Properly manufactured and installed shingles can weather the wind


Recently, one of Guardian’s insurance carrier clients asked us to investigate a roofing claim on behalf of one of their clients. The homeowner had claimed high winds had caused widespread damage to his asphalt roof shingles thus necessitating the need for a new roof.


After obtaining relevant weather data, Guardian’s forensic construction and engineering expert immediately deployed to the residence in our nation’s Northeast and conducted a thorough exterior investigation. As no damage was reported to the interior, entry into the property wasn’t warranted. The 3,000 square foot home is conventionally wood-framed, exterior walls are cladded with brick and vinyl siding, and the roof system is steep slope hip roofs with asphalt shingles. Data obtained from Verisk revealed that maximum wind gusts of only 35 mph occurred near the date of loss, but there had been higher winds (>75 mph) and those of a longer duration (>3 hours) in the preceding 48 months.


Guardian’s forensic expert diligently issued a report that clearly and concisely spelled out the findings of fact. While the property’s prior wind events, some of them classified on the Beaufort Scale as a 10 and an 11), could constitute scientific cause on six of the shingles (due to their horizontal, parallel-to-the-long-side-of-the-shingle cracks), the investigation of the exterior didn’t corroborate a wind event so severe so as to destroy the entire roof. For example, no damage was observed to exterior finishes, such as windows and cladding, and there were no damaged plantings, etc. However, in the wake of a related class-action lawsuit, the manufacturer of the shingles had discontinued them due to premature failure. While Guardian’s expert did not observe excessive degranulation, his report did note a significant number of crazed (cracked) shingles. The report advised that this type of damage results from a manufacturing defect, not a weather event. Because the damage wasn’t limited to the six crazed shingles, Guardian’s property expert suggested that a claim for full roof replacement, which was recommended, might be pursued against the manufacturer.


When your property claims require specialized construction & engineering investigations, Guardian Group, Inc.’s forensic experts deliver you the cause & origin reports that help all parties understand exactly what happened and why. For fast turnarounds, clear communication, and definitive reporting, kindly call on Guardian’s Property & Casualty Group today.



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