While the “battle” for contractors’ and homeowners’ attention and residential roofing marketshare between Atlas and IKO shingles doesn’t have the same heavyweight interest of GAF vs. Owens Corning, these brands are certainly not fighting over scraps.
Both IKO and Atlas enjoy a moderate share of the composition shingles market, and the popularity of their steep-slope roofing products is growing every year. Currently, each brand offers 8 main shingle lines in the basic, better, and premium tiers explained in this guide.
Atlas and IKO Head-to-Head Comparison
However, there are plenty of other solid and compelling shingle options to consider outside of the mid-range lines, including the affordable 3-tab shingles, several high-end architectural series, and premium shingles from both brands.
Pro Tip: Talk to several contractors before you make a hiring decision. Many experienced roofing contractors install a wide range of shingles including both IKO and Atlas shingles. That’s one reason we recommend getting estimates from several different installers, so you can get expert advice and recommendations on which brand of shingles are best suited for the specific climate conditions in your area.
Did you know? IKO has a special Performance shingles category which includes IKO Dynasty and IKO Nordic shingles reinforced with ArmourZone for hail impact resistance (IR shingles) and exceptional high-wind and weather performance.
Meanwhile, Atlas also offers the enhanced-construction and impact-resistant (IR) shingles. We cover IR products from both brands in the Hail impact-resistant shingles section of the guide.
What you’ll find in this guide:
You’re here for sound advice, not a bunch of nonobjective marketing talk, and that is what we deliver.
We pick winners and losers in each category of roofing shingles. Let’s explore.
- Quality – Which brand makes better shingles in each tier?
- Costs – We list the current retail prices from major sellers – and where you can and cannot find roofing shingles from these brands.
- Performance and Value – IKO’s two most expensive shingle lines cost more, but are they worth the higher price? You’ll have a good idea of what you get for the money.
- Hail Impact Resistant Shingles – What they are, and what is and isn’t covered under the manufacturer’s warranties – Plus the best shingles from each brand for defending your roof from this weather menace
- Energy Efficient Shingles AKA Cool Roof Shingles from both brands.
- CA Title 24, LA County Green Building Code Roofing Shingles – Do any Atlas or IKO shingles meet these stringent standards?
- Warranty Comparison – and should you buy based on warranty? Are extended warranties worth the extra money? Do IKO and Atlas offer hail impact damage warranties?
- Bottom-line and Takeaways: While these are discussed throughout, we wrap up with final thoughts and conclusion to help you make the best choice.
Let’s get this out of the way – “IKO shingles are junk!” That’s what you’re likely to read online. It isn’t true. Not anymore.
To be fair, IKO earned that reputation with a disastrous dive into the “organic shingle” world. Imagine putting organic materials on your roof – where it constantly gets wet – and expecting good results. Uh… no thanks.
The suit against Atlas involved the Chalet line of shingles, no longer produced. The class action was dismissed. Some homeowners filed individual suits with various outcomes.
So, putting aside that foray into a not-so-fun territory, let’s compare the current IKO and Atlas in shingle quality, based on the asphalt shingle products they are manufacturing today.
With the organic shingle debacle out of the way, there is just one more issue to consider:
Has the IKO shingle sealing issue been resolved? Time will tell:
Another problem IKO is known for is its sealer strip not softening sufficiently in cool weather to properly bond with the shingle that is installed over it. The company has changed the formulation of the sealant for cold climates a few years back, and it’s too early to know if the sealing issue has been fully resolved.
Pro Tip: Here’s what we said in our IKO Shingle Review with Pros and Cons, “Because IKO might have ongoing problems with sealing, it is a risk to install them unless the air temperature is at least 50F with clear, sunny skies. Avoid late fall and winter installation of IKO shingles unless the installer has a manual sealing procedure in place to ensure proper sealing of shingles.”
Notably, Atlas Roofing recommends a minimum of 45-50F with sunny skies for the installation of its asphalt shingles: “In spring, two to three days of 45-to-50-degree weather with sunny skies would be good for a roof installation. Shingles won’t seal unless they warm to an ambient temperature near 70 degrees. That doesn’t mean it needs to be 70, because solar radiance will heat the shingles even if temperatures are in the 40s.”
