(guest post courtesy Atlas Roofing)
Many homeowners aren’t aware that impact damage caused by hail can be avoided. Not all shingles are manufactured to withstand the extreme force a roof must take from hail, sleet and wind-blown rain. The best defense against such impact damage is a Class 4 shingle.
History of Resistance Rating
In 1996, insurance industry experts teamed with the Institute of Business and Home Safety (IBHS) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to create a rating system for shingle impact resistance. Known as UL 2218, this classification is now the national standard.
Roofing shingles are rated Class 1 through 4, with a Class 4 rating indicating the toughest and most durable. This rating is determined by tests simulating the effect of 90-mph hailstones on shingles and measuring their impact resistance. A Class 4 rating indicates that the shingle should withstand damage by hailstones up to two inches in diameter.
Other Hazards than Hail
Although hail is a rare occurrence in some regions, Class 4 shingles can protect a roof from more than just the impact of hailstones. In a gale-force storm, wind-driven rain or sleet can inflict damage to a roof and subsequently, the home it protects. A Class 4 shingle offers the best possible protection from such hazards.
Atlas Roofing manufactures two lines of Class 4 shingles, StormMaster® Shake and StormMaster® Slate. The key to their Class 4 rating is Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS), a rubberized polymer that gives a shingle more flexibility and durability. Its rubber-like quality keeps hail and wind-blown rain from fracturing the shingle and causing damage. These Atlas shingles can stand up to fearsome storms in every season.
Initial Cost and Long-term Protection
Impact resistance is among the essential factors homeowners need to consider before making a final decision on which roof shingle to have installed. A new roof is a considerable investment, and while Class 4 asphalt roof shingles do cost more than conventional three-tab shingles, they could save a homeowner much more over the life of the roof. They could help to prevent the disaster a homeowner would experience if their roof suffered impact damage.
Also, most home insurers offer policy discounts for the increased level of protection that Class 4 shingles provide. Whatever kind of impact falls upon a roof, a Class 4 shingle has it covered.