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Impact Resistant Shingles: How do They Protect Your Home?

Advice For Homeowners, Roofing

Can impact resistant shingles save your roof from high-speed winds and hail? Learn all about how this durable choice of roofing materials can protect your home with this guide from the expert team at Tidewater Roofing.

Posted by Emmit | November 29, 2023 | Reading Time:

Impact resistant shingles are gaining popularity across Virginia, due to their ability to withstand severe weather conditions. But how do they compare to standard 3-tab shingles, and are they worth the investment?

Tidewater Roofing installs high-quality shingles of many kinds for homes in Hampton Roads and Richmond, VA. In this article, we explore the benefits of impact resistant shingles and their uses so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to use them on your rooftop.

What Are Impact Resistant Shingles?

Impact resistant shingles are specially designed to withstand extreme weather conditions such as hail storms and heavy rains. They are classified based on their ability to endure the impact of hailstones of varying sizes and at different speeds.

  • Material: Impact resistant shingles are typically made from a combination of asphalt and fiberglass, but can also incorporate other materials like rubber and plastic polymers.
  • Structure: Impact resistant shingles are made from multiple layers that provide added strength and durability compared to traditional three-tab shingles.
  • Class Ratings: All impact resistant shingles are organized into four classes—with class 1 offering the least resistance and class 4 offering the most.
Rain and hail hitting impact resistant shingles on residential roof in Virginia

How Impact Resistant Shingles Work

Impact resistant shingles work by absorbing and dissipating the energy from impacts, preventing damage to the roof deck and the underlying structure of the home. Three things happen whenever an impact resistant shingle is struck by an object:

  • Absorption: The top layer is designed to absorb the initial impact, preventing damage to the layers below.
  • Dissipation: The energy from the impact is then spread across a larger area, reducing the chance of puncture or cracking.
  • Resilience: The shingles are able to maintain their shape and integrity after impact, ensuring long-term protection.

The Benefits of Impact Resistant Shingles

Opting for impact resistant shingles brings several benefits that help protect your home and give you peace of mind:

  • Durability: Your roof gains a higher level of resistance to cracking, tearing, and other forms of damage.
  • Longevity: Typically, impact resistant shingles last longer than standard 3-tab shingles, reducing the frequency of roof replacements.
  • Weather Protection: You’ll enjoy superior protection against severe weather conditions such as hailstorms, wind, and heavy rain.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: These shingles are available in a variety of styles and colors to enhance the aesthetic value of your home.
  • Insurance Advantages: Many insurance companies offer discounts on premiums for homes with impact resistant roofing.
Standard three-tab shingles on residential rooftop

Impact Resistant Shingles vs. Three-Tab Shingles

To appreciate the difference between impact resistant and standard three-tab shingles, let’s consider a comparison:

Impact Resistant ShinglesStandard 3-Tab Shingles
MaterialAsphalt, Fiberglass, Rubber, Plastic PolymersAsphalt, Fiberglass
Life Span30-50 years15-30 years
Weather ProtectionHigh (Class 1 to 4)Moderate (Generally Class 1)
CostHigher Initial InvestmentMore Affordable Initially
Insurance BenefitsPossible Discounts on PremiumsTypically No Discounts

When to Choose Impact Resistant Shingles

When choosing between impact resistant shingles and three-tab shingles for your roof, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Would you rather spend more upfront for better protection, or save money now and likely pay more for repairs later? You’ll pay less at the front end for three-tab shingles, but you may pay more in the long run if they become damaged.
  • What kind of weather events are likely to affect your home? Hampton Roads, VA can experience nearly 40 severe weather warnings each year, which means extra protection for your roof could be a smart investment.
  • What warranties will come with your new shingles? Whether you purchase impact-resistant shingles or three-tab shingles, you’ll want to make sure they’re protected. Tidewater Roofing offers industry-leading warranties on all of our work, guaranteeing you a job well done and allowing you to buy new shingles for your roof with confidence.

Installing & Maintaining Impact Resistant Shingles

Proper installation and maintenance are essential for maximizing the benefits of impact resistant shingles. Once you’ve had our team put new impact resistant shingles on your roof, take these steps to keep them in excellent condition:

  • Regular Inspections: Conduct visual inspections of the roof every season, especially after severe weather events. Look for signs of damage such as missing, loose, or cracked shingles.
  • Clean Gutters and Downspouts: Ensure gutters and downspouts are clean and free from debris to prevent water buildup and ice dams. Check for proper water flow and fix any blockages immediately.
  • Remove Overhanging Branches: Trim any tree branches that are hanging over the roof to prevent them from falling and causing damage. This also prevents the accumulation of leaves and other debris on the roof.
  • Address Algae and Moss Growth: Regularly check for any signs of algae or moss growth. Clean affected areas using a mild detergent and a soft brush (do not use a pressure washer as it may cause damage).
  • Check Flashing and Sealants: Inspect flashing around chimneys, skylights, and vent pipes. Ensure that all sealants are intact, and reseal any gaps or cracks to prevent water leaks.
  • Monitor Attic Ventilation: Ensure that attic ventilation is adequate to prevent moisture buildup and temperature extremes. Address any ventilation issues promptly to maintain the roof’s integrity.
  • Report any Issues: In case of finding any significant damage or issues, promptly contact Tidewater Roofing. We’ll be happy to provide you with a quote for any work you need so that your roof can remain reliable for many years to come.

FAQs about Impact Resistant Shingles

Can impact resistant shingles be installed on any type of roof?

Generally, yes. When you contact Tidewater Roofing, we’ll perform a preliminary assessment of your roof to ensure that any shingles we recommend will be compatible and effective.

Are impact resistant shingles environmentally friendly?

Many manufacturers are increasingly focused on sustainability, offering impact resistant shingles made from recycled materials and designed for energy efficiency. These can also help improve your home’s insulation and lower your monthly energy bills, further offsetting their costs.

Can impact resistant shingles improve the resale value of my home?

Yes! Homes with impact resistant shingles are often seen as more durable and secure, which can increase your home’s resale value. This is especially true in Virginia, where more buyers are looking for houses with weather-resistant roofing and exteriors.

How do impact resistant shingles perform in snow and ice compared to standard shingles?

Impact resistant shingles typically perform better in snow and icy conditions due to their enhanced durability and structure. They are less prone to damage from ice dams and the freeze-thaw cycle, which can be detrimental to standard shingles.

What color and style options are available for impact resistant shingles?

Impact resistant shingles come in a wide variety of colors and styles, allowing you to customize the appearance of your roof to complement the overall aesthetic of your home.