Are Impact Resistant Shingles Good?

shingle roofing system

How can you tell if shingles are impact resistant?

First thing we need to do is define what are impact resistant shingles? Impact resistant shingles a class 4 product meaning they are designed to withstand hail damage and high winds. They are typically aluminum, copper, plastic, or resin. Okay, so what does class 4 mean to me? 

Impact resistant shingles belong in a class 4 shingle rating, the unit of measure within the roofing industry and noted by UL2218, the handbook code for that rating. The four testing classes are based on four different sizes of steel balls ranging in sizes 1-1/4” to 2” that are dropped from heights between twelve and twenty-feet to mimic high speeds of hail falling. This classification also is judged by the wind-resistance up to 110 mph. 

Impact resistant shingles are multilayered and thicker than the standard asphalt shingles and should be indicated on the underside with Class 4 and U.L. Standard 2218 rating. If it isn’t, question the contractor or supplier and request a certificate or letter stating the rating as UL2218. 

What qualifies as an impact resistant roof?

Impact resistant shingles are designed to resist flying debris and hail damage.  There are two companies that rate shingles, UL -Underwriters Laboratories and FM. We described the UL rating process earlier in this article: 

The dropping of steel balls measuring between 1-1/4” to 2” from heights as low as twelve feet  and as high up as twenty-feet. The FM Approval tests use ice balls that have been pre-molded which are aimed at and launched onto manufactured shingles as are manufactured. Any shingle that passes these two testing procedures and didn’t leave any damage are given a Class 4 rating and tagged as impact resistant shingles.  

The damage that is looked for is broken, cracked, or split shingles as defined by IBHS (insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.  This organization has a team of filed and lab researchers that review these tests and others, looking to establish the best to determine them as impact resistant shingles.  

Why get impact resistant shingles and are impact resistant shingles worth it? 

According to the insurance industry, hailstorms are responsible for over ten billion dollars property damage each year. Hail is particularly hard on roofs and can form up to 5 inches or bigger diameter before pelting a roof at a speed of ninety miles an hour or more.

What are the impact resistant shingle benefits you can expect? 

Impact resistant shingles will protect your home from those damaging icy projectiles and high winds in three major ways: 

  • Hail Damage: Here in Texas, homeowners fear two things: Out-of-Staters moving in and trying to change Texas and adverse weather conditions. The first one, we ignore and keep on keeping on. The second one, weather conditions can bring us up to 500 hailstorms each year. Homes and other structures take a beating, and the insurance industry cringes. The state insurance authorities have luckily mandated that insurance providers offer every client a discount when they have an impact resistant roof installed. An impact resistant roof saves your home and money, for both you and your insurance provider. 
  • Installation: A fundamental issue with encouraging impact resistant shingles, a homeowner is less likely to simply upgrade their current roof to the impact resistant shingle if they don’t have roof damage that calls for a replacement roof.  This means that there are two times a homeowner is likely to have the impact resistant shingles installed:  With a roof damage claim on homeowner’s insurance or if they are doing a remodel/upgrade to the home. Some communities have implemented the choice of using this better roofing material with new build will automatically qualify the property for a discount on homeowners’ insurance. 
  • Durability: As we have discussed, impact resistant shingles are tested using two different companies’ research. These tests are what has led to the betterment of durable roofing material that is impact resistant shingles. 

The only disadvantages of impact resistant shingles is the pricing, which can detain a homeowner from going with the upgrade until the time comes for a new roof due to damage. Yes, it is expensive, but like anything new-ish, the more it is purchased and used, the pricing will come down because manufacturing will be larger quantities. 

hail strike circled in chalk

What roof is best for hail?

When comparing impact resistant shingles vs asphalt shingles, the impact resistance is available in a range of materials used to manufacturer impact resistant shingles, including asphalt, metal, tile, and wood. 

Metal is the more durable, fire-resistant, and lightweight material, but is susceptible to cosmetic damage like bumps and scratches. Depending on the architectural style of your home, choose impact-resistant shingles in cement, molded polymer, plastic, or recycled resin or rubber, also available in a choice of colors. Call 817-277-3131 today for your shingle roofing in Arlington, TX.