Do I Need Impact Resistant Roofing Shingles?

Impact Resistant Roofing

In recent years, impact resistant roofing materials have been getting more attention. Roof material manufacturers have invested heavily into creating more durable roof products. It’s more common now to see roofing materials labeled as class III or class IV impact resistant. But what does that mean, and should you have it on your own home?

What are impact resistant roofing products?

Impact resistant roofing shingles and tiles are designed to withstand impact from hail and other debris without damage. Hail is a threat to roofs in Colorado, which had the 2nd most hail-related property claims in 2019 according to Hail stones of 1” or larger can damage your roof by causing granules to detach and exposing the asphalt material to harmful UV rays, or by cracking the fiberglass shingle mat. Both of which are known to reduce your roof’s lifespan and potentially cause leaks. Having impact resistant roofing on your Denver home can reduce this risk.

Impact-resistant roofing materials can include traditional asphalt shingles, synthetic shingles, synthetic tiles, concrete and clay tile, and metal roofing. Due to the amount of hail we receive, most any qualified, professional Denver roofing company will be able to advise what products are available that meet class III or class IV impact resistance ratings.

How are impact resistant roofing products rated?

The agency that tests and rates roofing products for their impact-resistant qualities is Underwriters Laboratories (UL). In UL’s roofing tests, 1.5” and 2.0” steel balls are dropped from a height of 20 feet. The materials’ ability to absorb the steel ball impact without damage is what determines the UL rating between 1 and 4, with 4 being the best impact resistance available.

Are impact resistant roofing products worth it?

While impact-resistant shingles and other materials may have a higher cost, they will likely need to be replaced less frequently which can save money in the long run. The average lifespan of many roofs is around 20 years, but in Denver, without impact-resistant roofing, many homeowners must replace their roof every 7-10 years due to storm damage.

You also may end up saving money on your homeowners insurance premium by installing an impact-resistant roof. Recent customers of Sol Vista that had impact-resistant roof materials installed received premium discounts of up to 30%. Check with your insurance agent whether you would be eligible for savings.

What are my options for impact resistant roofing?

Some of our favorite impact-resistant roofing products for Denver roofs are:

Impact resistant roofing material ratings

There are different levels of impact resistance, as defined by UL.

Class IV impact resistant roofing materials

To earn a Class 4 rating, which is the highest rating assigned, the roofing material must withstand having a 2-inch steel ball dropped several times from 20 feet above. The 2-inch steel ball dropped from 20 feet may not sound like much, but the same test applied to a 4-inch concrete paver would crack the paver. Roofing material that can withstand this test undamaged are proven tough enough for most hail and debris. Many of the roofing shingles that earn a class 4 impact resistant roofing material rating are constructed with rubber-modified material. And some, like Owens Corning Duration Storm, are backed by polyester mesh to improve the strength of the shingle.

Class III impact resistant roofing materials

The test to be deemed class 3 impact resistant is similar, however instead of a 2-inch steel ball dropped from a height of 20 feet, a 1.5-inch steel ball is used. This mimics the occurrence of 1.5-inch hailstones, which are a common occurrence in the Denver metro area. Achieving class 3 impact resistance is no easy task, as most roofing materials do not pass the test for class 3 (much less class 4) ratings.

Ratings of class 1 and class 2 impact resistance are also assigned, but only class 3 and class 4 are rated as impact resistant.

When you’re ready to discuss your roofing options, get in touch with the team at Sol Vista Roofing to get professional, expert advice.