GAF Shingles: Our Reviews And Ultimate Guide Of The Most Famous Brand In Roofing

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GAF Shingles: Our Reviews And Ultimate Guide Of The Most Famous Brand In Roofing

GAF Shingles: Our Reviews And Ultimate Guide Of The Most Famous Brand In Roofing

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Due to a marketing budget that is roughly double that of other shingles manufacturers, GAF shingles are insanely popular in the US.

Twenty-five percent of homes in the United States are roofed with GAF shingles.

The manufacturer is a Standard Industries Company and one of the leading waterproofing and roofing manufacturers worldwide with strategically located plants across the United States.

GAF has built a worldwide name with it’s high level research and development and big marketing budget.

Although they have some issues with their roofing warranty service (see video below), for the most part, GAF keeps its promise to put a roof over your head that adequately protects what you value the most.  

GAF Shingles Compete With Industry Leaders

GAF asphalt shingles are perceived as better quality than many less known brands and are of the same quality as those from other leading manufacturers such as Certain Teed and Owens Corning.

GAF offers a wide variety of colors and styles.

The company also keeps its products on the market. You can always find a GAF shingle in the market a decade or so more later after it first hit the market.

The worst downside of buying GAF shingles is that, just like with most other brands, their warranties are the hardest to stick with.

Some GAF shingles manufactured between 1998 and 2009 at one GAF plant were defective by most consumers. GAF settled the major class-action lawsuit over warranty claims from dissatisfied customers after the defective shingles entered the market. 

Why Would You Choose GAF Shingles For Your Home?

GAF shingles stand out in the market, and there are reasons why contractors and homeowners choose them over other shingle brands.

In this report, we look at GAF shingles from the perspective of contractors, homeowners, and inspectors.

This exhaustive look at GAF shingles is meant to help prospective homeowners know the facts before they make a buying decision.

Here below, we look at the pros and cons of GAF roofing shingles:

Pros of GAF Shingles

We start by looking at why homeowners like GAF shingles.

Why Homeowners Chose GAF Shingles?

The primary reason GAF shingles are popular with homeowners is the high rating contractors, and home inspectors give them.

Did You Know? GAF manufactures the number one selling shingle in North America, Timberline® Shingles.

Here are other reasons why homeowners will choose GAF Shingles.

  • Whatever your budget, GAF has enough options for you. GAF produces shingles that are of admirable quality for any price range, color, and style. Their 3-tab shingles are affordable and can last up to twenty-five years. If the price point is not a challenge to you, they have ultra-premium shingles in various options. Other offerings from GAF include specialty shingles such as those that can withstand hail and energy-efficient ones such as those that are solar reflective. GAF shingles come in a wide variety of colors to match the shades in your house.

 

  • Algae Protection provides anti-staining qualities: GAFS bestselling shingles, Timberline come with Stainguard Plus™ that keepsblue-green algae away. For other shingle lines from GAF, keeping the roof well ventilated keeps the algae under control. 

 

  • Warranties are upgraded when a roofer that is GAF certified as “Master Elite” installs the shingles. A better warranty is offered. Such can say 100% coverage before proration and can be extended from 10 years to 50 years while installation quality (workmanship) is developed from zero years to 25 years on gulf dimensional shingles. Workmanship coverage comes through GAF Master Elite Roofing Contractors

 

  • Most Warranties can be transferred once, which is a plus to most new homeownersBe sure to inform GAF within sixty days of the transfer of ownership of your home. If you have any queries, you can reach GAF customer care service can be reached at 1-800-458-1860.

Why Home Inspectors Choose GAF?

Home inspectors check out homes to identify any damage after a major storm or inform a prospecting buyer of the house’s condition.

On average, most inspectors rate GAF shingles as above average regarding some qualities they possess. Here is why home inspectors choose GAF shingles.

GAF top range shingles have excellent durability.  GAF reinforces asphalt with fiberglass-mess to make its most popular shingle lines, such as their two ultra-premiums, Glenwood and Grand Canyon. Others thus made include Grand Sequoia and Timberline.  

The reinforcement of the shingles makes them hold up over time. Homeowners know the damage hail causes to shingles. GAF makes their shingles durable and protected and, therefore, not susceptible to damage from the storm.

