Reduce Hail Losses

Hail can occur in any strong thunderstorm, which means hail is a threat everywhere. IBHS and its members recognized the growing problem of hail damage in large regions of the U.S. and have devoted years to ongoing field  and lab research to develop a new test standard for impact resistance. The work is ongoing through the following ways:

Field Research:  

IBHS deploys the only active field research team dedicated to study hailstorms to help improve detection, forecasting, and modeling capabilities of hail. The program goals are to:

  • Provide data to guide and improve laboratory hail testing.
  • Map hailswaths to help verify and improve radar-based hail detection.
  • Determine the environmental conditions that influence hail strength, hailstone concentrations, and ultimately the impact to homes & businesses.
  • Evaluate regional differences in hailstone and hailstorm characteristics.
  • Preserve record setting hailstones for future research with 3D scanning technology.

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IBHS Research Center: The Hail Lab

IBHS developed methods for producing artificial hailstones and simulating realistic hail impacts, including the ability to conduct full-scale hail testing. This unique research is leading the way for improving products and standards that will help reduce damage and losses due to hail.

To conduct testing, IBHS purchases major competing widely purchased impact-resistant shingles from standard distribution channels accessible to consumers. We then test them at our research center under scientifically replicated real-world conditions. 

The results offer unprecedented insights into the Impact-Resistant Shingle Performance for shingles labeled as impact resistant.

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Roof Aging Farm Research

IBHS began a long-term roof aging program in 2013, taking into account decay and deterioration caused by severe weather, exposure solar radiation (especially ultraviolet), and temperature fluctuations. The roof aging farm at IBHS consists of residential and commercial roof sections that are exposed to the local South Carolina environment. We will study the natural aging of the materials and at specified time intervals (5, 10, 15 and 20 years) we perform testing and analysis of roof samples for wind, hail, and wildfire performance.

IBHS expanded the program over several years and now maintains roof farms at four other locations in Alabama, Kansas, Ohio, and Wisconsin. We are looking for another location in the southwestern area of the US. 

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Research & Insights

Insight from previous and ongoing research efforts at the IBHS Research Center.