Insurance & Roofing Increases, Catastrophic Hail & The F-WAVE REVIA
Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Whether I'd like to admit it or not, the roofing industry is changing - AND FAST. The last year and a half or so has created many challenges we've had to adapt to and live with. Roofing material price increases are not just in small increments and once a quarter - they're now monthly and enough to force us constantly re-evaluate our pricing methods & what we can offer to those tethered to the amount of their insurance claim or a specific budget. We're always sensitive to that and want to install the best products as possible within those parameters. Certain products are also scarce at times due to supply shortages.
With the cost of roofing products going through the roof... literally, (sorry, I couldn't help it) coupled with the extreme and unforgiving nature of Texas weather, these challenges are pushing us to also look for new and better products to ease the minds of Austin homeowners who've over the last few years, had their roofs destroyed from mild to catastrophic hail. Here in Texas, it's not if, but when your roof gets destroyed by severe hail.
Standard asphalt architectural or 3-tab shingles are the norm across the nation. Their available and economical. Most of these products do their part in keeping your home protected and dry if installed by somebody who cares. BUT, and it's a big BUT... in the event of severe hail, they simply will not hold up. Asphalt shingles that've been damaged by mild to severe hail can show signs from granule loss, bruising to fiberglass matting to rips or punctures. This damage can leave your home vulnerable to countless leaks and cannot be repaired, Full roof replacement will be issued by your insurance company if the damage has affected a large percentage of the overall square footage of the roof.
Some roofing contractors will try to sell you on "Impact Resistant (IR)" asphalt shingles as a way to upsell you and increase their profit margins. What they won't tell you is that while they may be stronger than standard architectural shingles, in the event of severe hail, they, too run the risk of not taking the hit either. This means, you've paid a premium for the upgrade and may still be in the same position after the kind of hail that parts of Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Leander and CedarPark was hit with in 2021. Georgetown got obliterated the year prior. And that's just locally.
Hail season here in Texas is typically March through August and affects the entire state. That's half a year. Never mind the blistering heat, insane winds, torrential downpours that occur throughout the year and now, apparently snow & ice - your roof as to put up with this over and over again so it needs to last. It's crazy to think that for half of the year, your roof is not equipped to handle this particular weather condition which is a very common occurrence in Central Texas during this time of the year. Just 1 minute of your roofing being pelted by 1"+ hailstones can destroy your roof depending on the the type of roofing product you have and the age and condition of that product at the time of impact. A newly-installed asphalt shingle is still susceptible to taking on damage from a 1" hailstone. 2"+ will destroy most asphalt products.
It's no secret: Insurance is getting more and more expensive every single year. Here in Austin, property values are skyrocketing. If your policy is based off your property's value (most are these days), your premiums are too. The age and condition of your roof affect your deductible - what you're responsible for in the event your home is damaged. On the other side of this, insurance is becoming increasingly more difficult to deal with for both the client and the contractor. Material price increases also affect your insurance claims and how much they pay out. So while premiums and deductibles are increasing, so are the claim amounts. Your insurance company is paying out a premium in most cases... so what are you getting for that? What's it worth?
The answer is simple... EXACTLY what the insurance company is paying for, which for most people is a standard 25-year 3-tab shingle or a builder-grade architectural shingle. Neither don't stand a chance in a severe hail event. But, that's what you get. Most roofing contractors will charge you to upgrade to architectural shingles which means you're coming out of pocket beyond your deductible. Many will upgrade you within the claim amount at no extra charge. The latter is our standard. Regardless of whether or not you're upgrading your roof or not, you're still in a vulnerable position to have your roof destroyed again. Why continue to throw your hard-earned money out the window with each and every hail storm?
It's also no secret that severe weather is becoming more frequent and severe. State Farm alone paid out over 3.1 BILLION in 2020 due to hail-related claims - 474 million in Texas. I do believe those numbers include auto claims. Your car needs a garage and your garage needs a roof to protect it as well. ;) It's staggering. The losses that occur throughout the United States year in and year out should be enough to sway a homeowner into upgrading to a more durable and long lasting product. That's not the case and there's a reason for that. It's simply not offered.
I say all of this because it possible for your home to be hit with hail every single year to some extent. You could draw the short stick and get hit twice. With the cost of roofing and insurance both increasing, why does it make sense to continue to install roofing products that won't hold up to the frequency and severity of hail here in Texas?
You're paying a super premium for both at this point, just to run the risk of having to pay a super premium over and over and over again in the future by replacing your roof with standard asphalt shingles. It's a vicious cycle I personally want to see homeowners break out of. I preface the F-WAVE Revia because I believe it is important for homeowners to understand what they're really up against here. Insurance, products, warranties, installation - all of it.
So here we are.
What is the F-Wave Revia? Here's how F-Wave describes it on their website:
"Our F-WAVE™ REVIA™ premium synthetic residential roofing shingles are far superior to traditional asphalt laminates, wood shake or slate. The secret is a commercial-grade polymer that makes our shingles stronger, lighter, and easier to install and maintain. Available in a variety of popular colors and classic styles, our shingles have the same beautiful curb appeal as traditional shingles and roofing tiles. But with the ability to withstand high winds, Class 4 hail and other extreme weather, they’re designed to outperform any other shingle on the market."
Cool. Except there's more. A LOT MORE.
