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.

Pros

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
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.

2. The IKO ROOFPRO Program

Contractors can join the IKO ROOFPRO Program. Most major brands offer this type of training and a certification or membership program of some sort.

In addition to going through training, the contractor must meet IKO qualifications such as being licensed and insured with at least two years of being in business, without legal judgements against the contractor in the last 5 years.

IKO-ROOFPRO-Select
IKO-ROOFPRO-Select Contractor – Credential Example

This gives the consumer peace of mind. IKO’s ROOFPRO membership can help roofing contractors get jobs and might allow them to charge higher prices for their work. They can also offer enhanced warranty protection as part of the ROOFPRO Program.

Did you know? The tear-off of the old roof and installation by an IKO ROOFPRO contractor is required for the Extended Iron Clad Protection from IKO (PDF).

Pro Tip: An experienced roofing contractor and crew will successfully install any brand of shingle, whether or not they’re certified by that brand.

We don’t recommend paying more for a brand-certified contractor, but it is essential that the roofer you choose is licensed, insured, and has a track record of successful installations in your community.

IKO ratings from home inspectors:

IKO shingles have features that some home inspectors applaud. These include:

Standard wind ratings: 3-tab IKO Marathon AR shingles are rated for 60 MPH. Most others are rated for 110 MPH (ASTM D3018 Class F), a rating that increases to 130 MPH with enhanced installation. The company’s Dynasty® and Nordic™ performance shingles have a standard wind rating of 130 MPH.

Impact resistance: IKO Nordic™ are the brand’s impact-resistant shingles featuring polymer-modified asphalt for flexibility (winds and hail impact), durability, and structural integrity.

IKO Nordic shingles roof
IKO Nordic shingles roof

IKO Nordic™ shingles have a Class 4 Impact Resistance rating, which means they weren’t damaged in lab tests by a 2” diameter ice ball propelled by an air cannon twice onto the same spot at a velocity designed to simulate the force from a similar sized hailstone. The downside is that this is the brand’s only option.

IKO Nordic Class 4 Impact Resistant Shingles Colors

Note: Damage from hail is not covered under the limited warranty. No asphalt shingle manufacturer provides a hail damage warranty. If you require hail damage warranty coverage, consider a metal roof such as stone coated steel tiles.

Class A fire rating: Class A or 1 is the top rating for resistance to fire spread. All IKO lines have a Class A rating.

Algae resistance: All lines have shingles with algae-resistant granules, although selection is limited in the Cambridge Cool Colors lineup. Those with algae resistance are warranted against staining for 5 years (Marathon AR) or 10 years (all other lines).

These ratings are not extraordinary. But they show that IKO shingles perform up to the highest industry standards.

IKO benefits to homeowners:

IKO Industries currently has an A+ rating with the US Better Business Bureau, a rating shared by GAF, Owens Corning, and CertainTeed.

IKO’s BBB rating in Canada has improved from B- (back in 2018) to A+ rating at present. Earlier ratings were dragged down by the defective shingle lines that accounted for a higher percentage of sales in Canada. Note that BBB ratings can differ depending on the location within a country or region.

Good selection: While the selection isn’t as large as offered by the “big three” of CertainTeed, GAF and Owens Corning, most homeowners will find products in the shingle style and color range to complement their homes.

This includes affordable 3-tab, mid-range architectural and premium dimensional shingles.

Three-tab: Marathon Plus AR shingles have a 25-year warranty They boast a classic, neat appearance in 10 colors.

*Compare to GAF Royal Sovereign, CertainTeed XT25, Owens Corning Supreme, Malarkey Dura-Seal and Dura-Seal AR.

Architectural Series: The only shingles in this category are the Cambridge and Cambridge Cool Colors. Cambridge is the top selling IKO shingle. Color availability varies slightly, but 9 colors are sold in most regions with additional Cool Colors offerings being available in a number of regions.

