Impact Resistant Shingles

The first thing to know, before I go too far, is that “impact resistant shingles” is not synonymous with “hail proof shingles”. I can’t tell you how many people I have met that thought they were buying shingles that would be impervious to hail damage only to find out that was not the case.......

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Why Choose Impact Resistant Shingles

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If you live in hail country, and you are looking to have your roof replaced, you will likely be approached about purchasing impact resistant shingles.  Lets take a look at the pros and cons when considering impact resistant shingles for your roof.

The first thing to know, before I go too far, is that “impact resistant shingles” is not synonymous with “hail proof shingles”. I can’t tell you how many people I have met that thought they were buying shingles that would be impervious to hail damage only to find out that was not the case.  Impact resistant shingles with a class 4 rating have been tested, in the lab, using a steel ball and passed the UL Standard 2218.

“The impact energies used in this Standard were derived from impact energies of actual hailstones (see Appendix a). However, largely due to the effects discussed in 1.3, there is no currently established direct correlation between the performance of roof covering materials when impacted by hailstones versus steel balls. Consequently, this test method does not provide a direct basis to compare expected performance under all hail conditions, but does provide a basis for comparison of the response of roof coverings when subjected to the impact energies described herein.”

http://ulstandardsinfonet.ul.com/scopes/2218.html

Get a Discount on Your Insurance

With that being said, the shingles that have been tested and received the rating of class 4, are significantly more durable in a hail storm.  Many insurance companies recognize this and offer discounts for installing impact resistant shingles as opposed to standard asphalt shingles.  It is wise to check with your insurance agent and get a quote in writing for the discount you will be receiving, if any, before committing to purchasing impact resistant shingles.  Often times, in my experience, the difference in price is around 125% the cost of “normal” shingles.  This can vary based on the grade of shingles (how many years it is rated for), availability, and brand.  The discount you can receive is somewhere around 20% off of your home owners premium.  When it all breaks down, you should be able to recoup the cost of the shingle upgrade in between 4-6 years.  After that, the investment begins to positively affect your wallet.

Cost Can Be Prohibitive

The down side of installing impact resistant shingles is the initial investment price.  Even if your insurance company is replacing your roof, there could be a significant up front cost to upgrade.  It may be worth asking your roofer to upgrade the shingles for cost, meaning the actual invoice cost to the roofer.  I heard of many roofers offering this as a signing bonus, and it doesn’t hurt to try.

In a later post, I will address the many variations of  asphalt impact resistant shingles.  The roofing manufacturers are constantly changing the lines they offer, both adding more and discontinuing those that don’t sell well, so if you check back often, we will try to keep you up to date on the most recent changes.