Regardless of where you live, we still think that’s good advice, and not just with respect to IKO shingles, but rather it should apply to most if not all asphalt shingle brands and products across the board.
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Value vs. super-premium quality – something to consider: The two brands considered the industry leader in terms of quality and focus on high-end premium shingles, are CertainTeed and Malarkey. What makes them the top of the heap of the premium roofing segment? It is the decision they’ve made to make a better more premium shingle, though at a higher cost than IKO, Atlas, Owens Corning, GAF, and Tamko.
If you want an ultra premium shingle “at any cost,” you can’t go wrong with CertainTeed or Malarkey. If you want excellent value – a combo of fair price and good quality, then Atlas Roofing and IKO are reputable and compelling brands to consider.
Verdict: It’s a two-part decision.
Part 1. In moderate and warm climates (or during spring and summer) where/when installation takes place in weather at least 50 degrees (F) with sunny conditions, both Atlas Roofing and IKO shingles are very comparable in terms of the overall quality.
Both brands’ products are built with tough fiberglass mesh cores surrounded with a rich coating of asphalt and covered in sun-reflecting granules (which are often coated to resist algae staining).
IKO makes two higher-priced lines, Crowne Slate and Armourshake. Their premium cost is due to more asphalt material in the laminate layers, not necessarily higher quality. The added material certainly makes them heavier, which helps in high winds.
Where sealing isn’t an issue with IKO shingles – in warm climates, and even in cool regions when IKO shingles are installed in warm weather, the brands are equal in quality.
Got wind? IKO’s Dynasty shingle has a reinforced nailing area that resists wind blow-offs very well – though the warranty is the standard 130 MPH for quality architectural shingles.
On the other hand, Atlas StormMaster Shake and Slate lines have a core strengthened with polymers. With enhanced installation including a glue strip and two extra nails, the wind resistance is boosted to 150 MPH.
Buyer Beware: Atlas is fond of saying that using enhanced installation, the Signature Select system, increases wind resistance to 150 MPH.
Both brands offer outstanding wind protection, with Dynasty shingles being the better value for its lower labor charges because it doesn’t require the enhanced (time-consuming) installation.
Part 2 In cool weather during the time of installation, we still recommend Atlas Roofing over IKO. Perhaps in 5 years when the new SBS sealant used on shingles sold in cool climates has a proven track record, that will change.
Pro Tip: Bad installation turns good shingles into junk. The excellence of the roof you put on your home depends on two factors:
- Using quality materials in the totality of the roofing system
- Hiring an experienced, conscientious installer that will take the time, refusing to cut corners, to correctly install every phase of the roof system.
As we say in our GAF vs. Owens Corning Comparison guide; “To ensure the highest possible quality final product, we recommend that your installer applies a “breathable” synthetic underlayment and uses at least three components of the roofing system, such as starter shingles and hip-and-ridge caps from the same manufacturer.”
For more information: If you want to dig deeper into these very comparable systems of roofing accessories, the Atlas Signature Select roofing system is detailed here, and a similar IKO system is explained on this page.
Here are two sets of costs. First is the retail cost of the shingles per square (100 square feet).
The second cost column, Cost Installed, is the average installed cost for re-roofing jobs on single-story houses. The cost includes the shingles and all installation accessories. When a roof tear-off of the old shingles and disposal of them is required, cost might be higher.
Did you know? Atlas shingles are typically sold to contractors through building material supply stores. However, in some states, homeowners might be able to buy Atlas shingles through stores like Menards. As for contractors, they have contractor accounts at places like Bradco, ABC Supply, Beacon Supply, Harvey’s, and can also buy roofing materials through smaller independent roofing material suppliers in the area.
By and large, IKO shingles are only sold to roofing contractors who then pass on their costs to the homeowners.
Why the cost range? Two reasons. First, because the cost of living varies significantly across the country. Costs in the “lower 48 states” are highest in the Northeast, Northwest, and other parts of both Coasts. They are lowest in rural areas of the Midwest and South. Other major metro areas like Dallas/Fort Worth, and Chicagoland have roofing costs that are close to the national average. Bay Area CA, Seattle WA, Alaska, and Hawaii? Much higher-than-average cost of living.