IKO Cambridge shingles color selection

*Compare to GAF Timberline, CertainTeed Landmark Premium, Owens Corning Duration, Malarkey Legacy and Tamko Heritage (PDF).

Performance Series: Dynasty (15 colors), and Nordic (9 colors; class 4 impact resistance product rating.) include ArmourZone that strengthens the nailing zone against rips. These series are produced in 9-15 colors and vary by region. High-definition profiles produce the type of shadowing seen on wood shingle and shake roofs.

*Compare to GAF Timberline Ultra HDZ, Owens Corning Duration Designer, CertainTeed Landmark Premium, Tamko Heritage Premium (PDF) and Malarkey Vista and Highlander.

Premium Series: Armourshake (5 colors), Crowne Slate (2 colors) and Royal Estate (4 colors) mimic high-end shakes and slate with deep profiles. These are beefy shingle lines that withstand wind very well.

*Compare to GAF Woodland, CertainTeed Belmont, Malarkey Windsor, Owens Corning Devonshire (discontinued) and Woodmoor, and Tamko Heritage Woodgate (PDF).

IKO prices are detailed below.

Very good warranties: IKO has solid warranties, and the top warranty is easier to qualify for than top warranties from most other brands.

There is always more to the warranty story when discussing shingle brands, so see the cons below.

IKO makes nine shingle lines. Eight are covered with a lifetime limited warranty, the highest percentage among leading shingle brands.

If you choose IKO, make sure your installer understands the requirement to use approved hip/ridge shingles to qualify for the best warranty coverage.

Did you know? All asphalt shingle warranties are prorated after a period of 100% coverage. IKO calls the initial period the “Iron Clad” period. It is 15 years on lifetime shingles, among the longest offered by any brand. Roofers who are part of the IKO’s ROOFPRO Program have access to an additional 5 years of Iron Clad coverage for their customers, provided that certain provisions are met.

Cons

Below are potential disadvantages of using IKO asphalt shingles:

Roofing professional concerns: IKO is a lower-rated brand among some roofers and inspectors. Some of their dislike is due to the problems that led to the lawsuits and the effect installing bad shingles had on their reputations.

Prior generations of product may have negatively impacted IKO’s reputation for shingles that don’t seal properly. Shingles have a sealer strip on the lower edge designed to stick to the shingle below. It keeps the shingles tight to the roof, resistant to uplift from wind and the dangers of wind-blown rain getting beneath them. The company has reformulated its FastLock® sealant in recent years, to improve this aspect of their product lines.

Pro Tip: Sealing strips typically need to be about 70 degrees Fahrenheit to properly seal. Some roofers will install shingles in temperatures as low as 40F, but only if the sun is shining consistently enough to properly warm the shingles – a roof will get warmer than the ambient air as it absorbs heat from the sun.

For instance, Atlas recommends a minimum of 45-50F with sun for its asphalt shingles.

Because IKO shingles have had problems with sealing in the past, it is recommended to install them when the air temperature is at least 50F with sunny skies. Avoid late fall and winter installation unless the installer has a manual sealing procedure in place to ensure proper sealing of shingles.

Did you know? IKO’s wind warranty states in all caps: “No limited wind resistance warranty coverage for wind damage before self-sealing strips seal”.

The warranty also says that shingles that don’t get direct sunlight “might never seal” and that sealing strips coming in contact with sand or dirt before they seal won’t seal either. — Note that this is not unique to IKO shingles.

If there’s a concern about local weather conditions potentially impacting sealant during the installation, using the recommended manual sealing method would be prudent.

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 impacted by the roofing products used on their homes.

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:

  1. Read the warranties of brands you’re considering.
  2. Ensure your roof is properly vented, since a buildup of heat and moisture in the attic is a major cause of shingle failure.
  3. Hire an installer with a rock-solid reputation for excellence including a crew that has years of experience.
  4. Tear off the existing roofing shingles, even if it’s only one layer. Then, use roofing components made or recommended by the brand of shingle you choose.

