Much of today’s building science focuses on brand new materials and systems and does not take into account decay and deterioration caused by severe weather, exposure solar radiation (especially ultraviolet), and temperature fluctuations. To address this gap in research, IBHS began a long-term roof aging program in 2013, dedicating part of our campus in South Carolina to the project. The roof aging farm consists of residential and commercial roof sections that are exposed to the local environment allowing us to study the natural aging of the materials. 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. These diverse locations allow us to study the aging effects that occur in different climates across the United States. We inspect the roof farms annually to assess the condition of the roofing material and collect data from sensors that monitor local environmental conditions.