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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Atlas vs. IKO Roofing Shingles: Cost, ROI – Definitive Guide for Homeowners

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.

Atlas Castlebrook architectural shingles roof. Source: Atlas Roofing

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

IKO Cambridge and Atlas Pinnacle Pristine are the best sellers between the two manufacturers.

IKO asphalt shingles roof. Source IKO

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.

  1. Quality – Which brand makes better shingles in each tier?
  2. Costs – We list the current retail prices from major sellers – and where you can and cannot find roofing shingles from these brands.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. Energy Efficient Shingles AKA Cool Roof Shingles from both brands.
  6. CA Title 24, LA County Green Building Code Roofing Shingles – Do any Atlas or IKO shingles meet these stringent standards?
  7. 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?
  8. Bottom-line and Takeaways: While these are discussed throughout, we wrap up with final thoughts and conclusion to help you make the best choice.

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