IKO Shingles Cost: Materials and Installation

Here are current shingle costs for IKO. We’ve noted that the shingles are mostly sold by distributors directly to roofing contractors rather than to homeowners. If you get IKO roofing estimates, the costs of materials and labor might not be itemized.

Prices are per square – Enough shingles to cover 100 square feet of roofing. The costs for installation materials and labor are found below.

3-Tab Shingles: Marathon AR: $75-$85

IKO Driftwood-Sw Marathon Plus AR – Algae Resistant Shingles

Architectural Shingles: Cambridge: $85-$100

IKO Cambridge Beachwood architectural shingles

Performance Shingles: Dynasty with ArmourZone: $95-$125

IKO Dynasty Shingle – Pacific Rim color

Premium Shingles: Royal Estate: $125-$155 / Crowne Slate: $145-$185

IKO Royal Estate Taupe Slate-SW shingles

Accessories and Installation Labor Costs

We’ve priced the shingles. If you’re adding a layer to an existing roof, you’ll need hip/ridge shingles and fasteners only. Your price will be on the low end of the accessories range below.

For new construction and tear-offs, you’ll also need underlayment, eave and rake protection and starter strips.

Here are accessory and labor costs per square (100 square feet):

$5-$25: Accessories

$200-$300: Base installation labor costs

The above figures are current prices you can expect for most brands.

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

See costs in your area Enter Your Zip Code

Verdict

IKO is continually working to improve the formulation (example: sealing strip) and quality of its shingles.

Our view is that the latest iterations of reformulated roofing shingles from IKO compare quite well to products from similarly-sized (as measured by relative marketshare) roofing brands like Atlas, Tamko, as well as larger brands like Owens Corning and GAF.

For premium and luxury asphalt shingles, we also recommend exploring products from premium brands like Malarkey and CertainTeed.

Bottom line: If you trust your roofing contractor and the contractor recommends a specific line of IKO shingles, you will probably get a roof that lasts 20-30 years.

Follow the contractor’s advice for preparing your roof structure (venting, deck repair, flashing, etc.) to be in top condition for a new roof.

If for whatever reason you are still wary of IKO, there are high-quality alternatives to consider, but remember the quality of installation itself is the single greatest variable in the longevity of any roof irrespective of the brand.

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31 thoughts on “Pros & Cons of IKO Shingles – Costs – Unbiased IKO Roofing Reviews”

  1. I left a comment about my experience with IKO shingles back in May 2020. As of this writing (summer, 2021) my contractor has not been able to reach a resolution with IKO after going through 2 reps and then 2 supervisory people in charge of the Southern California/West Coast region. The last guy didn’t even return my roofer’s call though he said he would. Yet another lie from IKO.

    Anyway, my roofer is going to replace my entire roof with another brand. I feel bad for him, but I feel that is what is needed and without any help from IKO the bag is left for him to hold. He will be fitting my job in within the next month and I’m going to pray that when the winds start in November, that all my shingles stay down.

    It has been a long four years of this and I’m sick and tired of all of it. If I were richer than rich, I would remove this roof, put it into a dump truck and drive it to the home of the owner (or board member) of IKO and dump it in their front yard!

    My message to all you homeowners and contractors out there… BEWARE OF IKO CAMBRIDGE shingles AND do your due diligence customers on whether the manufacturer of your shingles has had any class-action lawsuits brought. If I had seen that back in 2017, I would have NEVER put them on my roof. Lesson learned. Hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

    Reply
    • Hi Colleen,

      We are sorry to hear that you and your roofing contractor were unable to reach a meaningful resolution with IKO. Your experience doesn’t inspire confidence in IKO’s customer service when it comes to warranty claims, but we obviously don’t know IKO’s side of the story.

      That said, it is good to hear that your roofing contractor has got you covered on this and will replace the faulty roof at their own expense so you, the homeowner, ultimately get what you paid for.

