Hailstorms are a global hazard and can cause major damage. Learn how to prepare your business, property, and equipment before they occur.
Due to the effects of climate change, there is an increased frequency and severity of natural catastrophes and severe weather, such as hailstorms. Hail forms during a thunderstorm when raindrops are carried upward into cold areas of the atmosphere, where they freeze into balls of ice. These balls of ice, or hailstones, can travel up to 120 mph, range in size from a pea to a softball, and can damage roof shingles, skylights, rooftop and pad-mounted equipment, vehicles, and more.
When do hailstorms happen?
Hailstorms can happen all year long if the thunderstorms are strong enough. The storms are most frequent in the spring. Hail is most common in mid-latitudes during early summer where surface temperatures are warm enough to promote the instability associated with strong thunderstorms, but the upper atmosphere is still cool enough to support ice.
What are the negative effects of hailstorms to your business?
Hailstorms are a global hazard impacting many regions of the world that can result in severe damage to building roofs, rooftop heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units, as well as skylights. Cooling towers and exposed glass and plastic components of outdoor equipment can also be damaged.
The bulk of the property damage is towards roofing materials including wood shakes, membranes, flashing, metals, shingles, skylights (especially acrylic), glass panels, fiberglass reinforced panels, etc. However, other property damage can include but isn’t limited to, solar panels, roof-top evaporative coolers, weather stations, solar hot water, and rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels and systems.
Hail strikes can also result in water damage, as rain is likely to occur in the same thunderstorm events producing the hail. Hail impact can allow for water infiltration into the roof assembly or the building itself. Hail may also obstruct roof drains, scuppers, and gutters, causing water to back up and infiltrate the building.
How to protect business property and equipment from hail damage
To help protect your property in the event of a hailstorm, preparation is key. Below are a few tips to help prepare your property and equipment before a hailstorm occurs.
For more information on how you can prepare and plan your business before a hailstorm email us at RiskEngineeringServices@chubb.com.