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    Best Asphalt Shingles: Reviewing The Best Roofing Shingles For 2021

    Welcome to the Roofing Insights Asphalt Shingle Guide 2021, brought to you by Enhancify!

    Enhancify is an excellent resource for contractors because they offer financing to homeowners who otherwise could not afford the price of a new roof. 

    To learn more about Enhancify and how they can help you reach a larger customer base, visit our affiliate link today!

    Now, the purpose of the Roofing Insights 2021 Shingle Guide is twofold: 

    . To educate homeowners and contractors on initial shingle quality

    . To send manufacturers feedback regarding the positives and negatives of their products 

    In this shingle guide, Roofing Insights examined 11 different brands:  

    • Atlas Pinnacle Pristine 
    • CertainTeed Landmark 
    • GAF Timberline HDZ
    • Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration 
    • BP Vanguard 
    • PABCO Premier 
    • TAMKO Heritage 
    • Malarkey Highlander 
    • Malarkey Vista 
    • IKO Dynasty 
    • IKO Cambridge 

    Each brand of shingles was given a rating between 1-5 based on nine categories of criteria, including: 

    • Packaging
    • Weight 
    • Nailing zone 
    • Pull test 
    • True coverage 
    • Consistency 
    • Reputation trend 
    • Granule loss 
    • Feedback friendly 

    Let’s take a closer at each individual category and how certain brands fared.

    At the end of the article, the final results will be revealed.  

    Testing The Shingle Packaging 

    The packaging of shingles is important because it protects the integrity of the shingle as it is being transported from the facility where it was created, all the way to a homeowner’s roof. 

    Most brands have adequate packaging, but IKO Cambridge, IKO Dynasty, and TAMKO Heritage were lacking in quality. 

    This is because in the IKO and TAMKO products, there was an opening on the exterior of the packaging. 

    According to each manufacturer, the idea behind this design is to release moisture that may be trapped inside the packaging, but the problem was that while moisture was escaping the packaging, it was also entering through the same opening. 

    During the packaging test, Roofing Insights found that moisture had crept into IKO and TAMKO shingles, causing wetness that affected the shingles.  

    The Shingle Weight 

    Brand of Shingle Weight per shingle* (lbs.)Score (1-5 rating)
    TAMKO Heritage 3.064
    IKO Cambridge 3.575
    IKO Dynasty 3.385
    Owens Corning Duration 3.064
    GAF Timberline HDZ3.064
    Atlas Pinnacle 3.895
    CertainTeed Landmark 3.415
    BP Vanguard 3.795
    PABCO Premier 3.865
    Malarkey Highlander 3.224
    Malarkey Vista 3.425

    *please note that not every brand includes the same number of shingles in a bundle. As a result, weight is measured per shingle instead of per bundle. 

    In the roofing industry, heavier and thicker shingles are considered better because of their ability to better withstand the elements. 

    Yet, some manufacturers prefer lighter shingles because of their ability to save on production and shipping costs.  

    Roofing Insights found that none of the shingles they tested proved to be grossly underweight, but that the ideal weight for a shingle was best exemplified by Atlas Pinnacle, BP Vanguard, CertainTeed Landmark, Malarkey Vista, PABCO Premier, and both the IKO Cambridge and IKO Dynasty. 

    The Shingle Nailing Zone

    This describes the area on the shingle where roofers are supposed to insert the nails that will attach the shingles to the roof.

    Some manufacturers make the nailing zone easy to navigate, while others are more complicated.

    Both Malarkey products, as well as the IKO Dynasty and Owens Corning Duration had good nailing zones. 

    Conversely, TAMKO Heritage and PABCO Premier both scored a 2 for their underwhelming nailing zones.  

    The Shingle Pull test 

    Some roofers denounce pull tests, claiming they don’t properly simulate the actual effects of hailstorms or windstorms, but other roofing contractors support the pull test. 

    Either way, all of the manufacturers in this exercise earned high marks, with Atlas, IKO Dynasty, and Owens Corning all registering perfect scores. 

    Testing The True Shingle Coverage 

    It’s important to remember that 3 bundles of shingles don’t always equal a square. 

    This is because not all manufacturers include the same number of shingles in each bundle. 

    Some include more shingles and other manufacturers include less. 

    If a manufacturer includes more shingles in each bundle, then that in turn saves contractors money.  

    In that sense, big shout out to Atlas, both IKO shingles, and BP for their performance in this category. 

    If you’re a contractor and you’re looking to maximize your budget, Atlas, IKO, and BP offer tremendous value. 

    Shingle Consistency 

    This is another controversial category because not all packages contain the same number of shingles. 

    For this category, Roofing Insights counted every shingle in a bundle to determine which manufacturer was the most consistent. 

    The results were nearly 50/50, meaning about half of the shingles manufacturers consistently had the same amount of shingles in a bundle. 

