FLOWER MOUND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – When it’s time to replace your roof, most contractors will quote you one price, the most affordable one, to get the job done.
Spending more though, could save you money in the long run.
Opting for a class 4 impact resistant shingle cost me nearly $1,700 more up front, but reduced my annual premium with USAA by over $400.
State Farm, the largest insurer of homes in Texas, says upgrading can cut its customers regular payments by up to 28 percent.
“It could qualify you for a pretty significant homeowners discount,” said Chris Pilcic, a State Farm spokesperson.
Click here to see if your insurer offers a discount.
The biggest savings, though, may come from not having to pay a deductible on another roof the next time hail hits.
“Anything from inch and a quarter to inch and a half up normally totals a roof,” said Richard Lack, the owner of Eco Roofing.
He says about five percent of his customers choose to upgrade, and he notices the difference.
“A year or two later when they have a hail storm, we’ll come back (and the roof is) without damage,” he said.
To test the difference roof shingles can make, CBS 11 went to Haag Engineering in Flower Mound.
Engineers there make their own hail, freezing balls of ice to meet precise specifications.
Using a professional slingshot, chief engineer Steve Smith shot a golf ball-sized hailstone at a row of standard shingles, mounted on wooden board.
“That is clearly damaged,” he said, examining the dent. “You can definitely feel the shingle has been fractured.”
The same impact on a class 4 shingle left no trace.
Engineers then brought out what looks like a cannon mounted to forklift that uses pressurized air to launch larger hailstones.
A three and half inch piece of hail, one almost as big as a softball, flying over a 100 miles an hour punctured the standard shingles and the wood behind it, leaving a gaping hole through what would be your roof.
“This is the type of damage that we saw a few years ago in Wylie, Texas, that supersize hail that actually went through people’s attics,” said Smith.
To demonstrate that every shingle has its limits, he shot a 4-inch hailstone at the impact resistant shingles, leaving a visible crater.
The class 4 shingle suffered less damage and was more likely when hit with smaller hail to survive unscathed, making it an investment that may be worth considering.