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Glorious Summer Sun & Hail?

One day, you’re outside lounging by the poolside, and the next, you’re picking up pieces of your roof and siding from your yard. 

If this sounds familiar, we get it. Life in Calgary is bittersweet. We get to enjoy the most sun in the whole country, but it comes with a price.

So, what can you do to protect your home from inclement weather like hail?

If you’re installing new roofing or siding after a storm, or it’s time for an upgrade, you can consider using higher-grade material that is made to withstand the damaging effects of rogue hail and extreme winter conditions—even in the middle of summer.

Choosing the Right Shingles

If your roof or shingles need replacing, you shouldn’t hesitate to get the job done. If you wait too long, leaks can develop without your knowledge. Water and moisture can seep into your roof, attic, and eventually into your home, causing organic growth and other damage along the way.

When it comes to choosing the shingles to use on your home, there are a few weather-resistant options you can decide on.

Calgary offers a $3,000 roof rebate for homeowners whose roof was damaged by hail, and insurance will cover some, if not all, of the damage as well, so there’s really no reason to not fix your roof before it becomes a problem.

Shingles Come in 4 Varieties

  • Asphalt
  • Slate
  • Metal
  • Rubber

The type you choose should be resistant to the weather in your area. In Calgary, asphalt shingles are common because they come with a Class 4 rating, meaning they can withstand the elements a little better than lower ratings.

Rubber shingles are made from 70% recycled tire rubber and may cost more than asphalt. However a locally-manufactured product, like Euroshield rubber roofing, is able to withstand the impact from a steel ball being dropped from 20 feet, so you know hail won’t stand a chance against your roof.

The best way to ensure you are getting a hail-resistant roof is to talk to your roofing contractor. They will be able to go over the ins and outs of what type of shingles is suitable for your home. 

Have a look around your neighbourhood if you aren’t sure what types of shingles to get. Do your neighbours have asphalt shingles, slate, rubber or metal? Contractors who are familiar with your weather will likely make similar recommendations for your neighbours as well.

House sidings in new home showing vinyl and stone veneers.

Choosing the Right Siding

Finding the right siding for your house can be tricky. We know that looks matter, so when you’re deciding, you will likely weigh aesthetic and practical considerations.

The 4 most popular choices are:

Vinyl

Vinyl siding is a very common choice of material in Calgary. It is easy to work with, comes in a multitude of colours, is durable, and doesn’t cost a lot to install. You can wash away dirt, and you won’t have to worry about repainting.

Vinyl siding can be punctured by hail, but it is also versatile and easy to replace. If you choose a generic colour, you can typically purchase new pieces to match. 

Hardie Board

Siding from JamesHardie comes in a few varieties, but one thing stays the same: this product withstands the inclement Calgary weather we all know.

Available in:

Made from fiber-cement material, this siding protects your home without sacrificing character and style.

Composite

Composite is made of wood and has that natural look to it. Although it is nice to look at, it does break down and rot and can attract insects and trap moisture. Composite wood can last for a long time if it is properly taken care of.

Composite wood is relatively strong, but hail can leave dents and divots in the wood. If hail cracks or penetrates the wood, it can lead to moisture entering the space between your siding and the barrier of your home. Wooden pieces should be replaced as quickly as possible to avoid further damage. Oftentimes, a new piece of wood will not match an existing piece.

Stone Veneer

Stone veneer is made of lightweight concrete and can be a very cost-effective option.

Stone veneer is very strong and can deflect hail from damaging your home. However, cracks and damage can lead to moisture entering in between the siding and the barrier of your home. Cracks should be mended right away with putty, and it doesn’t always look exactly as it used to.

Making Your Choice

When it hails, all 4 types of siding can be punctured with holes or damaged in other ways. How you choose will depend on how much maintenance you are willing to put in.

Hiring a Professional

A licensed contractor will be able to help you decide which shingles and siding you should use. If you live in an area like Calgary, a local contractor will be able to provide you with the best recommendations that will help protect your home as best as possible from hail, wind, rain, snow, and sun—yes, even UV rays can damage your home!

If your home has been damaged by hail—or if your materials are aging—it may be time for an upgrade. Contact your local professional contractors to discuss your options and receive a quote.

Written by Tricia Arsenault

Tricia’s first experience roofing was when she was a teenager, roofing with her dad in small-town Manitoba. Her dad was a farmer but they did construction in their spare time, and she was his right-hand woman. After highschool, Tricia graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Marketing and International business. She has worked in the travel and finance industry and then returned full circle to the construction industry when she started Guns N Hoses with Keith over 14 years ago. Fun fact: Tricia has traveled all over the world, lived in three different continents and traveled to fifteen different countries.

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