Updated 7/10/23 to reflect change of CertainTeed Landmark IR to Landmark ClimateFlex
As storm season ramps up, roofing distributors can point their customers toward the best impact-resistant shingles on the market thanks to an updated scorecard from the Insurance Institute of Business & Home Safety [IBHS].
The organization has released the second scheduled update of its Impact-Resistant Shingle Performance Ratings, showing how asphalt shingles perform against hailstorm damage. The performance ratings are determined using IBHS' hail science research and peer-reviewed hail impact test protocols. Instead of the traditional method of dropping or launching steel balls, the organization creates hailstones in the lab based on studies of thousands of samples taken from the field. These synthetic hailstones are launched at shingles with a CO2-powered gun to simulate a hailstone striking shingles on a roof.
Shingles are tested in the categories of dents/ridges, tears and granule loss. Each category receives a rating of excellent, good, marginal, or poor. Based on these, the shingle brand is given an overall rating.
This year, eight of the nine products received a "good" overall rating from IBHS, but many received lesser scores in specific damage modes compared to previous years.
"Though our tests reveal a few brands have received lower ratings, specifically in the dents and ridges damage category, we are seeing an increase in overall market performance," said IBHS Research Project Scientist Chris Sanders. "Together with manufacturers, we are working to identify the reasons for poor ratings with the goal of increasing product quality."
The brands tested this year include (in alphabetical order):
- Atlas StormMaster Shake
- CertainTeed Landmark ClimateFlex
- CertainTeed NorthGate
- GAF Timberline Armorshield II
- IKO Nordic
- Malarkey Roofing Products Legacy
- Malarkey Roofing Products Vista
- Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration FLEX
- TAMKO Building Products StormFighter
IBHS obtains the shingles they test through distributors as well as from large home improvement stores. In doing so, they test the actual products going onto homeowners’ roofs.
First released publicly in 2019, the Hail Shingle Rating scorecard is updated every two years. According to IBHS, the impact test protocol addresses a “critical gap” in the existing hailstorm damage test standards that typically use steel balls by instead using realistic hailstones.
The testing is held every two years to capture changes in production quality, evaluate the durability of new products as they enter the market and ensure ratings are reflective of actual product performance.
Roofing contractors familiar with IBHS’ FORTIFIED Program can use the rating scorecard to determine which shingles are compatible. FORTIFIED is a voluntary, above-code roofing installation method created by IBHS that is shown to better withstand severe weather.
"A home's roof is the first line of defense against hailstorm damage, and shingles play a critical role in that protection," says Dr. Anne Cope, chief engineer at IBHS, in a written statement. "The Impact Test Protocol, developed through intensive hail research, provides realistic assessment of impact-resistant asphalt shingles on the market, allowing good performers to shine and poor performance to be identified. As a result of our ongoing commitment to publish these results, we see continued overall improvement in market quality for increased home resilience and better damage protection for families in hail-prone areas."