GAF shingles that are impact resistant (AS)do not disappoint: Grand Sequoia, ArmorShield, and GAF Timberline ArmorShield II shingles are UL 2218 Class 4 impact resistance rated. Dropping a two-inch ball twice onto the same spot from 20 feet does not damage the shingles.

These GAF shingles that pass the UL 2218 Class 4 Test for Impact-Resistance may qualify for some insurance discounts.

Owens CorningCertainTeed, and Atlas are competitors who make similar impact resistance rated shingles.

They Have Excellent Wind Resistance: GAF dimensional/architectural shingles such as GAF Timberline HDZ provide the best resistance from tearing in high winds in the market. Some shingles, such as the GAF, as mentioned earlier Timberline HDZ, come with the standardized 130mph wind warranty even when with the standard 4-nail method of application.

Timberline® Shingles, which come with LayerLock™ Technology, are an ideal GAF shingle of choice if you live in an area where winds are a regular weather feature. This shingle may qualify for GAFs WindProven™ Limited Wind Warranty, which is the only warranty in the industry that does not have a maximum speed limit when installed with the recommended company accessories.

Why Roofing Contractors Like GAF Shingles?

Roofing contractors swear by GAF shingles and recommend them regularly for some reasons.

Here we will look at a few reasons roofing contractors are all the rave about roofing shingles.

1 . GAF Offers A Roofing Solution And Not Just A Shingle

A roofing system is more than just a shingle line. The GAF roofing system gives roofing contractors six components that work together to complement each other. The complete roofing system from GAF, referred to as the GAF Lifetime Roofing System, comprises of the following six components:

  • GAF Roofing shingles with a limited lifetime warranty. It comes in various colors, styles, price points, and configurations to fit your specific needs.
  • Cobra attic ventilation/ridge vent. Help reduce attic heat and moisture.
  • Deck Armor roof deck paper. Shields roof deck from moisture infiltration.
  • Starter strip shingles at the eaves and optionally at the rakes, which helps guard against blowoffs.
  • Weather Watch leak barrier that helps prevent leaks caused by ice dams and wind-driven rain.
  • Ridge cap shingles help reduce leaks at the leaks and hips.

 

2 . GAF offers contractors training on the installation of their roofing products. 

The company has a solid reputation and high standards and can offer the highest roofing certifications and warranties.

GAFS high standards mean that only very few companies – about 2% -can qualify for GAFs certificate. GAF always randomly inspects the roofs the certified roofing companies put up.

Is there any reason why choose a GAF roofing contractor: there are numerous reasons why GAF roofers are preferred. Here are a few.

  • You get access to the best roofing materials possible. They are a leading roofing products manufacturer in North America, and GAF insists that how the installation is done determines the roof’s quality and longevity.
  • Getting a Master Elite roofer ensures that you get the best warranty possible and that the company covers for any defects that could be on the shingles. Warranty coverage could be up to 50 years and covers workmanship as well. Tear offs and disposals are also covered.
  • You are protected from liability should anything happen to a worker while on your property. GAF certified contractors must carry a $1 million in general liability coverage and adequate worker’s compensation.

To qualify for this training that leads to GAF certification, a contractor must:

  • Be licensed properly
  • Have the right insurance
  • Have a reputation that is proven
  • Be committed to receiving more ongoing training organized by GAF to install GAF roofing solutions’ latest best practices.

 

3 . GAF offers the best warranties in the industry.

Roofing contractors like GAF because their warranties are better than those of close competitors such as Owens CorningCertainTeed, and other top brands in the market.

GAF Woodland Shingles – Roofing contractors like GAF because the manufacturer stands behind their product. If you happen to use a certified contractor, you get enhanced warranties from the company. Such warranties are the best from the company, the Golden Pledge warranty, Silver Pledge Warranty, and System Plus Warranty.

Handy Tip: use a GAF certified contractor to install your GAF roof as it could save you some cash and get your best workmanship.

 

4. GAF Is A Reputable Company In North America

Choosing GAF over other brands ensures you get the best products from a company that has a solid reputation for what it does.

GAF offers much variety in the products it puts out there in the market. Choosing a GAF product means that repairs and upgrades are comfortable, and the components will be compatible.  

GAF is a leader in innovation in the roofing industry and always puts new products and designs into the market.

GAF is an award-winning company in some sectors. Here below are some awards the company has received,

  • 2018 Top Quality and Service Award from David Weekly Homes
  • 2016 Women’s Choice Award for customer satisfaction regarding service to their female customers.
  • 2016 The World’s First Resilient Design from USGBC because of its excellent preparation to handle natural disasters and emergency events.

