The Ins and Outs of Impact-Resistant (IR) Shingles

When it comes to your roof, there are a lot of options to choose from—including metal, tile, wood, and asphalt—each with their own longevity pros and cons. But even within each category, there are different options. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of impact-resistant asphalt shingles, and whether they’re a good choice for your home. 

The Different Classes of Shingles

Asphalt shingles are made of three main layers—backing to hold the shingle together, asphalt to give it structure and water resistance, and granules to add color and light-reflective properties. Not all shingles are created equal, though—they’re grouped into various classifications depending on their impact resistance (Class 1–Class 4), fire resistance (Class A, B, or C), and wind resistance (Class F and Class H, depending on manufacturer specifications). Many homeowners choose their shingles based on color and aesthetics, but it’s also important to consider the classification—especially in weather-intense regions like Colorado. Shingles with upgraded classifications will better protect your home in the event of a fire, intense wind, or hail storm. 

How to Measure Impact Resistance

Impact resistance refers to the shingles’ ability to withstand impact and minimize damage from debris or hail. Manufacturers test impact resistance by repeatedly dropping a steel ball from a specified height onto a shingle and then checking for damage. To obtain a Class 4 or “impact-resistant” rating, the shingle must survive a 2” steel ball dropped from a height of 20’. This is enough force to crack a 4” concrete paver in half!

Are Impact-Resistant Shingles Worth It? 

Impact-resistant shingles are a must-have for homes in areas with frequent hail storms. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Colorado was the second-highest state for hail-related insurance claims between 2017–2019, with 294 major hail events recorded in 2019. Hail damage can cause shingles to crack or break, leaving your roof exposed to leaks. 

When it comes to your roof, you want to choose materials that will withstand the elements and last as long as possible, saving you money on repairs. Class 4 impact-resistant shingles provide superior protection against hail damage, and many insurance companies even offer lower premiums or discounts for homes equipped with impact-resistant shingles.

At K & P Exteriors, we proudly install high-quality shingles from reputable manufacturers like Owens Corning, so you can be confident your investment will last. Visit our website or call (303) 853-0072 to learn more.

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