Simulated Hail Damage Test: Asphalt vs Slate vs Metal Roofing

Simulated Hail Damage Test: Asphalt vs Slate vs Metal Roofing

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

This is an intriguing test, particularly for those contemplating the choice of roofing material for their new construction or roof replacement. Personally, I prefer asphalt shingles. I appreciate their subtle look, their ease of installation, and the fact that they’re not as noisy as metal roofs. I tend to avoid metal roofs due to the rust issues that can arise following less than perfect installation. But that’s just my preference, I’m aware that many customers appreciate the minimalist appeal of steel roofs.

In our region of Australasia, slate is seldom used, primarily due to its high cost and a lack of skilled installers. Now, let’s turn it over to our consistently popular Matt Risinger from The Build Show to delve into this engaging and informative test

Simulated Hail Damage Test: Asphalt vs Slate vs Metal Roofing

In this episode of the Build Show we made an ice cannon to simulate hail hitting a roof. We shot ice at four roof samples: 30 year asphalt shingles, 15 year shingles, a 24 ga metal roof, and a slate roof. The results may surprise you!

Huge thanks to our Show sponsors USG/Tremco, Polywall, Huber, Dorken Delta, Prosoco, Rockwool & Endura for helping to make these videos possible! These are all trusted companies that Matt has worked with for years and trusts their products in the homes he builds.

Video Transcript:

On the Build Show today, Jordan made me an ice shotgun.

On the Build Show today, we’re gonna be doing some hail testing. You know, when hail comes through Texas, it proves our replacement, right and left, because asphalt is not particularly resistant to hail. So we wanted to come in and backyard test this. Jordan made us an ice gun that shoots some pretty serious ice. In fact, we tested it on this piece of tempered hardboard. This is just a pinch tempered hardboard. We use it all the time for floor protection, and look, we did. We actually blew a hole through that. So we’ve got some serious power here. I have no idea how this relates to the ASTM testing, of course. You can get a couple of different classes of hail resistance, class one, which is the lightest, all the way up to class four, which is the best. And if you’ve seen our videos, you know we like metal roofing, we like tile, we like slate. They’re really long-lasting roofs. We try to avoid typically asphalt shingles, but I’m curious what a couple of those will look like.

Okay, first up we’ve got a traditional three-tab shingle. This is just a cheap 15-year single. Now, we’ve nailed these up on a backer of some 5/8 zip sheathing. This is what you traditionally use for a roof. This has the brown bonded coat right from Huber, and that’s what we’re using for underlayment. We’ve marked in x marks the spot. Jordan, are you ready to rock, big boy? I’m gonna man the slow-mo camera, so give me a second here to get set up, Jordan. Okay, man, first roofing, let’s make it a good one. Alright, you ready? Yep, three, two, one.

What do we have here? Interesting, it’s like a bunch of paise landed there, but really no damage. That’s interesting, I thought we’d have a look. Doesn’t look like we have a lot of damage there. Jordan, I think it seems like it took that pretty well, surprising. I’ll see what, let’s load this up a second time. Instead of using the cubed ice that we got in the bag, let’s go try to zero degrees, which is 30-ish degrees. Let’s go grab some ice out of our freezer in the shop, so hang out, we’re gonna reload this again. Okay, y’all, we reloaded, and now Jordan’s got on here some freezer ice. I’m curious to see if we’re gonna get any different damage. We’re shooting up on the tall spot. Let me get started on this camera. Three, two, one.

A top one, yeah, yeah, you can definitely see that. Check this out. Y’all, this is from the first one. I couldn’t see this because the ice that was built up, but we actually have some pretty good damage there. Look, it ripped it. It ripped it, and I can see daylight through there. You can see all the fiberglass from those shingles right there. If we can get some zoom in on there, you’re about an inch and a half. I mean, it just means that’s the size of the ice cube. It’s still… But look at that, you can actually see that physical damage, the fiberglass there. Right there, you can see the fiberglass point with my knife. You can see all that fiberglass. So this would leak probably within some period of time, and certainly this would qualify for a roof replacement from an insurance company.

