Impact Resistant Shingles Demystified

 In Hail, Roof Replacement, Shingles

If you are in the market to replace your roof, you have likely heard the term “impact resistant shingles.” But, what does this mean, exactly?

All shingles are rated on their ability to resist hail damage, ranging from class 1 (the least resistant) to class 4 shingles (the most resistant). Class 4 shingles are considered “impact resistant” or “hail resistant” shingles. In order to qualify for the Class 4 rating, the shingle must be able to withstand the UL 2218 Class 4 Impact Rating Test. During this test, 2” steel balls (mimicking 2” hail stones) strike the surface of the shingle in the same spot twice from a height of 20 feet. If the shingle does not fracture, crack, or split in anyway when examined via magnification, the shingles pass the test. Impact Resistant (or Class 4) shingles, therefore, are designed to withstand the harshest of weather conditions.

The benefits of updating your roof with Impact Resistant shingles are numerous. A typical roof without Impact Resistant shingles is highly prone to damage from hail. Hail stones may break or fracture the shingles, which then expose the roof to moisture and leaks. This can cause the roof deck to get wet, wood to rot, and eventual leaks to make their way into the home. A roof with Impact Resistant shingles, however, are flexible and more likely to withstand the hail, reducing the chances of broken shingles, water infiltration, wood rot, and mold growth.

Another benefit of upgrading to Impact Resistant shingles is possible insurance discounts. Many insurance companies offer discounts on homeowners insurance premiums if you install a Class 4 Impact Resistant shingle. The cost of upgrading to the Impact Resistant shingle could be less than a future deductible, and save you the time and hassle of having to replace your roof again. In addition, if you are thinking of selling your home, a Class 4 Impact Resistant roof would be a great selling point to attract potential buyers.

Keep in mind that Class 4 Impact Resistant shingles age just like any other shingles. As such, older Class 4 roofs may sustain damage from very large hail stones, simply because the asphalt becomes more brittle and less flexible over time. Just remember: Class 4 Impact Resistant shingles are hail resistant, not hail proof. Despite not being hail proof, however, Class 4 Impact Resistant shingles can be a wise upgrade when choosing which shingle will protect your home.

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