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Every now and then a customer will ask about upgrading to impact resistant shingles. These types of shingles come in many shapes and sizes but are typically thicker and heavier than traditional shingles. They are designed to defend against updrafts, crosswinds and all manner of gusty, blustery weather. They carry a Class 4 rating which means that during a 2218 hail Impact test where they drop a steel ball from 20 feet, no evidence of cracking or tearing is observed. These impact rated shingles are able to achieve these ratings by adding a durable reinforcement on the underside of the shingle. This “backer shim” contains an impact resistant reinforcement.

Now that we understand what makes an impact rated shingle different, let’s get back to the question of are they worth it?

Well these shingles will theoretically last longer because of the extra reinforcement they carry. Due to this enhanced life expectancy, many insurance companies will offer discounts to homeowners that install them. These savings vary from carrier to carrier, some of which give considerable premium discounts depending on your area.

Another thing to consider is the frequency with which your home gets adverse weather. Here in Houston we can see all four seasons in four days which makes us pretty susceptible to hail and high winds pretty often. With the added reinforcement of the impact rating, it may make overall maintenance of your roof less expensive and a full roof replacement less likely.

So we know why we would all want impact rated shingles… then why don’t more people have them? It boils down to the cost of the upgrade. Whether you are paying for a full roof replacement out of pocket or going through the insurance, it will cost you a pretty penny to upgrade to impact rated shingles. Insurance companies will only pay for the replacement of the type of shingle currently installed, so the upgrade to an impact shingle will be your responsibility. What kind of price point are we talking about here? Well the shingles can add 10 to 20, sometimes even 30% to the cost of the materials depending on the manufacturer and type of impact shingle you choose. That can add up pretty quickly.

Soooo… ARE THEY WORTH IT?

Unfortunately we cannot give you a blanket answer. That is going to boil down to your individual situation. As with any major purchase, it is best to evaluate it with the return on investment. To recap, some of the things to consider here are what kind of discount can you get, how long you plan to stay in your home, how often you see hail and high winds and of course the price difference for the upgrade. Finding out the answers to these questions should help you decide what is best for you and your home. As with any roofing situation, we here at Blue Ribbon would love to help! Give us a call for a free inspection and we can help you answer some of these questions and get you on your way to a new roof you feel comfortable with.