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Impact Resistant, Class 4 Roofing

In Oklahoma hail is the number one cause of roof damage to your home.  Now I know that is not a profound statement to anyone over the age of five.  But since we are a creative culture, surely there is a way to lessen this damage caused by Mother Nature.

Back in the late 1990’s a roofing material was introduced in Oklahoma that gave promise to reduced damage from hail and high winds.  State Farm Insurance was the driving force in introducing this Impact Resistant (IR), Class 4 shingle to roofing contractors in Oklahoma City.  State Farm offered a 21% discount to any of their homeowner policy holders if they would install this product.  The number one obstacle was the cost of the shingle.  It was nearly double the cost of a standard 30 year laminated shingle.  At the time I joked that the only customers that would buy this shingle were State Farm Agents.

At the time of its introduction to the Oklahoma market, there were only two manufacturers of IR Class 4 shingles.  Today, almost every manufacturer offers this product, and consequently the costs have moderated significantly.  The styles have greatly improved, and many of them are very architecturally pleasant to have on your home.

Do they work?  Yes and no.  The no is not a critical assessment of the product because I truly believe they deliver their promise of being impact resistant, but they are not totally hail proof.  I have installed hundreds of these roofs and I can say with 100% accuracy that only one has been totaled by hail.  Tennis to baseball size hail, on my brother-in-laws house of course.  As for the success stories there are many.  I roofed twenty-two homes in one neighborhood and we installed the IR Class 4 shingle on six of those roofs.  Two years later a golf ball sized hail storm hit the same neighborhood and totaled 16 of those same roofs.  The six IR roofs did not have damage.  The homeowners saved the cost of their deductible and the hassle of having their roof replaced.

From this information we can conclude that the IR Class 4 shingle can withstand a golf ball and smaller hail stone, but may not resist damage to larger hail.  Tennis ball and greater sized hail does occur for sure, but most of the storms that affect our neighborhoods are golf ball sized hail and smaller.

In summary, check with your insurance company to determine if they will offer you a discount for installing the IR Class 4 shingle.  In Oklahoma there are a handful of companies other than State Farm that offer these savings to your homeowner policy.  In Texas, their insurance commission ordered every insurer to offer discounts for these shingles installations.  If your company does not offer this discount, contact your legislator and ask if he would sponsor legislation requiring the discount.  It never hurts to ask.

If you have had a positive or negative experience with the IR Class 4 shingle I would like to read your comments.

Stan Templeton, Founder

This entry was posted on Friday, September 24th, 2010 at 9:43 pm and is filed under Roofing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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