Are Impact Resistant Shingles Worth the Additional Cost

Your roof is worn-out and you’re shopping around for new shingles . You’re comparing impact resistant shingles versus non-impact resistant shingles and you’re wondering if they are worth the additional cost. You know you’ve gotten hit by hail in the past, but they’ve never really caused my damaged, so why bother? Below, we cover what they are, if they’re worth the additional cost, how much more they cost, and what the advantage is.


Short Answer: Yes, impact resistant shingles are worth the additional cost as they are more hail and wind resistant, have better warranties, most insurance companies offer a discount on your premium if you have IR shingles, and most folks find the peace of mind they get with IR shingles worth it.


infographic showing cost comparison of 3-tab roofing shingles, architectural shingles, and impact resistant shingles

With impact resistant shingles, most insurance companies give a discount on your premium because the roof is more resistant to hail damage. 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.

What Are Impact Resistant Shingles?

hail stones hitting shingle roof

When most people talk about impact resistant shingles, they’re referring to impact resistant asphalt shingles. As opposed to stone-coated metal shingles (see below). Impact resistant shingles, also referred to as IR shingles, are roofing shingles manufactured to withstand or resist the impact of objects, such as hail, better than non-IR shingles. Small hail stones won’t damage IR shingles. These shingles are not impact proof, mind you. The point of these 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.

Not all IR shingles are the same, mind you. For example, compare Owens Corning’s TruDefinition Duration Storm to their Duration Flex. Both of these shingles are impact resistant, but the Flex line has SBS modified asphalt which makes them more pliable and gives them greater flexibility than other shingles. This gives the shingles a rubberizing effect. Hail and other debris will have a greater tendency to bounce off. CertainTeed also has SBS modified asphalt shingles. If you’re looking for the best IR shingle, look for one with SBS.

Who Tests the Shingles?

Underwriters Laboratory tests all sorts of things, including roofing shingles. They basically test products to make sure they perform as expected or advertise. They develop standards, design equipment, uncover potential hazards. Learn more at WikiPedia. Their impact test is called Impact Resistance of Prepared Roof Covering Materials (UL 2218). Consumer Reports also tests roofing shingles, among other products.


Impact Resistant Shingle Options in Colorado

  • Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Storm and Flex
  • Tamko Stormfighter IR
  • CertainTeed’s Belmont IR, Presidential Shake IR, Landmark ClimateFlex, and Northgate ClimateFlex
  • GAF’s Timberline AS II and Grand Sequoia AS
  • Malarkey’s Legacy and Legacy Scotchgard
  • Stone-Coated Metal Shingles and Tiles

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Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Storm

Owens Corning’s TruDefinition Duration Storm is one of their best impact resistant shingles. It offers Class-4 impact resistance, a Limited Lifetime warranty, wind resistance of up to 130MPH, algae resistance up to 25 years, and Class-A fire resistance. It’s offered in 7 attractive colors, including, but not limited to, Antique Silver, Desert Tan, Brownwood, and Onyx Black. If you’re looking for an asphalt shingle that will stand-up to Colorado’s weather, Owens Corning’s TruDefinition Duration Storm will serve you well.

sample of Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Storm impact resistant shingles

Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Flex

Although Owens Corning’s TruDefintion Duration Flex does not have their Weatherguard® Technology, it does have their unique blend of SBS modified asphalt. This gives their Flex shingle a rubberizing effect, resulting in a shingle that’s more pliable and flexible. Therefore, one that’s more durable and resistant to impact, such as that from hail. It, too, offers a wind resistance of up to 130MPH, has a Limited Lifetime warranty, and comes in 9 colors, such as Storm Cloud, Summer Harvest, and Sand Dune.

a sample of Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Flex asphalt shingle

We are an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. Owens Corning Contractor Badges we’ve been awared include Top of the House Certified and SureNail Trained. Top of the House Certification means we’ve specially been trained on how roofing, ventilation and attic insulation work together to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort. SureNail Trained means we have the extensive knowledge enabling us to better complete your roofing project.