Secondly, because if the re-roofing job is a “tear off,” meaning it already has two layers on it and all the roofing material must be removed down to the wood roof deck, you’ll need more materials and labor. These also require fresh underlayment, ice-and-water shield at the eaves and in the valleys, starter shingles, flashing, etc.
|Shingle Brand & Type||Cost per Square (1)||Cost Installed (2)||Important Distinction|
|Marathon Plus AR||$70 – $90||$300 – $350||5-year Algae Warranty|
|Cambridge||$74 – $95||$300 – $400||Wood Shake Style|
|Cambridge Cool Colors||$78 – $96||$300 – $400||Certified Cool Roofing|
|Royal Estate||$110 – $125||$350 – $450||Mimics Slate’s Look|
|Crowne Slate||$155 – $172||$400 – $500||Traditional Slate Colors|
|Armourshake||$190 – $215||$450 – $550||Polymer Modified for Strength|
|Dynasty||$110 – $140||$350 – $450||Best-selling IKO Performance Shingles|
|Nordic||$112 – $124||$350 – $450||Polymer Modified for Strength|
|GlassMaster||$66 – $78||$300 – $350||10-year Algae Warranty|
|ProLam||$70 – $85||$300 – $400||Most Affordable Designer Shingle|
|Castelbrook||$72 – $90||$350 – $400||Narrow Cut Slate Look|
|Legend||$75 – $90||$350 – $400||110 MPH Wind Warranty (Not 130)|
|Briarwood Pro||$75 – $90||$350 – $400||High Color Contrasts|
|Pinnacle Pristine||$82 – $95||$350 – $400||Most Popular|
|StormMaster Shake||$110 – $130||$350 – $450||Up to 150 MPH Wind Resistance|
|StormMaster Slate||$110 – $130||$350 – $450||Enhanced Polymer Core|
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(1) The retail cost per square can be lower with bulk discounts for popular fiberglass shingles like IKO Cambridge, Cambridge Cool Colors and Dynasty shingles and Atlas GlassMaster and Pinnacle Pristine shingles. There is normally no bulk discount for specialty and premium shingle lines such as IKO Armourshake.
The retail cost per square is for 100 sq.ft. of shingles only. It doesn’t include the cost of starter shingles, hip and ridge shingles, trim and flashing details, underlayments and Ice-and-Water shield, and general roofing supplies like nails, tarps, etc.
Don’t be left short! Note that most re-roofing projects will require 5% to 10% more shingles than the actual roof coverage. More shingles will be needed for roofs with multiple dormers and valleys.
(2) Installed cost includes materials and supplies, building permits, site cleanup, professional installation, and workmanship warranty.
Did you know? Asphalt roofing shingles, aka fiberglass shingles, are sold in bundles. Most shingles are three bundles per square (each bundle containing around 33 square feet), but thicker shingles are sold in smaller bundles, so you need 4, 5 or more for the same 100 square foot coverage.
But note: It is the bundle price that is usually displayed at the store or online, though some sites do the math for you and give you the “per square price,” or price of enough bundles to cover 100 square feet of your roof. That’s the price you want to know for comparison.
To determine the true cost per square, multiply the bundle price by:
3, if sold in 33.3 square foot bundles (e.g. IKO Cambridge and Atlas Pinnacle Pristine and StormMaster. In fact, all Atlas shingles are 3 bundles per square).
4, if sold in 25 square foot bundles (e.g. IKO Crowne Slate).
5, if sold in 20 square foot bundles (e.g. IKO Armourshake).
Pro Tip: The take-away is not to look at the bundle price and multiply by 3 for the “per square” price. It doesn’t always work – and can give you some bogus numbers as you consider a budget for your roofing replacement project.
As we said, you’re safe with Atlas because all shingles are 3 bundles per square. And a contractor won’t quote you a bundle price on IKO (remember, IKO doesn’t sell directly to the public). The contractor will give you a price per square installed, and if you want the shingle price, will likely itemize that for you.
Which brand offers the best pricing:
As you can see, across most lines, Atlas and IKO are very competitive in terms of their retail shingle prices. For example, compare the popular Atlas Pinnacle Pristine and IKO Cambridge architectural shingles. An average price for either product is about $90 per square.