GAF is also a company that gives back to society. GAF donates to Habitat for humanity each year and has given $1 million to Hurricane Michael efforts in recent years.

 

5. GAF Shingles Come In A Variety Of Colors

GAF makes shingles in various colors so that you always have a choice of whatever other shades you want your roof to blend or contrast with.

When choosing shingles for your house, you decide to use the colors determined by some factors. Factors such as where your home is located, the climate, the house style, what statement you want to make or not make, and the neighborhood you are in determine the shingle color you choose.

Here is a look at GAF colors available in the market.

  • Blue and greens. Blue is the sky and sea color. It soothes and blends into its environment, while green represents balance and regeneration and merging with nature.  
  • Beige and Gold: beige is relaxing and neutral if your house has a calm demeanor. Gold adds warmth, richness, and luxury to its surrounding.
  • Brown and Red are rustic and romantic: Brown is simple and a color to depend on that reveals the earth’s shades. It allows other colors to appear richer and brighter. Red is refined, romantic, assertive, and daring.
  • Black and Gray: gray is calming and neutral and sits between black and white. It is a perfect backdrop when combining with colors. Black is like a missing color, yet when adequately used makes a bold and classic impact.

Cons of GAF Shingles

GAF shingles are popular in the market, just like those from Owens Corning and CertainTeed, but some contractors and homeowners have found them to have some defects despite that. One issue that homeowners have had problems with is the warranty.

The company has made it difficult to get the replacement materials if you get a defective product. GAF tends to blame contractors for installing the shingles wrong, even when the issues may be with a faulty product.

Most homeowners who try to get replacements on defective products end up frustrated and feel like they wasted their time. Warranty issues are the most common homeowner concern regarding GAF shingles.

Point to note: Most customers (90%) do not require replacing defective shingles as GAF products are mostly of excellent quality.

What Are The Most Common Home Inspector Issues To Do With GAF?

Home inspectors’ most common problem with GAF products has to do with a faulty manufacturing process. This situation may arise when the production equipment develops issues, and a defective batch is produced and marketed before the defect is corrected.

These problems are not unique to GAF as other companies also have, at one point or another, had issues with malfunctioning machines.

Most homeowners are often unaware of such problems existing on their roof until they attempt to sell their property, and inspectors discover the issues.

  • Granule Loss: If faulty manufacturing equipment results in a poorly completed granule application process, the shingles could e of reduced strength, quality, appearance, and durability. Granule loss always happens, but when it becomes too much, it reduces the shingles’ performance. 
  • Delamination: When improperly fusedthe shingles can begin to fall apart a couple of months after installation. This problem arises from faulty materials and is often covered under a limited warranty.

Some customers have had failure after making warranty claims on such defective products.

Roofing Contractor Issues With GAF Shingles

Roofing contractors have had the following issues with GAF shingles.

  • Most do not offer enhanced warranty coverage: Most roofers are not company licensed, and therefore, they do not provide their customers that come with being a Master Elite. Only 2%-3% of contractors who install GAF shingles qualify for the time-consuming training the company offers.
  • Master Elite Roofers Problems With Enhanced Warranty: Company certifiedroofers struggle with determining the exact cost of the enhanced warranty. It depends on a variety of issues, which are not all easy to factor in. Critical determinants of enhanced warranty cost include the warranty type, nailing technique, valleys and peaks number, roof pitch, and shingle type. Golden pledge warranties usually cost about 10% of the roof’s cost, while most System Plus warranties cover about 5%.
  • Meeting Dimensional Shingle Warranty Requirements: Roofers have a hard time meeting lifetime warranty on dimensional shingles because two other GAF components must be used for it to be in effect. These components include starter strips, underlayment, cobra attic vent, Deck-Armor breathable synthetic, and others.

Here Is A Thing About Warranty: Warranty issues are the most common complaints shingle manufacturers encounter. Most brands make it rather difficult for the customer to prove that the shingles installed were defective.

It often involves a lot of back and forth communication between the customer and the manufacturer and maybe quite time-consuming. It may involve,

  • Some email correspondence
  • Making phone calls
  • Taking multiple pictures of the roof and sending them to GAF.

The roof needs to be tarped if it is leaking, an expense not covered by any manufacturer, including GAF.

