Impact resistant shingles (IR shingles): Are They Worth It?


What is an impact resistant shingle?

First and foremost, I want to make it clear that an impact resistant shingle is NOT HAIL PROOF. In fact, there is no such thing as a completely hail proof roof. From a straw hut to a cement tile, any roof covering can be destroyed by large hail. That being said, an IR shingle will definitely hold up better than a standard shingle.

IR shingles are given the classification of 4. In order to become a class 4 shingle, it must pass the UL 2218 impact test. This test is performed by dropping various sized steel balls onto shingles from heights ranging 12-20 feet, which simulates a hailstorm driven by 90 MPH winds. If the shingles can withstand the onslaught without cracking, rupturing, or tearing they pass the test.

IR shingles are not identifiable by the naked eye. What gives an IR shingle its resistance is a combination of a reinforced fiberglass backing and asphalt incorporated with an SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene) modifier. In simple terms, SBS is a rubber-like material that gives shingles extra pliability to better deflect hail.

Are They Worth The Cost?

IR shingle is definitely superior to a standard shingle. However, if you get hail bigger than a golf ball it is likely going to crack or break either a standard shingle or an IR shingle. One of the best benefits of an IR shingle comes from your insurance company. The simple move of upgrading to an IR shingle will save a homeowner an average of 15% on their monthly premium. These types of savings could easily pay for an entire impact resistant roof within a year, depending on your home and policy.

Having been in the roofing business for a very long time, it’s my advice that before you make the decision to upgrade to impact resistant shingles, check with your insurance company about the discount. Maybe you’re on the high end of average and will receive a 20% discount. Or maybe you’re on the low end and will only get a 5% discount. If the upgrade won’t save you much money and you have a low deductible it may be in your best interest to stick with a standard shingle. In the event of a hailstorm that destroys your roof you will still be left paying your deductible.

At Mile High Roofing, your 100% satisfaction is our priority, which is why we offer a lifetime labor warranty. For more information on impact resistant shingles and whether or not they would be a good choice for your home, contact us today.


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