What Are Class 4 Shingles? What Roofing Manufacturer Makes A Class 4?

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What are Class 4 Shingles?

What are Class 4 Shingles?

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A homeowner requires a roof that not only protects them from the elements but also lasts despite adverse weather conditions. Class 4 shingles are impact resistance and made to withstand the extremes of wind and hail. Class 4 shingles are a good idea if you live in a place that experiences constant winter storms that involve hail, ice, snow, and extreme winds. The shingles are made for such areas and help you reduce the cost of constant roof repairs and replacements. They are the best shingles for withstanding hail damage.  

The Downside of Class 4 Shingles

Manufacturer warranties do not cover hail damage for class 4 shingles. No shingles are impact-proof, and that includes class 4 shingles. They will still wear under extreme hail weather conditions. Another disadvantage of class 4 shingles is that they cost one and a half to twice the other shingles’ price. This may be a disadvantage if you live in an area with extreme weather because if they are damaged in adverse conditions, the manufacturer’s warranty will not cover them.

What is a Class 4 Shingle?

A class 4 shingle is impact resistant and is made with styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS), making them the best shingles in the market for areas that have adverse weather. SBS is rubberized asphalt – also referred to as modified asphalt formula. Adding SBS to normal shingles rubberizes them and creates a stronger shingle that can better withstand impact more.

The use of SBS also helps the impact-resistant shingles weather better over time. Hail resistant shingles are heavier than normal ones. Class 4 shingles are the highest classification you can get regarding impact resistance. Their classification comes from the UL 2218 impact resistance test.

The test is performed by dropping a 2-inch steel ball from 20 feet onto the shingle to see if it will crack. The class 4 rating is given if the shingle does not crack when the 2′ ball is dropped twice onto the same spot from the 20 feet height.

The shingles interior layers, backing, and exterior surfaces must not show any signs of splitting, fractures, tearing, any signs of cracking, or other sign of the integrity of the material being compromised. When properly installed, the shingles have a 130mph wind rating.

A class 4 shingles is made using any material such as metal, asphalt, rubber, etc.  

Expert Tip: Modifying shingles with SBS helps to make them more flexible, improves the UV resistance of the shingles, and helps them to stop granule loss. Shingles are modified with SBS to improve their flexibility and performance. SBS modified shingles are better than traditional asphalt shingles in nail pull resistance and tear strength (40% better) and granule loss (15%).

How Long Does a Class 4 Shingle Roof Last?

Several factors, such as weather in your area, workmanship, and materials used to make shingles determine the lifespan of your roof. Unless a tree lands on your roof or a major storm hits your area, most roofs can last between 15 and 50 years.

Class 4 shingles are rubberized and last between twenty and thirty years. Most manufacturers offer up to fifty years’ warranty. Rubberized shingles can be painted once in ten years. An old class 4 roof can be damaged by dropping a 2-1/2 inch stone. Asphalt becomes more brittle and pliable as it ages, and damage or punctures can occur to the system. Insurance companies are well aware of this and recognize that a Class 4 shingle roof only provides protection for a decade or less. Class 4 shingles are the best for hail prone areas but decrease in serviceability over time.

Expert Tip: A roofing shingle that promises higher durability must have a Class 4 impact rating as this is the highest available in the market. With such a rating, you can be sure that the roof is resistant to withstand adverse weather conditions.   

What is the difference between class 3 and class 4 shingles?

Underwriters Laboratory 2218 (UL 2218) tests shingles for their ability to withstand impact. The steel ball test determines the impact resistance class a shingle is placed within.

Class 4 is the highest IR rating available. A shingle is placed in this class when a 2-inch diameter steel ball dropped twice onto the same spot does not damage the shingles.

A class 3 rating is given when damage does not occur when a smaller ball, 1.75 inches, is dropped from a lower height twice onto the shingle.

Class 4 roofing shingles have a higher hail resistance and are ideal in areas that are hailstorm prone or have other adverse weather conditions.

