Colorado Mills Shopping Mall experienced significant roof hail damage from a severe hail storm that occurred on May 8, 2017. The hail caused openings in the commercial roof that were big enough to allow rainwater to flood the interior of the mall. The mall is currently closed for roof repair and restoration. Some stores are open, and the goal is that the entire mall be open on Black Friday in time for the holiday shopping season.
The hail storm caused $1.4 billion in damages in personal property, which includes an estimated 150,000 auto insurance claims and 50,000 homeowners insurance claims. The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association believes that this hail storm will rank as the most expensive catastrophe in Colorado state history. The areas most affected by the hail storm were Golden, north Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and northwest Denver.
The $1.4 billion hail damage estimate does not include business losses, so commercial properties were not calculated in the total estimated loss. The mall has recently obtained building permits for approximately $50 million in renovations and roof repair.
Most commercial roofs are resilient to hail damage. When roof hail damage happens to commercial properties, it is important to have a qualified commercial roofer to evaluate the extent of the damage. The age and condition of the commercial roof, along with the quality of the roofing materials determines how well the roof can withstand hail damage. Hail damage to commercial roofs can be challenging to diagnose because commercial properties often have a flat roof.
JJ Hedden, President of Peak to Peak Roofing said, “The roof hail damage at the Colorado Mills Shopping Center could have been caused by insufficient maintenance. The mall had skylights which may have been leaking, and when the hail storm hit, it could have expanded those leaks to allow rainwater in. Another possibility is that the roof did not have a preventative layer to protect it from hail damage.”
How can you tell if your commercial property has roof hail damage? If you see hail damage on your building’s gutters, siding, windows, doors, HVAC systems or landscaping, there is a good chance your commercial roof is also damaged. Business owners with stores in the Colorado Mills Mall have commented that they constantly dealt with a leaking roof. The mall was built in 2002, so the age of the roof is 15 years. “Most commercial roofs have a 15-20 year warranty for roof repairs, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the roof for 20 years. The roof should be inspected twice a year,” said JJ Hedden. “If a commercial roof is properly maintained, it should last 20 years without requiring any major repairs,” JJ Hedden continued. Proper maintenance of a commercial roof includes debris removal, checking for leaks, and making sure gutters and downspouts are clear. It is recommended that the flashing be inspected for gaps or tears. Rooftop vents and equipment should be inspected to make sure they are well sealed. A qualified roof inspector will look for any sign of damage and recommend an appropriate solution.
It’s important to find a qualified commercial roofing contractor to conduct a thorough roof inspection, as well as an inspection of your windows, doors, siding, gutters and your entire building.
Hail damage to flat roofs can go undetected for a long time. Severe hail damage on flat roofs can be visually seen, and you may notice your commercial roof material is cracking, splitting or may have holes. A qualified roof inspector will evaluate your commercial roof and provide a list of recommendations about how to protect your commercial roof from hail damage.
Peak to Peak provides a free 10-point roof inspection for your commercial roof to make sure your commercial property is protected from hail damage. Click here for more information about roof inspections.