Impact Resistant Class 4 Roofing Materials – Why Some Are Better than Others
What is the Most Durable Roofing Material?
A “Class 4 Impact Resistance”, is the highest level of durability that is offered by the Underwriters Laboratories in their industry standardized impact resistance test (UL 2218). However, just because a roofing shingle has a Class 4 rating, it does not mean that it is the best or most durable roofing material available.
Some roofers and product manufactures only cite standard impact ratings when describing the durability of their products and neglect to review the inherent pros and cons of different roofing materials. Thus, some individuals may erroneously think that “X Product” is just as durable as “Y Product” because they both have have been assigned a Class 4 impact rating.
To illustrate the inherent differences between various roofing materials, the following pictures were taken in the same general area following a massive hail and wind storm:
The Stone Coated Steel roofs in this area out-preformed all other roofing materials hit by the storm.
For the ultimate in durability and storm protection, choose a Stone Coated Steel roof manufactured by Unified Steel (Boral), Varitile, Tilcor, or DECRA. Stone Coated Metal is a steel core product that is manufactured to look like asphalt shingles, clay tile, or wood shake.
Composite Polymer roofs made by CeDUR, Brava and DaVinci Roofscapes are also an exceptional choice. Composite Polymer roofs are made from synthetic materials to look like wood shake, clay tile, or stone slate and are the most realistic looking options available.
Most homeowners will never need to replace their roof again if they install a Composite Polymer or Stone Coated Steel roof. Both Stone Coated Steel and Composite Polymer products are more expensive than asphalt shingles, but they are better looking, and total expenditures may be lower when replacement costs, energy savings, and insurance discounts are considered.
A word of caution regarding Cosmetic Damage Exclusions in Homeowners Insurance Policies.
More and more insurance companies are incorporating or pushing cosmetic damage exclusions in homeowners insurance policies as a way to limit their potential claim liability. Cosmetic damage is generally defined as denting, pitting, marring, scratching, or discoloration that affects the appearance of a material but does not impact the integrity of the material or its ability to protect a structure from outside elements. For example, hail dents in AG or standing seam metal panels may look unsightly, but they may not have an effect on the metal panel’s ability to prevent rain or moisture from damaging your home. Thus, if you have an cosmetic damage exclusion, and the insurance company determines that there is only cosmetic damage, then they will not cover the repair or replacement cost of the ugly hail dented metal panel roof.
Most people do not know that cosmetic damage exclusions exist. Thus, you should check with your insurance agent or review your policy to make sure that there is not a cosmetic damage exclusion buried deep with your homeowner policy if protection from cosmetic damage is something that is important to you.
Additional warning about Class 4 Asphalt Shingles.
Some manufactures now offer Class 4 asphalt shingles that are reinforced with a polymer-based mesh or other rubber-like polymers that are stronger or more flexible to reduce the effects of hail damage. Nevertheless, it is possible that the granules of these asphalt singles may be damaged by hail that eventually results in an ugly pitted looking appearance (i.e. cosmetic damage). There are reports of insurance companies rejecting hail damage claims of some asphalt shingles because of their Class 4 rating even though there is obvious granule loss to the shingles. Thus, the homeowner is stuck with an unattractive roof for years even though they thought that they were “buying a better roof”. To make matters worse, sun damage to the exposed base materials in Class 4 asphalt shingles may result in a shortened lifespan of the product. Then, when the Class 4 asphalt shingles eventually leak, and the homeowner tries to submit an insurance claim, it is rejected because the initial damage occurred many years earlier.
This is another reason why you should review your insurance policy for cosmetic damage exclusions, or take this information in account when choosing which roofing materials you want to put on your home.
Let a professional at Roofing Force give you a free estimate and help you choose the most optimal roof for your needs.
Roofing Force is an expert installer of all types of roofing products in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Visit our roofing Material Comparison page and Gallery for more information, or give our headquarters a call at (913) 270-5440 and we will direct you to a Roofing Force professional in your area.
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