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What Are Impact Resistant Shingles: Homeowners Guide to Class 4 Shingles

Your home’s roofing system must be built with extreme durability and strength to protect you from the outside elements or an unexpected storm. Anything from one heavy wind gust or a short-lived hail storm to fallen tree limbs, downed wires and power lines, or blown debris can have a significant impact on your roof’s structural integrity— and you don’t even want to know what might happen in the event of more intense storms. 😩

So, what can you do to help keep your home protected from potential roofing damage or a premature roof replacement down the line? The best course of action is to install class 4 impact resistant shingles, which can:

  • Withstand the impact of high winds and hail damage
  • Reduce water intrusion and water damage impacts on your home’s interior
  • Add to your home’s aesthetic & exterior curb appeal
  • Boost home value for potential buyers
  • Come with insurance discounts or impressive warranties
  • Improve your home’s energy efficiency and insulation
  • Prevent premature roof replacement

With all these great benefits, it’s no big surprise that more and more homeowners are turning to impact resistant shingles to keep their houses safe from harm.

Are you interested in installing impact resistant shingles as well? Read through our in-depth homeowners’ guide to get a detailed look at what sets class 4 shingles apart from other roofing materials and determine if it’s the right choice for you.

Impact Resistant Roof Shingles Explained

These days, roofing experts are starting to recommend the installation of high-performance, impact resistant shingles over the standard asphalt shingle we’ve seen for decades past, and for good reason.

To get a better understanding of what makes impact resistant (IR) roofing shingles worth the investment in the opinion of many professionals, it’s important to first understand exactly what they are— we’ll explain:

What Are Impact Resistant Shingles?

In simple terms, impact resistant shingles are shingles specifically engineered to withstand the impact of outside forces like wind, hail, or debris.

They’re designed with significantly greater durability and flexibility than typical asphalt shingles, going through standardized testing to ensure the highest levels of impact resistance. This is so your roofing shingles don’t crack, dent, or completely blow off during a big storm.

impact resistant shingles rubber

How Are Impact-Resistant Shingles Made?

In order for this roofing material to have the greatest impact resistance, many impact resistant shingles are made from a rubbery, polymer-modified asphalt mixture meant to absorb the physical force of falling debris or hail and avoid cracks and breakage. That’s because it makes these roofing shingles more bouncy and flexible, helping limit the full force of these impacts.

Alternatively, you can add a flexible backing of polymer mesh to regular asphalt shingles to achieve a similar result.

Understanding the Different Classes of Roofing Shingles

Roofing shingles can be separated into various classes based on their level of impact resistance, which is determined using the UL 2218 standard test, more commonly called the “steel ball test,” seen in the video below. That’s because steel balls are dropped from certain heights, simulating the high-impact force of golf ball-sized hail in order to most accurately measure the durability of different roofing materials and see how shingles sustain damage during storms.

Classes can range from 1 to 4, with 4 being the most impact resistant of them all. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the UL 2218 test works by class:

  • Class 1: 1.25-inch steel ball dropped twice from 12 feet
  • Class 2: Dropped twice from 15 feet
  • Class 3: Dropped twice from 17 feet
  • Class 4: Dropped twice from 20 feet

Now, your average asphalt shingle would likely show cracks on the surface or breakage beneath when hit with hail balls of this size (or a steel ball inside the lab, for that matter). But class 4 impact resistant roofing shingles, on the other hand? With those installed, you’ll have nothing to worry about because they’re made to endure this kind of damage.

How Does Hail Impact a Home?

One of the biggest culprits behind residential roof damage is large hail impact, especially in many of the mountainous or midwestern regions of America. That’s what’s making impact resistant shingles so popular in some locales and why it’s so important for homeowners to know what roof damage looks like so it can be addressed right away.

impact resistant shingles hail

Here’s how hail damage can affect your home:

  • Obvious dents or divots on shingle surface from hail balls or flying debris
  • Cracked shingles or scratched metal panels
  • Excessive asphalt shingle granule loss in gutters
  • Damaged shingle seal leading to roof leaks or water damage

Standard roofing shingles might not have the strength to stand up to severe weather, while class 4 impact resistant shingles are explicitly engineered to stave off the issues listed above and save you from costly repairs. It’s clear why both homeowners and the roofing industry are beginning to back IR roofing materials over many other options.

