Is a Metal Roof Hail Resistant? Everything You Need to Know

January 24, 2024

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is a metal roof hail resistant

When severe storms roll through, hail can cause major damage to homes and properties. Hail stones ranging from pea-sized to baseball-sized can dent siding, break windows, and leave holes in regular asphalt shingles. 

So, is a metal roof hail resistant? Yes, metal roofs are highly hail resistant due to the hardness and strength of materials like steel, copper, or aluminum that can deflect hail impacts without damage, especially when compared to conventional asphalt shingles, which are easily cracked and broken by hailstones.

If you live in an area prone to hail storms, you may be wondering if metal residential roof installation can provide protection.

How Hail Damages Roofing

Hail does its damage because it transfers a large amount of kinetic energy as it hits the roof. The size of the hailstone is a big factor - larger hail has more mass behind it when it strikes. However, even small hail, when driven by strong winds, can cause roof damage by hitting the surface with enough velocity.

When hailstones hit asphalt shingles, the brittle composition is easily broken. In addition to visible holes and tears, the force of the impact can also weaken the integrity of the shingle, leading to premature aging and leakage. Parts of the roof that were already worn may suffer complete failure after a hail storm.

Is a Metal Roof Hail Resistant?

A metal roof is hail resistant to varying degrees, depending on the type of metal:

Aluminum - Aluminum roofs dent the most easily under hail strikes. The soft metal absorbs more kinetic energy than harder metals. Still, an aluminum roof resists hail damage better than asphalt shingles. The dents are largely cosmetic and do not affect the roof's functioning.

CopperCopper is stronger than aluminum but still considered a soft metal roofing product. Well-installed copper roofing provides good dent resistance but can show signs of damage after a major hail storm. The patina may flake off where struck.

Steel – Of residential metal roof types, steel panels provide the highest level of hail protection. The hardness of the steel enables it to deflect hailstones without damage. Premium steel shingles mimic more traditional roofs while providing durability.

Stone-coated steel - For maximum hail resistance, stone-coated steel adds an extra layer by embedding stone granules into the steel panel. This disperses the hail energy while the steel below prevents dents. The extra coating does add expense compared to regular steel roofing.

In severe hail events, no roof type prevents all damage. But metal roofs remain watertight and functional after hail damage. Minor dings and scratches do not affect the water-resistant barrier of metal panels. Asphalt shingles become compromised after a storm, requiring expensive repair or full replacement.

Impact Resistance Ratings

Metal roofing products have a Class rating from 1 to 4 regarding impact resistance:

  • Class 1 - Best rated to withstand severe hail up to 2 inches
  • Class 2 - Good resistance to 1.5-inch hail
  • Class 3 - Moderate resistance to 1-inch hail
  • Class 4 - Can resist pea-sized hail

Within each Class, subcategories further rate performance in standardized testing. For example, Class 4 shingles rated at a Severe level indicate better protection than a baseline Class 4 rating. 

Always check manufacturer specifications for real-world testing results.

Long Term Value

The initial cost of a metal roof installation averages $6,000 to $12,000 or more, depending on the home’s size and other factors. Compared to just $3,000 to $7,000 for conventional shingles, metal roofing has a higher upfront investment.

However, metal roofs have a long lifespan of 40 years or more before needing replacement. The future cost savings compared to replacing asphalt shingles every 15-20 years can offset the higher initial pricing. Home buyers also look favorably on metal roofs, so installing one may add resale value.

is a metal roof hail resistant

Additional Benefits

Beyond impact protection, metal roofs offer other advantages:

  • Fire resistance – The non-combustible metal construction meets the highest ratings for fire safety.
  • Wind resistance – The panels lock tightly together and often attach with clamps to the structure.
  • Snow shedding - Steel and copper roofs quickly shed snow before heavy buildup.
  • Energy efficiency – Reflective metallic colors keep attic temperatures lower.
  • Eco-friendly – Metal roofs allow for a high amount of recycled content. At the end of life, the materials recycle again with less landfill waste.

Is a Metal Roof Noisy?

Many homeowners worry that rain or hail on a metal roof creates unpleasant noise inside the home. However, modern installation methods minimize acoustic issues. Felt lining materials act as sound-deadening insulation. Fastener types and locations also reduce noise transmission. Appropriate sizing of the roof system is key as well. Standing seam metal roofing inherently allows for expansion and contraction to avoid popping noises.

Protect Your Investment

While metal itself resists hail damage, ultimately, the quality of the installation plays a big role. Be sure to have an experienced roofing contractor handle the job. They will ensure proper underlayment materials, structure gauge panel thickness, sealants, fastener spacing, and leak-free flashing details. This keeps your roof performing optimally for decades, rain or hail. Investing in a durable metal roof system truly pays off over time by protecting your home and avoiding repeated roof replacement costs.

new roof completed in newton

In Conclusion

When nasty spring and summer storms strike, metal roofing provides the best defense against hail damage. Metal panels made from steel, copper, or aluminum resist dents, cracks, and leaks better than asphalt shingles or other roof materials. The hardness and strength of metal roofs enable them to deflect hail impacts, remaining functional even if some minor cosmetic damage occurs. While no roof is 100% hail-proof under extreme weather, homeowners in storm-prone areas can rest easier knowing a metal roof gives maximum protection. The extra upfront cost pays off in the decades-long lifespan, avoiding expensive replacement of shingles. Plus, you get benefits like fire safety, snow shedding, and energy savings from a metal roof. For severe hail protection and an eco-friendly, long-lasting roof, metal is the top choice to shield your home.

About The Newton Roofers

When it's time to install or replace your roof, trust the expertise of The Newton Roofers. Our team has over 20 years of experience providing quality roof installations and repairs in Newton and surrounding areas. If you need superior hail protection or want to learn more about metal roofing for your home, call us today at (617) 652-5999!

FAQs

What is the most hail proof roof?

When it comes to the most hail resistant roof, stone-coated steel roofing stands out as the top choice. The additional layer of stone granules adhered to the steel provides an extra protective barrier that hailstones cannot penetrate. Tests show stone-coated steel roofing withstands up to 2-inch diameter hailstones traveling at high velocities, making it the most hail-proof roofing material commercially available today for residential homes.

What is the biggest problem with metal roofs?

The biggest potential downside of a metal roof is noise from rain, hail, or snow precipitation. However, modern metal roof manufacturing and professional installation methods minimize acoustic issues through use of sound-dampening underlayment, strategic fastener locations, and appropriate sizing and expansion allowance.

What gauge metal roof is hail-resistant?

For optimal hail resistance, a minimum 26-gauge steel or copper roof is recommended, but upgrading to a 24 or 22-gauge premium metal roof system will provide even greater impact protection from severe storms.

How do I protect my roof from hail damage?

You can best protect your roof from hail damage by installing a durable stone-coated steel metal roof, which is proven to withstand even large hailstones traveling at high speeds.

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