By: Dalton Dubetz
Whether you grew up in Calgary or have recently moved to the city, you are sure to have seen, or heard of, planes that leave trails in the sky as they fly overhead.
During the hail season, these planes are “seeding” rain clouds.
Cloud Seeding is a type of weather modification that aims to change the type and amount of precipitation produced during a storm.
This change is created by adding substances, typically silver iodide or dry ice, to the cloud to act as ice nuclei.
Ice nuclei are particles that supercooled water droplets (drops of water that are liquid, but below freezing) can bind to, creating hail.
More ice nuclei in a storm competing for supercooled cloud water is thought to limit hailstone growth. This means that while there will technically be more hailstones, they will be smaller and less damaging to homes, cars, and crops.
Smaller and less damaging hailstones help to limit insurance losses, which helps to stabilize insurance rates.
While the theory of cloud seeding is promising, and there have been recent studies proving its potential efficacy, some individuals are worried about the impact silver iodine has on people and the environment.
So far, no harmful effects have been found due to seeding, even in areas that have been practicing this weather modification for 40-plus years.
It is, however, plausible that if cloud seeding were to become more common over a longer period of time, there could be issues regarding silver toxicity in the seeded areas.
With the long term effects of cloud seeding still up in the air, there seems to be only one surefire way to minimize damage to your home in the event of a hail storm, and that is to use high quality materials for your roof and siding.
Using a higher quality product, specifically Class-4 rated roofing shingles or any James Hardie product, will not only help to minimize damage in a hail storm, but also will keep your insurance costs down.
While there may be more of an upfront cost to these higher end products, homeowners have saved anywhere from 5-40% on their insurance premiums for using these materials.
Along with the savings on a homeowners insurance, these products also provide some peace of mind knowing your home is better protected against the elements.
Here at Shield Roofing & Exteriors we unfortunately don’t have our own seeder planes to help protect your home, but we can offer you a free inspection and honest quote on products we do have to protect your home.