It might make for a pretty picture, but the white stuff shown below has some dangerous potential behind it - no, it's not snow, it's hail.  Yes, we know, your yard just recovered from the winter white stuff, and now we're talking about getting the spring version.  Everybody hears tales of "golf-ball-sized hail," but even the small pellets lying in the grass in this picture have the potential to cause serious damage to asphalt, tile, and wood shake roofs.


Hail storms occur periodically in the Twin Cities.  Hail and wind damage account for the largest percentage of homeowner insurance claims.  One insurance company estimated it paid out nearly $4 billion in claims due to wind and hail in 2012 alone.  While Minnesota isn't among the top 10 states for hail damage, the storms we have historically gotten often inflict  substantial damage on homes, especially siding and roofs, which catch most of the impact.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety recently conducted a test of various roofing and siding products against hail damage.  Researchers developed an indoor facility to mimic hailstorm conditions, including stones of various sizes and wind, and then evaluated how some siding, roofing, and window products stood up to the impact.  You can watch a short VIDEO clip of the demonstration as hail falls on the test home.  Pay special attention to the blue side of the roof, which is metal.  (The dark gray roofing has asphalt shingles.)

When it comes to hail, no roofing material withstands the impact better than metal.  Unlike asphalt, metal roofing can't be penetrated by hail.  Most metal roofing products qualify for a U/L rating that indicates they resist damage from the impact of a 2" steel ball.  Translated into an equivalent hailstone, that's probably more impact than your Minnesota home will ever face.   And because of this exceptional weather resistance, especially to hail, many homeowners' insurance companies, including State Farm, offer discounts for metal roofing.  Check with your homeowner's insurance agent to see if your company provides a similar discount.  You may find out that the insurance savings, coupled with all the other benefits of metal roofing, make it a good choice in protecting your home from Mother Nature.

If hail is in the forecast, make sure you stow things such as cars, lawn furniture, bikes, etc. under cover before the storm hits.  Protection from direct impact can help reduce damage to items such as these.  Since you can't move your house to safety, the next best thing is to make sure it's well protected.  Quarve Contracting is proud to be a recommended contractor for Kassel & Irons, manufacturers of beautiful and durable steel roofing.