Where Atlas offers a price, advantage is in the top-of-the-line and very popular StormMaster Shake and Slate lines at about $120 per square. Compare to IKO’s Royal Estate at about the same price, and Crowne Slate at a much higher average cost of about $160 per square.
Overall, Atlas shingles are more budget friendly without skimping on quality.
IKO Armourshake is much more expensive than anything Atlas sells, but it’s also a very different product. IKO Armourshake special-order shingles are very thick and heavy for maximum wind/weather protection, and they have the most polymer reinforcement of anything that either of the brands sells. It’s not surprising these shingles run about $200 per square.
IKO and Atlas, like all major brands, make two designs.
3-tab shingles, also called strip shingles, are single-layer shingles consisting of an asphalt coated fiberglass mesh core covered in UV-reflecting and water-shedding granules. The lower, exposed edge is cut to give the appearance of three pieces of slate or wood shake/shingle.
Laminated shingles are built with the same type of base, but an additional layer is fused to the top to create a thicker shingle that better mimics stone slate and wood shakes or shingles. These shingles go by many names – Dimensional is the most accurate description, but they’re also called Architectural, Designer and Premium shingles. They’re all the same animal – laminated shingles.
Basic Three Tab, 3-Tab or Strip Shingles
Take your pick of names. IKO simply calls them Traditional shingles in some of its marketing. They are generally entry-level shingles or mid-range depending on their construction.
Homeowners choose 3-tab shingles for their affordability. Retail cost begins below $70 per square, as with the Atlas GlassMaster shingles. But most start at about $75 per square, or a very affordable 75 cents per square foot. Installed cost runs around $3.00 to $3.50 per square foot, or $300-$350 per square for basic shingles.
Strip shingles are considered traditional in appearance because they’ve been produced for a century while dimensional shingles were introduced a few decades ago. The standard wind rating for 3-tab shingles is 60 MPH, though a few have 80 MPH warranties. — Compare that to the industry standard for architectural shingles of 110 MPH to 130 MPH depending on the shingle and sometimes whether the installer uses 4 nails per shingle (common with 110 MPH warranties) or 6 nails (required for many 130 MPH warranties).
If strong winds aren’t an issue where you live, then 3-tab shingles are a good value and worth considering, if you’re happy with their appearance. It’s flatter and doesn’t imitate the look of beefy wood shakes or genuine stone slate tiles as well as architectural shingles.
The disadvantage of 3-tab shingles is their thinner, and therefore weaker, construction. High winds are a major threat to blowing them off. So is large hail, which can dent, pit or crack them more easily.
Pro Tip: For resale value of your home, consider what’s generally used in your neighborhood. If dimensional shingles are the norm, your home might lose a little value with 3-tab. Potential buyers might think, “Uh oh – we’d have to replace the shingles with architectural shingles to bring the house up to neighborhood standards.” Keep in mind that both brands make architectural shingles that cost just a few dollars more per square than their strip shingle options.
The opposite is also true. It isn’t cost-effective to put the most expensive shingles on your roof is the neighborhood’s homes are mostly covered in 3-tab or affordable dimensional shingles.
Construction is similar. Both use granule coatings that resist the growth of algae and the staining it causes. Each is covered with a 60 MPH wind warranty. Their ASTM testing on wind resistance, uplift and fire are identical.
Neither line offers an Energy Star certified color.
How are they different? Atlas offers better warranties: The manufacturer’s warranty against defect is 30 years on GlassMaster but just 25 on the IKO Marathon AR line. Atlas’ 10-year algae stain warranty beats IKO’s 5-year warranty on staining.
Cost differs, too: The average cost per square of the IKO shingles is $6-$10 per square more compared to Atlas. Put 35 squares on a 2,000 square foot ranch home, and you’ll pay about $210-$350 more for the shingles. Not a big difference, but worth knowing if the budget is tight.
3-Tab Shingle Advantage: Atlas
Atlas GlassMaster offers a better value. They are at least equal in quality to IKO Marathon shingles, but they cost less and have longer warranties.
This section compares these two best-selling lines. The following section is a catch-all for the rest of the Atlas vs IKO architectural shingle lines.
IKO: Cambridge and Cambridge Cool Colors
IKO explains that its “architectural shingles use straight, not angled, cuts… with dragon’s teeth [to] create the appearance of natural wood shakes.
