Roofing material comes in a wide array of colors and styles, choosing the right material for your roof depends on your aesthetics as well as your budget. One point to consider when selecting a roofing material is durability, because installing a new roof is expensive, especially if your roof sustained damage due to a storm.
In this article, we’re going to look at the various types of impact-resistant roofing materials, their advantages, and disadvantages, and tell you when you should choose this type over conventional roofing shingles.
What Defines Impact Resistant Roofing?
When we talk about impact resistant roofing what we mean is roofing tiles designed to withstand damage sustained from hail and high winds. Most impact resistant shingles are made from metal, copper, aluminum or plastic, or they can be made from an asphalt/rubber mixture.
Tests performed on these shingles give each one a class rating, which goes from 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest. These tests include dropping a steel ball from 20 feet onto the material to see whether it becomes damaged.
When To Choose Impact Resistant Roofing
The first thing to keep in mind is that impact resistant roof tiles are generally more expensive than traditional roof tiles, and you should only consider using them if you live in a climate that sees heavy storms with high winds and hail.
Still, even though these Class 4 shingles are more expensive, there are often insurance discounts, tax credits and rebates available should you decide to purchase them which can help offset the initial cost.
Also, consider the cost of replacing a roof after a heavy storm and weigh that with the cost of the impact resistant tiles. What you’re spending now might save you down the road.
Keep in mind that when you purchase an impact resistant roof, you’re not getting something that’s impact proof. Depending on the severity of a particular storm or the size of hail, your roof may still get damaged, but the impact resistant roof gives you a better chance than traditional materials.
Types of Impact Resistant Roofing
As mentioned, impact resistant roofing tiles come in a variety of materials. When choosing a material for your roof, you can choose from clay, metal, copper, aluminum, asphalt, slate or ceramic. Some of these materials are more naturally impact resistance than others; for example, ceramic and slate offer better resistance to hail than asphalt does. However, many companies now manufacture asphalt shingles with rubberized polymers to make them more flexible so they can better absorb the impact of hail and other blown debris.
Additionally, some manufacturers make steel roofing shingles with rubber coatings for greater durability and impact resistance. Also, there is a wide variety of synthetic roofing tiles now available that are made from rubber-like materials that offer superior impact absorption.
The main thing to keep in mind when shopping for impact-resistant roofing is to look for shingles or products that has a Class 4 rating because that’s going to offer you the most protection for your money. Also, most insurance companies offer discounts on your homeowner’s insurance premiums when you purchase a Class 4 roof.
If you’re still unsure, talk to your local roofing professional and see what’s best recommended for your home.
Is Impact Resistant Roofing Worth It?
The answer is: It depends.
In general, one would always be better off getting an impact-resistant roof if they can afford it ‘just in case.’ One never knows what the future might bring, and with the weather changing so rapidly, you could begin experiencing harsh storms that you never had before, which would make having a roof that can withstand the hail a good idea.
Still, impact resistant roofing is more expensive, than traditional roofing, and homeowners can expect to pay 50-100% more for a Class 4 roof when compared to standard asphalt shingles. And there’s no sense in paying for something you’re not going to benefit from.
If you live in a climate that sees little hail or harsh winters, you will have no trouble getting by with a traditional roof. Also, if you’re on a budget, then a conventional roof is the better way to go.
Having said that, as we mentioned earlier, there are many incentives given for purchasing impact-resistant roofs; from government tax credits to lower insurance premiums. If you find the price of this roof too expensive, you might be able to offset the cost with some of these perks.
Another thing to consider is that even though you may not live in an area that’s prone to high storms, an impact resistant shingles will increase the lifespan of your roof, which may help with resale value should you decide to sell down the road. Also, you’ll be able to go much longer without having to replace your roof because they withstand to normal wear and tear much better than traditional shingles.
The Bottom Line
Like anything, there are pros and cons to putting impact resistant shingles onto your roof. There’s the upfront cost, which is expensive and can be prohibitive to a lot of people, but that can sometimes be offset by the discounts and incentives given to homeowners who go this route. An impact resistant roof will weather much better than a standard asphalt roof, which means you’ll have to put on a new roof much less frequently.
If you live in an area that gets hit with severe storms, high winds, and hail, an impact resistance roof is a no-brainer and is going to save you money down the road in repairs despite the high up-front cost.
If you’re unsure which way to go, contact your local roofing company and let them help you decide. Also, talk to your homeowner’s insurance company and see what kind of break you can get on your premiums should you choose to put on an impact resistant roof.