When shopping for new shingles, it is easy for the novice to become confused. Unless you have specific experience in the roofing industry, you probably have no idea how to tell a good set of shingles from a bad one. Don’t feel too bad about this, as it is perfectly normal. At the same time, we are going to give you a short introduction to this subject so that you will no longer wallow in the darkness of ignorance.
Understanding Shingle Classes
Obviously, we aren’t talking about a school session here, nor are we talking about high-class things. When we refer to the “class” of shingles, we are actually talking about three different ratings. One of them is for impact resistance, one is for wind resistance, and the other one is for fire resistance.
Now, here’s where it can get a little confusing. For wind resistance, these ratings are usually indicated by a letter, with class F being the best and class A being the bare minimum. For fire resistance, the standards are reversed, with class A offering the best protection. When it comes to impact resistance, they use numbers instead of letters, with class 4 being the best.
Needless to say, all of these considerations are important when evaluating the quality of a shingle set. Fire resistance is always a plus when speaking of your home, so we obviously don’t need to justify that. Still, you might not necessarily need to get the highest level of fire resistance. Wind resistance is much more necessary in wide, open areas where the wind picks up a lot more speed, and less necessary in crowded environments.
Likewise, you may not need to get the highest level of impact resistance. If you live in a warm area that never sees hail, this factor will be less important for you. If you’ve never had a problem with birds hitting your roof (for whatever reason), you could also go a little lighter on this rating. If your area gets a lot of hail, always go for the highest level of impact resistance.
If you want to get a little bit more specific information, it pays to do some research on the ways in which shingles are tested. These tests, which are usually performed by third-party roofing trade associations, determine where each type of shingle is classified.
For wind resistance testing, the standards are as follows:
- Class A = Can withstand winds up to 60 MPH
- Class B = Can withstand winds up to 70 MPH
- Class C = Can withstand winds up to 80 MPH
- Class D = Can withstand winds up to 90 MPH
- Class E = Can withstand winds up to 100 MPH
- Class F = Can withstand winds up to 110 MPH
- Class G = Can withstand winds up to 120 MPH
- Class H = Can withstand winds up to 150 MPH
For fire resistance testing, the standards are as follows:
- Class A: Fully fireproofed. Can withstand direct flame for sustained periods without igniting.
- Class B: Mostly fireproofed. These shingles are resistant to fire, but could still burn if extreme heat is applied for a long time.
- Class C: Light resistance. These will not readily catch fire, but will eventually burn.
For impact resistance testing, the standards are as follows:
- Class 1: Can withstand the impact of a steel ball 1.25 inches in diameter.
- Class 2: Can withstand the impact of a steel ball 1.50 inches in diameter.
- Class 3: Can withstand the impact of a steel ball 1.75 inches in diameter.
- Class 4: Can withstand the impact of a steel ball 2 inches in diameter.
Note: For these impact tests, the steel ball is dropped from a high place to simulate the impact of a large hailstone.
What Class Are GAF Timberline HD Shingles?
And so, we finally come to the question posed by the title of this article. You can find the ratings for GAF Timberline shingles on this website.
As you can see, these shingles have a class A fire rating, and its wind resistance rating is 130 MPH. That puts it somewhere between class G and class H. As for impact resistance; we do not see any rating here. This is not all that strange, because not all shingles are tested in this way. Since these are not sold as impact-resistant shingles, no rating is necessary.
Now that you have educated yourself a little bit about this subject, you might want to give RGB Construction a call. You can reach our friendly and helpful staff at 856-264-9093. While you’re at it, feel free to fill out the contact form below. That will allow us to keep you informed with more interesting articles like this one.