Thousands of homes are damaged by hail in the country each year. While much of the damage caused by the large balls of ice hitting and destroying whatever they come across cannot be prevented, there is a way to reduce the amount of damage sustained by roof, one of the most complex and most expensive building components and that way is the installation of impact resistant shingles.

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What are, in fact, Impact Resistant Shingles?

Roofing materials are rated based on their resistance to impact from 1 to 4, with class 1 materials providing the weakest resistance to impact and class 4 materials being developed specifically to provide enhanced protection in hail-prone areas. Impact resistant shingles are very strong, class 4-rated (complying with the highest standard for impact resistance) roofing shingles developed especially for hail-prone areas. These special shingles undergo extensive testing prior to being made available for buyers – one of the testing methods uses steel balls of various sizes similar to the size of hail stones that are dropped onto the material from heights ranging between 12-20 feet, the other method uses high-pressure air-guns to fire the balls. Only the products that resist the impact are sold.

The materials used for manufacturing these special shingles are stronger as well as more flexible that conventional shingles, thus they are able to dampen the impact when they come into contact with hail stones and to survive hail storms with no or minimum damage. Most impact resistant roofing products are asphalt shingles, but metal shingles, wood shingles and tiles are also available in impact resistant varieties.

The Benefits of Impact Resistant Shingles

The most important benefit of these special shingles is evidently the ability to withstand strong hail without sustaining more than minor cosmetic damage, but this is not the only advantage that impact resistant shingles offer. These special roofing materials can withstand not only strong hail, but the heavy raining and the high winds that are usually associated with hail storms. Improved strength is beneficial during periods when the likeliness of hail is reduced – impact resistant shingles can stand up better to excessive amounts of snow as well.

These features not only offer the owners of impact resistant roof systems enhanced roof durability, but they also make the properties that use such roofs more attractive for insurers – many insurance providers offer discounts for such homes in hail-prone-areas.

Other Things that You Should Also Know About

There is one aspect that you need to factor in if you are currently considering replacing your existing roof with an impact resistant material: impact-resistant shingles are high-end products and therefore they are a bit more expensive than standard roof shingles. The difference usually starts around 10%, but just like in the case of conventional shingles, the price of impact resistant shingles also varies based on many factors, including regional aspects, the manufacturer’s price and the margin added by the retailer. You should also be very careful with the installation – in many cases, the warranty attached to the shingles can be enforced only if the products are installed by an expert roofer, like those found at Omaha roofing companies, who can prove their expertise with certificates accepted by the manufacturer of the impact resistant products.