Pinnacle Limited - The Preeminent Authority on Forensic Roof Analysis


On October 5, 2010, a series of freak thunderstorms struck the Phoenix – Scottsdale metro and the surrounding region, abruptly cooling the city, forcing the Sky Harbor International Airport closed, and dumping an onslaught of rain and hail onto the city, some of it reportedly the size of golf balls.   There were numerous reports of damaged buildings and downed power lines.  With a base of operations out of Southern California, the ownership of the luxury apartment complex had little knowledge of the severity of the storm and the affects it had to the roof coverings protecting it’s tenants and property.

The 16 building complex had 7 different building types and a history of routine leaks from time to time.  The buildings were 3 stories tall with a concrete tile mansard wrapping the complete perimeter of the roofs at the 3rd level.  The roofs consisted of a multi-ply built up roof system with a white granulated mineral surface cap sheet.  There were roof top condensing units placed at a rate of nearly 1 per every 100 SF of roof area.  Routine maintenance had been performed for years by local roofing companies trying to extend the rapidly approaching end to the service life of the roofs.  Pinnacle Limited was retained by the client to perform and implement a pre-loss program for 18 properties.  It was during the routine, initial inspection that our team discovered the roofs had been damaged by a storm occurring nearly a year earlier.

The property was obtained just a few months prior to the potential loss date so the current owner had very little data pertaining to previous maintenance or storm related issues.  The entire management and maintenance staff had been completely replaced shortly after the purchase of the property and following potential date of loss.  This made obtaining data pertaining to the conditions during the loss event very difficult from anyone employed or associated with the insured.  Also, the potential date of loss was nearly 11 months prior to the date the damaged was discovered by Pinnacle Limited.  The policy in place at the time of the potential date of loss was with a previous Carrier who no longer afforded coverage to the property.  Couple these issues with roofs nearing the end of their expected service life, and you find a problematic situation for the insured.

Pinnacle Limited performed an intrusive inspection of the property including all roof coverings, light gauge metals, covered parking areas, finished wall surfaces, and exterior lighting.  We quickly and accurately documented hail impacts on these surfaces and determined the size, direction, and event the estimated date the event impacted the property.  Roof core sampling allowed us to study and test the impacts in a controlled environment utilizing the necessary equipment.  By researching local storm data and comparing it with the levels of oxidation of the hail strikes on different surfaces we were able to determine the date range in which the storm event occurred thus allowing us to accurately determine the insurance carrier who was responsible for the loss.  We filed the claim with the appropriate insurance carrier, who happened to be a carrier who had previously afforded coverage on the property, not the current carrier.  We requested a large loss, or general adjuster be assigned to the claim due to its large monetary size and potential hazards in assigning carrier liability.   After two on-site field meetings and several off-site discussions, we were able to prove that the liability of coverage lied with the previous carrier.

Through proper forensic testing and expanded research of property history and local weather data, we were able to present a very solid prepared case to the carrier.  Our efforts and experience produced a loss settlement of $597,000.00 that allowed the new owners to replace the rapidly aging roofs without incurring the costs in-house.



Pinnacle Limited
Licensed Public Insurance Adjusters
& Loss Consultants

Executive Office
2150 South Central ExpresswaySuite 200
McKinney,Texas 75070

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 3188 McKinney, TX. 75070

Phone: 1.800.918.7840
Fax: 888.370.6021