Quick Answer: The best asphalt shingle roof for Colorado is the one that’s Class-4 impact rated and 130mph or more wind resistant. That’s Owens Corning’s TruDefinition Duration Storm or Tamko’s Stormfighter IR or GAF’s Timberline AS II, or better yet, stone-coated metal shingles.
Repeated hail storms and high winds have not been kind to your roof. You’ve got exposed asphalt from multiple hail storms and you’re missing some shingles thanks to strong winds. You’re shopping around for new asphalt roofing shingles in Colorado and wondering which ones offer the best resistance to hail and high winds.
In Northern Colorado, we get most of our hail storms in the Spring. It’s not uncommon to get hail storms from April through July. Although, May through June is most common. These storms can produce large hail stones. In fact, in 2019, one hail stone measured 4.83 inches and weighed almost half a pound. However, the average hail stone size is 1 inch. Still, hail this size can cause roof damage. Sometimes hail damage is extensive enough to warrant an entire roof replacement.
We also get winds strong enough to tear roofing material right off and relocate patio furniture. High winds are most common in Spring and Fall. In 2016, a station in Monarch Pass recorded a wind gust of 148mph. Rocky Flats recorded a 90mph wind gust last month. These sudden gusts of wind are unpredictable and can hit at any time.
So, what are the best asphalt roofing shingles for Colorado that withstand both hail and high-winds?
Class-4 impact rated shingles with a wind warranty of 130mph or more are the best asphalt roofing shingles for Colorado. A Class 4 impact rating is the highest impact rating available. That said, some Class 4 impact rated roofing materials are stronger than others. For example, steel is obviously stronger than fiberglass, yet they both have the same Class 4 rating.
So, which asphalt shingle manufacturers make shingles that are both Class 4 impact rated and 130mph or more wind warrantied?
Owens Corning offers two Class-4 impact rated, 130mph wind warrantied asphalt shingles. These shingles offer great protection against hail storms and high winds. They are their TruDefinition® Duration Storm® and their TruDefinition® Duration Flex® shingles. Their Duration Flex shingles are SBS-modified.
Tamko’s Stormfighter IR shingles are not only Class-4 impact rated and high-wind warrantied, they’re warrantied up to 160mph. Tamko is the only traditional asphalt shingle manufacturer to offer such a high wind warranty.
GAF also offers only one asphalt roofing shingle thats both Class-4 impact resistant and high-wind rated, and that’s their Timberline AS II.
CertainTeed offers three Class-4 impact rated shingles with optional 130mph wind warranty upgrade. Those are their Northgate Climateflex, their Landmark Climateflex, and their Belmont IR shingles. Northgate is SBS-modified.
You can’t go wrong with any of the above mentioned impact rated, high-wind warrantied asphalt shingles. Owens Corning, CertainTeed, Tamko, GAF, and Malarkey all make excellent asphalt shingles and any of the above mentioned products should serve you well if correctly installed. Keep in mind, most asphalt shingles last between 25-30 years.
Traditional Asphalt Shingles vs Stone-Coated Metal Shingles
What’s the different between traditional asphalt shingles and stone-coated metal shingles? Aren’t stone-coated metal shingles considered asphalt shingles since they, too, have asphalt in them? When most folks talk about ‘asphalt roofing shingles’, they’re referring to traditional fiberglass asphalt roofing shingles, not metal shingles. That said, stone-coated metal shingles do use asphalt to adhere granules to their metal foundation. That’s why we’re going to include them here.
Stone-Coated Metal/Steel Shingles
Westlake Royal Roofing makes excellent stone-coated metal shingles and tiles. Because of their metal foundation, they are, of course, Class-4 impact resistant. What’s more, they are also hurricane wind performance rated. Need another reason to love metal shingles? They offer a transferable 50-year limited warranty. But wait! There’s more. Metal shingles are also more fire-resistant than traditional asphalt shingles, thanks to their metal foundation, and they’re recyclable in Northern Colorado. Metal shingles are, however, more expensive initially than traditional asphalt shingles. However, since they last so much longer than traditional shingles, they often end-up costing less. You can expect metal shingles to last 70 years or more. Traditional asphalt shingles, on the other hand, often only last between 25 and 30 years. With all this, stone-coated metal shingles might be the best ‘asphalt shingle’ for Colorado.
Cool shingles are shingles with solar-reflecting granules that help reflect heat away from your home, thus helping to lower your Summer utility bill. But, which asphalt shingle manufacturers make Class-4 impact resistant shingles that are also high-wind resistant, and cool, and available to us in Colorado? Sadly, none. Owens Corning and CertainTeed both make a shingle that’s cool and high-wind rated, but neither are impact rated. If you want an asphalt shingle that’s Class-4 impact resistant, high-wind resistant, and cool in Colorado, you want Westlake Royal Roofing’s Barrel Vault Tile in Dover (white) This is not a shingle but actually a tile. If you truly want a cool roof, check out 100% metal roofing.
SBS-modified asphalt shingles are shingles whose asphalt has been modified with rubber-like polymers, such as SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene). The result is a more flexible shingle that recovers quicker from impacts, such as from hail, than traditional asphalt shingles. Are SBS-modified shingles more impact resistant than regular impact resistant shingles? In theory, yes.
Designer shingles aren’t necessarily the best for Colorado, and that’s because some aren’t Class-4 impact resistant. Some are, though. For example, Owens Corning’s Berkshire and Woodmoor line of shingles could be considered ‘designer’. However, they are not Class-4 impact resistant. In fact, they lack many features other shingles of theirs have, such as their WeatherGuard and SureNail technologies. Owens Corning is not alone. GAF’s Grand Canyon is, by their definition, a ‘designer shingle’, yet it, too, is not Class-4 impact resistant. Their Grand Sequoia designer shingles, are, however. If you like the look of a designer shingle, make sure it’s also Class-4 impact resistant, and has a high-wind warranty of at least 130mph.
The Bottom Line
Price isn’t everything. It’s good to keep in mind the most expensive shingle isn’t necessarily the best. Owens Corning’s Berkshire and Woodmoor lines are their most expensive shingles. However, they are not Class-4 impact rated. GAF’s Grand Sequoia looks great. However, it too, isn’t impact rated. With traditional asphalt shingles, sometimes durability is sacrificed for appearance or style. If durability, and resistance to hail and high-winds is your goal, stick to the shingles mentioned above. If you’re interested in the longest-last shingle that’s also hail and high-wind resistant, consider metal shingles or tiles. Stone-coated metal shingles are the best asphalt roofing shingles for Colorado. If you’re considered about the higher cost of metal shingles, don’t be. Roof financing is available for those interested.