The intensity of hailstorms can vary greatly, from showers of tiny pellets to destructive boulders larger than a fist. In places like midwest U.S. and Canada, one of the most proactive measures you can take to protect your home from hail is with hail-resistant siding.
A great, durable siding material is fiber cement siding, with benefits ranging from increased durability to quality to versatility to ease of installation. And paired with an industry-leading warranty, fiber cement will offer you the protection you need to give you peace of mind.
Keep reading for a breakdown of what hail is and what causes it, the damage hail can do to a home, the things you need to consider when choosing the right siding material, and how Allura’s fiber cement siding is hail-resistant.
What Is Hail?
Hail is created when little water droplets are caught in the updraught (upward movement of air) of a thunderstorm. These water droplets get lifted higher and higher into the sky, past the freezing level, where they form into ice. Once they become too heavy for the updraught to support them, they start to fall, resulting in a hailstorm.
The size of hailstorm balls depends on the strength and size of the updraught. The majority of the time hailstones are smaller than a dime. But in intense thunderstorms, the upward motion of the updraught is so strong that hailstones have more time to collect supercooled water droplets and grow larger. They can be as big as a golf ball or even a softball, in the most severe storms.
The Damage Hail Causes
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hail causes an average of more than a billion dollars in property and crop damage annually. When you think of sky-falling hail buckets, the roof is probably your primary concern.
But siding is a critical component of a home’s envelope that is often ignored. Take the pictures included in this article as proof.
Hail has the power to damage your exterior siding, your roof (whether it is made of asphalt, tile or metal), your patio and deck, your driveway, your gas pipes, your windows and your foliage.
Hail doesn’t fall in a straight line; wind drives it to come in at an angle so it often pelts the sides of a house. This is why it’s so common for an entire wall of siding to need replacement after a big hailstorm.
The average cost to re-side just one hail-damaged exterior siding wall, made of vinyl, aluminum or wood, can run around $600 for materials PLUS $40-$50/hour for labor. If multiple sides of your home are damaged, it can quickly escalate. Additionally, it can cost more if you don’t repair it right away, as you’ll then have to deal with mold and dry rot from moisture intrusion.
Choosing the Correct Siding
Wood siding is common and attractive but is the most vulnerable to water damage. The wax and borate covering of wood engineered siding planks are crucial to the success of the siding. If the coating is removed through the impact of hailstones, the weaker material underneath the coating will be exposed and could compromise the structure of your home.
Aluminum or steel siding is often installed by builders and homeowners under the misconstrued impression that metal siding will be the most durable. Aluminum siding has a tendency to dent with any type of impact, even a short hail storm.
While it isn’t as dent prone as aluminum, good-sized hailstones can leave steel siding with unsightly marks, and even the smallest damage will be apparent due to the design and installation of the material.
A lot of homeowners opt for PVC because it is often marketed as a durable and low-maintenance siding option. The truth is the trim can be easily dented, gouged or damaged by falling debris in hailstorms. Most of the damage can be fixed by heating the boards or filling them with putty, but this drastically increases your maintenance and labor, the very things most homeowners choose PVC to avoid.
Allura’s fiber cement siding is one of the most durable siding materials, including being resistant to hail. Its unsurpassed durability and authentic wood look make it the perfect building material for touch environmental conditions. Allura siding comes in multiple colors and without the maintenance and installation efforts of other materials.
How Is Allura Hail Resistant?
Allura fiber cement products are made with an advanced formula that is ideal for even the most extreme climates. They are fire-resistant, moisture-resistant, weather-resistant, termite-resistant and hail-resistant. Fiber cement siding is a unique material made of cellulose fiber mixed with sand, silica and Portland cement that creates a durable material that can be formed into planks or panels.
Fiber cement from Allura is so durable, it has an industry-leading 50-year warranty on its fiber cement siding products. When living or building in a hail-prone area, a durable product with a long warranty is something you need to take into consideration when you are choosing a manufacturer to trust.