IBHS: The Best Hail Resistant Shingles for 2022 Storm Season

BY CHRIS GRAY

As the 2022 storm season rolls in, more customers are seeking resilient roofing materials to combat the rise in severe weather events. When it comes to asphalt shingles, contractors can compare products with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s (IBHS) roof shingle hail impact ratings.

Refreshed in June 2021, the IBHS’ performance ratings are based on the organization’s hail science research and peer-reviewed hail impact test protocol. IBHS mimics real-life hail strikes by creating hailstones based on studying thousands of measured, weighed, crushed and 3-D scanned hailstones. These are then fired out of CO2-powered guns at shingles to simulate the speed in which they strike a roof.

Dr. Ian Giammanco, lead research meteorologist and senior director for product design at IBHS, said the organization tests Class 3 and 4 impact-resistant products as a way of providing information to consumers.

“The point is to be able to showcase within that group of products there is a range of performance, so the goal is to give the consumer – whether that’s a contractor, roofer or homeowner – the best amount of information for them to make a good decision on what product they want to put on the roof,” he said.

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A hail stone expldoes against a shingle in IBHS' laboratory. Photos courtesy of IBHS.

First released in 2019, the updated ratings are transforming the asphalt shingle market for the better. Following the release of the first ratings report, manufacturers pulled two low-performing products and have introduced new ones in their place.

“The products that are now the polymer-modified asphalt shingles in general are becoming the best performers with regards to impact testing,” Giammanco said. “We’ve seen those products in terms of the number of them grow in the marketplace since our two ratings.”

These were the shingles tested in alphabetical order:

  • Atlas StormMaster Shake
  • CertainTeed NorthGate
  • GAF Timberline Armorshield II
  • IKO Nordic
  • Malarkey Legacy
  • Malarkey Vista
  • Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration FLEX
  • Owens Corning TruDefinition WeatherGuard HP
  • TAMKO Building Products Heritage IR

View the ratings here.

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Since introducing its new ratings system in 2019, IBHS has helped raise the bar for Class 3 and 4 shingle performance.

Previously, shingles were rated with a simple pass or fail system. The updated ratings are now broken down into three categories: dents/ridges, tears, and granule loss. These are combined for an overall rating. Each category is given a color-coded rating of “Excellent” (dark green), “Good”