    Also, please be aware that consistency is factored into the weight of shingles

    For example, if a bundle of shingles only has 18 pieces in it, and another brand has 22 pieces, the brand with more pieces inside the bundle will weigh more, even if they are not legitimately heavier. 

    To counter this, Roofing Insights weighed each brand per shingle, and not per bundle. 

    Shingle Manufacturer Reputation

    In the last year, some manufacturers addressed the shortcomings of their products, while others did not. 

    IKO is one company who vastly improved their shingles over the last year, but there are other companies who continue to churn out the same quality of products every year. 

    For example, both PABCO and TAMKO have consistently not made upgrades to their products, which is why they continue to rank near the bottom of this evaluation. 

    With shingles, homeowners often get what they pay for, so while PABCO and TAMKO are not terrible shingles, their product also is greatly behind the other major shingle manufacturers. 

    Shingle Granule Loss 

    This is another crucial category because the more granules a shingle loses, the lower it will rate on quality. 

    Shingles that lose a lot of granules tend to clog gutters and fall short of adequately protecting roofs. 

    This year, PABCO Premier lost 6 grams of granules during the test, earning them a one-star rating. 

    But both BP and Owens Corning experienced negligible granule loss, earning these companies a five-star rating.

    Shingle Manufacturers Receiving Feedback 

    The last criteria for the 2021 Shingle Guide measures which companies allowed contractors to give feedback on their shingles. 

    Perhaps surprisingly, while homeowners can always review a roofing company online, few manufacturers actually make it possible to be publicly reviewed on platforms like Facebook and Google. 

    At Malarkey, they are still refusing to allow online reviews, which is why they earned a low score this year. 

    At the same time, Atlas, PABCO, and BP all allowed for their shingles to be openly reviewed by the public. 

    This is a testament to the leaders of those companies, many of whom appear willing to accept constructive criticism, which will in turn allow them to improve their product. 

    Now the hope is that more contractors feel comfortable reviewing products, and that manufacturers will not hide behind legalese in order to prevent their shingles from being reviewed. 

    Final Scores 

    After hours spent thoroughly evaluating each brand of shingles, Roofing Insights has found both the Atlas Pinnacle and IKO Dynasty to have received the highest scores (see chart below). 

    Still, it should be noted that every contractor has their preferred brand of shingles, and also that not every brand is available in every market due to distribution decisions. 

    Also, Roofing Insights fully endorses every shingle on this list except for PABCO Premier and TAMKO Heritage, two shingles that still need to improve and rise to the level of their competition. 

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    Thank you for reading the 2021 Shingle Guide from Roofing Insights! 

    Your opinion is valued, so if you have any feedback related to this article, please let us know in the comment section below!

    Also, if you are a homeowner who is looking for a reputable contractor in your area, check out Directorii.

    Directorii connects homeowners with local contractors AND backs them up with a $20,000 guarantee, which protects homeowners from shoddy workmanship, job abandonment, and much more!

    Find out how Directorii can help with your next home improvement project by visiting their website today! 

    Dmitry Lipinskiy
    Host of Roofing Insights YouTube channel CEO of Storm Group Roofing Founder of Roofing Business School

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    10 Comments

    1. Thanks for your reviews. I am shopping for a new roof and they have been really helpful for determining the right questions to ask the roofing contractors I’ve contacted for quotes. Question: the contractor that I am leaning towards hiring uses Malarkey – but has mainly shown me the Ecoasis shingle. Have you tested that line? The Highlander received pretty high marks from you so I’m just wondering if Ecoasis is comparable. Thanks!!

    2. Linda the Ecoasis Costa Nex is identical to the Highlander Nex with the exception it has 3M solar reflective smog eating granules to meet Title 24 California Energy code. We have a variety of colors to meet the home owners needs, while providing a product that reduces carbon emissions and diverts materials like car tires and milk jugs from a landfill.

    3. Fantastic review. All the info I wanted. Disappointed the IKO shingles showed so poorly in the category most important to me. I hate all the granules in the gutters and I see how that also is a safety factor for installers and doing maintenance. As a Canadian wanting to buy local I sure hope they get that fixed. Love your passion Dmitry. Could you please start reviewing other products. I need a new truck!

    4. Great review, I used the information to select a contractor for a new roofing job on one of my properties. I knew the company had a good reputation but wasn’t sure of their product choice. They use Atlas Pinnacle Pristine.

    5. I found your review very helpful. Thank you! I have sought and received several estimates. IKO shingles were quoted in one of them. The Cambridge, Dynasty, and Nordic were all quoted progressing in cost respectively. My question is do you have any data or information on the IKO Nordic shingle especially in the category of granule loss?

    6. Great review. Exactly the information I have been looking for as I am needing a new roof after Hurricane Sally. I do have a question though. Have you tested the Atlas Legend and if so, How does it compare to the Atlas Pinnacle?

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