Impact Resistant Roof Shingles

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Impact resistant shingles, also known as Class 4 shingles, are capable of withstanding more powerful hail impacts than any other type of roof shingles. If you live in an area that continually experiences severe weather events, impact resistant shingles may be better able to protect your roof from severe leaks and structural damage, saving you from having to endure expensive roof repairs or early roof replacement.

Brown class 4 impact resistant shingles.

What Makes an Asphalt Shingle Impact Resistant?

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Roofing shingles are rated from class 1 to class 4, with class 1 being the least impact resistant shingle and class 4 being the most impact resistant shingle. To obtain a class 4 impact resistant rating, the roofing shingles must adhere to strict standards and undergo rigorous testing by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). In the test carried out by the Underwriters Laboratory, the UL 2218 Class 4 Impact Rating test, differently sized steel balls are released onto shingles and other roofing materials at 90 miles per hour from heights ranging from 12 to 20 feet. The steel balls are dropped two times onto the same areas of the roofing materials. The shingles’ performance during this test determines their impact resistance rating. In order to receive a UL Class 4 impact resistance rating, the shingle needs to endure two impacts by a two inch diameter steel ball without cracking or showing any type of damage to the structural integrity of the shingle. This means that the exterior surface of the shingle, the shingle’s backing, and the shingle’s interior layers must not show any evidence of cracking, tearing, fractures, or splitting. If the shingles show signs of damage, they receive a lower rating. Although class 4 shingles offer the best protection for your home during average hailstorms, there is still some possibility of damage during extreme weather conditions, including form large, wind driven hail.

Always Choose an Experienced Roofer

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Class 4 impact resistant shingles feature three pile thickness, making them the thickest type of asphalt shingle. The thickness of the shingle means that they are also one of the heaviest types of asphalt shingles. The extra weight of class 4 shingles makes the installation process more complex and adds weight to the structure of your home. This is an important consideration when choosing to install impact resistant shingles. It is possible that your home will need additional structural support to withstand the added weight of impact resistant shingles.

Shingle Style and Cost

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Class 4 impact resistant shingles are a premium roofing shingle available in a wide variety of shape and texture options that can resemble slate or wood shake roofs. Impact resistant shingles with a class 4 rating tend to be the most expensive asphalt shingles on the market, but they are also the longest lasting, most durable shingles available that carry the longest warranties.

Benefits of Class 4 Impact Resistant Shingles

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Aside from increased longevity and decreased frequency of repairs, installing class 4 shingles can entitle you to premium discounts by your home insurance carrier. Always reach out to your insurance company before choosing a class 4 shingle to find out if the brand that you are choosing to install is endorsed by the insurance carrier and that they are willing to offer discounts or decreased deductibles.

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Close up of impact resistant shingle after a hail storm.

How Will Hail Affect an Impact Resistant Shingle?

A class 4 impact resistant shingle is made to withstand damage from average hailstorms; however, it is still possible that extreme weather conditions may damage an impact resistant shingle. Extremely large, or wind driven hail may still impact the performance of a class 4 shingle, which is why it is still important to have Orbit Roofing inspect your roof following a hailstorm.

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