What Are Impact Resistant Roofs?
Impact resistant roofs can withstand hail and windstorms. They require fewer repairs and last longer. Insurance companies like these roofs too! They liked the idea so much they decided to give discounts to consumers who installed them. However, the roof first needed a standardized test and rating system to determine the quality of the roofing materials used.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a not-for-profit independent testing organization that was founded in 1894. UL provides the knowledge and expertise to help consumers make informed decisions on products that affect their daily lives. UL developed a test to rate the strength of roofing materials. This test is called the UL 2218 Impact Rating.
How Are Impact Resistant Roofs Classified?
The test uses steel balls ranging from 1.25 inches to 2.0 inches in diameter. The steel balls are dropped from heights of 12 feet for the 1.25 inch ball to 20 feet for the 2 inch ball. The test roof is struck twice in the same spot for each size steel ball.
To meet the acceptance criteria of UL 2218, the roofing material, back surface and underneath layers must show no evidence of tearing, fracturing, cracking, splitting, rupture, crazing or other evidence of opening of the roof covering layer. Based on how the roofing material performs in the test, it will be classified as Class 1, 2, 3 or 4.
Class 3 roof is earned if the sample does not crack when hit twice in the same spot by a 1.75 inch diameter steel ball. Class 4 roof is earned if the sample does not crack when hit twice in the same spot by a 2 inch diameter steel ball. Roofs with Class 3 or 4 rating can be eligible for insurance discounts to homeowners.
Can Class 3 & 4 Roofs Ever Become Hail Damaged?
Hail resistant roofing offers the benefit of extra protection to your home. It is also important to understand that a hail resistant roof can still be damaged by large, wind-driven hail. The roof will be protected against an average hail storm so the chances of a damaged roof claim are much smaller, but there is still a chance for the roof to see hail damage during a bad storm.