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Roof shingles are one of the types of roofing materials that are made out of asphalt. There are many types of shingles made by a handful of manufacturers.

All of the roof shingles are not available in every state. Some brands are more prominent in certain states depending on the location of that manufacturer.

Manufacturers Of Roof Shingles

Here is a list of the manufacturers. 

  • Owens Corning
  • CertainTeed
  • GAF
  • Atlas
  • Malarkey
  • Tamko
  • IKO

There are quite a few manufacturers, but not all are the same when it comes to quality. At first glance, the roof shingles might look the same but there is a lot of difference in how well they perform. 

Some roof shingles are better for colder weather conditions while others are better for warmer claimants and some are made specifically with hail in mind. 

For example, roofers will say that the Tamko brand is good for colder weather because the asphalt is softer and therefore easier to install in the cold. 

In warmer climates like what we have here in Florida, we have found Owens Corning to be the better shingle for multiple reasons, one being that when we install them in this Florida heat, they maintain their quality throughout the installation. 

Different Types Of Shingles

Just about every manufacturer will make a version of one of these roof shingles listed below. But there are key differences in quality, durability, wind resistance, and more. 

Each manufacturer has its own name for the same type of shingle. For example, the “3 tab shingle” is called “XT 25 by one manufacturer while the other one calls it “Supreme”. But they are the same type of shingle. 

Architectural shingles and Laminated shingles are referring to the same type of shingles and people use the words interchangeably. It just refers to the type of shingle that has multiple layers of asphalt sheets that are laminated together. Check out the video lower on this blog for more information on this topic. 

  • 3 Tab Shingles
    • 25-year life expectancy, 60 mph wind resistance
  • Architectural Shingles
    • 50-year or “Limited Lifetime”, 130 mph wind resistance
  • Berkshire
    • 50-year or “Limited Lifetime”, 130 mph wind resistance
  • Storm Protected
    • 50-year or “Limited Lifetime”, 130 mph wind resistance, Impact Resistance
  • Energy Star
    • 50-year or “Limited Lifetime”, 130 mph wind resistance, Energy Start rated

How Long Does A Shingle Last?

Multiple dynamics affect how long a shingle will last. When the manufacturer says it’s a 50-year shingle, if you don’t have the proper ventilation in your attic for the roof shingles, they will expire sooner than they are supposed to because of the excessive heat. 

Aside from the ventilation, if your roof has less exposure to the sun because of trees protecting it, it could last longer. But we have seen 25-year shingles only last 18 to 20-years, which is more common. Or 50-year shingles last only 30-years.

Unfortunately, the elements or poor installation can tax a roof sooner than desired. With proper maintenance, you can help your roof last longer. 

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Builder Grade vs Quality

Too often we see the unfortunate event of some builders who throw a building together quickly and in the process, they use the cheapest shingles possible. As a result, they blow off easily in the high winds. Especially if your home is more than two stories tall. 

Thankfully, here in Florida, we have the Miami Dade building code to follow, which has the strictest roofing codes in the nation. But at the same time, we recommended that even if you have purchased a brand new home, to have the roof shingles inspected a few years into owning the time, just to be sure. 

The Whole Shingle System

Other parts to your roof shingles are also highly important, such as the underlayment, flashing, and ventilation. 

Flashing could be anything from the drip edge which goes around the perimeter of your roof, to the flashing that goes in the valleys or along the walls. 

It’s also important to have ice and water shield underlayment installed in the valleys and along the walls and around any penetration in your roof. This underlayment has a thicker rubbery substance that wraps around the nails to prevent any water intrusion. 

For the rest of the roof, you have the option of different underlayments such as felt paper or synthetic underlayment. Each type services a different purpose. Here in Florida, since we are pulling permits for the roof, we have to wait for the inspector to look at the roof. So we use the heaviest type of felt paper in order to keep the home completely dry during the wait. 

Warranty From Shingle Manufacturers

Not every warranty is equal. There are different levels of warranties and not everyone is able to provide them. Your “50-year” roof shingles might not come with full protection if the wrong person installs them.

First, there is the “out of the box” or “off the shelf” warranty. Everyone gets this warranty, even if you the homeowner goes to a hardware store and get the shingles yourself. 

Next are the Enhanced warranties. There are mid-level warranties and then the highest level Enhanced warranties.

The mid-level Enhanced warranty will give you maybe 10-years of non-prorated workmanship coverage.

While the Highest Level Enhanced warranty will give you 50-years of non-prorated workmanship warranty.

The Platinum preferred warranty is the highest level Enhanced Warranty that Owens Corning Provides. This comes with 50-years of material and workmanship coverage that is non-prorated. 

Only a certified contactor can provide the Enhanced warranties. There are different levels of certified contractors. Make sure that your contractor is actually at the level approved to give the warranty they are promising. 

Shingle Colors

Different manufacturers all tend to have pretty similar colors with a few variations. They will also come in two packages, for example, the Owens Corning Duration roof shingles have a more gentle appearance in color but their Duration Designer shingle has colores that have more of a “pop” to them. 

Here is an example of both the Duration and the Duration designer

Here is an example of two leading manufacturers and their similarities in color.

Nailing Zone

Even if you have one of the best roof shingles installed on your home, it could mean basically nothing if the shingles are not installed currently. 

One of the most important aspects of installing the shingle is where you nail the roof shingles. If you nail too high, the shingle blows off. If you nail too low, it causes a leak through the exposed nail hole.

Some people will try to sell you on their shingle because it “has the largest nailing strip” but this mainly affects the installer more so than you the homeowner. Because when they are in a rush to install your roof, they can nail the shingle quicker. 

But the most important thing is how the shingle itself overlaps in the laminated portion. Where you place the nail needs to go through each layer of the shingle. Most roof shingles will not overlap enough for the nail to go through both layers. 

Watch this video for an example

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