GAF is at or near the top of the best-selling asphalt shingles list. Is GAF’s enviable market share the result of consistent quality and performance, or is it driven by a large marketing budget that helps cover its flaws? Let’s explore.
GAF Woodland_Shingles Roof
There are obvious things to like about GAF – the wide selection of asphalt shingle styles and colors are sold nationally, and if you need more of the same shingles five or ten years later, they will likely be available.
On the downside, it is well documented that GAF, like most other shingle manufacturers, sometimes denies warranty claims that seem legitimate. The company settled a major class action lawsuit over warranty claims on defective shingles manufactured from 1998 to 2009, primarily at one plant. Let’s dig deeper.
Are GAF Shingles the Right Choice for Your Home?
This investigative look at GAF shingles is for the homeowner that is familiar with GAF products and wants to do their due diligence before making a roofing material decision. It gives you the perspective of contractors that have installed GAF for decades, home inspectors that have inspected hundreds of GAF-covered homes and homeowners that live with GAF shingles on their roof every day.
Let’s look at GAF shingle pros from the three perspectives mentioned: Installers, inspectors and homeowners.
Why roofing contractors like GAF shingles: There are a couple reasons that most roofers are happy to install GAF products, and some swear by them.
- The GAF complete roofing system: When you purchase mechanical systems, an HVAC system for example, it’s important that the components such as the condensing unit, indoor coil, gas furnace and the thermostat control are designed to work together. The result is optimized performance.
Components of GAF asphalt roofing system
GAF – The Lifetime Roofing System
A new roof is a costly investment with practical and aesthetic implications – the roof is your home’s most important protection against rain and snow, and it can significantly impact the appeal of your home in the eyes of potential buyers.
GAF Timberline HD Shingles Roof
This guide will help you make an informed decision when it comes to reroofing (adding a new layer of roofing to the existing roof) or removing and replacing the old roof.
Seven Signs You Need a New Roof
Here are the indicators that your roof should be re-shingled or replaced to maintain your home’s defense against the elements:
- Shingles are visibly worn: Are so many of the colored granules gone that your roof looks like it has bald spots? While the shingles might still be keeping moisture out, a lack of reflective granules allows excess heat into your home, raising the temperature inside your house and increasing your air conditioning costs. Furthermore, once exposed, the underlying asphalt will soon dry out and crack, and then your roof will be susceptible to rain.
- Shingles are cupped and curled:
Curled-up old shingles
This issue looks bad, but more importantly, it means wind-driven moisture can easily get under the shingles and into your roof deck where it might cause leaks and rot.
- Shingles are cracked: The cracked areas aren’t keeping moisture off the deck, and the risk of leaks goes way up.
via Structure Tech
Cracks or thermal splitting in asphalt shingles
- Your neighbors are getting new roofs: This is more than “keeping up with the Joneses.” When homes built about the same time as yours are being re-roofed, your roof is probably about due.
- You’ve experienced multiple leaks: Your roof is an entire structure, not just the shingles. Deck paper, flashing, moisture barrier in valleys, starter shingles, vent stack boots and other components are part of an entire roofing system. As the roof ages and several of its components or locations fail, the roof should be replaced.
- The roof has experienced major damage:
via TJR Construction
hail damaged shingles
If more than about 35% of your roof is going to need repair due to wind or hail, especially if it’s already 12+ years old, the cost-effective decision might be to replace it all. Repair is costlier per square foot because it is more time-consuming to integrate new shingles into a roof “here and there” than to install them over the entire roof. Plus, a mix of old shingles and new just won’t look very good.
- Your roof looks bad: Cosmetics do matter to homeowners and potential buyers. If your roof is worn, has algae staining that won’t clean up or has patches of moss on it, boosting its appearance with a new layer of shingles will make a very nice difference.
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If none of these reasons to get a new roof apply, then you’re probably done here! If you’re not sure about your roof’s condition, hiring a home inspector or roofing contractor to inspect it can be a preventative measure before a roof failure and the extensive and expensive damage it can cause.