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Slate tiles used for protection against hail storms

Hail damage can have a significant impact on roof tiles. Hail consists of irregular lumps of ice that are formed when frozen water drops are lifted in turbulent winds during thunderstorms. Hail formation requires environments of strong, upward motion of air and lowered temperatures of the freezing level. Hail sizes can vary from a small pea size to a large golf ball diameter. In most cases if the damage to roofing is extreme many will be forced to re-roof.

Sydney experienced a severe hail storm on April 14 1999. Approximately 24,000 houses were significantly damaged, with many suffering water damage through the holes in roofs that the large hailstones formed. The roofs of houses also underwent severe damage and were smashed beyond repair and many had to re-roof at a major cost to insurance companies. Insured losses due to the disaster reached approximately $1.7 billion, with total costs estimated to be around $2.3 billion.

It may be difficult to estimate the amount of damage that a hail storm can have on your roofing tiles. Here are a few tips to help you evaluate the length of destruction:

  • Drain downspouts are a very good indicator of hail damage. If there is a high concentration of black mineral deposits around the downspouts, this may be a sign of damage to your roof.
  • If your metal gutter shows signs of obvious dents and indentations it is more likely that your roof will also have undergone damage.
  • The ceilings of your house are a sure sign of hail damage. If there are discoloured patches or holes in the ceiling it means there is an overabundance of moisture in the roof and water has leaked through your damaged roof creating leakages.
  • You may also find roofing granules around the area which means they have been chipped off and are broken.

The roof is most vulnerable during hailstorms and is the first line of defence against hail. Roofing that has been subjected to harsh weather and hailstorms may grow weaker overtime it is therefore important to use high quality roofing materials like slate tiles protect against severe damages.

Slate tiles are a high quality roofing tile that can offer optimal protection against hail damage. Slate tiles are known for lasting for up to 100 years. The slate tile has two lines of breakability known as the cleavage and the grain. These extra lines of protection are a great defence tool against storms and while they may be exposed to damages from severe hail storms they are a much stronger defence line to many other roofing tiles such as terracotta tiles. It also allows a slater to manipulate the shape and size of the slate tiles when installing slate roofing. Slate tiles also have a very low water absorption index which means slate tiles are resistant to breakages cause from cold and wet conditions.