In the construction industry, bigger is always better.
Bigger jobs equate to bigger payouts.
But for roofers, roof shingle weight matters.
Larger roofs mean more materials, labor, time, and ultimately, fatter paychecks for everyone involved in the construction process.
But did you know that in the construction industry, weight is just as key as size?
For example, in the roofing industry, it is universally agreed upon that the heavier the shingle, the more efficient said shingle is.
Following that line of thinking, one could imagine that every shingle manufacturer would then aspire to produce a heavier shingle, but shockingly, in many cases, it is the exact opposite.
Because in an industry that loves profits as much as productivity, shingle manufacturers can save millions of dollars per year if they make lighter shingles.
Doing so means they’re using less materials, granules, etc., but they’re still charging the same price as if they were producing a heavier shingle.
This topic has spurred an investigation from the team at Roofing Insights.
Recently, they were tasked with discovering which companies are producing a lighter shingle, an assignment that ultimately offered interesting insights into the various manufacturers across North America.
Here is what the Roofing Insights team discovered.
In the following table, you’ll notice two categories:
One is the weight that manufacturers claimed for their products when they spoke with a Roofing Insights representative.
The other category lists the weight Roofing Insights measured for their analysis during the Roofing Insights 2020 Shingle Guide.
Results are as follows:
*Note: all weights are listed in pounds and encapsulate the weight of the shingles per square (which is typically three bundles)
|Claimed Weights (lbs.)||Actual Weight (lbs.)|
Atlas Pinnacle claimed a weight of 225 lbs./per square, which weighed less than the 247.2 lbs. that Roofing Insights measured in their 2020 Shingle Guide.
Also, it should be mentioned that TAMKO Heritage measured in at 208 lbs./per square during the 2020 Shingle Guide evaluation, but when Roofing Insights reached out to find their claimed weight, a representative from the company revealed that, per the request of the owner of the company, they have been instructed not to reveal that information.
The representative said:
“I don’t give out any weights at all. That comes from the owner of the company because the weights aren’t exact, so as soon as I give an approximation, somebody will say that weight isn’t correct.”
For Roofing Insights CEO Dmitry Lipinskiy, he says there are three important things that both homeowners and contractors should know about shingles:
1. It’s a commodity product
Shingles, like cars, are a commodity.
Therefore, manufacturers are always looking for ways to make the production process cheaper.
Unfortunately, some companies are willing to reduce the quality of their products in order to make more money.
And in the roofing industry, attempting to cut costs doesn’t always work out.
“Cheaper and lighter usually costs less, but in the world of asphalt shingles, that’s not the case,”
“In fact, some thinner products actually cost more.”
Roofing Insights stresses that when choosing a brand of shingles, cheaper products typically possess less quality materials, and hence is why many contractors choose to sell more expensive products.
2. If a shingle is truly better, its weight should be known
“You can’t convince me that your product is better if you don’t know your own shingle weight,”
It’s inexcusable for a shingle manufacturer to not know the weights of their products, and it’s also irresponsible to be unwilling to inform customers and contractors of those specifications.
This is why the Roofing Insights 2021 Shingle Guide will include a new category that focuses on the discrepancies between a shingle’s listed weight, and the actual weight.
Unfortunately, this means a company like TAMKO will score poorly in this category.
“In 2020, TAMKO was already at the bottom of our comparison list,”
“They’re also the only company who would not tell us how much their shingles weigh.”
3. Buildings materials should be heavier
As we explained earlier, the bigger, or heavier that materials are, the better.
“A general rule of thumb is that you want thicker walls. I would rather have a thicker roof than a thinner roof,”
Still, Lipinskiy cautions that weight alone will not guarantee a shingle’s efficiency.
There are still a multitude of other areas where a shingle needs to perform in order to receive a high score from Roofing Insights.
If you haven’t already, check out the Roofing Insights 2020 Shingle Guide.
Also, leave a comment below with your thoughts on the importance that weight plays in the quality of a shingle!