THE 2016 STORM FROM HAIL
In the spring of 2016, severe hailstorms passed
through Northern Texas, causing millions of dollars
in damages. One of the hailstorms hit Fort Worth, TX.
Empire Roofing, a commercial roofer that has installed all roofing types since opening its doors in
1982, was in the middle of a Polyglass roof installation when the storm arrived. Empire began the work
to install Polyglass’ multi-ply modified bitumen roofing system on a 64,000 square-foot warehouse, a
job that would typically take about 10 working days.
Empire Roofing installed Polyglass’ Polyfresko® G
(highly reflective APP cap sheet) and ElastoFlex® SA
V (a self-adhered base sheet) over an existing BUR
roof to strengthen the roof system. After two work
days and about 25 percent of the job completed, an
intense hailstorm with jagged golf ball-sized hail arrived. The National Weather Service formally defines
“golf ball” stones as exceeding 1 ¾ inches in diameter. The force behind these stones is equivalent to
dropping balls from an airplane flying at 30,000 feet.
The stones reach speeds of 120 miles per hour as
they fall to the ground. Bad news for everything be-
low – but excellent conditions for a durability test on
the membrane. Empire Roofing inspected the roof
immediately after the storm. On the portion cov-
ered with the Polyfresko G cap sheet, the hail had
caused only minor blemishes to the surface. The
uncovered BUR portion of the roof had extensive
damage as did the BUR roofs on neighboring
“During the hailstorm, TPO and PVC single plies
in the area that were damaged became immediate emergencies for the building owners,” said
Ronnie McGlothlin, Co-founder of Empire roofing
and owner of the warehouse building. “In the
case of a modified roof, even if you get damage, it does not immediately allow water into
The behavior of a roof immediately after events
like the hailstorm is a significant factor for building owners. In extreme conditions, resilient roofing
membranes bend but don’t break. However, for
single-ply membranes, the first indication of damage too often coincides with the discovery of leaks
and water damage.
Polyglass’ multi-ply system performed so well, the
building owner installed it on the roof of two adjacent warehouse buildings.
Hailstorm produced jagged golf ball size hailstones that fell in Fort Worth, TX, damaging
property thoroughout the area.
PHOTO CREDIT: STAR-TELEGRAM