Class 4 Shingles – Comparisons

Roofers that have been roofing Colorado Springs for many years understand the value of using impact resistant class 4 shingles. There are many, many different types of roofing systems available to homeowners these days. Asphalt shingle roofs are the most common roofing system here in Colorado Springs. A house is typically one’s largest investment, so how do you know what type of shingle to have installed on your roof? This blog is going to inform you about class 4 (iv) shingles, and the differences between different types of class 4 impact resistant shingles.

What is a Class 4 Shingle? Let’s get into that!

Typically classified as a thirty-year shingle, you have your normal, basic asphalt shingle. In addition to that, you have a class 4 impact resistant shingle. The difference is the structure in how these shingles are made. Impact resistant shingles are designed to withstand higher than normal wind speeds or a hailstorm producing fair sized hail stones. By no means are impact resistant shingles hail proof! Hail proof shingles are nonexistent, remember that.

Shingles that have been labeled as class four do withhold an impact resistance rating of UL 2218.

What does UL 2218 mean?

UL 2218 is actually the test that the roofing industry uses to test shingles against the impact of hail. This testing system includes dropping different sized balls of steel at different heights to rate or grade the impact of the hit so to speak. Fun fact, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home safety concluded that IR shingles with SBS integration performed better than your traditional impact resistant shingles with up to a 50% improvement for all four different tests, wow!

A large majority of Colorado Springs roofers try to convince homeowners to upgrade their roofing system to a class four shingle, without giving the good and the bad. Impact resistant shingles are indeed an upgrade from your typical thirty-year shingle. They are of a higher quality. Not to mention, some insurance companies, typically your most common heard of insurance companies will even offer their homeowners or policy holders a discount off of their premiums. As of 2020, this is typically up to twenty seven percent! Wow, that’s incredible! Who doesn’t like to save money?

As great as all of this information sounds, sometimes class four impact resistant shingles are not the best choice. Why do I say this? Well, the reason for this is since class four shingles are able to withstand a higher-level impact or higher wind speed, the damage is not always considered functional. After a hail storm, you might see granule loss or slight damage across your roof, well insurance adjusters work daily with cosmetic vs functional damage and as you might have read in a previous blog post, damage is only considered functional if it affects the lifespan of the roof itself, or if the damage reduces the water shedding capability to the roof’s eaves. If the damage is not functional, it is merely cosmetic and not likely to be bought by the adjuster or your insurance company. So unfortunately, your roof might look like it’s been through “hail and back,” but it might not be enough to warrant an insurance claim.

Different Types of Class Four Impact Resistant Shingles

Let’s review a few different types of class four impact resistant shingles, shall we. One manufacturing company that we here at Integrity Roofing and Painting prefer is GAF. GAF happens to be America’s leading and largest roofing manufacturer! Now that’s an accomplishment! GAF offers an impact resistant shingle which is the “Timberline Armorshield II.” One of the reason’s we here at Integrity Roofing and Painting really enjoy installing this shingle is the SBS technology.

What is SBS?

SBS stands for styrene-butadiene-styrene. What does that mean for the shingle? Well it means that the Armorshield II shingle is composed of not just your average asphalt, but a synthetic rubber or a thermo plastic elastomer that increases abrasion resistance and aging. It gives it those properties of elastic and greater flexibility. These shingles when installed properly hold a 130mph wind rating, not to mention GAF offers an impact resistant ridge cap to support the same specifications as your entire roof! This type of shingle does come in a variety of colors, seven colors to be exact. GAF’s shingles have a distinctive shadow line to them. They use what they call a feather look, which provides a beautiful shadow and contract line in color.

Another highly favored manufacturer that offers an incredible class iv impact resistant shingle is Owens Corning. You might already be familiar with Owens Corning’s pink panther inside of your house because along with roofing material, they also produce insulation for many homes.

Owens Corning actually offers two different types of impact resistant shingles, Duration Storm and also their newest product Duration Flex.

What are the differences you might ask?

Duration Storm is your fairly average class four impact resistant shingle with the exception of the SureNail technology. The sure nail strip is a mechanically fastened fabric strip across the average nailing area, the entire way across a shingle. This acts as a reinforcement for the nails, which provide more support to hold against pulling which is especially helpful in high speed windstorms. Owens corning claims that the SureNail technology provides a 42% better nail-pull resistance than your typical shingle. Duration Storm comes in seven different color options with again, a wonderful looking color scheme with contrast and beautiful shadow lines. Installed properly with the correct amount of nails, these shingles are rated at a 130mph wind rating.

Duration Flex, similar to the GAF Armorshield II incorporates the SBS mentioned earlier in this blog! Not only do these shingles have more durability than the duration storm but they also have more flexibility with that SBS integration. As the duration storm shingles, these also come in a variety of seven different colors. Owens Corning also offers an impact resistant/ SBS ridge cap to integrate into your Duration Flex roofing system.


Integrity Roofing and Painting is a local contractor. We have been roofing Colorado Springs for over a decade. We have been in business since 1990. Our team here at Integrity Roofing and Painting has actually completed multiple tests using different types of class four impact resistant shingles that are available for viewing on our YouTube channel! I highly recommend checking into those videos for some further information and training!