Here is a table summarizing the differences between the four available classes.

Shingle Rating Vs.  Performance when hit twice by a 2′ steel ball.

Class 1 Impact-resistant when twice hit by a steel ball 1.25 in. diameter lands on the same spot.

Class 2 Impact-resistant, when hit twice by a steel ball 1.50 in. diameter, lands on the same spot.

Class 3 Impact-resistant when twice hit by a steel ball 1.75 in. diameter lands at the same spot.

Class 4 Impact-resistant when twice hit by a steel ball 2.00 in. diameter lands at the same spot.

How can I tell if I have class 4 shingles?

It is easy to determine if you have Class 4 impact resistance shingles by looking at the cellophane on the shingle’s underside. Manufacturers always mark the impact resistance of shingle on its base.

How much do impact resistant Do shingles cost?

A homeowner will typically spend $3,300 to $4,500 on materials for an average 2200 to 2600 foot roof. Professional installation will usually vary between $ 2,000 and $8,500. Top grade impact resistant roofs cost way much more. The location of your home and manufacturer will also determine what you will spend on your roof.

On average, class 4 shingles cost $42 to $50+ per bundle. A bundle is about 33.3 square feet of roofing. Here is a look at the prices of shingles as they vary between different manufacturers.

On average, Owens Corning and Atlas cost $40 per bundle, while CertainTeed and GAF cost about $50+ per bundle. Material costs of shingles only cost about $2,400 – 2,650 for a 1600 sq. ft. ranch-style or simple cape roof.  You may need to factor in a waste of materials of about 10% and taxes applicable in the state that you are a resident

Also needed to complete install is about $460-800 per 1,600 sq. ft. or $40 to 50 per sq. ft. of other materials to complete the installation Such materials include nails, roof underlayment, flashing, ridge, hip caps, lead, vents, etc.

The figures cover all the costs of the materials needed to install the roof. A 1,600 sq.ft. the home may cost about $4,960 – 8,950 in total on average to install an IR roof There is no difference in costs to install a regular roof and an IR roof.  Per square installed, the cost is about $125-300+, or $175-200 per square when you include the cost to tear off one layer of shingles. Total installation costs for a 16 square foot roof come to $2,000 and $4,800. Labor will be about $3,000 

Higher-income areas tend to have 20 to 25% higher income than lower-income areas and about 15% to 18% higher costs than the US national average. Maintenance costs of an IR roof in storm-torn areas tend to be, on average, 1% to 4% of a home’s value every year.

For a $200,000 home, you can expect to spend about $2,000 in repairs each year. More expensive roofs may, in the long run, cost less in terms of few or no repairs or other fixes.

Expert Tip: Installing impact resistant shingles should cost the same as other shingles. Do not be overcharged. 

What class 4 shingle is the best?

Class 4 shingles are a roofing alternative made with the most recent and innovative technology in the industry. Homeowners, manufacturers, contractors, and sales representatives like class 4 shingles better than slates, ceramic tiles, cedar shake, asphalt, metal shingles, or membrane roofing because of their modern appeal and aesthetic qualities. The material used to make them is eco-friendly, has superior performance and durability. Class 4 shingles are pest resistant and do not crack, discolor, break, hold moisture, or burst into flames. They have waterproofing abilities and provide insulation.

Here are some of the best class 4 shingles in the market in no particular order:

Owens Corning Duration Shingles

Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration shingles (Flex & Storm) are amongst the best in the market when it comes to Class 4.

Three of Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Shingle lines are all Class 4 and ideal for hailstorm torn areas. TruDefinition Duration Flex shingles offer the best hailstorm protection a roof can give. They feature great wind resistance, outstanding grip, and triple-layer protection. Owens Corning uses the groundbreaking SureNail Technology, which gives the shingles extra strength and durability.