Most manufacturers do not often take the word of the installer that the shingles were defective. GAF will, in some instances, blame the installer correctly for the problems with the faulty shingles, and GAF may be right. Usually, GAF will often claim that the shingles were not correctly installed or that the attic or roof is was not well vented. 

To avoid trouble with manufacturers, read the warranties of the shingle brand you are considering. Before picking an installer and GAF shingle,

  • Read the warranty, and know the manufacturer’s specifications regarding venting the roof structure/attic and preparing the roof.
  • The installer is qualified and experienced and follows the manufactures specifications on proper installation of the roof. The installer you hire must give you a written guarantee to follow the manufacturer’s requirements.
  • Ask the installer about making repairs to the roof and doing upgrades before installing shingles. This helps keep costs down.
  • Avoid adding a second layer of shingles onto a previous layer. Tear off the first layer to keep warranty guidelines.

GAF Shingles Material And Installation Cost

GAF shingles are relatively affordable. Here are the prices of GAF shingles per 100 feet installed compared to those of CertainTeed.

Basic Prices Of 3-Tab Shingles

Royal Sovereign Shingles

  • GAF Royal Sovereign shingles: $75 – $96, $2,500 to $6,000 for an average-sized 2,000 square foot roof).
  • CertainTeed XT25: $70-$85

basic prices of Good/Better Architectural (dimensional) shingles

GAF timberline HD shingles

  • GAF’s flagship Timberline dimensional shingles: $90 – $125
  • CertainTeed Landmark: $85-$100
  • CertainTeed Landmark PRO: $120-$130

Best architectural (dimensional) shingles

  • GAF Timberline Ultra High Definition (UHD) shingles: $125 – $150
  • CertainTeed Landmark Premium: $150-$160
  • CertainTeed Independence shingles: $165-$180

Specialty or Premium shingles

Grand Canyon Ultra Premium Shingles

  • Designer shingles: GAF Woodland shingles: $182 – $194
  • CertainTeed Highland Slate shingles: $150-$165

Other costs to consider the following:

  • $20 – $30: These include ridge vent, ridge cap shingles on all roofs, the deck felt paper, starter strip shingles, roof flashing, and Ice-and-Water barrier.
  • $200 – $300: Professional installation costs that have a warranty.

Did You Know? Accessory and installation costs are comparable for most shingle manufacturer brands.

Asphalt shingles are amongst the cheapest roofing materials available. For every 1700 sq ft. of the roof, asphalt shingles cost $ 7 500, metal roof for the same area costs $14,500, while flat roof costs $ 8,225.

Here are the prices of materials and installation of GAF roofing products:

Shingle Brand

Retail Shingle Cost per square

Cost After Installation

Key Distinction Between the shingle lines

GAF 3-Tab Shingle Series

GAF Architectural Shingle Series

GAF Premium and Designer Shingle Series

The retail cost per square foot can be lower when shingles are purchased in bulk. This covers GAF products such as NS, GAF Timberline HDZ, and GAF Royal Sovereign. GAF does not offer bulk discounts for its premium and specialty shingles.

The retail cost per square covers only 100 sq. ft. of shingles. It leaves out the cost of accessories such as ice and water shield, underlayment, flashing and trim details, ridge and hip cap shingles, starter shingles, and general roofing supplies traps, nails, tarps, etc. 

Typically, reroofing projects require about 5% to 10% more shingles than roof coverage. Roofs that come with multiple valleys and dormers require more shingles. 

Installed cost includes supplies and materials, workmanship, site cleanup, building permits, and professional installation.

Bear In Mind: The manufacturer offers a 25 year to a lifetime warranty on GAF 3-tab shingles. All the rest of the shingles come with a lifetime warranty.

Most GAF shingles sell in bundles except Fiberglass shingles. Each bundle covers about 33.3 sq. ft. so three bundles cover 100 sq. ft. 

Verdict

GAF products are better than most less prominent brands in the market. The manufacturer competes effectively with Owens Corning and CertainTeed. Though the company often makes it difficult for homeowners to receive payments on their claims, the warranty is good. 

Ensure that you get a competent roofer to install your roof. If you can afford it, select a GAF certified Master Elite Roofer and get the extended warranty covering 5% to 10% of the material cost. Ensuring installation is done correctly ensures you get a roof that will last a long time and value for your money. 

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