Tamko has long been producing some great and very cost-effective shingles. While they might not be every roofer’s favorite shingle, the Tamko Heritage shingles recently caught our eye, so we did a review.
Every year at Roofing Insights, we get our team along with several roofers together to put shingles to the test and decide which of them performs best. Cost aside, our test helps show you what you will get out of each shingle and how well that manufacturer has worked to provide an excellent product.
You deserve to know what’s out there. We aim to show you!
For a complete breakdown of all the shingles on our review, check out this video:
What Makes Our Shingle Test Unique?
Our annual Roofing Insights shingle test is our way of putting shingles through the wringer and giving them the closest thing to what life on a roof might be like. We also do our best to understand how well they can be installed and how well they’re going to hold up.
Here are our criteria:
- Nailing zone
- Pull test
- True coverage
- Reputation trend
- Granule loss
- Feedback friendly
Some roofers might not agree that this test covers everything it should or that all of these tests are legitimate. But we’re not a high-tech lab with simulators. We’re real roofers looking for real reviews and understandings of how well these shingles will hold up as they’re installed.
Note that each category is ranked on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best.
Packaging: Scored 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
First up, we look at the packaging. Bundles of shingles don’t need to look cool, but the packaging does need to keep the shingles together and protect them from the elements. One of the big things we look for with packaging is that water doesn’t get trapped inside the bundles. In cold weather, this water can freeze the shingles together or cause them to deteriorate faster than they should.
The Tamko shingles didn’t do well on this test and only scored a 3 of 5. Their packaging didn’t keep water out and seemed cheap, like it wouldn’t hold up well.
Weight: Scored 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
We judge the weight of shingles because we’ve found that shingles that weigh more tend to hold up better and provide more protection for your roof than other shingles would. Heavier shingles also tend to be stronger during the installation process.
Tamko Heritage shingles weren’t the best on our list for this category, but they did receive a 4. A healthy weight helps to show the manufacturer isn’t skimping out or cutting corners during installation.
Nailing Zone: Scored 2/5 ⭐️⭐️
The nailing zone makes a huge impact on how well roofers will be able to install the shingles. The nailing zones need to be specific, easy to find, and consistent on every shingle. Roofers shouldn’t be struggling to find where they’re supposed to nail or having to read the packaging to find the nail zone.
Some products also have tar over the nailing zone, causing many problems with the roofing nailers when that tar gets jammed in the end. Tamko Heritage shingles can improve regarding this category. A clearer nailing zone with fewer obstructions goes a long way.
Pull Test: Scored 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Many roofers have said that they don’t agree with our pull tests or that they feel it’s not a good representation of what it’s like to have shingles on a roof. Nonetheless, we’ve seen it work well, and it counts for something in our book. Some shingles hold up much better than others, and it’s a good indication of quality.
In this test, the Heritage shingles performed really well. The pull test helps give a good idea of how well the shingles are built and how hard they can be pulled on without concern that they’ll be ripped off the roof.
True Coverage: Scored 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
True coverage refers to how many square feet can be covered with one bundle of shingles. Some shingles provide better coverage and are manufactured slightly larger than other shingles. Getting more coverage out of a single bundle will add up over time, and you’ll be able to install more roofs with fewer bundles.
You’ll be able to boost your profits and provide a better product for homeowners when the true coverage of your shingles is greater. Most of the manufacturers we looked at in our test scored a 5 for true coverage, while the Tamko shingles got a 4.
Consistency: Scored 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Our consistency test looks at how many shingles come in each bundle. Sometimes bundles will have more or fewer shingles that make up each bundle. Consistency will make a big difference in the true coverage of shingles and help you plan to have the right number of shingles ordered for each job.
Fours and fives were common across the board in the consistency test. This shows that all the brands and manufacturers we’re looking at in this test have developed great shingles.
Reputation Trend: Scored 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
We talk to many roofers, and it’s not just for this annual test. Our roofing business school is full of roofers, and every year we host the Roofing Process Conference. At these events, we hear the chatter and talk with roofers to learn what brands they trust to continue providing great products for their businesses.
Tamko shingles have long struggled to gain a good reputation among roofers, but they’ve recently made big strides. We give them a 3 of 5 on this category because they’re simply a middle-of-the-road, average product.
Granule Loss: Scored 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
If you’re a roofer, you know that granule loss is nearly as important as the nailing zone when it comes to a successful installation. To perform this test, we pick the shingles up and drop them repeatedly to simulate how they might be handled on a job site. We then open shingles and weigh the granules that are on the ground.
Shingles that lose a lot of granules are going to cause a few problems:
- Slippery surface during installation
- Granules in the gutters and downspouts
- Decreased performance
- Shorter lifespan
The granules protect shingles from weather and help keep you on the roof when you’re walking around. We’ve seen brands perform very poorly and very well in this test, and it’s all due to manufacturing. Tamko has an average 3/5 score in this category. This is one area where they could definitely improve to provide a better product.
Feedback Friendly: Scored 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
After our tests, we call up all the shingle manufacturers to discuss their product performance. Good customer service and a responsive manufacturer can make the difference if you need to get a hold of the manufacturer.
Let’s say something goes wrong with your Tamko shingles. Is the manufacturer going to help you and provide the service you need? Do they respond well if you make a warranty claim? All of this goes into the feedback score for each manufacturer and brand.
Final Score: 3.44/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The final score is a sum of all the categories put together. Unfortunately, Tamko came in last on our list of 11. But, we hope that in 2022 they’ll make their product better and find ways to differentiate in their industry.
Finding good asphalt shingles and installing them with excellence is critical to your business. Poorly built shingles will fail sooner and cost you money. Tamko roof shingles might not be the best product on our list, but they still provide a good value compared to other products throughout the industry.
Finding the Right Shingles for Your Home
At Roofing Insights, we believe that it’s important for you to install the best shingles that you can. You deserve to know the quality and hear from other industry experts. Our blog, roofing school, and YouTube channel are all curated specifically to provide value to your roofing business.
We regularly review brands, products, and tools that can help you provide a better roof for your customers and ensure that your home is well taken care of. If you need to find a contractor for your home, visit the Roofing Insights Directorii!
And be sure to check out our blog for more reviews of top roofing products!