Polaris Forensics


Roof coverings are a vital component of a building’s envelope and are intended to protect the interior portions of the building from water intrusion.  Roof coverings are exposed to various elements over their lives—for example, ultraviolet radiation, rain, hail, and wind.  Polaris has extensive experience evaluating steep- and low-sloped, residential and commercial roof coverings including asphalt shingles, built-up roofing (BUR), modified bitumen, ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM), thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and metal panels.  Polaris’s experts can evaluate the design and detailing of roof assemblies and analyze code requirements or necessary upgrades.  Evaluations typically include the determination of damage, if any, caused by normal/anticipated age-related deterioration, lack of maintenance, improper drainage, hail impact, and exposure to elevated wind pressures, often in conjunction with the evaluation of the cause and extent of water intrusion.  Polaris’s roof evaluations frequently involve the Polaris Testing Laboratory, which performs state-of-the-art testing to aide in the determination of the cause and extent of damage.  

Multi-Family – Wind and Hail Roof Evaluation

Polaris was engaged to evaluate 14 multi-family residential buildings for damage related to hail and wind.  Polaris’s scope of work also included preparation of recommended repairs and a repair cost estimate for damage related to hail and/or wind.  Polaris formed a multi-disciplined team of experts that efficiently and thoroughly evaluated all 14 buildings during a one-day site visit.  

As part of its evaluation, Polaris reviewed historical weather data.  The weather data revealed that no hail events occurred on the date of reported damage; however, a high wind event did occur.  The weather data also revealed that various hail events with hailstones measuring less than 1 in. diameter and multiple high wind events with windspeeds of up to 75 mph occurred several years prior to Polaris’s site visit.      

Polaris utilized burnish/spatter marks observed throughout subject property to establish that the structures had not been exposed to hailstones large enough to cause damage to the asphalt shingle roof coverings.  As noted above, the historical weather data obtained and reviewed by Polaris corroborated these onsite observations.  The granule loss at the asphalt shingle roof coverings was determined to be related to long-term aging/deterioration, foot traffic, and mechanical impact.  

Polaris observed evidence of wind-related damage to the roofs throughout the subject property.  Previous repairs of varying conditions were also observed on the roofs.  Polaris utilized historical aerial imagery of the subject property and historical weather data to determine the dates on which damage to various areas of the roofs occurred.  Polaris was able to definitively opine that the damage which was claimed to have occurred during one storm event was in fact related to multiple storm events and that repairs had been performed on multiple occasions in an effort to mitigate wind-related damage to the roofs.

Polaris prepared recommended repairs for the damage to the property related to the claimed wind event.  These repairs consisted of isolated shingle replacements and hand sealing of shingles.  Polaris prepared a cost estimate for the recommended repairs and then obtained bids from qualified roofers to perform the work.  The repair cost estimate and repair bids were compared and presented to the client.  Polaris’s evaluation and repair cost estimating resulted in significant savings for the client. 

Wind-Displaced Shingles

Torn/Missing Shingles

Multiple Iterations of Previous Repairs

“With so many options for experts, I know I can count on Polaris for an accurate and impartial report. Plus, their service is timely and within budget.”

- Harry H.

General Property Adjuster, Insurance Carrier