Best Roofing Shingles In 2021 - Digital Roofing Innovations

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Best Roofing Shingles In 2021

Best Roofing Shingles In 2021

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There are many brands of shingles out there to consider when you are planning on installing your new roof. 

What is the best type of shingle, and the best roofing material to use? Should you opt for architectural shingles or three tab shingles?

Do you know what brands to ask roofing contractors about, such as CertainTeed, or Owens Corning, or GAF?

In this article, we’ll look to answer all your questions, and help you find the best roofing shingles for your project.

Types of Ashpalt Shingles

3-Tab Shingles

best roofing shingles
A 3-tab roof we inspected after a hail storm in Alabama. Notice how it lays flat compared to an architectural shingle.

Asphalt roof shingles, also known as 3 Tab shingles are regular, single layer roof shingles, and are the most traditional style of shingle.

They are made up of 3 tabs, are uniform in size, shape, and color and give a sleek, sophisticated look. 3 Tab shingles lay flat and are installed against the underlayment on an asphalt roof.

These asphalt shingles generally weigh and cost less than dimensional architectural shingles, but by a very small amount.

We don’t recommend this type of shingle on our roof replacements simply because the saved cost does not justify the decrease in protection from an architectural shingle.

3-Tab shingles are meant to look seamless and because of this, they are more difficult to install because of their smooth appearance. 

Even though the shingle itself is less expensive, having them installed on your roof will cost the same as installing laminate shingles.

Dimensional Asphalt Shingles

Notice the difference between this architectural shingle and the 3-tab that was posted prior.

Dimensional Asphalt shingles, also known as architectural laminate shingles, have a variegated appearance, are made from multiple layers of asphalt, and are made to look like tiles.

They are easier to install than 3-Tab shingles.  This type of asphalt shingle is known for its durability, and it comes in a wide variety of colors, styles, and textures.

Dimensional shingles are by far the most popular shingle being installed today.

Some of them can even mimic the look of natural slate tiles or genuine cedar shakes without the high cost of the high-end shingles or maintenance expense. 

Some areas prohibit the use of wood shakes and Class A fire resistance-rated asphalt shingles can provide the look of real wood (debateable) at a much lower cost.

Because they are made up of multiple layers of asphalt, dimensional shingles are thicker and offer more protection from wind, rain, and hail, and debris, and can last anywhere from 15 to 50 years and do not need to be replaced as often as three tab shingles do. 

Some brands of shingle are guaranteed for 50 years, although a typical warranty runs from 30 to 50 years.

Laminate shingles can be replaced individually when blow-offs or damage occurs, and any color shingle can be replaced with any other color shingle, provided they are in the same color family. 

Architectural shingles have gained in popularity both because of their durability and because of their easier maintenance.

3 tab asphalt shingles often only warrantied for 20 to 30 years because they are thinner (you can read more about roofing warranties here)

We have gotten to a point where 3-tab installs do not make sense to install anymore and honestly we have not had a request in years.

The Best Roofing Shingle Brands

We looked into finding the best asphalt roofing shingle brands, and these are some that made the top ten lists according to Home Advisor.com, RoofMaxx and Roofing Insights.

This list has a wide variety of shingle options, both in style and in price point.  Many of these brands appeared on multiple lists with different shingle styles featured. 

IKO Asphalt Roofing Shingles

IKO Crowne Slate

IKO produces premium asphalt roofing shingles with thick dimensional profiles. 

They are made of strong, heavyweight roofing materials and they mimic the timeless look of slate tiles or wood shakes. 

They provide a stylish appearance at a reasonable price. IKO asphalt shingles come with a SuperWind Resistance limited warranty of up to 130 mph and have built-in algae resistance and UV protection. This asphalt shingle has a Class A fire resistance ratings and a Class 4 impact resistance rating which can help homeowners obtain a discount on their home insurance premiums.

A complete review of our thoughts on IKO shingles can be read here.

Owens Corning

Owens Corning True Definition Duration Shingles

Owens Corning True Definition Duration Shingles give you a high-end appearance at a great price. Owens Duration has a large selection of asphalt shingles, and superior customer service.  They include a limited lifetime warranty and come with a class H wind resistance limited warranty for up to 130 mph, as well as an algae resistance limited warranty.  They have a Class A fire-resistance rating and offer Energy Star shingles. They provide an underlayment and moisture barrier, extra coverage for shingles, and proper attic ventilation.

A complete review of our thoughts on Owens Corning shingles can be read here.

GAF

GAF Timberline Shingles

GAF is one of the most popular brands in the country and has consistently produced high quality roofing materials. Most GAF shingles are laminate architectural shingles, and the

GAF Golden Pledge Warrantycovers the entire roof, upgraded warranties, installation, removal, and disposal costs.