Is Installing Impact Resistant Shingles Worth It?

As we’ve already started to outline above, there are tons of factors that make impact resistant shingles worth the cost for many homeowners. If you haven’t gotten the picture quite yet, check out a couple more of the great benefits you’ll receive from choosing a shingle with class 4 impact resistance below.

Benefits of Impact Resistant Roofing Shingles

Thanks to the toughness and top-tier quality of these roofing products, class 4 impact resistant shingles can:

  • ✅ Reduce the frequency of — or entirely eliminate ❌ the need for — roof repairs.
  • ✅ Significantly extend the life expectancy of your home’s roofing system.
  • ✅ Help you save on homeowners insurance coverage (ask your insurance provider).
  • ✅ Prevent increases to your insurance premiums or deductible during renewal periods.
  • ✅ Improve your home’s energy efficiency and overall performance.
  • ✅ Keep your home’s interior protected from potential water damage.

In essence, impact resistant shingles are a smart investment in pretty much every case, but especially for homeowners who live in certain states or climates. And while many reputable brands offer impact resistant roofing shingles, the rubber tile roofing products featured in DaVinci Roofing’s shingle line stand apart from the rest.

Who Should Consider Class 4 Shingles?

Although installing impact resistant shingles on your home might sound like a no-brainer after reading through this guide, these types of roofing shingles aren’t actually necessary for just anyone.

Now, of course, class 4 impact resistant shingles offer the highest levels of strength and durability, but sometimes that’s just not what you need. In some cases, you may be able to sneak by with class 3 or even class 2 shingles instead.

A good way to know whether you need to equip your roof with that extra class 4 impact resistance or not is to check out common weather conditions and assess the local climate where you live. We’re not kidding; it’s really that simple! 🤯

Put it this way; if you live in a place that experiences frequent threats from hail or high winds, you’ll have far more reasons to choose class 4 hail-resistant shingles. Conversely, in climates where nasty and unpredictable weather is uncommon, you can likely get away with IR shingles of a lower class instead.

Some of the top states country-wide where it might come in handy to have class 4 impact resistant shingles installed on your home according to 2021 statistics from the Insurance Information Institute include:

  1. 📍 Texas, with 688 hail storms
  2. 📍 Kansas, with 303 hail storms
  3. 📍 Nebraska, with 225 hail storms
  4. 📍 South Dakota, with 218 hail storms
  5. 📍 Oklahoma, with 159 hail storms

Homeowners also commonly have to deal with wind or hail-damaged roofs in coastal areas, areas of Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, or Illinois, and other states throughout the midwest.

If you live in one of these areas, it might make impact resistant shingles worth the higher upfront investment. (Or, you can even see if any insurance companies offer discounts in your area for replacing your old asphalt shingles with a new impact resistant roof.)

Average Cost of Impact Resistant Roofing Products

The average class 4 impact resistant shingle installation cost for a 1,600 square foot roof can range anywhere from $4,950 to 8,950, according to RoofingCalculator.com. This is a nearly 20% price increase compared to the classic 3-tab asphalt roofing shingle. 📈😳

Although the initial installation cost might make you reconsider going for class 4’s, it’s important to remember that these impact resistant shingles will have a high return on investment. With all the money you’ll save on repairs over time, plus being able to prevent premature roof replacement, you’ll find impact resistant shingles worth the cost— no question 🤑.

Get Class 4 Shingles From a Roofing Contractor You Can Trust

Are you tired of dealing with the constant repairs that your current roofing shingles require? Or are you in need of a new roof for a home located somewhere with frequent hail storms or high winds? Consider class 4 impact resistant roofing shingles for your home and get greater protection against hail damage and roof damage from other debris.

Are you ready to make the switch to a more reliable roofing shingle? Contact DuraShield Contracting today to get started equipping your home with high-performance roofing shingles, and rest assured that your roof is ready for anything the outside world throws its way.

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