What Qualifies as an Impact Resistant Roof?

Hail Damage Marked on a Roof.

What qualifies as an impact resistant roof?

In the Houston, TX area, you might consider installing impact resistant shingles. These are shingles that are specifically designed to withstand the impacts of hail and high winds, including hurricane-force winds. But, what are impact resistant shingles?

Why is one shingle considered impact resistant and another not? Technically, all shingles have some impact resistance, but specifically, to qualify as an impact resistant shingle it must receive a Class 4 rating from the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent not-for-profit testing laboratory. To get that classification, the shingle must be able to withstand the impact of a 2-inch steel ball dropped at 20 feet. This test imitates the force of hail hitting a roof. These shingles also withstand hurricane-force winds.

The UL impact-resistance classifications include:

  • Class 1: Withstands an impact from a 1 ¼-inch steel ball dropped at 12 feet.
  • Class 2: Withstands an impact from a 1 ½-inch steel ball dropped at 15 feet.
  • Class 3: Withstands an impact from a 1 ¾-inch steel ball dropped at 17 feet.
  • Class 4: Withstands an impact from a 2-inch steel ball dropped at 20 feet.

If you are considering replacing your roof and want impact resistant shingles in Houston, TX, turn to the roofing experts at Andy Nichols Roofing. We offer a full range of premium roofing solutions. For more information or to get an estimate, give us a call at 281-300-4363.

How do I know if I have impact resistant shingles?

It can actually be difficult to tell if you have impact resistant shingles. That’s because these shingles look like standard shingles, though they may be a little thicker than other shingles. Sometimes manufacturers will put the impact resistance rating on the underside of the shingle but more often than not it will be on the packaging if you have new shingles. This Underwriters Laboratory rating must be Class 4. Because it’s difficult to tell if you have this type of shingle, you may want to have a trained roof inspector like those at Andy Nichols Roofing come and check your shingles.

Are architectural shingles impact resistant?

Architectural shingles are often preferred over standard 3-tab shingles primarily for their aesthetic appeal. They are also somewhat thicker than 3-tab shingles and will hold up pretty well in severe weather or hold up against fallen branches or other debris. Because they are thicker, your roof’s underlayment will be at less of a risk for damage. This does not necessarily make architectural shingles impact resistant. No matter what kind of shingles you have, even if they are premium architectural shingles, the only shingles that are impact resistant are those that receive a Class 4 rating from the Underwriters Laboratory. Check the underside of the shingle or the packaging to find out the rating.

Are impact resistant shingles worth the money?

Are you debating whether or not to get impact resistant shingles? You’ll have to weigh their advantages and disadvantages over regular shingles when looking at impact resistant shingles vs regular shingles:

Advantages of impact resistant shingles

  • Highly durable. These shingles will hold out against some of the toughest hail strikes with little to no damage. At worst, you’ll find these shingles will lose a few granules in a harsh hail storm.
  • Long-lasting. Most regular shingles with good maintenance will last about 20 years. Impact resistant shingles can last longer than 30 years.

Disadvantages of impact resistant shingles

  • Regular shingles cost less. You’ll pay much less to have regular shingles installed, even premium shingles like architectural shingles. But, you may end up paying more in repairs or even buying a new roof prematurely if a severe hail storm or wind storm hits.
  • Initial installation of impact shingles may be prohibitive. These shingles can cost as much as 20%-30% more than regular shingles but will last longer and you’ll need fewer repairs.

How long do impact resistant shingles last?

Although most standard shingle roofs get 30-year warranties, it’s unlikely they’ll last that long. Most standard shingle roofs will last about 20 or maybe 25 years with good maintenance and under ideal conditions. Impact resistant shingles, on the other hand, can last as long as 30 years or more, even in areas where hail is common.

Impact Resistant Shingles

Impact resistant shingles insurance discount

Besides being durable and long-lasting, impact resistant shingles can benefit homeowners in other ways. By upgrading to these shingles, you may be able to get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. Depending on your location and insurance company, insurers will provide discounts of between 5%-30%. You can check with your insurance company to see if your home qualifies for any discounts. If you are interested in installing impact resistant shingles in Houston, TX, reach out to the roofing professionals at Andy Nichols Roofing. We offer a full range of residential roofing options and can help you decide what’s best for your home. Find out how we can help or get an estimate by calling 281-300-4363.