June 21, 2016 as published in the San Antonio Business Journal
Editor’s note: The major hail storms that inundated the San Antonio area in April took its toll on roofs across the city and caused extensive damage to many businesses. In some instances, as was the case of a Target store off DeZavala and /-10, the damage was so severe that the store was permanently closed.
Officials at Cram Roofing Co., like so many other builders and contractors across the city, are getting phone calls from building owners who want to know if they, too, have roof damage and what to look for now that the rains have subsided – for now.
Christy Rhone, director of business development for Cram Roofing, offers a few tips below to help building owners and managers know what to look for before they call a roofing company.
The San Antonio-area hail storm of April 12, 2016, left an estimated $1.4 billion in damage in its wake. Smashed windshields and battered trees are easy to see, but damage to commercial roofs can be trickier to spot.
What should you look for if you’re not sure? First, take a look for dents on any metallic surfaces, including:
Metal coping, which serves as a protective cap over a wall or other surface, will show dents if a significant hail storm has occurred. Vents, which are designed to allow heat, vapor, air, etc., to escape the building. These are often metallic and easily damaged by large hail. HVAC units. Their metal housings and coils are a good place to check for dents inflicted by big hail stones.
Besides the various metal items that may be on your roof, the roof itself might show numerous impact spots where the dirt has been displaced (which usually appear as white spots) or where the structural components of the roof are exposed (i.e. membrane fibers, asphalt etc.). This is a common effect of large hail stones slamming into a horizontal surface such as a roof or parking lot.
All of these indicators are red flags. If you spot any of them, there’s a good chance your roof has suffered damage even if you don’t see obvious holes.
Keep in mind, even if your roof isn’t actively leaking, hail hits may weaken your roof and reduce its lifespan which will cause problems in the future.
Since the San Antonio area experienced a very rainy period for several weeks after the hail storm, this is also a good time to look around your facility for any sign of water leakage. It’s important to have any leaks repaired promptly to stop water penetration and prevent the leak from growing.