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Class 4, Impact-Resistant Roofing Shingles

Class 4, Impact-Resistant Roofing Shingles

If you are one of the many millions of homeowners in America who live in areas where severe storms occur, your choice of roofing materials plays an important role in protecting your roof against storm damage. Storms that bring hail and airborne debris and strong winds can cause roof damage. Installing impact-resistant shingles is a good investment. Here are the benefits and technology of Class 4 impact-resistant roofing shingles to help you choose the right roofing material for your home.

Shingles for Roofs that are Impact Resistant

Impact-resistant roofing shingles, also known as “IR” roofing shingles, are designed to minimize roof damage in severe weather events and extend the roof’s life. If you have impact-resistant roofing tiles installed on your home, you may be eligible for a homeowner’s discount. Find out more from your insurance company.

Design can increase strength and durability

Roof shingles that are non-impact resistant can be damaged easily by hail and other debris in a storm. Industry-leading roofing companies have developed asphalt roofing shingles that are more resilient to impact and can therefore reduce roof damage from storms.

Two types of impact-resistant shingles are common:

  • Mesh is added to the back a standard asphalt roof shingle. It is a reinforced, polymer-based mesh. This mesh is embedded in the asphalt and prevents the shingle’s splitting if it is struck by hailstones or any other objects.
  • Rubber-like polymers, such as SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene), are added to the asphalt composition. The asphalt composition is modified to incorporate the SBS polymer mix. This creates a shingle with a rubberizing effect that is more flexible and capable of recovering from damage.

What Roofing Shingles Qualify to a Class 4 Rating

In the middle of the 1990s, roofing companies developed a test to assess their products’ impact resistance. This standardized test is called the Underwriters Laboratory 218 (UL 2218), and is sometimes referred to as “the steel ball test”. UL assigns a shingle one of four ratings based on these results, with Class 4 being its highest rating.

A steel ball is dropped several times from a predetermined height onto a roofing shingle to test it. The shingle is then turned upside down and checked for cracks or breaks that could allow water to leak through.

A roofing shingle that is rated Class 4 must be able to withstand being dropped repeatedly from 20 feet above the ground by a 2-inch steel ball. This test can be repeated on a 4-inch concrete paver to get a better idea of what the steel ball does to shingles.

Although Class 4 is the highest possible rating for impact resistance there are lower ratings that a shingle may receive such as Class 3 or Class 2. The only difference is that Class 3 shingles can withstand a smaller steel ball dropped at a lower height than Class 2.

Are Class 4 Shingles More Wind Resistant?

Class 4 roof shingles do not have a greater wind resistance. The Wind ratings is a different classification. Because high winds can cause debris to fly, roofs may be damaged and roofs could be affected by it.

What Makes Class 4 Impact-Resistant Roof Shingles The Right Choice?

Every year thousands of homeowners in the United States suffer roof damage from hail storms or other extreme weather events. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Severe Storms Database reports that 4,610 hail storms occurred in the United States in 2018. These storms were responsible for billions in damages. State Farm alone reported that it paid out more than $2.7 million in hail and wind damage claims in 2018.

Benefits of Installing Class 4 Roofing Shingles

Class 4 roofing shingles can be more expensive than non-impact resistant shingles. If you live in an area with frequent hail or wind storms, however, it may be worth the additional cost upfront. If you would like to learn more about the different kind of roof shingles available for your home contact us today!