Class IV Shingles: Are They Hail Proof?

If your home is positioned in a hail market, you may wonder whether a Class IV shingle is hail-proof. Class IV shingles are often touted as the go-to choices for homeowners who want to protect their home roofs from hail damage.

Let’s break down the answer to this question and explore the shingle class rating system in detail.

What is the “Class Rating”?

For shingles and similar materials, the class rating is an impact resistance rating determined via impact tests that are performed by an underwriter’s laboratory. These scientific tests examine base materials and full shingle products for their impact resistance, water resistance, and a variety of other factors.

In this way, each product is given a class rating that accurately reflects just how durable and long-lasting it will be once installed on a home or commercial building.

Why does this matter for hail? Specifically, the laboratory performs a drop test using a 2-inch steel ball, which is dropped at six different locations. For a shingle to receive a Class IV rating, the shingle has to withstand the test without any visible cracks at each location.

If even a single crack is discovered, the shingle is downgraded to a lower-class rating depending on how bad the crack is. Furthermore, each drop location is carefully selected, as these are the most vulnerable points for installed shingles.

In this way, the underwriter laboratory test helps prove beyond a doubt that a given shingle product is tough… provided that product receives a Class IV rating.

Why Does the Class Rating Matter?

The class rating system is important because it helps homeowners make wise, informed choices about the roofing materials they select for their projects. Roofing renovations or replacements can be highly expensive, so you need to trust that you’re choosing the right material for your needs.

A Class IV shingle can be reliably expected to extend the life of your roof, particularly if you live in an environment with regular hail, rainstorms, and other environmental hazards.

Even better, installing Class IV shingles for your roof may help you save between 10% and 30% on your annual home insurance premiums (since you’re taking steps to protect your home from damage). Those are massive savings, especially when you consider the additional savings you may get from not having to replace your roof every few years.

So, is any Class IV Shingle Hail Proof?

With all that said, is any Class IV shingle truly hail-proof? In our opinion: no.

“Hail proof” implies that a Class IV shingle product will never succumb to hail damage, even under regular and very heavy hailstorms. Instead, we prefer to view a Class IV shingle product like this:

  • Normally, you may have to replace your roof every few years due to the damage sustained from a single hailstorm.
  • With Class IV shingles, your roof will be able to withstand several hailstorms over many years. In this way, you could potentially double or even triple the lifespan of your roof just by choosing a superior, more durable product

In essence, a Class IV shingle product is not fully hail-proof. But it’s the closest thing possible to a hail impervious roofing solution.

Overall, while Class IV shingles may not be completely hail-proof in the traditional sense of the term, they are still the best choice if you want to protect your roof and save yourself money in the long term. Fortunately, The Roofing Center can help you select the right shingles for your roof and even install them for you. Contact us today for more information about whether a Class IV shingle is hail-proof.

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