Impact Resistant

A Lack of Damage after Recent Denver, Colorado, Hail Storm

by Mary Lou Denny, Walt Denny Inc.


From Western Roofing Jul/Aug ’16


The hail storm was one of the most damaging the Denver area had witnessed in 20 years. It lashed the environs of the Mile High City on September 29, 2014, saving its greatest wrath for the Greenwood Village Centennial Englewood area, south of Denver. In those areas, much of what stood in its path was destroyed. The storm punched gaping holes in siding on homes. Windows and doors were broken on homes and vehicles, and many backyard decks were destroyed.

But throughout the storm, the stone-coated metal roof on Scott Mueller’s Centennial, Colorado home remained undamaged. Mueller had arranged for Denver’s Horn Brothers Roofing to install a Gerard stone-coated metal roof after a 2012 hail storm wrecked his last roof.

“I love the roof,” Mueller says of the Canyon Shake style roof in the brownish-grey color of country blend. He recalled that that 2014 storm “wiped out those non-metal roofs that got installed when mine did in 2012. Several people in the neighborhood have had to have two new roofs put on due to hail in the course of the last two years.”


Checking damage

After hail storms, it is commonplace for sales manager Mark McMillan of Horn Brothers Roofing to inspect roofs for damage. “Basically, the roofs that survived the hail storm were made of stone-coated metal,” McMillan recalls. “Horn Brothers has installed approximately 8,000 Gerard stone-coated metal roofs in the market and is known for the product. Lots of people know what they want before calling us. The Canyon Shake and Pacific Tile profiles are overwhelming favorites among Denver-area residents,” McMillan says.


After the storm

“When we have a large hail storm like this where the hail stones are really big and traveling at great speed, all other roofing materials have quite a bit of damage,” McMillan says. “On asphalt, for instance, the hail impact completely destroyed shingles and scattered the granules topping them. Once that occurs, UV rays can begin eating through the shingle, ultimately leaving a hole in the roof. The hail broke many concrete roofs, leaving concrete pieces scattered on the ground below,” McMillan recalls.

Gerard stone-coated metal roofs, by contrast, remained essentially as they’d been before. As he inspected the roofs, McMillan saw little to no stone loss, and the panels were intact, owing to what he said was their ability to withstand up to a 2-1/2″ hailstone hit, without cracks or penetrations.


Distinctive qualities

What makes Gerard stone-coated metal roofs distinctive in the eyes of a roofing expert like McMillan? He believes it is first the product’s durability and unmatched warranty, one he calls “the best warranty in the market.”

Aesthetic appeal is the next key attribute, McMillan says. “It’s a product that boosts the curb appeal of the home quite a bit, raising it from what you’d have with an asphalt or a wood shake roof.” McMillan cites the fire resistance of the product next, noting that in Colorado, a major threat to roofs is fire, and that Gerard is a Class A Fire-Rated material.

“I’ll happen to see a homeowner who already has a Gerard roof, and he’ll talk about how he’s ecstatic about the quality,” McMillan says. On other occasions, he will run into a homeowner with an asphalt shingle roof on his home, who intends to stick with that product. “But after they replace their roofs two or three times, they tell me that they are ready to go with the Gerard stone-coated metal, so they don’t have to worry about their roofs any longer.”

McMillan’s thoughts are echoed by another Horn Brothers Roofing professional. “I have seen how homeowners get tired of having to replace their roofs multiple times,” says Horn Brothers’ roofing estimator Francis Ruesta. “Mueller and some of his neighbors are the perfect example. After the 2012 hail storm in his area and dealing with an insurance claim, Mueller researched the stone-coated metal roof, and he told his neighbors about it. It is a better financial investment from the start.” Now Mueller and his roof are ready for the upcoming hail season to hit.