If you’re a commercial property owner in or near Toronto, you know what it’s like when severe weather hits—and the costly damage it can do to your roof within minutes. In the winter or summer, Toronto can experience dangerous storms where the winds can gust well over 100 km/h, and hail can be the size of a pea or even a dime. In most instances, other elements on the roof, such as HVAC equipment, gutters, and downspouts, will also be damaged.
Understand the major risk factors for hail damage to your commercial roof
Not all commercial properties have the same risk of damage when hail strikes. Understand that certain factors make your roof more likely to be affected by a severe storm. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your commercial or industrial building may guide you in steps to take when preparing for a stormy season and taking steps following a hail event.
- Property Location: Areas with defined hail seasons, where it hails more frequently than in other areas
- Property Age: Without regular maintenance, older buildings run a greater risk of hail weakening roofs, gutters, and flashing, damaging loose and blistered membranes on flat roofs, and causing water damage.
- Property Design: The commercial property’s design can reduce damage caused by hail. Consider using impact-resistant materials and accessories for your flat roof to help prevent hail damage. These materials can better withstand hailstones than traditional roofing materials. Also, consider designing your flat roof with a protective layer, such as stone ballast, to prevent hailstones from directly hitting the roof’s surface.
- Insurance coverage: Make sure your insurance policy covers hail damage to your flat industrial or commercial roof. This can help offset the costs of repairs if your roof is damaged by hailstones.
Take Care of Your Roof to Reduce the Risk of Hail Damage to Your Commercial Roof
Before explaining what a property owner should do after a hail event, it’s important to discuss how crucial it is to schedule regular inspections (once or twice a year) and do ongoing maintenance as needed. Roofing inspections can help identify potentially costly problems and provide advice on how to best reduce the risk of storm damage on your roof.
Remember that a poorly maintained roof is more likely to experience damage and be more costly to repair.
3 Important Steps to Take After a Hail Storm
1. Visit the Commercial Property and Conduct a Visual Inspection
When damage from hail occurs, the business owner or facilities manager should, at minimum, visually inspect the roof, ceilings, walls, and exterior areas. You may find cracks, fractures, indentations, membrane punctures, dislodged granules, and other damage(s) to the roof. This can make the roof more susceptible to UV damage and accelerate its aging process. You may also spot damage to the interior, such as leaks, moisture, or discoloration. Call your roofer for immediate inspection and repair if you find these or other red flags.
2. Call a Professional Roofer for a Commercial Roofing Inspection
For insurance reasons and to protect your roof against future weather events, schedule a commercial roof inspection if you suspect your roof has been damaged. The roofer will identify overt and hidden damage, such as the effect on the underlying insulation and facing, holes in the roof membrane, detachment or lifting of the membrane, or any potential problems that can cause structural damage. The roofer will also determine the severity of the damage, advise you on which areas need repair or replacement, and provide options for which materials to use.
3. Document the Damage in a Timely Manner
With your inspection complete, itemize all damages that may have been found and take photos or videos of the damage to substantiate any insurance claim. Doing this as soon as possible can prevent further roof deterioration and also ensure that your insurance company doesn’t deny your claim because the damage wasn’t reported in a timely manner.
Commercial roof storm damage takeaways
Don’t wait for a storm to hit to protect your roof, the most vulnerable area of your property and one of the most costly to repair or replace. Remember that your roof’s age and condition will largely determine the extent of the damage and the cost to replace or repair it. In addition to calling a professional roofer after a storm, make it a point to schedule regular inspections and maintenance.
Call an expert commercial roofing company like Elite Roofing in Toronto. You can trust us to identify hail damage accurately, recommend steps to get your roof in good condition, and advise you on how to protect your roof in the future. Property owners, landlords, and facilities managers in Toronto can call Elite Roofing to find out what we offer to our industrial, commercial, and multi-tenant residential properties.