A Homeowner’s Guide To Impact-Resistant Roofs In 2024

Posted on September 26, 2023

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A Homeowner’s Guide To Impact-Resistant Roofs In 2024

Homeowners in Buffalo, New York, often consider it to be one of the best cities in the state, even though it is also known to possess some of the harshest weather conditions. Frequent rainfall, heavy snow, and hail are all common in WNY. 

If you want to keep thriving in this beautiful city, then it’s important that you protect your home from these conditions. One way you can move towards this is by installing impact-resistant roofs. 

These new-age roofing materials offer you more durability than traditional roofing materials and can help your roof to last longer. Today, we will talk about what impact-resistant roofs have to offer and the best options available. 

What Are Impact-Resistant Roofs? 

We have received many questions from homeowners regarding impact-resistant roofs and their benefits, which is why we decided to create this guide. But let’s start with what these roofs actually are. 

Impact-resistant roofs are specially designed to withstand damage from hail, wind-blown debris, and other types of impacts. These roofs are also known as hurricane-resistant roofs or impact rated shingles. These roofs are typically made from a combination of materials that have been reinforced to provide greater durability. 

Impact-resistant roofs can help protect your home from costly damage and, in some cases, can even lower your insurance premiums. If you live in an area prone to severe weather, investing in a durable roof can provide you with added peace of mind knowing that your home is better protected against the elements.

How Are Impact-Resistant Roofs Tested?

Impact-Resistant Roofs

Impact-resistant roofs undergo rigorous testing to determine their ability to withstand impacts from various sources, such as hail, debris, and falling objects. These tests are designed to simulate real-world conditions and help homeowners and insurers understand the level of protection a roof can provide. 

Let’s take a glance at how these roofs are rated: 

Test Standards: 

The most commonly used standard for testing impact resistance is the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2218 impact test. These standards specify the test methods, criteria, and classifications for impact-resistant roofing materials.

Test Procedure:

Impact Testing: During the UL 2218 impact test, the material is subjected to impacts from steel balls of varying sizes and weights, simulating hailstones of different intensities. The balls are dropped from specified heights onto the roofing material.

Wind Uplift Testing: Some tests also involve subjecting the material to high wind speeds to assess its resistance to uplift forces.

Rating System:

Class Ratings: Impact resistance is typically rated on a class scale from 1 to 4, with Class 4 being the highest level of resistance and Class 1 representing the least resistance to impacts.

Damage Criteria: The tests also evaluate the extent of damage caused by the impacts. For example, a Class 4 rating indicates that the material sustained no visible damage after being hit by a 2-inch steel ball dropped from 20 feet.

Certification: If the roofing material meets the specified criteria during the test, it is certified as impact-resistant. The certification is usually provided by the testing agency, such as UL, and is often required by insurance companies to qualify for premium discounts.

Benefits Of Impact-Resistant Roofing Materials

Now that you know what qualifies a roof as impact-resistant, it’s time to learn about the benefits that you can get when you decide to install this roof on your New York home. 

Protection Against Natural Elements

The purpose of every roofing material is to protect against the climate. This is what impact-resistant roofs do. They offer robust protection against various natural elements. However, they do this better than the traditional roofing materials available on the market. While the average roof may fail against tough weather, impact-rated roofs withstand conditions like hail, wind-blown debris, and heavy rainfall. 

These roofs are tested to deter hard impacts that would normally cause significant damage to conventional roofing materials. By investing in an impact-resistant roof, homeowners can significantly reduce the risk of costly repairs and replacements due to weather-related damage. 

Insurance Premium Discounts

Many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who have impact-resistant roofs installed. This is because these roofs are less likely to sustain damage during storms, reducing the likelihood of insurance claims. By installing an impact-resistant roofing system, homeowners can not only protect their homes but also potentially lower their insurance premiums over time. 

Durability and Longevity

Impact-resistant roofs are known for their durability and longevity compared to traditional roofing materials. These roofs are typically made from materials that have been reinforced to provide greater strength and durability. As a result, impact-resistant roofs require fewer repairs and replacements over the life of the roof, saving homeowners time and money in the long run.

