IBHS testing addresses research gaps; shingle designs differ across manufacturers
Mary Anne Byrd
Public Relations Manager
Richburg, S.C., June 29, 2023 – The Insurance Institute of Business & Home Safety (IBHS) continues its long-term commitment to improve impact-resistant shingle performance by releasing the second scheduled update of its Impact-Resistant Shingle Performance Ratings developed using a research method that realistically mimics two-inch hail stone damage.
For homeowners and insurers in hail-prone areas, the hail shingle rating research provides information necessary to make informed decisions and choose high-performing products for increased home resilience.
“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. “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.”
IBHS research shows that not all impact-resistant shingles are designed equally, with differences in manufacturing methods leading to noticeable variations in performance and durability. The nonprofit’s pioneering research is influencing market improvements. Many poor-performing, traditional impact-resistant shingles have been removed from the marketplace while manufacturers have made significant improvements to the more durable, polymer-based impact-resistant asphalt shingles.
This year, nine products received a good or excellent 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,” explained 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.”
First released publicly in 2019, the Hail Shingle Rating scorecard is updated every two years and demonstrates the real-world world impact of IBHS science. 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 created in the nonprofit’s lab daily.
Retesting every two years across three damage allows IBHS researchers 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.
Shingles rated as good and excellent in the overall performance ratings qualify for use for the FORTIFED Home™—High Wind & Hail designation, which increases a home’s protection against wind and rain through enhanced nailing, locked in edges, sealed roof decking and a roof covering designed to better withstand damage from hailstones up to two inches. The ratings scorecard and test protocol are publicly available at ibhs.org/impactratings.
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 ibhs.org.
FORTIFIED is a voluntary construction and re-roofing program designed to strengthen homes against severe weather, including high winds, hurricanes and tornadoes. Visit fortifiedhome.org to learn more about the program, including the designation process