Both lines have a Lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects and a 130 MPH wind warranty, both standard in this class of asphalt shingles.
What sets Cambridge Cool colors apart from the standard Cambridge line and from anything Atlas offers, is the increased ability to reflect UV sunlight and to reduce energy use, and hence AC costs. With an SRI (Solar Reflectance Index) of 20 or higher based on color, they meet some of the country’s local cool roof requirements such as California Title 24 (more on this topic later).
Advantage size: Like a jumbo size candy bar, advantage size shingles are several inches wider than standard shingles. This means faster installation since each shingle covers a bit more roof territory. There’s no performance advantage though.
IKO PROFORMAX Integrated Roofing Accessories are recommended to achieve the most durable roof. The accessories include StormShield Ice & Water protection, Stormtite underlayment, Leading Edge Plus starter strips/shingles and UltraHP ridge cap shingles.
According to the IKO warranty, you must use 3 of these products to receive the top 130 MPH wind warranty. The Atlas warranty requires its full roofing system to for the best warranty coverage.
Atlas: Pinnacle Pristine
This competitively priced Atlas architectural shingle available in 19 colors (!!!) will do a good job protecting homes in any climate. Standard warranties include a 130 MPH wind warranty and 10-year algae stain resistance warranty.
When you install the Atlas Signature Select system using WeatherMaster ice and water underlayment or Atlas Premium underlayment, Pro-Cut starter/hip/ridge shingles and Pinnace shingles, the wind warranty is boosted to 150 MPH. Plus, the proration of the warranty is dropped – it remains 100% in effect for the life of the roof. If the shingles are ever found to be defective, Atlas will cover the entire cost of replacement.
Pinnacle Pristine shingles start at a slightly higher cost than IKO Cambridge, but most colors are about the same price.
Did you know? Though Atlas makes 19 colors of the Pinnacle Pristine shingles, they might not all be available in your area. Expect to see anywhere from 14-18 color options when you shop locally. This is common with most shingle lines.
The Best Value Architectural Shingle: Tie.
Cost Advantage: Slight Advantage for IKO.
In Sunny Climates: Advantage to IKO for Cambridge Cool Colors.
Other Architectural/Premium Shingles
There are quite a few options from both brands. Let’s start with an overview of IKO lines before moving to Atlas.
The brand calls these shingles either Premium or Performance.
Premium lines, aka Designer shingles, are Royal Estate, Crowne Slate and Armourshake.
Performance lines, called such because they are designed for better performance in harsh weather conditions, are Dynasty and Nordic.
Backed with the Lifetime general warranty and 130 MPH warranty, these shingles are offered in up to 4 colors in most areas. They are oversized – IKO’s Advantage Size, for a little faster installation.
Designed to mimic stone slate, their lines are straight though not uniform. They possess three of the four key quality elements IKO mentions for its architectural shingles: Algae-resistant granules, the IKO FastLock sealant strip for better bonding and a tough fiberglass mesh core. As usual, the complete roofing system is suggested – and required to optimize the warranty.
Mid-range in cost, these shingles look best on elegant homes with upscale wood siding, but they might clash with stone.
One of IKO’s pricier shingles, it is available in just two colors. This thick dimensional shingle is the right choice where the budget is larger, and you want the kind of shadowing caused by the higher profile and slight thickness variations of true slate.
Crown slate possesses the first three quality keys plus a fourth – An “extra coating of weathering asphalt.” It’s asphalt modified with strength-enhancing agents to be an all-around tougher shingle. This accounts for the higher cost, but on the downside, it doesn’t give you better warranty or window protection. And no shingle is warrantied against hail.
The non-prorated warranty period, which IKO calls Iron Clad protection (PDF), is 15 years, longer than most other IKO lines.
If you’ve got a healthy roofing budget and love the look of slate, this shingle is a good option at about 1/3 of natural slate’s cost.
These are thick, heavily coated shingles with asphalt enhanced with polymers for strength. Available in 5 colors, they are constructed with IKO quality keys such as algae resistance, FastLock sealer strip, UV-resistant granules that slow fading and as mentioned, the polymer-modified asphalt coating.