Environmental Benefits

Impact-resistant roofs can also provide environmental benefits, such as increased energy efficiency. Some impact-resistant roofing materials are designed to reflect more sunlight, reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the roof. This can help to keep homes cooler in the summer, reducing the need for air conditioning and lowering energy bills. Additionally, by reducing energy consumption, impact-resistant roofs can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the environmental impact of the home.

The Best Impact-Resistant Shingles of 2024

In the last conversation, we talked about the benefits of impact-resistant shingles. Now, let’s take a closer look at the available options on the market. 

GAF Timberline® AS II Shingles

GAF Timberline® AS II Shingles

The first impact-rated shingle on our list is from one of the leading shingle manufacturers in the world, GAF. These GAF roofing shingles aren’t your average roofing material, they’re made with a unique SBS-modified asphalt formulation and have a Class 4 impact rating, which means you don’t have to worry about hail damage. 

These roofing shingles are popular not only for their hail resistance, but for other reasons too. They come with a variety of useful features, including a 15-year WindProven™ Limited Wind Warranty and a 25-year StainGuard Plus™ Algae Protection Limited Warranty. So, your roof will be looking great for years to come.  

Also Read: Best GAF Timberline Shingle Colors In 2024

CertainTeed Belmont® IR Shingles

CertainTeed Belmont® IR Shingles

Next on our list is the Belmont IR roof shingles. These are high-quality Class 4 impact-resistant shingles backed by manufacturer CertainTeed. Additionally, they boast a Class A fire rating and come with a 30-year warranty that guarantees resistance against algae. 

Apart from these features, where CertainTeed really stands out is sustainability. The company has acquired Asphaltica recycling technology, which enables them to reclaim asphalt shingles at the end of their lifespan and reuse them.

Owens Corning TruDefinition® Duration FLEX® Shingles

Owens Corning TruDefinition® Duration FLEX® Shingles

Want an impact-resistant roof that can also improve the curb appeal of your home then the Duration FLEX shingles from Owens Corning are the perfect option. 

Like other popular impact-resistant shingles, Duration shingles are also made from SBS-modified polymer. Owens Corning combines the resilience of this modified asphalt with their SureNail® Technology. This creates a shingle that is flexible and grips well, enabling your roof to help withstand the elements, including up to 130 mph winds. 

Alternatives to Impact-Resistant Shingles

Impact-resistant shingles are a popular choice, but there are several other types of impact rated roofing materials available. Here’s a look at some of the most popular options:

Metal Roofs:

Metal roofs are known for their durability and longevity. Metals such as aluminum, steel, and copper are highly resistant to impacts from hail and wind-blown debris. Metal roofs are available in various styles, including standing seam, corrugated, and metal tiles, offering versatility in design. 

Though they are more expensive than impact-rated shingles upfront, a metal roof is often more cost-effective in the long run.

Tile Roofs:

Tile roofs are made from materials such as clay, concrete, or slate. They are known for their aesthetic appeal and can enhance the curb appeal of a home. Tile roofs are highly resistant to impacts and can last for decades with proper maintenance. 

Synthetic Roofing Materials:

Today, there is a rise of materials that mimic the look of natural premium options, such as slate and wood shakes, and offer greater durability and impact resistance. These materials are often lighter than their natural counterparts, reducing the need for structural modifications. You can check out the options from EcoStar and DaVinci Roofscapes, both of which offer class 4 impact-resistant roofing materials. 

We Install Highly Rated Impact-Resistant Roofs In WNY

Now that you know all about the impact-resistant roofs and how they can help you, it’s time to hire a professional roofing contractor to install your new roof. 

At OConnor Contracting, we are a premier roofing company serving Western New York. We have been building and replacing roofs in this area for years, and we know how important it is to have a tough and durable structure protecting your home. So, if you don’t want the next downpour or hailstorm to damage your roof, contact us today at (716) 600-7663 for the best roof replacement in WNY. 

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