After choosing a contractor, the second most important choice for your roof is what kind of shingle you are going to use. Here at Insurance Solutions Services, we offer most of the major shingle brands and colors on the market. We want to give homeowners a choice, but we also want to help you make an informed decision for your home.
For this reason, one of our favorite resources to share with homeowners is Roofing Insights' Asphalt Shingle Review, which offers a complete breakdown of the most popular shingles on the market. Roofing Insights was founded by Dmitry Lipinski, the former owner of a highly successful roofing company right here in Minnesota. He has since retired from roofing and now runs a website and YouTube channel dedicated to providing unbiased information to help homeowners and contracts alike.
You can watch the video here, or keep scrolling to see the final scores and breakdown.
In this shingle guide, Roofing Insights examined 11 different brands:
Atlas Pinnacle Pristine
GAF Timberline HDZ
Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration
Each brand of shingles was given a rating between 1-5 based on nine categories of criteria, including:
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)
Owens Corning Duration
GAF Timberline HDZ
*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.
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.
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.
You can read the full article on Roofing Insights' website here.
Also, be sure to check out our Shingle Warranty Comparison!