You have a wide variety of choices when replacing your home’s roof or installing a roof on a newly built house. If you’re looking to install asphalt shingles, you may want to consider opting for Class 3 or Class 4 impact-resistant shingles. All asphalt shingles are rated as Class 1, 2, 3, or 4, and this rating is based on their impact resistance, i.e. the level of impact the shingle can withstand without cracking or breaking. In this article, we’re going to look at exactly what Class 3 and Class 4 shingles are, the differences between the two, and why impact-resistant shingles can be a great option for your new roof.
What Are Class 3 and Class 4 Shingles?
To determine a shingle’s impact-resistance rating, it is tested by dropping different sizes of steel balls onto the shingle from a height of 20 feet to see if the shingle cracks or breaks. The purpose of this test is obviously to determine how resistant the shingle is to damage caused by large hail stones.
Class 4 is the highest rating. To earn a Class 4 rating, the shingle must be able to fully withstand the impact of a 2-inch steel ball. If the shingle fully withstands the impact without cracking, it is given the highest Class 4 rating. Class 3 shingles are those that can fully withstand the impact of a 1.75-inch steel ball. The reason that these higher-rated shingles can withstand such an impact is that they are constructed using more flexible materials and have a much thicker base mat.
Most standard shingles on the market are only Class 1 or Class 2, and these will typically always have lower upfront costs. Class 3 and Class 4 shingles are more expensive, but they can also help ensure your roof stays in better condition and prevent expensive repairs caused by severe hail damage.
Neither Class 3 nor Class 4 shingles are guaranteed to withstand all hail damage. The largest hail stone ever recorded in the US was approximately 8 inches in diameter and weighed nearly 2 pounds, and no type of shingle could ever withstand this type of impact without breaking. Nonetheless, the vast majority of hail stones measure less than 2 inches in diameter, which means that Class 3 and 4 shingles would withstand them without any issues.
Advantages of Installing Impact-Resistant Shingles
Impact-resistant shingles are obviously great for reducing the potential need for roof repairs or replacement. However, the main reason that most people opt for these higher-rated impact-resistant shingles is that they can help to reduce home insurance premiums. Depending on your specific insurance provider, installing Class 3 or 4 shingles as part of your new roofing project could potentially save you up to 15% on your annual home insurance premiums. Impact-resistant shingles are more expensive to purchase, but you will typically recoup this extra cost in around 5 years on average thanks to the lower insurance premiums.
Most insurance providers offer reduced premiums for homes that have impact-resistant shingles, and the reason for this should be quite obvious. Impact-resistant shingles are far less likely to be damaged in a major hail storm, which means that the insurance provider is less likely to have to pay out a claim to repair the roof. Insurance providers take this into account when calculating the premium and will offer lower rates since the chances of you filing a claim due to hail damage are much less likely.
How to Know If Class 3 or Class 4 Shingles Are Best?
If you are considering Class 3 or 4 shingles, it is always important to talk to your home insurance provider before deciding which type of shingles to use. The reason is that not all insurance providers offer the same discounted premiums. For instance, some providers may offer the same discount no matter whether you use Class 3 or Class 4 shingles. In this case, you would typically be best opting for Class 3 shingles since they will be a bit cheaper.
What you’re really looking to do here is determine how much you can save on your insurance premiums compared to how much extra the shingles cost. By doing so, you can easily calculate whether the higher-rated shingles are worth the extra cost and also approximately how long it will take for you to recoup the additional costs.
At Loyalty Exterior Solutions, we specialize in residential roof repairs and replacement services, and our team can help you choose the best option. We install a wide range of roofing materials including standard and impact-resistant shingles as well as metal roofing. We also install and repair gutters, siding, decks, and solar power systems. For more information on the benefits of impact-resistant shingles or to schedule a roof inspection or any other service in the Needham or Marlborough areas, contact us today.