When this dries here, I’m cute. Oh yeah, we can totally see it. Look at this shingle. Get this right here on this bottom section, so this roof’s a goner. You got hit with that kind of hail. This one’s dead. This asphalt is not gonna make it. Look at that, you can see the fiberglass right there. So the way they make this is there’s a fiberglass mat that holds all this asphalt together, and then the rocks put it on top. Yep.

Alright, let’s reload the test. Remember, this is the cheap roof, this is the 15-year shingle roof. I think on this test anyways, we can say this one definitely needs to be replaced after this hail storm came through. Halo Dorm Jar’s a hail. Let’s reload it with the better shingle. Alright, yep. Okay, so we’ve got that 5/8 zip underlayment on here. I think that’s a good underlayment for this test. Ultimately, if these roofs were destroyed by hail, we’d want that fully adhered underlayment. And by having that zip, which has the underlayment fully adhered to the sheathing, and then there are seams taped, if these shingles actually blew off in the windstorm, you’re gonna still maintain a waterproof house, even though your shingles may be torn off. So let’s reload the tester and see how we do.

I think we said this before, but we’re putting, you know, 10-ish cubes in there. This is party ice, the kind that they drill the center, and we bought this all this morning. We bought like 50 pounds, so it should still be pretty cold in that Yeti cooler. And we’ve been kind of messing with this all day. I’m gonna give you an X to hit here, Jordan. Let’s go on the bottom again this time. Okay, test two, architectural shingles, a 30-year shingle. This one does have a hail rating. Let’s see how it does, Jordan. Okay, Jordan, three, two, one.

Right on the bullseye.

Look, I can’t point it at anything without actually using my knife to point out. So let’s see what we got here. See them take a little bit off. Oh yeah, look at that shingle damage. You can see it’s dented pretty good. But is it through? Is it because the last one, you can see the fiberglass poking through? I’m sticking my hand back there, and I can feel the indentation, but I don’t see… I don’t think it’s actually coming through, though. I don’t see any fiberglass, maybe a little bit here. I mean, obviously, if that was your roof, that’s going to get replaced. But yeah, you can see an improvement between… Yeah, you can definitely see the improvement. And my assumption, Jordan, is because it’s a thicker shingle, you’ve got a thicker fiberglass mat, you’ve got more aggregate. It’s meant to last longer against the UV rays, and that’s probably how they get the impact… Yeah, there’s some ability for that to have some absorption as that comes in there.

Alright, next up is slate. Slate, alright. You want to do slate before metal? Rusty metal? First, let’s do metal.

Next sample is 24-gauge metal. This is nothing special, just steel that has a galvalume coating on it. But this is by far my favorite roof for Texas. I’ve got a client that has taken at least two, maybe even three hail storms with the metal roof almost identical to this on his house, and he calls that house the SS Reisinger. It’s done really, really well against hail in the past in the real world. So let’s see how this does against the Jordan Hale gun, see how it does in the make-believe world of a hundred miles an hour here. Are you on over there? Okay, Jordan, alright.

Three, two, one.

I expected, I expected. There is a small dent, but there is nothing to speak of. I can tell you, that roof is not leaking, that’s for sure. No, there may be some, I mean if this really was a hailstorm and you had it over the whole thing, maybe you could see seeping through the image, but this honestly looks really similar to what I would have expected. That roof I was telling you about, this is actually the first house I built in Austin. That roof got put on almost thirteen years ago now. It’s taken two or three hail storms, and that’s the kind of stuff that maybe you can see, and I’ll tell you, from the ground, you’re not gonna see that at all. You see at all, it’s got to be a serious hail storm before you’re gonna really get… and you got a little bit of a spring there too, just a natural resilience to because of this extra channeling that they put into positions. You have a little bit of spring there, so it’s not just all wow, that’s how it was, Cory, good result. I think the metal did real well.

Alright, next up, I’m gonna do… yeah, you got it.

Okay, last proof here, this is a slate roof. I mean, this is by far the most expensive roof here, more than double, honestly, the cost of anything else, maybe even triple the cost. Beautiful roof, gonna last for maybe a hundred years or more, but how well does it do against hail? You know, you typically don’t see these on Southern roofs. You see these on northern roofs, so they’re not necessarily getting the kind of hail like we do here in the South. Jordan, let’s test it, okay?

