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Pros And Cons of Impact-Resistant Shingles


Impact-resistant asphalt roofing shingles are specially-engineered products designed to withstand the impact of hail, which can damage a shingle and lead to leaks. While all shingles offer some level of impact resistance, only the most durable are marketed and sold as impact-resistant shingles. When selecting shingles for your home, it’s important to remember that no product is hail-proof. Severe hail storms can damage roofing of all types and materials, but in many cases, an impact-resistant roof can save you from - or substantially reduce - damage to your home and its contents.

When an asphalt shingle is hit by hail, it is subjected to numerous stresses. Hail can cause tiny tears and/or cracks in the body of the shingle. This damage, which can go unnoticed to an untrained eye, gives moisture a pathway through the shingle itself. This is why it is important to have your roof inspected by a professional after a hail storm, even if you do not ‘see’ damage. Additionally, the impact of hail can dislodge the protective granules on the surface of a shingle, which can both damage a home's aesthetic and leave the asphalt underneath vulnerable to the degradation of daily UV exposure that can lead to roof leaks. Impact-resistant roofing is constructed to withstand damage and minimize granule loss as best as possible, protecting your roof and keeping your family safe and dry.

By understanding the pros and cons of impact-resistant asphalt shingles, you will gain a sturdy foundation of important distinctions and set yourself up for success to make the right decision for your home.


Understanding Impact-Resistance Ratings

Shingles come with different levels of impact resistance. In 1996, Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) developed a universal standard for helping homeowners compare the durability of the materials available to them. This standard is widely used across the roofing industry.

Shingles are given a class rating on a scale of one to four (with four being the best) that is based on the steel ball drop test, which simulates the damage from hail impact. Most shingles are considered impact resistant if they are Class 4; however, some are considered impact resistant at Class 3.

Class 1 - Sample did not crack when hit twice in the same spot by a steel ball 1.25 inches in diameter.

Class 2 - Sample did not crack when hit twice in the same spot by a steel ball 1.50 inches in diameter.

Class 3 - Sample did not crack when hit twice in the same spot by a steel ball 1.75 inches in diameter.

Class 4 - Sample did not crack when hit twice in the same spot by a steel ball 2.0 inches in diameter.


Dark spots on roof shingles as a result of granule loss by the
         impact of hail

Advantages of impact-Resistant Roofing


Max Def Resawn Shake Color Swatch

NorthGate ClimateFlex shingles provide a wood shake 
aesthetic while also giving industry-best protection         
against harmful weather. 

1. They offer premium weather resistance. Impact-resistant shingles are engineered to withstand hail, wind, sleet, and other extreme weather conditions. Some Class 4 rated shingles can withstand winds up to 130 mph, which is the equivalent of a Category 4 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

2. Homeowners save money over time. A bad hail storm can render a roof useless, as the impact of hail can break, crack, or tear roofing materials and create an entry point for water intrusion. With impact-resistant roofing, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your roof looks great and is designed to protect your home and possessions.

3. You may qualify for insurance discounts. Several insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who install impact-resistant roofing, especially for those who live in hail zones. Emily Long at NBC News reports that upgrading your roofing can save between 5% to 35% annually on your home insurance premium. Check with your insurance provider to see if you are entitled to a discount for impact-resistant shingles.

Disadvantages of Impact-Resistant Roofing

While impact-resistant roofing provides enhanced performance on the roof and greater peace of mind to homeowners, there is a higher upfront cost. Compared to standard roofing materials, impact-resistant roofing is more expensive due to the additional costs of manufacturing these specialty products.

Impact-Resistant Shingle Options

As you weigh the pros and cons of impact-resistant roofing, consider the potential of damage in your area. Some regions of the country are more prone to hail and storms with high winds. Will the investment you make for your roofing today reduce storm damage and costly repairs to your home in the future?

In addition, CertainTeed’s ClimateFlex® technology offers the latest innovations in the impact-resistant roofing industry. This technology blends rubberized polymers with high-grade asphalt to create a durable-yet-pliable product that can withstand physical stresses from impact and the elements.

Test - Restricted Assets

You can Choose a Shingle that Matches your Aesthetic Without Sacrificing its Durability:

CertainTeed offers several impact-resistant shingle options that come in a variety of colors and styles.

Landmark® ClimateFlex®: this dual-layered designer shingle that combines the beauty and dimensionality of wood shake roofing with the durable performance of ClimateFlex® polymer-modified asphalt.

NorthGate® ClimateFlex®: sharing a similar aesthetic to Landmark ClimateFlex®, but in a heavier format, these tough and reliable shingles were the first to feature our innovative ClimateFlex® technology.

Belmont® IR: the impact-resistant version of our slate-inspired Belmont luxury shingle, Belmont IR offers the look of quarried stone and the durability of Class 4 impact resistance and Class A fire resistance.

Presidential Shake® IR: these beautiful, impact-resistant luxury shingles feature a dimensionality and depth that replicates the charm of hand-split cedar shake roofing.

● CertainTeed also offers Flintlastic® Self-Adhering (SA) low-slope roof systems with high impact-resistance ratings.