Pros & Cons of IKO Shingles – Costs – Unbiased IKO Roofing Reviews

IKO asphalt shingles enjoy moderate sales volume across the US and have been one of Canada’s top brands. Most IKO shingles are sold directly to roofing contractors through building materials suppliers and distributors like Bradco, ABC Supply, Beacon Supply, and Harvey’s Industries. IKO products are generally not sold retail to the public.

IKO asphalt shingles roof

Did you know? Some IKO shingles consumer ratings are poor, dragged down by the widespread failures of organic shingles that are no longer being produced. Similar failures associated with the organic-base mat used in shingles (since replaced by the fiberglass base mat industry-wide) had also impacted other large brands in the roofing industry. Like GAF and CertainTeed, IKO was the target of class action lawsuits in the US and Canada.

However, the defective shingle lines are no longer produced and IKO has been working on improving their roofing shingle formulations across the board. It’s worth noting that reviews of IKO shingles in the past few years have been more favorable.

We mention this upfront because the lawsuits appear in online search results for IKO shingles. Homeowners who had the defective shingles installed despise the company. The remaining reviews and ratings from homeowners are about average compared with other top brands. Warranties are slightly above average, as discussed below.

Are IKO Shingles the Right Choice for Your Home?

This guide provides a critical look at the current lineup of IKO shingles from the perspective of homeowners, home inspectors, and roofing contractors.

We believe this is the best approach to getting a well-rounded view of any shingle brand. It’s how we structured our reviews of GAF and Malarkey shingles among others.


Here are the advantages offered by this brand from various perspectives.

There are two reasons roofers suggest IKO products:

1. IKO PROFORMAX™ Integrated Roofing Accessories

A roof is far more than the outer covering of shingles. It’s built from the deck up using multiple components that work together to effectively shed rainwater and keep your home protected from nature’s elements.

IKO PROFORMAX Integrated Roofing System

IKO’s PROFORMAX™ system is comprised of four integrated roofing accessories designed to provide a multilayered roof protection that starts underneath the shingles, working from the outer edges of the roof deck upward.

IKO Integrated Roofing System
IKO Integrated Roofing System via All State Remodeling

IKO recommended accessories are designed to address some of the most vulnerable areas of the roof, such as the edges (eaves and rakes) where the roof’s deck and fascia or rake boards meet.

IKO PROFORMAX™ Integrated Roofing accessories include:

  1. Deck Protection – GoldShield™, ArmourGard™, IKO StormShield® Ice & Water Protectors, and IKO GoldSeam™ Roof Sealing Tape
  2. Underlayments – RoofGard-Cool Grey® or Stormtite® Non-Breathable Synthetic Underlayments
  3. Starter Shingles – Leading Edge Plus™ or EdgeSeal® Roof Starters
  4. Ridge Cap Shingles – Hip & Ridge Series or IKO Ultra HP® Cap Shingles

Deck Protection: Ice & Water Protectors

Many areas require a prescribed zone of Ice and Water protection under shingled roofs to prevent water infiltration due to ice dams and wind-driven rain. Check your local building codes to determine what is needed in your region.

IKO recommends Ice & Water protection for the roof deck at the eaves, rakes, hips, valleys, and around protrusions like vents and vent pipes, chimneys, dormers, and skylights.

  • GoldShield™ – A premium Ice & Water membrane that forms a protective seal around each nail or fastener leaving no space where water can drip through.
  • ArmourGard™ – A midrange product comprised of modified bitumen membrane that is applied as a protective layer under shingled roofs.
  • StormShield® – An economical Ice & Water membrane comprised of modified bitumen for protection from wind-driven rain and ice dams.

Fascia and Eaves: Roof Sealing Tape

  • IKO GoldSeam™ – IKO recommends applying roof sealing tape where the fascia and eaves meet, and over the seams of plywood sheets or OSB boards comprising the roof deck, before installing synthetic underlayment.

Our view is that applying the roof sealing tape over the gap where the eave and fascia board meet will deliver solid value and aid in extending the longevity of the eave and fascia board by blocking moisture and wind-driven rain, thus helping prevent rot.

Applying roof sealing tape over the seams of the plywood might also deliver some incremental value, especially if there are uneven surfaces (different heights) in between the sheets of plywood or OSB board. That said, in many ways, this step can be seen as redundant, especially on steeper roofs with smooth deck surfaces. Very few contractors actually install a roof sealing tape over plywood/OSB board seams, but it definitely won’t hurt. 😊

Synthetic Underlayments

Underlayment serves a purpose of providing a secondary level of protection aka “roof underneath the roof”. It also helps prevent asphalt shingles from getting baked onto (or “glued”) to the roof deck in the sweltering heat of summer, when the sun can literally bake asphalt shingle onto the roof deck by melting the asphalt above the deck, especially on poorly vented roofs/attics.