Blade slate test one, you’re going for the corner there. Are you ready? Okay, Jordan, are you ready? I’m ready, three, two, one.

Yeah, I was… I think it just drove it right back into the eggs and shearing it up here at these nails that are holding along with two nail holes, I hate to say. But I think we need to run that test again. Yeah, I don’t know if that was an anomaly or… I expected this to be like… bummer. Whatsoever, and we actually sheared it off, and you can see it’s got some serious damage to that as well, and then to the gem. Now, honestly, though, you could fix this roof pretty easily if you got a couple patches, right? Because you can actually stick a tool up there, it will shear the nail and put a new one on. I mean, again, if your roof gets hit with the cannon, you know, yeah, of course, this is not exactly a real-world test, but it is fun to see. We’re gonna reload this from back in a second. I reloaded, take two. I’m curious if that was an anomaly on the slate because we really absolutely destroyed that slate on take one. So let’s try to get in, Jordan, see if we get a similar or a totally different result. All right, okay, I got the slow-mo camera. Go in one, two…

It’s super fun. We crashed the bottom of this guy. Actually, look at that, we cracked the… you know, that is this corner right here, cracked off. Yeah, so we lost a little bit of this slate right here. In fact, there’s a piece of it right there, but this one seems solid, like it wasn’t affected like we did last time. Interesting, right there, you can see right where that hit. All right, Jordan, one takeaway here, what do you think? What are the big takeaways on this test?

Well, on this roof, obviously, we’re hitting it with an air cannon. Yeah, it’s a nice game, and we’re not getting an actual hailstorm. So whether that first one breaking is realistic or not, I don’t know. But you can tell the difference between the metal and the asphalt shingles, for sure, night and day. Yep, for sure, yes. We purposely did not call out any manufacturers. We’re not giving you any links to any of these things that we used. This is not a real test. This is not intended to take away any other than this was fun and interesting to see. Although, I think the takeaway for me is that, yes, asphalt shingles, when a hailstorm comes through, get replaced for a reason because they can get damaged and they’re more sensitive. But an expensive roof doesn’t necessarily need to be replaced or could have some, at least, replacement shingles when a hailstorm comes through. And even metal, though, could need to be replaced, especially if it’s a high-end home with cosmetic issues being a priority, for sure. And it’d be interesting, you know, maybe in a future video, if standing seams versus flat panels, if you can see more damage on a flat panel metal than a standing seam. Comment below if you want us to run this again, if you have any comments about how we ran it or some ideas for another future way to use the ice shotgun that Jordan made. And speaking of that, by the way, Jordan’s got a video on his channel. I’ll put a link in the description below on how to build that cannon so you could test this yourself. But please be safe out there, guys. Wear your eye protection. Don’t have the kids around while you do this. We did this at the office with nobody. So we tried to do this as safely as possible.

Big thanks, by the way, to these guys, Drive. They sponsored us with all these really cool jackets for both Jordan and the team. And I’m… they’ll be a link in the description, very guys. They actually are giving 15% off to all our Build Show fans. The code is ReisingerBuild. There’ll be a link to their site below. They’ve got some really cool stuff, like these Acceleration jackets. We wear these. They feel like 100 and 10, 105 bucks, -15% off. And we get those logos at a local shop. So to get your logo on a jacket for 100 bucks, not a bad deal.

And last takeaway, I do want to also thank Huber, which is one of our show sponsors that makes ZIP and the ZIP panels. I think that’s also a big takeaway on today’s video that… look behind me, that ZIP with a fully taped C, my hair. Even if you got water through there, you’re gonna have a house that’s not gonna get damaged if shingles got blown off or torn off in some terrible storms. So that’s a great product to be using on houses in storm-prone areas. Guys, follow us on Twitter, Instagram. Otherwise, we’ll see you next time on the Build Show.

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External Youtube post: How to inspect your roof for hail damage | Pro Exteriors