The F-Wave Revia is the only roofing product on the market to come with a standard 5-year hail warranty to up to 2" hail. That's a big deal. 2" hail will damage or destroy most asphalt shingles, regardless of its age or manufacture, totaling your roof. 3"+ hail is not a far fetch in Texas and is actually pretty common. Being that Revia product is a synthetic thermo-plastic product, it is self-healing in heat. That's right. When heated, the product returns to the state in which it was manufactured. Scratches, scuffs and dents? Yep.
Pretty remarkable, right? No other product on the market performs in this manner. Your 24-gauge standing seam metal roof you just spent a fortune on, won't even do that. Severe hail cosmetically damages standing seam metal roofs and you're going to have to fight with your insurance company to get them to cover it that damage. We love these roofing systems and install them all the time but it is something we disclose with our clients. They're considered lifetime roofs are not "hail-proof", just highly resistant.
So, F-Wave has gone above and beyond to engineer a product that passes both hail tests in order to not just meet Class 4 Impact Rating, they exceed it, by a lot. There are rumors that the Revia took a beating from a severe hailstorm in earlier this year in South Dakota that dropped 3.5" hail. After an inspection, the product held up. If true, that's insane in an industry that THRIVES off products that are juuuuust good enough, until they're not. Roofers want to replace your roof as many times as possible. That's why they don't tell you that the product they're installing on your home will fail with the first hailstorm.
Most architectural shingle products are rated up to 130 mph winds to achieve that rating. F-Wave shingles meet that as well but have tested their product to up to 170mph without issues. Also, insane. Heck, they claim 130 WITH. NO. NAILS.
Add the Class A fire rating to that and you've got a winner. But, that's not all. Because there's no asphalt or granules, the product is very safe to walk and less likely to be damaged during installation. This put's my mind as ease as a contractor knowing our installers are safer while working especially on steeper slopes. No more shingle granules filling up your gutters either.
After installing F-Wave for a few of our clients, I've got to say, I love the product. I love the way it looks, performs, installs - everything. I'm excited about this direction and want to find ways to make it more available to my clients. My brother and I have physically installed the Revia on my newly-built pavilion. It seals almost instantaneously, without high heat and are almost impossible to lift up with your fingers, even just after a minute or so.
You would think, that as a roofing contractor, it wouldn't be in my best interest to install roofs that don't last but I don't see it that way. So, keep installing asphalt shingles, got it. Perfect business model in Texas, right? Eh. Not so fast. I've always had a secret reservation about asphalt shingles and it is the fact that they offer very little to no protection against hail. This all changed on April 15th, 2021.
On this day, Leander, Cedar Park, Round Rock and Pflugerville got obliterated by catestrophic hail. Great for us, of course, but that day, we just completed a roof for a homeowner who just had her roof replaced by us through insurance due to hail. In her case, her $2,500 deductible was something she had to save up for and she desperately needed a new roof.
We upgraded her from a crummy builder-grade 3-tab to a great architectural shingle at no extra cost and later that day, all was lost. Her brand new roof was destroyed by 2" hail. Having your client cry in her front yard the day after being thrilled about her new roof within 24 hours is not the business I want to be in. It's an exhausting and vicious cycle and at times, feels predatory. The industry thrives on products that fail, especially in places like Texas. So, if I can stop that from happening when possible, I will.
So, the big question is cost. What does an F-Wave Revia cost compared to your standard architectural shingle and roofing system? All roofs are different in how they're priced, both by us and your insurance company. Right now, about the cost of a standing seam metal roof which runs a little more than double the cost of a standard architectural shingle install. On the front end, I know that may sound like a lot but, over time, the return on your investment is there just in the simple fact that you're not having to unexpectedly pay out your deductible time and time again just to have the same old asphalt shingles installed that just won't hold up.
That makes no sense!
The investment is there. I'm a skeptic and a hard one at that and F-Wave as made a believer out of me. Avoid the insurance claim, avoid all the roofers that come knocking every year, avoid paying deductibles and the crap shoot of wondering whether or not your roof is going to last as long as your roofer tells you it does. Stop the cycle. Invest in your home with premium upgrade. After all, your roof is what is protecting everything that matters to you.
An F-Wave Revia install from Balcones Roofing & Remodeling comes premium accessories: underlayment, custom-made 24-gauge color-matched drip-edge, ridge vents, lifetime pipe boots, ice & water shield, metal valleys and more. We want your roof to be fortified for years to come.
The last thing I'm going to mention is the way the F-Wave looks compared to asphalt shingles. Honestly, there really is not comparison. The color pallet is phenomenal. Regardless of which color or style you choose, your curb appeal will go unrivaled. Oh, did I mention the Revia also comes with a 50-year product warranty? We also increase our standard 5-year workmanship warranty for asphalt shingle install to a 10-year workmanship warranty with an F-Wave install. Since we're installing premium products across the board, we will stand behind our install for 10 full years. No question.
I'll close with this. When it comes to roofing products, nothing has excited me like the Revia. I encourage you to check it out. There's plenty of videos on YouTube of roofing contractors putting this product to the test, pushing it to the extremes and being left stunned. From torching it to shooting with with a buck shot, the Revia holds up, time and time again. If you'd like to know more about F-Wave, check out their website: https://fwaveroofing.com for more information, photos, videos, specs & more. if you'd like to see samples and schedule a complementary roof inspection and F-Wave consultation, just call or email us!