  • RoofGard-Cool Grey™ – In addition to providing convenient reference lines to keep shingle courses straight, the synthetic material adds a layer of protection between the deck and the shingles. This non-breathable synthetic underlayment provides a superior slip-resistant surface on which to work.
  • Stormtite™ – IKO’s economical non-breathable synthetic underlayment option. It’s significantly stronger than traditional roofing felt and easy to install.

Note: IKO Roofgard-cool grey brochure mentions that “this product is a vapor retarder, so the air space beneath the roof deck should be properly and thoroughly ventilated to avoid risk of moisture condensation”.

Pro Tip: Use a breathable synthetic underlayment whenever possible!

Our view is that you should try to avoid using synthetic underlayments that are non-breathable vapor barriers (unless your roof’s deck and attic space are very well vented) because non-breathable underlayments can trap moisture between the roof deck and the space underneath the underlayment.

The trapped moisture can eventually cause the roof deck to rot underneath the underlayment, especially in poorly vented attic spaces. Imagine a roof deck or substrate failing due to moisture-induced rotting while the outer roofing system is still in good shape. 😉

Starter Shingles

IKO recommends the use of roof starter shingles designed to be used with the first course of shingles.

Double-sided starter rolls that use high-strength sealant are a newer option that provides enhanced protection from wind uplift at the critical first course of shingles along eaves, as well as on rake edges.

Ridge Cap Shingles

IKO’s specially constructed ridge cap shingles are designed to provide a high-quality alternative to using cut-up roof shingles to protect hips and ridges. The precut cap shingles include pre-tapered headlaps and add dimension, depth, and texture to a roofline (ridges and hips).

The above listed product components and accessories are compatible with most IKO shingle lines, but there are some exceptions like the ridge cap product that is specific to Nordic shingles.

Did you know? In order to be covered by IKO’s ROOFPRO Extended Iron Clad Protection warranty, IKO shingles must be used and installed together with at least three IKO PROFORMAX Integrated Roofing Accessories. See warranty documents for details.

The above requirement is standard for most brands. For example, manufacturers like GAF, require that at least three other qualifying GAF components to be used in conjunction with GAF shingles to make your roof eligible for the extended warranty coverage.

While it could be argued that these requirements help a roofing manufacturer maximize material sales per re-roofing job, our view is that the use of the manufacturer recommended, compatible accessories can help ensure a longer lifespan of the new roof, which helps justify the extended warranty coverage from the manufacturer.

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Pros & Cons of Owens Corning Shingles – Costs – Unbiased OC Roofing Reviews

Owens Corning makes a large selection of composition shingles ranging from affordable to high-end. The brand is often compared with GAF, Tamko and Atlas. It’s considered a tier below the best lines from CertainTeed and Malarkey.


OC Shingle Cost

Owens Corning shingles cost ranges from about $75-$99 per square for 3-tab, $95-$135 for the most popular TruDefinition Duration shingles, and $250-$300 for premium designer shingles. A square is 100 square feet of roofing coverage.

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Did you know? Owens Corning (OC), GAF and CertainTeed account for about 80% of all asphalt shingle sales in the US.

This Fortune 500 (#458) dominates the building materials market with about 50% of combined residential insulation and roofing material sales. 2020 revenue was over $7 billion.

Owens Corning used to make vinyl siding until 2007, when the division was sold to CertainTeed.

Are OC Shingles Right for Your Home?

This guide is designed to provide you with comprehensive research about the strong points and weaknesses of the Owens Corning shingles.

Note: Comparing residential asphalt shingle brands is easy with the guides we’ve prepared for GAF, CertainTeed, Atlas, Malarkey and an Owens Corning vs Tamko guide.

Did you know? OC was the focus of a class action lawsuit regarding defective Oakridge Shadow shingles installed before 2006.

The suit was rejected in 2018 because “plaintiffs’ theories were too broad to show that the class would be sufficiently cohesive under the predominance requirement for class certification.”

Note: CertainTeed, GAF, Atlas and Tamko are among shingle brands that have been hit with class action suits.


Here are the key factors besides a huge marketing budget that put Owens Corning shingles in the second place behind GAF in total sales.

The Owens Corning Total Protection Roofing System

A roof is much more than shingles. Other components protect against wind-driven rain, ice buildup, heat in the attic and other risks brought by the elements. All the major brands make a similar collection of products.

Using products from one brand ensures they’re designed to work together. It also gives you access to the best warranties from Owens Corning.

Pro Tip: You can qualify for OC extended warranty protection if you use at least three main components of the roofing system from Owens Corning. Ask your contractor to apply for the extended warranty coverage on your behalf.

