Hail and Shingles: How to Properly Protect Your Home

Alberta weather can take a toll on your home, especially the roof. You trust your shingles to hold up under the weight of winter, sleet, heavy rain, and wind. Hail seems less frequent, so its impact on your roof is often an afterthought. Experts say that needs to change. With shifting weather patterns and the inability to predict when and where hail will strike, it’s essential to be prepared.

Severe Weather Strikes Alberta

In 2021, The Insurance Bureau of Canada (ICB) put out a bulletin warning homeowners about an uptick in hailstorms. From 2010 to 2020, severe weather events hit Alberta more than any other region in Canada. Hail damage claims can be costly–running into the billions. Impact-resistant, class 4-rated shingles are the gold standard for protecting your home and your family.

Proven Protection Against Hail

Shingles are the first line of defence against the elements. Contractors and homeowners quickly realized shingles are not created equal. In 1966, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) developed an industry-standard testing protocol — UL 2218 — designed to mimic the impact of hail or other objects, then rated accordingly.

  • Class 1 – Withstands two hits in the same spot by a 1.25 diameter steel ball
  • Class 2 – Withstands two hits in the same spot by a 1.50 diameter steel ball
  • Class 3 – Withstands two hits in the same spot by a 1.75 diameter steel ball
  • Class 4 – Withstands two hits in the same spot by a 2.00 diameter steel ball

Roofing products rated class 4 are the best protection against hail. These materials are proven to hold up in harsh conditions. But that’s just a baseline for many companies. Manufacturers have developed their own specialized technology to safeguard against extreme heat and cold, mould and algae, and fire, all with an eye on curb appeal.

Roofing Materials Have Become High-Tech

As weather events become more extreme and material costs and insurance go up, companies have turned to technology to help set them apart from competitors. And Albertans are reaping the benefits. The Alberta Allied Roofing Association (AARA) works with suppliers and manufacturers that have stepped up their shingle game.

CertainTeed: Strength Plus Style

CertainTeed has developed NorthGate ClimateFlex. Highlights of these class 4 shingles include:

  • Polymer-blended asphalt
  • Offer the highest industry-rated enhanced protection against weather extremes
  • Algae-resistant thanks to StreakFighter
  • Come with a lifetime limited warranty.
  • Multiple colour palettes available

They also created NailTrak, which helps ensure shingles are correctly installed, and industry-leading Quadro-Bond adhesive. CertainTeed’s designer shingles come in a variety of colours to help provide long-lasting curb appeal. Design your roof today with CertainTeed’s ColorView Visualizer.

BP Canada: Proven Performance

As part of BP’s Weather-Tite Technology, Vangard 42 IR shingles were created specifically to protect against your roof’s number one enemy — hail. Highlights of this 42-inch laminate shingles include:

  • Proprietary new generation polymer modified asphalt (SBS compound)
  • Protected from UV degradation
  • Resilient under weather extremes and stress
  • Water infiltration resistant
  • High Wind and Limited Lifetime Warranties

Vanguard shingles are offered in five colours and composed of an ultra-strong fiberglass mat coated on both sides with elastomeric modified asphalt and surfaced with mineral granules. The patented SBS compound significantly increases the shingle’s ability to retain its integrity under stress. You can so use BP’s visualization tool to design the perfect roof.

How Do I Know If I Have Class 4 Shingles?

Unfortunately, you can’t determine the class of a shingle by looking at it. Hiring a contractor you trust is crucial. You should be able to work with them to determine the right product for your roof. AARA has put together a searchable network of Alberta-based manufacturers and contractors. We can connect you with professionals who are not only knowledgeable but certified to properly install class 4-rated roofing materials. When not installed correctly, your roof could fail during a severe weather event, elevating the risk to your family and your home.

Give Alberta Allied Roofing Association a call at 1-877-765-0013, reach out via email at aara@albertaroofing.com, or fill out our online form, and we’ll be happy to help you find the right materials and contractors for your home.