If you’re wondering if impact resistant shingles are worth the additional cost, keep reading. Below, we cover what they are, if they’re worth the additional cost, how much more they cost, and what the advantage is.
What are impact resistant (or IR) shingles?
Impact resistant shingles, also referred to as IR shingles, are roofing shingles that are manufactured to withstand or resist the impact of objects, such as hail, better than regular non-impact resistant shingles. Small hail stones won’t damage impact resistant shingles. IR shingles are not impact proof, mind you. The point of these shingles is to extend the life of your roof. The average life expectancy of regular, non-impact resistant 3-tab shingles is about 20 years. Impact Resistant shingles, on the other hand, such as Owens Corning’s TruDefinition Duration, should last closer to 30 years.
Who tests the shingles?
Underwriters Laboratory tests all sorts of things, including roofing shingles. Their impact test is called Impact Resistance of Prepared Roof Covering Materials (UL 2218). Consumer Reports also tests roofing shingles, among other products.
Who is Underwriters Laboratory?
In a nutshell, they test products to make sure they perform as expected or advertise. They develop standards, design equipment, uncover potential hazards. Learn more at WikiPedia.
Are impact resistant shingles worth the additional cost?
Quick answer: yes.
With IR shingles, most insurance companies give a discount on your premium because the roof is less likely to be damaged by hail. That discount is often between 15% and 30%. Personally, I use State Farm and they offered me 26% discount on my insurance premium if I purchased IR shingles. Check with your insurance company to see what your discount might be.
The real savings on with IR shingles, however, is not having to worry about small hail damaging the roof and you coming up with the deductible.
Additionally, depending upon the discount your insurance company offers, it might only take 3-4 years to pay off the upgrade to IR shingles.
How much more do impact resistant shingles cost?
Short answer: 50% to 100%, however…
Most homeowners purchase architectural/dimensional shingles. Let’s assume a homeowner has a 2500sf roof. The average architectural shingles would cost them around $8,200. IR shingles, about $12,500. That’s about 50% more. However, don’t forget the potential insurance premium discount mentioned above 🙂
Here along the Colorado Front Range, we get hail storms. Maybe you’ve noticed. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in 2019 there were almost 300 hail storms here in Colorado.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, Colorado ranked #5 in the Top Five States of Major Hail Events.
The pros and cons of impact resistant shingles
The obvious advantage of these shingles is that they are more resistant to impacts, such as from hail, than regular shingles. Especially small hail stones. As a result, they last longer. This means, instead of your replacing your roof every 20 years, you’re replacing it every 30 years or more.
And, if you have IR shingles, if your roof is hit with small hail stones and not damaged, you’re not reporting it to your insurance company and paying your deductible every time.
Of course, the obvious disadvantage of impact resistant shingles is the additional cost. As you’ve read above, this potentially is minor.
If you live in Colorado, you should get impact resistant shingles. In fact, some cities, such as Fort Collins, it is code to have IR shingles. As you can see, it sometimes doesn’t cost much more than your average architectural/dimensional shingles, yet the benefit is big.