A complete breakdown of the pros and cons of GAF can be read here.

Royal Sovereign

Royal Sovereign shingles have strong wind resistance, the highest fire-resistance rating, and excellent durability. The shingles look upscale but are affordable for those on a budget. Their shingles have Color Lock Ceramic Firing, which helps to maintain the color, and are made with Advanced Protection Shingle Technology to reduce the number of natural resources needed for production.

Timberline Ultra HD

Timberline Ultra HD shingles are architecturally stylish, affordable and feature a dimensional wood-shake appearance. DuraGrip adhesive reduces the chances of blow-off. GAF shingles have StainGuard protection to reduce the amount of staining from blue-green algae. Timberline Ultra HD shingles are Good Housekeeping rated and have a wind rating of 130 mph.

CertainTeed

CertainTeed is has a well-earned reputation for manufacturing premium high quality, roofing materials that will last a lifetime. They offer top-of-the-line shingles and have recently added product lines which are in more budget-friendly ranges. CertainTeed has the best roof shingles in its class.

If you are looking for a detailed review of CertainTeed, check out our review here.

Landmark

Landmark is CertainTeed’s budget friendlier, high-quality, triple-laminate shingle made with three-piece laminated fiberglass construction. It is a durable shingle and it doesn’t skimp on strength. It has natural shadow lines and is CertainTeed’s most affordable dimensional shingle. Landmark shingles have a class-leading warranty and are available for export. This shingle has a 110 mph wind-resistance guarantee, and is a great choice if you are planning on staying in your home indefinitely.

Grand Manor

Grand Manor Shingles come in a wide selection of colors and are premium, high-end shingles.  They are a great choice for homes with steep, sloped roofs and have strong impact resistance.  They come with a comprehensive 10-year SureStart warranty that covers 100 percent of labor and replacement costs due to manufacturing defects.  Grand Manor shingles have Class A fire resistance and a 110 mph wind-resistance warranty. 

Tamko Building Products

Heritage

Tamko’s Heritage shingles are a more affordable, high-quality shingle. They have a distinctive granule mix which creates vivid color and textures and have 15 different color options. Heritage shingles have a Class A fire-resistance rating as well as a 90 mph wind rating. These shingles are perfect if you are planning on moving in a few years and don’t want to make a huge investment in a house you don’t plan on staying in.

PABCO Roofing Products

Cascade

PAPCO Cascade shingles offer a unique diamond shape and an open tooth design which is a good choice for homes with a steep roof.  The shingles feature an algae defender, and a Class A fire-resistance rating, as well as a 110-130 mph wind warranty.  They have had many positive customer reviews, along with a low price.

Atlas

Legend

Atlas Legend shinglesare available in bold cuts and vivid colors at an affordable cost.  They feature Scotchguard Protector to keep shingles from getting black algae streaks.  They are Signature Select eligible. Legend shingles have a wind warranty of 150 mph and Class A fire resistance. Legend is a high-quality shingle at an affordable price.

Check out our recent review of Atlas Shingles here.

Roofing Shingle FAQs

What is an asphalt shingle made from?

An asphalt shingle roof top has to protect your home from heat, cold, and moisture, and must remain flexible enough to provide adequate protection from the elements, as well as from anything that might be blown against it during high winds.

While asphalt is the main ingredient, asphalt shingles are made from a variety of raw materials, and every manufacturer uses a slightly different blend of materials. Shingles are made of multiple layers. One of the most important layers is an asphalt coated fiberglass mat. The fiberglass provides the flexibility the shingle needs to survive temperature extremes. If it becomes too brittle, this can also compromise the ability of the shingle to protect against water penetration.

Finely crushed limestone gets mixed with asphalt to create a coating. This coating is then applied to both the top and the bottom of a web or sheet of fiberglass which is made from glass fibers and bound together with stable resins and binders. It then gets heated. This creates the base of the shingle. Crushed up rock or ceramic granules provide color, texture, and a protective coating against deterioration from the sun’s UV rays. Many of these granules are what you might find in your gutters when it is getting to be time to think about replacing your roof. Often algae-resistant granules are added to help prevent black streaks and discoloration. There is a protective sealant on the very top layer.

What are the longest lasting roof shingles?

One of the best brands of roof shingles out there is CertainTeed. These are the shingles to go for if you plan on staying in your home indefinitely. They are thick, high quality, triple laminate dimensional shingles with three-piece laminated fiberglass construction. They are strong and durable and come in many styles and colors.

As a rule, the thicker the shingle, the longer it is going to last, and a lot is riding on the skill of the contractor you hire to do the installation. While it is typical for shingles to last between 25-40 years, the lifespan of your roof can be impacted by climate, roof design, and long-term exposure to harsh weather conditions.

