Your roof has to endure a variety of weather conditions. Hail, high winds, snow, ice, and even nearby wildfire can weaken or destroy your roof system.
Hail is a particularly strong foe. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, hail causes insured losses of billions of dollars every year.
Hailstones can form up to five inches or more in diameter, and these "ice bullets" pelt your roof at speeds of 90 miles an hour or more. When hail hits asphalt shingles, it "bruises" them, knocking off the protective granular coating, leaving dents and divots and even breaking through to the asphalt layer underneath.
One way to lessen the impact of forceful storms is to install impact-resistant roofing materials.
Durable and attractive materials
Impact-resistant roofing materials are specially engineered to stand up to hail, flying debris, and high winds — and depending on the product, may also be fire-resistant.
You'll know these shingles by the Underwriters Laboratories or Factory Mutual classification number: Look for UL 2218 or FM 4473, Class 3 or 4 on the package. The shingles are aesthetically similar to traditional materials and can be made of asphalt or metal. Cement, plastic, recycled rubber, or molded polymer also is used to simulate shake or tile shingles. Each is available in a wide array of colors.
Impact-resistant roofs initially cost more than traditional shingles, but you could come out ahead by not needing to have your roof replaced after a storm. And while most traditional roofs have an estimated life of 20 years, many impact-resistant materials can last much longer.
Many insurers will offer insurance premium discounts for roofing with impact-resistant materials. Even better, impact-resistant roofing can be an attractive selling point if you put your home on the market.