Refreshed shingle performance ratings guide consumers to resilient roofing choices
Connie Bryant Breedlove
Managing Director of Communications
Public Affairs Manager
Richburg, S.C., June 16, 2021 – Continuing the commitment to improve asphalt shingle performance against hail, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) today released the first scheduled refresh of its Roof Shingle Hail Impact Ratings. The performance ratings are based on the organization’s pioneering hail science research and peer-reviewed IBHS hail impact test protocol for asphalt shingles that mimics how up to two-inch hail attacks a roof to better identify impact-resistant products. Eight products now have a good or excellent rating from IBHS.
Released in June 2019, the test protocol fills a gap in existing test standards that fail to mimic the damage caused by hail. The IBHS test protocol uses hailstones manufactured in the laboratory to replicate the properties of natural hail and differentiates the resilience of asphalt shingles that carry the impact-resistant label across three damage modes. To capture changes to products, IBHS committed to retesting products and updating the scorecard every two years, in addition to testing new products as they emerge in the marketplace. Asphalt shingle manufacturers have responded by pulling two low-performing products from the marketplace and introducing three new products that raise the bar for overall performance.
“As IBHS went down the path of developing the hail impact standard, asphalt shingle manufacturers were engaged in the process and understood our goal to improve asphalt shingle performance against hail. In the past two years, the marketplace has changed for the better. Manufacturers have reformulated products and launched new products using insights from the test protocol,” says IBHS President and CEO Roy Wright. “By putting our science into action, homeowners can now have more confidence an impact-resistant labeled shingle will be resilient.”
Recently, manufacturers gained even more access to the test protocol to continue advancing shingle performance before products ever go to market as IBHS expanded its partnership with UL. Now, manufacturers can work through UL to have products tested to the IBHS standard during the research and development phase.
The updated ratings mark the first retest of all products, fulfilling the nonprofit’s commitment from the initial release. Periodic retesting captures batch variability in asphalt to ensure the ratings provide an accurate reflection of products being installed on roofs across the country.
“By moving beyond a binary pass or fail test to assess performance based on dents, granule loss, and tears, manufacturers have been able to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of asphalt shingles against hail to improve their products,” explains Dr. Ian Giammanco, lead research meteorologist and senior director for product design at IBHS. “There are no longer poor performing products on the market. We’ve grown from five good or excellent performing products in the initial release to eight good or excellent performers now demonstrating the overall improvement of the impact-resistant shingle marketplace.”
Shingles rated by IBHS as good and excellent qualify for use for the FORTIFIED Home™–High Wind & Hail designation. In addition to the protection from wind and rain provided by increased nailing, locked in edges, and a sealed roof deck, FORTIFIED Home–High Wind & Hail requires a roof covering that can better withstand hail up to 2 inches in diameter. For homeowners who regularly face hail, this can save both the hassle and expense of repeated shingle replacement.
“It took years of research and thousands of measured, weighed, crushed, and 3-D scanned hailstones to accurately reproduce hailstorm conditions in the laboratory, but the asphalt shingle manufacturers have quickly operationalized this research to raise the bar on shingle performance,” adds Wright.
The full ratings scorecard is publicly available at ibhs.org/impactratings along with the test protocol.
About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
The IBHS mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss. Learn more about IBHS at DisasterSafety.org.
About FORTIFIED Home
Please visit fortifiedhome.org to learn more about the IBHS FORTIFIED Home program, including the designation process, how to identify a certified FORTIFIED Evaluator and other valuable resources.