      As a former roofing installer, we obviously feel bad for the contractor who will have to shoulder the entire expense of replacing the faulty roof, but the customer always comes first and if that’s the promise they gave you on the warranty than they should honor it. So, kudos to this roofing pro for putting you, the homeowner, first.

      As far as, whether IKO was ultimately at fault here, we need to acknowledge that IKO’s product warranty does explicitly state that IKO is not responsible for the failure of asphalt shingles to seal.

      So, if the failure to seal was truly due to a product defect and NOT due to the installer’s error than it’s obviously not a good look for IKO, even if they are technically not at fault.

      However, in your earlier comment from last year, you said that IKO rejected my claim… saying “high nailing” took place….

      This brings up an important question: Were you able to get an independent home inspector (you can normally get this through your home insurance company or hire one for a few hundred bucks) to look at your roof and ascertain whether “high nailing” actually did take place or not?

      If a home inspector didn’t find any meaningful evidence of “high nailing” taking place, then IKO is obviously in the wrong here. That said, if “high nailing” did in fact take place, then the contractor should be 100% responsible.

      Why is the contractor willing to “hold the bag” on this? We understand that they may have no choice in this, especially if they gave you the kind of warranty that says they will stand behind the roof they installed “No Matter What” including cases like the manufacturer rejecting a warranty claim.

      Reply
  2. Nothing like finding this while the roof is being added to the house. North GA, so the heat should be good for stickiness.

    My concern is that most people including me have no idea if the roof is being done correctly and the product will hold. IKO Dynasty shingles are being installed.

    This is a great article with good links and pictures. I like the grids of the different products, etc.

    Thank You!!!

    Reply
  3. Hello, lots of good info here. I live in Upper Michigan. One side of my roof faces north. Are IKO shingles going to seal properly on that north side? Thanks!

    Reply
    • During summer, IKO shingles should seal just fine with proper installation, even on the northern side of the house.

      Avoid late fall and winter installation unless the installer has a manual sealing procedure in place to ensure proper sealing of shingles.

      Reply
  4. Hi, we are looking at the Dynasty shingles from IKO. The sales brochure pairs Dynasty and Nordic together but only the Nordic is rated Class 4 and eligible for an insurance discount.

    More important than the discount is the quality of the shingle. Why is Dynasty not yet rated?

    Reply
    • Hi Ann Marie,

      IKO only has one Class 4 hail impact rated shingle, which is Nordic. Dynasty is not a class 4 rated shingle.

      Reply
  5. I live in Calgary, Canada and am about to replace my shingles. Is there any reason why most contractors and roofers are pushing CertainTeed?

    Also, only some of them are company certified with BP or CertainTeed which allows company’s best warranties of 50 years. They say that IKO does not have company certification. Is this accurate? Would the IKO warranty improve if they have IKO Certification?

    Reply
    • Hi Aura,

      CertainTeed is a proven brand with good reputation so we cannot blame the roofers for recommending it. 🙂

      It’s true that IKO doesn’t have the same certification as CertainTeed or GAF per say. However, they have something that they call IKO’s ROOFPRO Program, which is a “membership program” for contractors. IKO’s ROOFPRO contractor members are screened and have access to training programs and other resources from IKO. They can offer IKO’s best, “Iron Clad” warranties to homeowners.

      Reply
  6. First, I will start with the fact that I am a Material Specifier, Space Planner, and a General Contractor & have been in the construction business for 4 decades.

    I installed IKO’s “Crown Slate,” color: “Regal Stone,” on a condo I own in a shore town in NJ. Crown Slate is a Class IV Shingle–meaning that it has been tested for both Hail resistance (by steel balls being shot and hitting the shingles) and Wind Resistance. For wind, the shingles are warranted to stay on up to 110MPH, with an additional limited warranty of up to 130 MPH. That is why I spec’d this shingle for my condo.

    The barrier islands of NJ tend to get hit a few times per year with hurricanes and other wind events. Since Superstorm Sandy, the insurance industry (in this region) has tacked on an additional 2% Wind Deductible. While most insurance companies offer a discount for a Class IV Shingle, they don’t for the barrier islands. Hence the 2nd reason for specifying a Class IV b/c I wanted to be protected (lost most of my roof shingles during Sandy).

