What does “Impact Resistant” really mean?

hailstones on asphalt shingles

Do You Know What It Means?

Impact Resistant is a term that is used quite a bit in the roofing industry. We know that it is a good thing in storm-ravaged places like the Midwest. Your insurance company is also likely to give out discounts for homeowners with impact-resistant roofs! But what does it actually mean? 

The Definition of Impact Resistant

Many homeowners believe “impact-resistant” means “hail proof”, but that isn’t quite true. It means that when a shingle is hit with something such as hail or a small branch, the object won’t go through the shingle and roof. These roofs can still become hail-damaged! The shingles just do a better job of protecting your roof and home.

How Does A Shingle Get Rated?

Shingles that are classified as impact-resistant are rated on a scale of 2 to 4, 4 being the most resistant. The shingle will go through tests including dropping a steel ball from a specific height to see if the fiberglass mat that the shingle is on will break. If the shingle can succeed in keeping the mat from cracking, it succeeds in getting the rating! Dropping the steel ball imitates what the shingle would have to go through during a hail storm.

Different shingle manufacturers achieve this in different ways. Some of them make the fiberglass mat and shingles thicker to help spread the impact, while others use more rubberized materials to make the objects bounce off.

How Are Impact Resistant Shingles Good For My Home?

Shingles with an impact-resistant rating won’t break apart during a hail storm, meaning you are much less likely to end up with leaks after a hail storm. Regular shingles could split and expose the wooden decking, which could lead to water inside the home. The shingles also typically come with a better warranty. Upgrading to these shingles also may come with a discount on your insurance premiums! Who doesn’t love saving money?

 The Possible Downsides

Every good thing comes with a couple of downsides. In this case, it’s mainly cost. Impact-resistant shingles can be more expensive than standard architectural shingles. When getting a new roof, your insurance company isn’t likely to upgrade to an impact-resistant shingle either, so the difference falls on your shoulders if you choose these.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some insurance companies will no longer pay for roofs with what they deem “cosmetic damage”, even if it is true hail damage if you upgrade. Make sure you read your paperwork very clearly when filling it out to get that premium discount!

Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to make a better-informed decision on what kind of shingles would be best for your home. Hometown Roofing can help you through any and all questions you may have about impact-resistant shingles. Give us a call today!