IBHS Field Research: RICOWI Hail Investigation

Download the RICOWI Hailstorm Investigation Report.

Representatives from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) participated in a post-cat hailstorm investigation project conducted by the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues (RICOWI), of which IBHS is a founding member. The field research was conducted in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where there is a large presence of impact-resistant roofing products.

RICOWI investigation teams are mobilized when an event is identified as a hailstorm with hail stones greater than 1.5 inches in diameter, which causes significant damage covering an area of five square miles or more in one of the pre-determined areas. 

 About the investigation:

• Dallas/Ft. Worth storm on May 24, 2011
• Reported hail size up to 5” diameter
• Seven inspections teams inspected 100+ roofs/systems
• Commercial and residential roofs
• Team members trained to perform hail inspections

Major Findings:  

• Damage was easy to see (except where roofing material incorporates plies of membranes)
• Effects of hail distinguishable from weathering
• Hail size more critical than quantity of hail
• Impact resistant performed better than standard
• Standard shingles = moderate or severe damage when hail >1.25”
• Unsupported materials suffered more damage than supported materials (ridge shingles)
• Materials over 10 years old had reduced hail impact resistance