When we called around to wholesalers – remember, IKO doesn’t sell direct to the public – most did not stock Armourshake. That means you’ll need an extra 2-4 weeks’ lead time for ordering the shingles before the start of the roofing project.
At an average cost of nearly $500 per square installed or higher, these are the most expensive shingles in this guide.
With its best-in-class Class 4 impact rating (FM4473), these are a good fit for homes where large hail is common. They also appeal to homeowners with large trees overhanging their homes – trees they are reluctant to trim back to avoid large twigs and branches from falling on the roof.
Available in up to 15 colors where you live, Dynasty shingles include the ArmourZone construction – a larger fortified nailing area. The result is that more nails go through the “zone” for better grip in high winds. The Advantage size speeds installation, so might lower labor costs. Might. Don’t necessarily count on it. 😉
Dynasty features: Algae-resistance, the IKO improved sealing strip, ArmourZone, and modified weathering asphalt on both sides of the durable fiberglass core.
This is a little more expensive than many of the IKO and Atlas architectural shingles, but if strong winds are prevalent where you live, it might be worth the added investment.
This popular shingle is a beefy choice where superior protection against wind and wind-driven rain is desired.
The key to its wind-resisting prowess is the fortified ArmourZone core nailing area that optimizes protection against wind uplift and the penetration of wind-blown rain. IKO says the ArmourZone helps it “lie down and stay down,” with its core that is rigid but not brittle. The fiberglass core is thicker too, and it is coated in polymer-modified asphalt.
The result is a Class 4 hail impact rating in a shingle that is competitively priced. It is our choice for the best value in a high-performance shingle from either IKO or Atlas.
Atlas makes 6 lines in its remaining Architectural and Premium shingle lines.
The name means Professional Laminate.
Did you Know: In the construction industry products designed for affordability are referred to as “pro” or “builder” or “contractor.” These are the kinds of products contractors choose when building spec homes or the homeowner leaves the choice to them. Think good value for the contractor – a product they can sell at a higher margin.
Despite that designation, ProLam are decent fiberglass/asphalt shingles. They have standard Atlas features: Algae resistance, a lifetime general warranty and a 130 MPH warranty with the full Atlas Signature Select system that includes the Atlas underlayment, water/ice barrier, starter shingles and hip/ridge shingles.
Castlebrook shingles are affordable “Lifetime Architectural” shingles with basic, though quality construction.
The reason to choose them isn’t quality, good or bad. They’re built essentially the same as most Atlas laminate shingles. It’s the look, if you like it. They feature narrow slate-like style in 7 colors.
This line stands out for its 40-year warranty rather than lifetime and it’s 110 MPH wind warranty, less than the others in this list.
What sets them apart is the cut – each tab features a cutout that creates an uneven bottom line. It’s distinctive, but not for everyone.
Price is about the same, likely due to the extra manufacturing cost of creating the lower cut, so these shingles should be considered in climates where winds are moderate, at worst.
These shingles stand out for the varied width of the tabs/teeth, which many homeowners think provides a more genuine slate look. Briarwood Pro shingles offer greater definition, so increase the shadowing on the roof, another feature of “the real thing.”
Made with non-uniform cuts a tall profile, this shingle has the shadowing you’d expect from wood shakes. The 10 colors range from genuine wood hues to darker charcoal tones.
This product is made with enhanced polymer design, a feature Atlas calls Core4 because it results in a Class 4 impact rating. A Scotchgard coating is their defense against algae staining. The shingles have withstood winds to 150 MPH in ASTM testing.
The Slate line in 6 colors has the same construction and features as the Shake shingles including the enhanced polymer core. However, they either weren’t tested or didn’t pass the 150 MPH wind test.
The Best Architectural/Premium Shingles: Tie for Overall Quality and Performance. Value: Atlas – Comparable Quality at a Lower Price. Selection: IKO – A Wider Range of Shingle Styles.
The IKO Nordic shingles boast a Class 4 impact rating, as do the Atlas StormMaster Shake and Shingle lines. That means you have one more option in style with Atlas.
Did you Know? The Class 4 impact rating is determined in a lab by dropping steel balls onto the shingles to see if detectable damage is done. It’s designed to mimic the impact of large hail and wind-blown debris.
