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Wildfires, droughts, floods, hurricanes, hailstorms… In the past few years extreme weather events are becoming more severe around the world. Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC) or climate change caused by humans through burning fossil fuels, deforestation and intensive livestock farming seems to be the main culprit.
Based on the European Severe Weather Database (ESWD), larger and more intense hailstorms are now happening not only in the traditionally severe hail regions, but across the globe. Hailstorms are one of the most serious and challenging threats to the performance of any roofing system. They can be particularly damaging, from merely ‘cosmetic’ damage to more serious issues such as leaks, resulting in other consequential damages. Among others, the effects of hail roof damage differ according to the size and intensity of the hail, the roof slope and the type and age of the roofing material. Some roofing membranes are more susceptible to hail damage than others, which also depends on how that product is made and whether it is stable on the long term.
Building resiliency is becoming a necessity in today’s world and for that it is critical to consider the hail resistance of the building envelope during the design stage. Firestone Building Products is therefore committed to offering resilient products that are able to cope and recover easily from the effects of severe weather events.
Our RubberGard EPDM and UltraPly TPO roofing membranes not only have excellent durability but also exhibit superior hail performance. To determine their hail performance, we put both membranes to the test according to the EN13583 standard. This standard determines the hail resistance of bitumen, plastic and rubber roofing membranes on hard and soft supports. Results confirm that both our RubberGard EPDM and UltraPly TPO membranes have one of the best hail performances in the market.
Both membranes show excellent results in all available thicknesses. In general, hail performance improves with the thickness of the membrane, and this is reflected in the test results. Third party studies show that other traditional waterproofing membranes suffer seriously on hail performance after aging, whereas EPDM and TPO keep an excellent hail performance over their entire service life.