TruDefinition Duration Storm shingles feature two patented systems viz, WeatherGuard technology and the SureNail Technology, strengthening the shingles against failure due to impact. They have fabric strips that helps them provide wind protection up to 130mph. TruDefinition WeatherGuard HP Shingles are stylish and durable. They have high endurance from the IR webbing located at the shingle’s base and the patented complex design. Wind protection is up to 130mph and a limited warranty for algae protection good for ten years. The shingles do not fuse when temperatures are high.

Did You Know? You can identify algae discoloration since it is usually uniform or in streaks, unlike droppings from trees or moss, which normally have localized discoloration.   

Malarkey Legacy Shingles

The legacy shingles are strengthened with a resistant NEX polymer, which allows excellent granule adhesion. They are architectural grade and offer great protection in extreme weather conditions.

They also have Scotchgard 3M Protector against black streaks that algae cause.

They also have three warranty types.

  • Enhanced Warranty against Winds of up to 130 mph
  • Limited Warranty against Winds of up to 110 mph
  • Limited Lifetime Material Warranty

CertainTeed IR Shingles

CertainTeed manufactures several Class 4 shingles, including the following:

  • Architectural Landmark IR shingle
  • Belmont IR
  • Presidential Shake IR
  • Northgate shingle


All these come at several price points. Two layers of laminated high-quality asphalt are used to manufacture all of CertainTeed’s IR shingles. All shingles come with a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects and 110mph wind protection.


Landmark IR shingle comes in eight pretty colors, is the most budget-friendly, and has a distinguished dimensional appearance. Belmont is fancier, looks like slate, comes in six colors while presidential shingle comes in 4 colors, and looks like cedar shake. For protection against inclement weather, Northgate shingles come in handy. It is made from modified SBS and a blend of premium asphalt. They come in 11 attractive colors.  

Environshake Shingles

These do not contain asphalt and are made with rubber only. Environshake is one of the most dependable rubber shingles producers in the market. The advantage of rubber shingles over asphalt shingles is their energy efficiency. Environshake shingles look great and are made with 95% recycled materials. These recycled materials include plastics, tires, plastics, and cellulosic fiber. Environshake materials have UV protection, pest, wind, hail, and mildew resistance.

The company upholds practices that preserve the environment. The shingles have great UV protection as they have hindered amine light stabilizers (HALSs) and a built-in anti-oxidants sunscreen. Their wind resistance is up to 180mph. Their shingles come with a 50-year warranty and have passed the FM Approvals 4473.

Atlas Shake and StormMaster Slate Shingles

These shingles are made with SBS and have excellent adverse weather protection qualities. Atlas makes Class 4 shingles with other materials that make them elastic and rubber-like, and IR by flexing upon impact. The shingles come with a limited warranty against adverse winds of up to 130mph and Scotchgard Protector by 3M with anti-algae properties.

Timberline AS II Shingles from GAF

GAF mixes the original timberline shingles with SBS to get their class 4 IR shingles. They endure winds up to 130mph, which gives them a Class F wind rating. Timberline AS II shingles from GAF are made with Advanced Protection Shingle Technology, which reduces natural resource consumption without lowering the protection they offer. They have StainGuard Protection, which protects against blue-green algae discoloration, and a warranty good for the initial ten years.

IKO Nordic Shingles

This is a top-class impact protection shingle that comes in nine HD colors. IKO superimposes a thick layer of Polymer Modified Asphalt upon a mat of durable fiberglass. To make their shingles strong, durable, and impact-resistant, IKO installs their reinforcing band, ArmourZone, on each.

Are impact-resistant shingles worth the investment?

There is nothing like a hail proof roof. A class 4 shingle is a good investment despite its higher cost. If you live in an area such as Fort Worth / Dallas insurance companies will give you a huge break on your insurance to keep them from having to buy you a new roof every few years. Insurance companies make it possible to save 10-27% per year on homeowner’s premiums. In an area such as Texas, your insurance savings can amount to $195 – $525 per year when your insurance is about $1945.

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