Specifically, in the UL 2218 test, steel balls in various sizes are dropped onto the roofing material in the same spot from 12 to 20 feet high. When there is no damage, the shingle is awarded the Class 4 rating.
However, the Class 4 rating does not constitute a warranty. As we noted in our Owens Corning vs GAF Guide, “Even if you have Class 4 shingles on your roof and a major hailstorm destroys them, you’ll likely be making a claim to your insurance company, not a warranty claim” to the shingle manufacturer.
The Best Class 4 Hail Shingles: Tie for Performance, Best Value: Slight Edge to IKO. Best Selection: Slight Edge to Atlas with Slate and Shake Designs.
Neither of these brands are at the top of the industry in this category. Neither has an Energy Star certified shingle. The Cool Colors shingles have an SRI rating of 20. To meet Energy Star standards, the SRI must be 25 or higher.
IKO wins because its Cambridge Cool Colors shingles are offered in 4 colors with demonstrable SRI ratings – that is, they reflect solar/UV enough to meet some Cool Roof (CRRC) requirements.
The Best Energy Efficient Shingles: IKO
If you live in California, then you are used to stringent regulations brought on by the push toward energy efficient, net-zero homes. Title 24 is designed to “reduce wasteful and unnecessary energy consumption in newly constructed and existing buildings.”
As noted, the IKO Cambridge Cool Colors shingles are the only shingle from either IKO or Atlas with an SRI rating that could be considered energy efficient.
And the Cool Colors shingles do meet California Title 24 requirements, and the minimum SRI of 20 rating for the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC).
Pro Tip: If you want a better selection of California Title 24 and CRRC shingles, see our Owens Corning vs. GAF Guide.
The three main areas in which asphalt shingle warranties protect you are for, material defects, wind damage, and staining mainly caused by algae and moss growth. Note that if manufacturer determines that the cause of roof failure is a material defect (manufacturing defect), then manufacturer will typically also cover the cost of replacement of defective shingles in addition to the cost of materials.
However, workmanship warranty is typically provided by the installer, as most roofs fail due to defective installation or installation errors, and not due to manufacturing defects.
IKO makes it clear that failing to seal is not a manufacturing defect and is not IKO’s problem.
The warranty is a proof it makes sense to wait till warm weather to install IKO shingles.
Homeowners concerns: Of course, it’s homeowners that are ultimately burned by bad IKO shingles.
They have another concern – Warranty transferability. It’s more limited than for other top brands. The warranty can be transferred once within the first 10 years.
Transfer cost is $100, and the paperwork must include the proper request form, property sale documentation and the original Proof of Purchase for the shingles. If the homeowner dies, the warranty is ended.
Warranty claims denied: Roofing warranties are among the toughest to make stick.
Part of the IKO class action suits claimed the company refused to back warranties on the defective products.
Pro Tips: How to avoid having to file a warranty claim:
- Read the warranties of brands you’re considering.
- Ensure your roof is properly vented, since a buildup of heat and moisture in the attic is a major cause of shingle failure.
- Hire an installer with a rock-solid reputation for excellence including a crew that has years of experience.
- Tear off the existing roofing shingles, even if its only one layer. Then, use roofing components made or recommended by the brand of shingle you choose.
- Make sure that your contractor registers the job for warranty coverage with the manufacturer.
Note that no asphalt shingle warranty covers Hail Impact Damage, even if the shingles have class 4 hail rating. You can still obtain a discount on homeowner’s insurance premiums with the class 4 Hail rated shingles, but there is no warranty against hail from any asphalt shingle manufacturer.
The core shingles lines such as IKO Cambridge, Marathon AR and the newer entry Dynasty and Atlas Pinnacle Pristine and StormMaster are very comparable in quality.
Price varies by line, but neither has a clear advantage in value. We give a slight advantage to Atlas for lower overall pricing in the core lines.
IKO stands out in two ways.
The first is for its CRRC/CA Title 24 Cambridge Cool Colors shingles. Regardless of where you live, if you want asphalt roofing that will help reduce energy use and cost, these are your only option from these manufacturers.
Secondly, IKO makes the heavier, thicker Crowne Slate and Armourshake that compete head-to-head with thick dimensional shingles from CertainTeed. Yes, they cost more than Atlas shingles, but when compared with some of the CertainTeed lines, they’re a good value.
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