in Michigan can offer great advantages for the earth as well as the consumer. Solar power saves you more money every year and helps to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.


Solar Roofing Saves Money

The biggest plus of installing solar roofing in Michigan is a considerable return on investment. Solar users can see their reliance on electricity decrease immediately and after 25 years, the panels pay for themselves. If homeowners explore loan or financing options for solar installation, their initial investment is significantly lowered and they can reap the energy savings more quickly — as soon as the first year.

Solar roofing also has the advantage of being modular, so you can start small and add to your roofing panels over time. Once you start enjoying the payoff of solar energy, you can reinvest those savings in more panels to expand your capacity.


Solar Roofing Saves Energy

Most solar roofing systems attach to the electricity grid that runs to your house. When there’s sun, you pull more power from the solar panels and pad the rest with traditional electric power. When there’s excess solar power, you use what you need and the rest is sent back along the grid to the power company. If you install a battery system with your panels or arrays, you can store this extra energy and use it to help power your home during the winter months.

Solar panels work year-round. Even on cloudy days, when the light is diffused, panels are working to convert photons into useful electric energy. Solar panels work even more efficiently when the surface is cold, so sunshine in the winter is just as powerful as the summer sun’s rays.


Solar Roofing Saves the Planet

It’s no secret that solar energy is a green power source that helps fight our reliance on “dirty” energy resources. It’s not only more efficient and kind to the earth, but it’s also significantly cheaper. Most Michigan residents pay about 16 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). That puts us at #11 for most expensive electricity rates in the country — and prices for fossil fuel energy continue to rise year after year. Installing solar now will start earning you savings right away and increase its return every year. 

It’s clean, it’s efficient, it’s economical. Solar power is the future and it’s bright.


Disadvantages of Solar Roofing in Michigan

As with any new technology, there are a few drawbacks. Here are some things to consider before going solar.


Solar Roofing Requires Investment

While solar energy can offer significant savings in the long run, it does require an initial investment. Don’t let upfront costs deter you from seeking clean energy, however. There are solar loans, power purchase agreements, and other creative financing options that allow you to start reaping the benefits early and avoid spending a chunk of change from the get-go. Some loan options are even cheaper than buying solar with cash because the savings build up immediately and go toward future payments.


Solar Roofing Requires Minimal Maintenance

Solar panels are easy to maintain, but they do require a little care to keep them functioning at top capacity. They can be washed with just water with no cleaning additives that could abrase the surface. Using a squeegee or brush made for this purpose can help keep panels free of debris. Your panels won’t be damaged if you don’t clean them and they’re extremely resistant to hail and inclement weather. 

Snow can cover solar roofing in Michigan and diminish its ability to collect light, but won’t cause damage to the panels at all. If you choose to remove the snow, the process is simple. Using a long broom, brush the snow away from the panel. You don’t even need to remove all of the snow. As the sun heats the surface of the panel, remaining snow will melt away on its own.


Solar Roofing Requires Incentivizing

Tax credits for using solar energy to power your home have gone away… for now. Tax credits were formerly offered to those willing to make an investment in solar power, but utility companies fought to deter people from making the switch. Utility companies fight the legislation because they are threatened by the savings solar will bring to the energy consumer. They lose money when you don’t buy energy from them and don’t want to offer payments to the consumer for excess energy that’s returned. However, as more and more customers are seeing the savings of solar power, its popularity and sustainable advantage can’t be ignored. 


Legislative Progress

Michigan legislators are working to secure more tax benefits for solar users, including restoring net metering, which allows users to save up credits with the power company during high-production summer months and use them throughout the winter. Solar roofing companies recommend you save this energy by installing a battery system. This way, you can store energy for the winter and don’t have to feed it back to the utilities companies.

In 2019, Governor Whitmer signed a new law that makes solar panels exempt from property tax consideration. So while adding solar roofing will increase your home’s value, it won’t affect the taxable value of your property. Unfortunately, energy companies won in preventing net metering from being restored.

Solar companies are hopeful that legislators will continue to support tax breaks for switching to clean energy and restore net metering so savings can be passed on to customers and we can break our dependence on nonrenewable energy sources. 


Michigan’s Energy Future: Solar Roofing

Overall, solar roofing in Michigan is a great way to save money and do good for the environment. While there aren’t many tax breaks currently available, renewable energy is quickly gaining popularity with voters and politicians and incentives are likely to return. Solar roofing has a place in the future of energy generation and has shown switching to renewable energy pays off — for your home and the planet.

Still not sure if solar roofing is right for you? Talk to the experts at Werner Roofing. We can go over solar roofing options with you and show you the savings a new roof could earn. Give us a call at 616-844-5382 or reach out online today.