What are Impact Resistant Shingles?
Shingles that are impact resistant are given a Class 4 rating. They are also designed to withstand high winds and hail damage. These shingles can be made of copper, aluminum, resin and plastic. Shingles with the Class 4 rating also have an impact resistance of UL 2218. The general purpose of UL 2218 is as the roofing industry’s standard for testing shingles against hail impact. In testing, instead of actually hailstones, they use steel balls of varying sizes. There are four testing classes ranging from 1¼” to 2”. These steel balls are dropped at heights between 12 and 10 feet to mimic the impact of hail falling at high speeds. Currently UL 2218 is one of the highest impact resistance ratings. Aside from hail impact, these shingles can also withstand high winds of up to 110mph. Class 4, impact resistant shingles are recommended by local roofing contractors in areas that frequently see severe hails
Are Class 4 Impact Resistant Shingles Worth the Investment?
In general, Class 4 impact shingles are worth the investment, simply because it adds extra protection and longevity to the roofing material. However, the need for impact shingles mainly depends on where you live. If you are located where there is a frequent amount of damaging storms and hail storms, then the need for the Class 4 impact shingles is greatly increased. It’s very common for homeowners to be affected by significant amounts of roof damages that could potentially be an expensive repair. Therefore, having a Class 4 impact shingle would help prevent any damages and alleviate any concerns. Especially for those living in harsh weather conditions and stormy climates.
It is important to keep in mind that even with impact resistant shingles, it is still possible for your roof to be affected by minor damages and granular loss from a hail storm. The value that impact resistant shingles can provide lies in the way that it is designed for strength in any conditions. They are also less likely to crack and for water to enter compared to traditional shingles. Impact resistant shingles may cost more compared to its traditional counterparts, however, the upside is that you benefit from cost savings in terms of maintenance, repair, and premature roof replacement costs. Some insurance companies provide homeowners with a discount for their roof with the impact resistant shingles installed. The discount ends up compensating the slightly higher cost that the impact resistant shingle provides.
How do I know if I have impact resistant shingles?
When shingles are rated they range from Class 1 to 4. With Class 4 shingles having the highest resistance. Looking at the shingles is not a way to determine if they are resistant or not, however, the impact rating is usually marked on the cellophane on the underside of the shingle. Resistance may be provided in several ways. An old method that roofers used was attaching a layer of reinforcing fabric, called a scrim, to the back of the shingle.
Some methods that are commonly used today are increasing the weight of the mat used. Another method is to make the shingles thicker by increasing the thickness of the asphalt layer, or bonding layers of shingles together. A third method would be to modify the mix of the asphalt by adding polymers. Polymers, or cross-linked polymers, are chains of molecules that link to each other. They can be used to improve the physical characteristics of a wide variety of materials. In asphalt roofing shingles, polymers are added to the asphalt to improve the shingle strength and impact resistance.
Are there any other tests available to determine a roof’s class rating?
There are other tests to determine the class rating and one of them is called the ice ball test that began back in the year 2000. An ice ball is basically propelled to match the same speed as a free falling ice stone of the same size. This test requires that the targeted area on the shingle is impacted 3 times as opposed to the steel ball test of only 2 times. This is a pass or fail test. To pass this test, the shingles must show zero immediate visual evidence of damage to the fiberglass mat.
A comprehensive test that many roofing manufacturers do not use, but may be the best test is the UL 2218 B-ice hail impact resistance test. This is a particularly aggressive test that involves wrapping the repeatedly impacting shingle around a 4 inch pole for examination. This test will reveal any ruptures, fractures, tears or cracks in the shingles. The shingle is first impacted by ice balls launched at free fall speeds and that are 2 inches in diameter in order to pass a class 4 rating.
GAF Impact Resistant Shingles meet the highest impact-resistance rating
Impact resistant shingles are tested by dropping a 2 inch steel ball from 20 feet onto the top of the shingles to see if the shingle cracks. GAF impact resistant shingles pass class 4, which is the highest rating possible. For instance GAF’s Timberline ArmorShield series shingles passed the most comprehensive impact-resistance test: UL 2218 Class 4. With this test, the shingles’ ability to withstand high-velocity impact is evaluated. The potential leaks, when subject to high impact. Shingles that pass this test are more likely to prevent leaks into your home.
GAF brands that have been impact resistant approved
As mentioned before, the Timberline Armorshield shingles is one of the main impact resistant shingle brands offered by GAF that offers the protection of a UL 2218 class 4 rated shingle. Another is the Grand Sequoia ArmorShield shingles that combines the look of rugged wood shakes with the protection of UL 2218 class 4-rated shingle. Lastly their Glenwood shingles also passed the UL 2218 Class 4 impact resistance test.
Are all shingles and metal roofs class 4 roof?
Most shingles are not impact rated, and those that are Class 4 run 10 to 20 percent more expensive than those that are not class 4 rated. Many metal roofs are impact resistant and will be rated class four. Now the question that might run through your head is, why is impact resistance so important? Well impact resistance is important because it’s a measure of resistance to hail and debris. Generally speaking, you can’t label something as hail proof but those products that have been classified as class 4 have met the very highest standard of resistance that a roofing material can achieve from the UL safety certification system. Therefore, purchasing roofing products that are class 4 rated means you will have a smaller likelihood of damage after a hail event or a storm where debris has made contact with your roof. Furthermore, replacing a roof is not the only expense when roofing fails. If the hail/debris causes a leak, additional damage is likely to occur inside the building. With Class 4 rated metal systems, your roof is far more likely to remain watertight even after a storm damage.
What about Metal class 4 roofs?
In most cases, local roofing contractors wouldn’t recommend installing a class 4 metal roofing system. Many insurance carriers have clauses in their policies regarding metal roofs which state that they don’t pay out for cosmetic damage to a metal roof system. Metal roofs are incredibly durable, but the flip side to this is that you could be stuck with a dinged up, ugly roof if the metal doesn’t sustain large enough damage for it to be replaced.
Imagine spending $60,000 for a steel roof and having it dented to the point of being able to view it from the ground, yet it doesn’t have any functional damage required by an insurance company to be replaced. The homeowner should not be surprised when an insurance adjuster denies a claim based on the policy stating that they do not owe to replace the steel roof panels or stone coated steel without real functional damage. It is advisable to read your roofing insurance policy carefully when considering investing in a metal roof system.
Are Class 4 shingles worth the money?
Some homeowners live in a country or state where there is a frequent amount of hail. Some areas that experience particularly bad hail storms regularly can experience hailstones ranging in size from golf balls to baseballs! Now, whether you live in an area where there is a frequent amount of hail or not, if hail were to hit your home, the results could be devastating for your entire property, and mainly your roof. Therefore, many homeowners are actually looking into modified, impact resistant shingles for their home. However, a good portion of homeowners might actually be hesitant to purchase, wondering if they should just purchase these newer, more expensive shingles are really worth the money.
No local roofing contractors could ever say that any roof is hail proof, however it has been proven that class 4 shingles, which have been modified to resist impact, are absolutely worth the cost. With impact resistant shingles, they can significantly minimize the amount of damage that hailstones and storms can often bring. If you live in an area, such as Upstate New York, that frequently sees a lot of hail and inclement weather then an upgrade to will be particularly worth the investment.