Roofing Experts

Class 3 vs. Class 4 Shingles for Colorado Homes

If you’re in the market for a new roof, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about Class 3 and 4 shingles.

Simply put, they’re classifications that describe the level of impact resistance for your roofing material.

Impact-resistance shingles are designed to withstand the impact of bad weather, such as flying debris and hailstones. On top of that, some insurance companies offer discounts on homeowners’ insurance premiums for properties with impact-resistance roofing materials.

In this guide, we’ll compare the key differences between the two so you can make the right choice for your home.

Shingle Impact Classes

Colorado is home to frequent hailstorms, especially during spring and summer months. If you don’t want to spend thousands on future roof replacements or repairs, it’s best to choose the right impact resistance.

Shingle materials are put into four classes, which provide a standardized way to convey the level of impact resistance. This is based on the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2218 standard, which is determined through lab testing that simulates the impact of hailstones on the shingles.

Here’s a brief overview of each classification:

Class 1

Class 1 shingles can handle steel or ice balls up to 1.25 inches in size. These shingles have the least impact resistance and are more susceptible to damage from hailstones.

While they provide basic roofing protection, they wouldn’t withstand severe storm damage. This makes them a worse fit for Colorado homes since this region is prone to frequent hail and wind activity.

Class 2

Class 2 shingles are tougher and can take steel or ice balls up to 1.5 inches in diameter.

They offer a middle ground when it comes to standing up to hail damage.

That said, they’re not as tough as the higher-class shingles and might experience some damage in severe weather conditions.

Class 3

Even stronger, Class 3 shingles can withstand steel or ice balls up to 1.75 inches in size.

They are specially designed to shield your home from larger hailstones. If you’re in Colorado, where hailstorms are common, these shingles can be a solid choice, providing a strong defense against hail damage.

Class 4

The toughest of them all, class 4 shingles can handle steel or ice balls as large as 2 inches in diameter. These shingles go through rigorous testing to endure even the most severe hailstorms.

They also offer homeowners the best roofing protection. As a result, this potentially reduces maintenance costs over the roof’s lifespan.

Key Differences Between Class 3 and Class 4 Shingles

If you’re deciding between the two, we’ve put together a few key distinctions to help you decide.


Made of thicker and more durable materials, class 4 shingles are great for places like Colorado that often face harsh weather. On the other hand, Class 3 shingles are still strong but work better in areas with gentler weather.

Impact Resistance

Colorado is known as “Hail Alley” for a reason – we experience the highest frequency of large hail in all of North America.

Class 4 shingles are the top choice for standing up to hail damage because they have the best rating for impact resistance.


Class 4 shingles might cost more upfront, but they’re like a long-term investment. Plus, you might not get some insurance benefits with Class 3 shingles.

Is It Worth Getting Class 4 Shingles in Colorado?

If you’re looking for the most protective residential roofing for your Colorado home and want to save money on your insurance, then the Class 4 shingles are the smartest choice.

Class 4 shingles don’t cost as much to upgrade as you may think. Considering the discount you’d get from your homeowner’s insurance premium, these shingles will pay for themselves quickly.

You also get a handful of other benefits, such as:

  • The best warranty: They provide a 50-year rating, meaning they come with longer manufacturer warranties.
  • Fewer repair expenses: The thickness of these shingles will withstand natural disasters in Colorado, reducing potential repairs.
  • Versatility: They work well in most homes and come in many different designs.

Is Your Colorado Home in Need of a New Roof? Contact Scott’s Roofing!

Your choice ultimately comes down to your needs and budget. We recommend Class 4 shingles because you get the most hailstorm protection and cost-effective material for your home.

But it’s not enough to choose the right roofing materials. You need to hire the right roofing contractors who’ve been around the block and understand the ins and outs of the Colorado climate.

For over ten years, Scott’s Roofing has been helping Colorado homeowners stay protected against hailstorms and bad weather, and we can do the same for you.

We serve all major areas of Colorado, including DenverBoulderLafayette, Longmont, Lakewood, and Aurora.

Call Scott’s Roofing today to get started!

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