OC uses the moto “Seal, Defend, Breath” to represent the Total Protection roof.

Seal: Underlayment and Moisture Barrier

OC makes standard felt underlayment (basic), ProArmor synthetic (better) and Deck Defense high performance synthetic (best).

The Owens Corning WeatherLock ice and water barrier is made in three tiers, too. The premium Flex barrier protects valleys, eaves, rakes and areas around chimneys. It’s best suited for very cold climates with frequent freeze/thaw cycles.

Defend: Starter Shingles, Roof Shingles and Hip/Ridge Shingles

OC makes starter shingles in roll and strip form that provide extra coverage at roof eaves. Five hip and ridge shingle lines match OC’s range of shingle styles.

Breathe: Roof Ventilation

This is a range of products for the soffit, ridge, and roof. The vents allow fresh, dry air to flow into the attic and hot and/or humid air to escape. Proper ventilation optimizes airflow to get rid of excess heat and moisture, which can damage your attic and roof.

OC Certified Contractors

All major brands offer certified contractor programs. Roofers in the network are trained in the installation of OC products and are given other perks.

The homeowner benefits by knowing the contractor has the experience and training OC requires. Secondly, you have the option of better warranties, though at a cost.

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Average Roof Lifespan – How Long Does a Roof Last?

If you are in the process of buying a new home, you probably want to know the age of the roof and how much longer it will last. Similarly, if you’ve lived in your home for a while, you are probably also wondering about the current condition of the roof and whether it’s time to consider some viable replacement options.

Curled-up shingles

This guide outlines the expected lifespans of most popular roofing systems for homes. Print it out and use it to assess the life expectancy of any roof when buying a new home or planning for future roof replacement needs in your own home.

Right Off the Bat: A typical asphalt shingle roof will normally last anywhere from 15 to 25 years (and up to 30+ years in some rare cases) before requiring a replacement.

That said, there are several different kinds of asphalt shingles, as well as other roofing materials to consider when estimating longevity of a particular roofing system. Let’s get started.

Average Lifespans for Most Popular Residential Roof Systems:

  1. Asphalt Shingle
  2. Metal Roof
  3. Tile Roof
  4. Cedar Shingle and Shake
  5. Natural Slate
  6. Synthetic composite roof
  7. EPDM Rubber flat roof
  8. PVC single-ply membrane
  9. TPO membrane

1. Asphalt Shingles

3-tab or 25-year Shingles shingle is the most basic and least costly asphalt roofing option for slopped residential roofs. A typical 3-tab asphalt roof will last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on the environment and slope of the roof.

Cracks or thermal splitting in asphalt shingles

3-tab shingles are an OK option for temperate climates, but they are not at all suitable for storm-prone areas like Florida. The maximum wind-uplift a 3-tab shingle roof can withstand is 60 MPH to 70 MPH.

Note: When exposed to strong, direct sunlight and rapid temperature changes i.e., thermal shocks that are commonly associated with southern states and desert climate zones — think places like Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Nevada, and parts of California that are mostly deserts — asphalt shingles can develop cracks, resulting in a greatly diminished lifespan and premature failure.

Architectural aka 30-Year and 40-year Dimensional or Laminate Shingles are thicker and hence more durable and longer lasting than their entry-level counterparts, three-tab strip shingles. Most architectural shingle roofs will last anywhere from 15 to 25 years, depending on the environment.

Maximum wind uplift for most architectural shingle products is 110 MPH. With an enhanced 6-nail installation method and roof-frame bracing, the wind uplift rating can be increased to 130 MPH. The one exception is the GAF’s Timberline HDZ shingle that comes with the standard 130 MPH warranty, even when installed using the standard nailing method.

50 Year Premium Shingles are normally fancier-looking asphalt shingles designed for premium homes. A premium shingle is normally thicker and will last longer than a mid-range architectural shingle. Expected lifespan of a premium shingle roof is anywhere from 20 to 35 years with proper maintenance, depending on the environment.

GAF Premium Asphalt Shingles: Camelot Williamsburg Slate

Wind uplift ratings for premium designer shingles are similar to architectural shingles. Premium shingles (like architectural shingles) can also include special properties such as enhanced solar reflectance aka CoolRoof rating and hail impact damage resistance for hail prone areas.

See more details on various types of premiums shingles here:

Tell-Tale Signs to Consider a Full Replacement: If the asphalt shingles on your roof have developed major cracks, lost a lot of sand granules, are chipping and look dried-up or curled up, then you know it’s time for a new roof.

If the shingles are still in a seemingly good shape, but the roof has sustained significant storm or hail damage, then it’s probably time to consider replacement or partial replacement.

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