One of the ways we make ourselves available to answer questions about roofing is through an app called Zopim. It lets people visiting our site contact us immediately to answer questions through a chat box or to leave a message during off hours. The other, we received this inquiry from a gentleman in Frisco, Texas:
"Having roof replaced due to hail damage. Adjuster tells me the average TX roof is replaced every eight years due to hail damage. My question - how does coated steel stand up to heavy hail?"
Here's our reply, and if you're in hail country, you may find it educating as well.
Coated steel is one of the best roof choices available in hail country. It has three characteristics that make it attractive - it's strong, pre-formed and re-finishable.
That it’s made from zinc and aluminum coated steel means that it will withstand very substantial abuse from hail without being punctured. It’s explicitly warranted to withstand golf-ball sized hail, and as long as the steel is not breached, the material will function as a water-proofing barrier and work as a roof. While it’s true that hail of sufficient size and velocity could damage the roof to the point of tearing the steel apart, hail of that intensity would lay waste to just about anything, so the roof would probably be just another of a very long string of casualties in such a case. Being made of steel means it will survive hail that would destroy most roofs made of lesser material.
Each of the coated steel tiles is stamped in a press before being coated with the finish, and in order to add strength and beauty to the material, the sheet metal is pre-formed into the pattern of a shake or tile. This deep pattern in the steel means that even if it is dented by severe hail, the dents are barely visible. In particular, the shake pattern is made in such a way that finding a dent visible form the ground (from hail or anything else) can be nearly impossible. In fact, I’ve personally been on many old roofs of this type and only after very careful, up-close examination is it observable that the roof had indeed encountered hail storms at some point in history - but soldiered on without a hiccup.
Finally, the coating on the steel tiles can be re-done in the field. Like re-painting a car, and unlike just about any other roof material you can name, coated steel tiles that took enough abuse to be cosmetically compromised from hail would very likely be still fully functional and easily returned to a cosmetic norm with a new application of the coating - for a lot less than a replacement of just about any type of roof.