When choosing a roof to stand up against hail storms, a few key factors should be accounted for. The first is the thickness, or gauge, of the panel. The second is the tensile strength, which defines how malleable or brittle the metal itself may be. The last factor is the method by which the panel bonds to its neighboring panels. To have a truly hail resistant metal panel, a design must combine all of these factors to create a layer of protection.
When it comes to protecting a roof, the thickness of the metal is a key factor to resisting large-sized hail stones. Bridger Steel recommends a minimum of a 26 gauge steel roofing panel to survive a harsh hail storm. A thicker metal panel will resist punctures and form stronger seams between panels.
When choosing the right roof to protect against a hail storm, it's important to understand your options regarding tensile strength. A higher tensile strength will hold up better to dents and surface damage, but has a higher likelihood of puncturing in the case of massive hail stones. A lower tensile strength will deform and stretch under the largest hail stones, rather than breaking. In more common small to medium sized hail, a lower tensile strength will still deform. Bridger Steel recommends using a higher tensile strength metal, combined with a strong panel that's unlikely to puncture or tear.
The last factor in determining a good choice for a hail resistant roof is choosing the type of metal panel itself. In most cases, a corrugated panel is the best option for pure protection. The corrugation helps deflect and hide any deformities that may occur from a hail storm. Bridger Steel recommends our 7/8" Structural Corrugated Panel if this is your chosen option. This is our strongest panel, and alongside obtaining a UL 2218 impact rating, it's also our highest rated panel against wind uplifts (up to 260 mph).
For those interested in a standing seam panel, we would recommend the 2" Structural Mechanical Lock with Striations, double-seamed for added protection. The double-seamed rib will provide the best possible protection from a seamed product. The Striations will help give the panel additional rigidity, and hides smaller imperfections better than a flat design.