Impact-Resistant Roofing Shingles (Types & Pricing)

Impact-resistant roofing is vital if you live in an area with frequent hailstorms or strong winds. Because of the potential damage, extreme weather can cause to your roof, you will need to strongly consider installing to increase the lifespan of your roof and home.

Impact-resistant roofing can be purchased in composite plastic, asphalt, slate and clay tiling, and metal materials. The price of having an impact-resistant roof installed is typically between $7000, to $80,000 depending on the materials and the size of the roof. Slate and clay are the most expensive but the most durable, while composite plastic and asphalt are the cheapest options to consider.

This guide will provide you with all of the information you need to determine whether you need impact-resistant roofing and how much you can expect to pay for each material.

What Is Impact Resistant Roofing?

Impact-resistant roofing, also known as class 4 shingles or impact-resistant shingles, is a super durable type of roofing material designed to withstand even the most brutal beatings. Impact-resistant roofing can handle heavy impacts from objects like it’s nothing.

Some extra protection for your roof is always a good thing. For some people, they are totally necessary. They are a must-have in areas with severe weather, especially hail.

Who wants to spend extra money fixing damaged roofing after a major storm? With impact-resistant roofing, these issues will be a thing of the past. Now it’s important to understand that impact-resistant roofing must pass a bunch of tests to get certified. You can thank the Underwriters Laboratory for carrying out these tests so you don’t have to.

The Underwriters Laboratory is in charge of designing class 4 shingles while working with the Institute of Business and Home Safety. Together, they came up with the hyper-durable design and specifications that these shingles need to meet to be certified as class 4 impact-resistant shingles.

If you are interested, the name of these serious tests is called UL2218 Class 4 Impact Rating. During this test, a bunch of heavy steel balls is dropped from a lot of different heights onto the shingles at a speed of around 90mph. The heights increase to make sure that you are getting the most durable shingles possible.

To make sure that the shingles can really handle serious impacts, they are tested many times in the same spot. Once the test is over, the shingle will get a rating based on how well it did. For shingles to be certified as class 4 impact-resistant shingles, they have to survive at least two impacts from these steel balls without breaking down under the pressure.

Shingles that don’t stand up to heavy impact will not get a good rating. Shingles that don’t meet these requirements are classified with a lower impact rating, making them poor choices if you need some heavy-duty shingles. The classes range from one to four, with one being the weakest and four being the strongest.

A summary of the impact resistance test has been included in the table below:

Class 1Shingle withstood impact from 1.25-inch steel ball.
Class 2Shingle withstood impact from 1.50-inch steel ball.
Class 3Shingle withstood impact from 1.75-inch steel ball.
Class 4Shingle withstood impact from 2-inch steel ball.

While this table is a good standard to go by when choosing impact-resistant shingles, the mandating of these classes may vary depending on the state that you live in. The weather conditions in your area will determine what class is necessary for your roof.  

For example, states that have frequent hailstorms are likely to require that all shingles be certified as class 4, due to the liability of damage from the hail. There are many different types of class 4 impact-resistant shingles. The materials that you can commonly find in these shingles will be covered later in this guide.

Next, we will cover whether or not your actually need impact-resistant roofing in your area. This will help determine if you will benefit from the extra resistance they provide.

Do You Need Impact Resistant Roofing?

If you live in an area that has frequent hailstorms, you will most definitely need to look into impact-resistant roofing. While hail can occur anywhere in the United States, it is much more frequent in certain areas.

If you live in an area with frequent hailstorms and choose to not use impact-resistant roofing, you will likely experience extensive damage at least once in the lifespan of your roof. “Hail Alley” is the name given to the parts of the US that have the most frequent hailstorms.

This region expands through most of the Great Plains including Texas, Missouri, South Dakota, and all the areas around there. There are some areas on the East Coast like Georgia and parts of Florida that also have frequent hailstorms.

Of course, you could still benefit from impact-resistant roofing in areas without frequent hailstorms. Class 4 shingles can protect your roof from falling tree branches or other debris. It can also help protect from strong winds that would damage lower-rated shingles.

Being aware of the weather conditions in your area will help you determine if impact-resistant roofing is right for you. As previously mentioned, if you live in “Hail Alley” you will almost definitely need impact-resistant roofing, or else your roof will be frequently damaged by falling hail and debris. Additionally, such damage to your roofing can lead to other problems like missing shingles and leaks.

Now that you have some insight into whether or not you need impact-resistant shingles, we can dive into the different materials that you can consider.

Types Of Impact-Resistant Roofing

There are five main types of impact-resistant roofing materials. These include composite plastic, asphalt, metal, slate, and clay. The type of shingle you choose can impact how effective they are. We will cover these different types in the sections below.

Composite Plastic And Asphalt Shingles

Composite and asphalt shingles are super common materials used in impact-resistant roofing. You can’t go wrong with these materials because they provide excellent durability and impact resistance for cheap prices.

Composite Plastic And Asphalt Shingles

These materials wind up with a rating of 3 or 4 typically. As long as you don’t live in an area with a lot of hail, a rating of 3 will be more than enough to give your roof the extra strength it needs. At $5 per square foot, there is no reason not to consider these materials for your impact-resistant roofing.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are a great choice and have a big-time impact rating. Like any metal, they are resistant to all sorts of elements and impacts. Metal roofing is almost always rated a 4 on the impact scale. Even though it’s a little more expensive, at $9 per square foot, it’s almost always worth it in the long run.

Metal Roofs

Slate And Clay Tiles

Slate and clay tiles are the most attractive and durable impact-resistant materials available. With a bunch of different styles, these materials are almost always rated a big 4 on the scale. This makes them a great option for aesthetic and durable roofing material.

Slate And Clay Tiles

If that hasn’t sold you, both slate and clay tiles can last up to a whopping 100 years. You will not find a lifespan longer than this out of any material. At $12 per square foot, they are well worth the extra costs.

How Much Do Impact Resistant Shingles Cost?

It can cost a whopping $7000 to $80,000 to have an impact-resistance roof installed. This price range is so wide because it will ultimately be determined by your region, the material chosen, and the price of your contractor.

Asphalt is the cheapest material with plastic being similar in price. Slate and clay tiles will be much more expensive than asphalt and plastic shingles. Slate and clay are both premium roofing materials and the cost will always reflect that.

Since slate and clay are more durable, thicker, and heavier, the labor cost involved with the installation will be more to reflect that. Slate and clay tiles can cost upwards of $12 to $15 per square foot. Metal roofing is not quite as expensive and is a good midpoint between asphalt and plastic and slate and clay.

It’s hard to find a material that stands up to the beatings the elements can bring and still remain in your budget. Now that we have discussed the associated costs with the different impact-resistance roofing materials, we can begin to discuss whether they are worth it or not.

Are Impact Resistant Shingles Worth It?

If you live in a place with a lot of extreme weather like heavy winds and hail, there is no doubt that impact-resistant shingles are worth it. The extra durability can come in handy and save you big-time money when it comes to repairs and damage.

If you can get past the expense of the installation, you will find that impact-resistant roofing will save you tons of money over time. There is no doubt that impact-resistant roofing can be a great addition to your life.


Impact-resistant roofing is a must-have for those who live in areas with extreme weather. Hail, wind, and debris can cause big-time damage to a normal roof. With impact-resistance roofing, you will have the peace of mind that comes with the extra protection that they provide.

You should contact your local contractor to have them give you an estimate if you wish to have the benefit of impact-resistance roofing. They will be able to quote you a price and help you figure out whether or not impact-resistant roofing is necessary for your area.

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