Colorado is known as “hail alley.” Not only does Colorado get more severe hail storms than other parts of the United States, hail falls faster and hits harder. One study found Colorado hail to be 8 percent more damaging than when hail hits at sea level. A 2-inch hailstone can really damage your roof. When Mother Nature unleashes her anger, your house can take a hit.
Replacing a roof after storm damage is something no homeowner wants to think about, but if you have to make the investment in a new roof, you should consider your options. Impact-resistant shingles can be a good option for Colorado homes. Your homeowner’s insurance may require these shingles, or at the very least offer a discount for having them installed.
What Kind of Problems Does Hail Cause to Roofs?
Asphalt, wood and even metal roofs can sustain significant damage from impacts due to hail. On typical asphalt shingles, when hail impacts a shingle, some granules will come loose. These granules protect your roof from UV damage. When they start to deteriorate, it’s not only unsightly, it can open up your home to leaks and water damage.
Some common issues hail causes to your roof include:
- Cracked or broken shingles
- Mold growth from water getting under the shingles
- Torn underlayment
- Water infiltration
- Wood rot
Metal roofs can be damaged by hail, much like your car roof can. The metal panels become dented. The seams can peel or tear away in heavy hail damage. Wood shakes are fairly durable against hail, but they, too, can crack or split when massive hailstones impact the roof.
What Are Impact-Resistant Shingles?
Impact-resistant shingles are rated for different types of hail and damage. To be labeled impact-resistant, a shingle must be manufactured to make objects “bounce off of them.” The UL 2218 Class 4 Impact Rating is the toughest. In this test, a 2-inch steel ball is dropped from 20-feet on the shingle twice in the same spot to simulate the kinetic energy of a free-falling hailstone. The shingle can’t crack or break to qualify for a Class 4 Impact Rating.
Beauty and Durability
Impact-resistant shingles are available in many different styles and colors to provide curb appeal. You won’t give up beauty and style just to have a stronger roof. Class 4 impact-resistant shingles aren’t meant to just protect your home. Homeowners have been dealing with extreme weather for decades. Manufacturers have created products that will last even under the harshest conditions while maintaining the look of your home.
Your roof is your home’s line of defense against damaging weather. GAF offers two impact-resistant shingles: ArmorShield™ II Grand Sequoia IR Shingles. Both have a UL Class A fire rating, the highest possible rating and give you peace of mind with a limited lifetime warranty. You can get the strongest warranty with these shingles. A longer warranty that isn’t pro-rated benefits you in the long run, making the investment even more cost-effective.
Are They Worth the Cost?
Impact-resistant shingles will cost more than non impact-resistant shingles when only considering the initial costs. However, if you live in an area that frequently sees hail and other damaging storms, impact-resistant shingles can reduce the number of homeowners’ insurance claims that you need to make. Impact-resistant shingles can reduce your maintenance costs by preventing premature roof replacement.
If your insurer offers a discount for a Class 4 roof, it can offset the initial investment in the shingles. For most people, their home is their most significant investment. It makes sense to protect it with shingles that can withstand damaging storms. You’ll have to check with your insurance company about discounts, but it is often worth the call.
Hopefully, a new roof isn’t a regular occurrence for you. It pays to really consider your roofing options with a qualified professional who can provide quality installation, giving you peace of mind.