Your roof can be left vulnerable to leaks and structural damage that impair the shingles’ flexibility, durability, and waterproofing. This can mean you could be replacing your roof after 7-10 years.

Who makes the best class 4 shingle?

Class 4 rating rubber shingle rooftops are a recent innovative eco-friendly alternative to more traditional roofing. Some of the many benefits that have changed the face of roofing are superior performance, durability, resistance to pests, cracks, breaking, and discoloration. It also provides insulation, waterproofing and has a great capacity to resist impact, hail, wind, and snow.

Sheets of rubber roofing shingles are made up of a composite of used tires, plastics, sawdust, and other materials and are designed to look like cedar shakes, tiles, or asphalt shingles. They are also faster and easier to install which reduces the cost of installation. You can change the look of your rubber shingles every ten years or so by painting them with acrylic paint.

Atlas Roofing Corporationis a famous company that specializes in rubber roofing shingles and other types of shingles and has 19 facilities worldwide.  Atlas is known for its innovative new rubber shingle technologies and it challenges existing methods and traditional roofing.  It has been picked to be one of the best rubber shingle companies on the market and exceeds the laboratory test for impact resistance to become a Class 4 rated company.  Insurance companies such as American Family Insurance endorse Atlas for a discount, credit, and warranty claim.

Malarkey Roofing specializes in steep-slope roofing material technology, and it offers a full line of residential and advanced commercial rubber roofing shingles that look like traditional roofing,  such as slate or asphalt shingles.  They are very competitive in the market and they focus on improving quality roofing sheet products for both homeowners and commercial grades. Malarkey is recognized as manufacturing one of the best roofing products in the industry. Malarkey Roofing Products excelled through Underwriters Laboratories and FM approvals for impact resistant shingles.

The CertainTeed Corporation a firm focused on innovation, sustainable building products, and environmentally friendly materials. It launched uniquely styled rubber roofing shingles and qualifies for a Class 4 impact resistance laboratory test.  It is a subsidiary of CartainTeed’s Saint-Gobain and is a leading brand covering the North American market. CertainTeed passes through the (UL) 2218 and FM Approvals 4473. Insurance companies recommend its rubber roofing shingles as one of the eligible products that qualify for credits and warranties.

Enviroshake has been voted as one of the best rubber shingle companies on the market and has become a pilot in the composite roofing market.  They offer a 50 years warranty, and they make their shingles with about 95% recycled materials such as plastics, tires, and cellulosic fiber materials. Their shingles are made from environmentally friendly, sustainable materials, and have UV protection, pest, mildew and hail resistance.  Enviroshake has also passed the rigorous (UL) 2218 and FM Approvals 4473.

Euroshield is another brand that qualifies for Class 4 impact resistance requirement rating and has raised the standard in the industry. It has upgraded its warranty for rubber roofing shingles to 100% coverage against up to two inches of hail damage.  American Family Insurance has endorsed Euroshield for discounts and credits.

Are CertainTeed shingles better than GAF?

For homeowners and builders alike, GAF and CertainTeed are both highly rated, top-notch shingle brands in the industry.  They are well known for their cost, quality, styles, warranties, and premium features.  Sometimes, one company is better for your needs than the other.  Here’s the lowdown:

CertainTeed has the best roof shingles in its class and has a reputation for manufacturing premium roofing materials. They are known for their remarkable quality and offer top-of-the-line shingles, but they have begun adding more cost-effective products in response to growing competition. Their Landmark shingle fits into this category.

CertainTeed has the advantage over GAF by making thicker shingles. The thicker material of the shingles makes them more resistant to wind, impacts, and cracking.  CertainTeed costs more, but you get better quality. They have the most expertise in high-end shingles.  This is the company to go with when you want fewer loopholes in the warranty fine print, and you can find a reputable, experienced roofing company that is certified to install CertainTeed products.

GAF, however, is the largest manufacturer of residential roofing shingles and offers budget-friendly options similar in cost to Owens-Corning, and IKO. GAF stands behind their contractors so strongly that it only awards the top 2% of roofing contractors in each market the status of Master Elite Contractor. GAF provides consistent quality and reliable products.

GAF offers good quality and durability and manufactures middle-tier rather than high-end shingles, which is good if you think you might be moving in the next 10 or 15 years.  You might not want to pay premium prices for something you won’t be living in later on down the road.  Again, you’ll want to find a well-respected roofer in your area who is certified to install GAF products.

Conclusion

Don’t underestimate the importance of proper installation of your roof.  Make sure you hire the best roofing contractor you can find. Using items such as top tier roofing underlayment, new roof flashing, drip edge and having proper roofing ventilation are not only the most important items on a roof they are also give you the best bang for your buck!

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