How to identify impartial shingle reviews?

There are many opinions about which shingle is the best on this site,
but seldom is there an explanation of WHY a certain shingle is the best vs its competitors for the same price.

Which of the following review sites are a good source of impartial information about shingles?

Can shingles be accurately tested in a lab?

If you don’t live in a location with high winds, or large hail, what measurable part of the shingle is the most important?
For example granule loss?


Professional roofers on this site.

Identifying Unbiased impartial reviews
Consumer Reports appears to be impartial since they don’t take advertising.

Other sites that may have hidden support from shingle companies
YouTube reviews

You’re digging too deep and the roof review site is dogshit. I knew right when I saw GAF Timberline highly rated and it looked like a paid ad for them. There are numerous roofers on this site from all over the country, some with 30-40 years real world experience. I am one of them and I listen closely to these other roofers experiences with various products. Many of us are not, by choice, affiliated with any manufacturers therefor WE HAVE NO AGENDA OTHER THAN INSTALLING QUALITY PRODUCTS AND NOT HAVING TO GO BACK ON OUR WORK. All limited lifetime shingles are very comparable in price (except IKO who is much cheaper) so this is not a factor. If you want to look at scientific studies or read reviews by GAF certified installers feel free. You will get the straight scoop here if you listen closely and research the knowledge of many of these roofers by prior posts. We are the ones visiting these roofs long after warranties have vaporized and initial installers are out of the picture.


You have some very exceptional roofers posting in this forum. They offer their unbiased, objective opinions based upon decades of on the roof experience installing these products. There is no better source for evaluating roof materials than that.

Most review articles are influenced by numerous outside factors. Do you think the ready publishing the article is going to dump on the company(s) spending advertising dollars with them? How many of those people publishing those articles do you think have actually ever installed a roof? I’ll give you the best advice I can. If you choose a top installer, the shingle selection will be irrelevant. Conversely, if you choose a shoddy installer, the shingle selection will be irrelevant.

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It doesn’t happen often but I must disagree with you about shingle selection being irrelevant. I don’t care if Dark Thirty hand nails it perfectly, granule loss and defect have nothing to do with the installer. I have been installing roofs in the same area for 25 years so I drive by the same neighborhoods weekly and see roofs shining in the sun on 15 year old houses that are properly vented.


That’s fair Tileman. What I meant is compared to the installer, IMHO, the shingle is irrelevant. Given the horrible ventilation and installs I see most of the time, I’m not sure how to fairly judge the shingle manufacturers anyway. I will defer to your competent opinion though. As you may imagine, I don’t find myself saying that very often. LOL

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And I agree that installer is most important in many cases. Part of that equation is good installers will hopefully buy good shingles. We have a very forgiving climate on the valley floor so I’ve seen shingles that never sealed still on 15 years later. Take those same shingles 3 miles uphill and they blow off. Sometimes I’m baffled by the defects I see on Southern exposures though. GAF and IKO have the most issues in our area but I have seen a lot of other manufacturers eat it on South sides as well. Supposedly we have the largest same day temperature swings in the nation, though I’m sure someone could call bullshit on that and be correct. We were 58 this morning and 107 this afternoon.

I put on plenty of IKO 3-tabs on new construction in the 90’s.

No matter how good the workmanship the shingles fell apart between 7-12 yrs.

I was specifically concerned about Certainteed Landmark shingles because most bids that I’ve got recommend those.
Consumers 2019 reports rates landmark shingles at the bottom, with Owens Corning duration at the top, with GAF-ELK Timberline natural shadow in the middle.
Here are the four different tests that they run.
Do you think one of these four tests should be weighted more than the others?

Is defined as flexibility and resistance to tearing, stretching and weathering effects.
How well the shingles adhesive resists wind.
How well the shingle resists being pulled through the fastener nails.
It’s how well the shingle resists large hail, with a simulated laboratory test.

Landmark shingles rated poor in impact category and only average in nailing and strength. They rated good in wind.
Owens Corning duration rated average in strength, good in wind and impact and very good in nailing.

Here is a picture of the consumer reports reviews for three tab and architectural shingles from the January 2020 magazine.

Consumer reports doesn’t test for granule loss which when it occurs leaves the underlying asphalt exposed to the sun causing premature aging.

In my experience the Landmark series has been trouble free for more than 25 yrs.


Certainteed is one of the best shingles.’
They are my Number 2.

Only because i have access to Atlas Pinnacle
With a nailing area 3 times as large
And a lifetime warranty against algae and streaking.

Certainteed says their warranty for that is 10 years. But i see algae streaking beginning on every roof after 6 years.

GAF natural shadow should be outlawed it is so wimpy and their nail area is smaller than certainteed.

If owens corning durations improved their shingle a lil bit they could be awesome.
They need to improve their algae resistance
And make sure the sure nail strip is all double thickness.
And somehow add a lil bit more of that sticky asphalt under the sure nail strip so it will be even with the rest of the shingle.
As it sits, the sure nail area is a trough.
Water drains into the area.
After saying all that, they still are my number 3.

5. GAF timberline HD
6. IKO

And no doubt in my mind That report was a paid ad from GAF.

They have the Natural Shadow as the most expensive shingle in the standard “lifetime”
That is simply not true at all.
You see these shingles at home depot and lowes.

I buy Certainteed landmarks, GAF timberline HD, ATlas pinnacle, owens corning durations all for the exact same price.
So it is about quality for me.

I wouldnt install GAF natural shadow if they were half the price.

Paid ad for sure.
Making you believe those are quality shingles by the incorrect price point.

At the end of the “news report”
They basically say go with GAF because of their “warranty”.

Propaganda served on a platter.

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After seeing that it really makes me wonder what happened to Consumer reports.

  1. OC Durations
  2. Tamko
  3. GAF timberline HD
  4. IKO

Roof lover gives his top six here and explains the reasons why. I would like to see what the other roofers think about their own top 5 or 6 and why.

For clarification
Those are just the ones i have access to.
I dont have access to malarky, BP,pabco

I had posted a link to consumer reports magazine shingle reviews, which you can look up on the internet by yourself.

I deleted it for violating this website rules

What would you define as horrible ventilation?

The objective of ventilation is to keep the attic space / void as close to outside temp as possible and avoid heat/ moisture build up. Consider an attic with 100 F temperature and a front moving in with a temperature of 55F. The temp drop will bring fog, AKA moisture. Convection will cause the attic heat to rapidly rise, and be displaced by cold moist air…Hmm

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