    IKOs “Crown Slate” was installed in May 2013. In April 2020, this barrier island had Wind Gusts documented to 64MPH (see pic). Some of my Crown Slate disappeared to God knows where, while others flipped over, and some remained on the roof. The shingles that flipped over, my roofing sub used to repair some of the areas. The lost shingles were repaired with whatever stock my roofer had available.

    I filed a claim with IKO immediately, after speaking with their local territory manager (whom I knew from the original spec). I gave them the timeline, a posted Wind MPH pic, several pics of the damaged roof, the roof repair and completed their Claim Form. They didn’t respond. So, I called them after a few weeks, spoke with a rep (I won’t name), asked why they had not replied to my Claim package, and they told me it was b/c I didn’t send any of the roof samples.

    No one else in the Roofing Shingle industry requires this. How are you supposed to send roofing samples if they blew away? What are you supposed to do in the meantime? I made several more calls to the Warranty Manager, as well as emails — each time following up my conversations with the reps to him and nothing.

    During those calls, I asked if IKO would send me a bundle or two of the same Crown Slate shingles, so I could repair the roof, then I would gladly send them the damaged shingles. They said, “No, they couldn’t do that!” Well, of course they can and should do that. That is what CertainTeed does, if they have a failed roof.

    I wish I could post this story on IKO’s website, but they don’t have any place to do so. I’m guessing it’s b/c they’d have countless stories like mine (& I’m not just a regular homeowner).

    I guess I will have the roof completely redone, then sue IKO for all the Labor & Material, when this could’ve been settled by them honoring their Warranty and sending me the few requested bundles.

    Maybe all the dissatisfied customers should get together and file a Class Action Suit?

    Reply
  7. I work for a company that introduced Owens Corning into the local market. We had a close businesses to business relationship with them, and have installed their product almost exclusively from 2011 to 2018. In 2018, that relationship tapered off, so we aligned ourselves with IKO, and it has really paid off.

    During the Oil Recession of the early 2000’s most shingle manufacturers decreased the asphalt content of their shingles, which has led to many issues with granular loss and accelerated degeneration among those companies. The only 2 companies that didn’t decrease the asphalt content were IKO and Certainteed. The problem is, Certainteed, Owens Corning and Tamko purchase their asphalt from the same manufacturer, and all of them have been having warranty issues with granular loss.

    Ultimately, we have found that even the baseline IKO Architectural shingles have a higher impact resistance than other brands (with the exception of Malarkey, which is almost universally better than all other brands, just more expensive)

    For instance, we installed an Owens Corning Duration on a house in 2016, which just got hit with hail. It got obliterated. But the immediate neighbor had his replaced at the same time with IKO Cambridge shingles, and I could hardly find damage. If this storm was slightly less intense, the IKO would have survived over the OC by a long shot.

    We have found that the reinforced nail strip on IKO performance shingles not only protect from blow off, but also from over-penetration of nails during installation. They have the highest blow-off resistance of any shingle on the market. So if you’re reading this and looking to have an IKO shingle installed on your home, just make sure it’s happening in warm or sunny weather (as with any shingle).

    Also, correction, the UL 2218 Class 4 Impact Resistance test involves dropping a 2″ steel ball (not 1.25″) from 20′ onto the same spot of the shingle, twice. Ultimately, the shingles are approved if the impact does not create a crack, split, and puncture, or otherwise compromise the integrity of the fiberglass mesh.

    What does not make sense is that claim-worthy damage occurs long before the shingle is penetrated. The shingle may not have a hole or tear in it, but once the granules have been knocked away (which are in place to protect the asphalt from the UV rays of the sun), the asphalt will be exposed, and will likely develop into a pinhole in 5 to 10 years, depending on severity.