Tamko Stormfighter IR

Tamko is unique in this line-up of impact resistant shingles, in that their Stormfighter IR shingles are the only ones with a wind-rating up to 160MPH. Most other asphalt shingle manufacturers’ wind rating goes up to 130. Of course their StormFighter IR® shingles qualify for a UL 2218 Class 4 Impact Rating and are Class-A fire rated. They’re available in Rustic Black, Rustic Slate, Thunderstorm Grey, and Weathered Wood.

a sample of Tamko's Stormfighter impact resistant shingles

Do you know we are also a Tamko MasterCraft Pro Certified Contractor? This is their top certification. When you hire a Tamko certified roofing contractor, you get peace of mind knowing that we know what we’re doing. In addition, you have access to 3 enhanced shingle warranties and optional roof system upgrades.

CertainTeed

CertainTeed's Northgate ClimateFlex impact resistant shingles

CertainTeed makes 4 impact resistant shingles:

All are Class-A fire resistant, except for their NorthGate ClimateFlex, all are high-wind rated, and all are backed by CertainTeed’s lifetime limited warranty. Their NorthGate ClimateFlex and Landmark ClimateFlex shingle lines have a rubberizing effect. This makes these shingles more flexible, as the name implies, which offers enhanced hail resistance and better surface granule adhesion.

GAF

GAF Grand Sequoia® AS impact resistant shingles

GAF provides 2 impact resistant shingles in our area; Timberline AS II and Grand Sequoia AS, which are both are Class-4 impact resistant, Class-A fire rated, high-wind resistant, and carry Lifetime Limited warranties. These popular shingles are available in that classic wood-shake look and are available in various shades of browns and grays. Grand Sequoia AS is a designer shingle, while Timberline AS II is an architectural shingle.

Malarkey

Malarkey’s Legacy and Legacy Scotchgard are their highest-performing asphalt roofing shingles. Both are Class-4 impact rated and both are made with their NEX® rubberized asphalt, providing better all-weather resistance, and both are Class-A fire rated. Also, both offer up to 130 mph enhanced wind warranties, and limited lifetime shingle warranties. Legacy Scotchgard, as the name implies, also offers a limited lifetime algae warranty.

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.

1/2″ hail stones or less probably won’t damage your roof if it’s in good condition. Larger than this, and you should contact us for a free roof inspection.

The Pros and Cons of Impact Resistant Shingles

IR Shingle Advantages:

The obvious advantage of these shingles is that they are more resistant to impacts, such as from hail, than regular shingles. 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.

Most impact resistant shingles also come with other benefits. For example, Owens Corning’s IR shingles are also high-wind resistant and come with a limited lifetime warranty. CertainTeed’s Landmark Climateflex shingles are also fire, wind, and tear resistant.

Disadvantages:

Of course, the obvious disadvantage of impact resistant shingles is the additional cost. As you’ve read above, this potentially is minor. The advantages of IR shingles outweigh the minor disadvantage.

What About Metal Shingles?

When most people discuss impact resistant shingles, they’re talking about asphalt roofing shingles. If you’re looking for a roofing shingle that’s impact resistant, metal shingles are the most impact resistant. Metal is much more durable than traditional fiberglass asphalt shingles. That’s why they last so much longer – 2 to 3 times longer, in fact. Stone-coated metal shingles initially cost more, however. But, because they last so much longer, they end-up costing less in the long run. Metal shingles are also recyclable in our area, unlike asphalt shingles, which makes them a more eco-friendly option.

westlake royal roofing's stone-coated metal shingle pine crest wood shake barclay

The Bottom Line

If you live in Colorado, and if asphalt shingles is what you’re shopping for, you should get impact resistant shingles. In fact, some cities, such as Fort Collins, you can not install a new non-impact resistant roofing product. As you can see, it sometimes doesn’t cost much more than your average architectural/dimensional shingles, yet the benefit is big. If you want the most impact resistant roof, get stone-coated metal shingles. These shingles resemble traditional shingles (or tile or wood shake), but last longer, yet.

If you’re shopping for IR shingles but aren’t sure which ones to get, contact us with any questions you might have and for a free estimate. Free of charge, we will come to you, measure your roof, let you know if you are required to have IR shingles per your city’s code, and give you our impact resistant shingle recommendation. Not all Class-4 IR shingles are the same. We’ve installed them all, from all the major manufacturers, such as Owens Corning, CertainTeed, GAF, etc.