My experience with architectural shingles in Erie,PA:
**GAF and Now GAF/ELK Timberline **
We have installed GAF and now… Gaf/Elk Timberline shingles
for 16 yrs. We haven’t had any issues…
Owen’s Corning - Duration - already had to change multiple
things with the design. The first design
had a solid tar line / and a plastic strip. You were allowed to nail
through the single thickness and they were relying on the extra tar to save the day.
The solid tar line actually trapped water. They changed that now also.
They had issues…and now they are manufactured with a strip of fabric in the nailing
area. The only shingle company to do that…an experiment in my eyes.
Atlas Shingles - Delamination
Georga Pacific - Delamination
I.K.O - drying out and crumbling
Tamko - Drying out and crumbling
CertainTeed - New Horizon - (of all of the shingles it had the worst defect). in Erie, PA. Cracks all over the shingles. Looks like spider webs or glass getting shattered. We have replaced double digit
residential homes because of this major defect. Many that were only a few yrs. old. Homeowners received a few hundred dollars. They had to sue them in a class action suite
CertainTeed Landmarks - Haven’t seen any major defects
All Designer Shingles from all manufacturer’s - Have seen problems.
Thick and heavy doesn’t mean it will last. All of the super thick Designer
shingles seem to hold the heat and dry out and delaminate or crumble.
I’ve seen more of them crumble.
Conclusion. - It’s Impossible to have a definitive yes or no on what shingle is the best
because the manufacture’s are always changing things to stay competitive on the pricing
and trying to become the easiest to install. (large nailing areas.)
Shingle manufacturers are more concerned about making the installer happy, then the homeowner.
Why? A lot of the contractors installer’s / owner operator’s are the ones buying and selling the shingles to the homeowner. If the contractor doesn’t like a shingle because it is difficult or slow to install…that shingle probably isn’t even brought up as an option to the homeowner.
Good news - Looking at the entire industry and all manufacturers of asphalt shingles…There
is a very very small chance that you are going to have a major defect with your shingles.
Most important advice and fact:
Your shingle roof is much more likely to fail because of an installation errors.
- Nailing to high - Causes Shingles to blow off
- Seams to close - Causes Leaks
- Nailing to close to the valley - Causes Leaks
- Cutting the ridge open to wide for the ridge vent
- Low or Exposed Nails
- Inccorectly installed chimney flashing or the lack of.
- Nail pressure to high causing the nails to blow through
- Missing nails - commonly found when the racking method is used
- Nails to short - especially when installing ridge vent.
- Installing shingles over wood decking/planks that have a 1/4 inch gap or more
- Using tar on neoprene pipe boots or chimney flashing / tar isn’t meant to be exposed to the u.v. rays. That’s why shingles have ceramic granules. Protect the tar.
12…and many many more
You will get all kinds of different Opinions on what shingle is the best. It’s always a huge
argument in forums. The one Fact that we all agree and have witnessed… Roofs get torn
off all the time from installation errors. We just completed a roof that was installed from a
contractor only 3 months ago. 3,000 spent on that contractor, and around 6,000 now spent
to remove it and do it correctly. So the 3 bids/estimates…pick the middle one… doesn’t work. You get what you pay for. Especially in the roofing industry. out in the end. It now cost 9,000 total.
The most popular shingles 30yr./lifetime now are all within a few dollars a sq. difference in actual cost. The huge differences in bids/estimates/proposals has to do with what…(installation-cheap labor) Do you want the guy making 8 dollars an hr. installing your roof. Even worse I see underage workers/sons that are probably getting below minimum wage to help. Maybe lunch money/video game/or weekly allowance. Or do you think you may have better luck with the worker that’s making double / 16+ dollars an hr.
1 Mistake - allowing/requesting the contractor to leave the estimate in the door. Meet with the
owner or representative. They should be willing to spend an hr. explaining why they are the best/safest choice.
The "I am the owner / have the most experience / and will be on the job all of the time…
What happens when he is sick for a week or even longer and your roof was already torn off. Hopefully he/she trained well. The contractor/owner shouldn’t have to babysit the crew all day long. The owner/super roofer isn’t always the best choice. Unless they have a strong training system in place to provide all of the customers with consistent results.
Your final decision should come down to who you Trust. The contractor may try to persuade you to use a shingle that is cheap for them to buy or that is on sale at the supply house that month. The contractor that you feel you can trust will know what the quality products in your area. The Gaf plant in one state may make a superior quality shingle, but the gaf on the other side of the country may have outdated machines and poor quality control. So that is another reason you may
get different answers to what shingle is better, etc.
Choosing the right roofing contractor can be a stressful situation. When they start speaking in roofing language…button kaps/reglet/blah blah blah and your head starts spinning trying to understand…pause and think do I trust that this contractor. Trust that he/she will do whatever it takes to ensure that my roof is installed correctly. Price is not the what you should focus on.
The contractor last week was telling everyone that my prices are way to high…This week my
guys witnessed the contractor tell the worker at the supply house “hey, don’t cash that 50 dollar check for about 3 days, ok.” Wonder if he even pays for insurance, or if he is off a sq. or two on the measurements…will he cut corners to make sure he doesn’t lose money?
You came to the right place for advice. We might disagree with each other sometimes…members in the forum, but it’s partly to do with the strong passion/opinions we have for the industry and the roof services we provide.
Inspection/roof replacement estimate 8-9-13
Installation errors caused shingles to blow off
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