    So it is good to know, when picking an impact resistant shingle, that it will have increased resistance to hail, but this does not mean it is impervious to hail. If you want a truly excellent hail-resistant shingle, pay the difference for Malarkey Legacy, Malarkey Windsor, or upgrade to a synthetic roof.

    Malarkey was the company that introduced SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene) asphalt shingle technology, and has been proven to be the best! Not to mention, they are rated for installation in as low as 0-degree weather!

    Reply
  8. Thanks for the in-depth review! One detail I would push back on would be the 70 degree installation temperature requirement. As a continuous improvement-focused company, we reformulated our Fastlock sealant several years ago with an emphasis on cold weather sealing performance, and our temperature testing and field performance have not reflected the sealing issues you describe.

    In fact, IKO has introduced several new shingle and accessory products in the past few years that have been widely recognized in the press and industry for their notable durability and performance. I’d be happy to put you in touch with a sales colleague to send you a complimentary sample of Dynasty or Nordic shingles to see for yourself. These products really embody our performance innovations, especially when it comes to sealants.

    Reply
    • Hi Tom,

      Thank you for reaching out and commenting on this. We are aware that IKO has been working hard on reformulation for better cold weather sealing performance. It often takes years before the success of this particular reformulation initiative will start showing widely in what homeowners and contractors report. This is true for all manufacturers, so our report may be somewhat dated with respect to the latest shingles you mentioned.

      For that reason, we advice that all else being equal, the temperature should be at least 50F with sunny skies for most shingle products to seal properly during installation, as was also stated in this guide. If you have specific data with respect the manufacturer’s required outside temperature for proper sealing to take place with mid-range 30 year IKO shingles, we would be happy to include it as an update to the guide.

      Also, in reviewing the installation manual for the new Nordic Shingles you mentioned, we get the following message directly from IKO:

      IMPORTANT MESSAGE – PLEASE READ! “Shingles should seal to the underlying course when the factory applied asphalt sealant is sufficiently warmed by the heat of direct sunlight. When application conditions might limit the effectiveness of the sealing strip, such as in cool weather or in areas subject to high winds or blowing dust, shingle adherence should be ensured through manual sealing as described above. Starter strip shingles must be used at all eaves. Manual sealing is not required in the state of Florida”

      Here is a direct link to the document (PDF page 7): https://www.iko.com/na/document-library/342332-nordic-en.pdf

      Reply
  9. My roofer is suggesting the IKO Nordic shingles with a Class 4 hail resistance rating to get an insurance discount. I didn’t see this line mentioned in your review. Any thoughts on this product?

    Reply
    • Hi Larry,

      Yes, Nordic shingles are a new performance shingles series from IKO. The product is now included in our review under the performance shingles section.

      Nordic shingles have been introduced in February, 2019. They have class 4 hail rating, so this is definitely a benefit, especially if you happen to live in a hail prone area.

      Note class 4 hail rating is not the same as warranty. Homeowner’s insurance with replacement coverage will typically pay to replace a hail-damaged roof. You may be able to get a discount on your home’s insurance roof replacement coverage by going with shingles that are class 4 hail-rated.

      With Nordic shingles, there is also the benefit of IKO’s ArmourZone that strengthens the nailing zone against rips.

      Nordic shingles feature heavyweight fiberglass mat with Polymer-Modified Asphalt, which offers better shingle flexibility, durability, and tear-resistance overall.

      Being a new performance shingle product, you should expect generally good ROI and longevity from this product overall. There is also a benefit of having a newer formulation of sealant from IKO with these new shingles.

      While we don’t have much field data on this product yet and it may be too early to tell, the initial impression is that IKO put their best effort behind this new product.

      Reply
    • In fairness, most asphalt shingle manufacturers will fight tooth and nail to deny warranty claims. Most claims are denied due to some sort of installation error or inadequacy, such as improper venting, etc. Those are often not very difficult for the manufacturer to find and point to as a basis for denying the warranty claim. If the claim is honored, the warranty is often pro-rated. This is true across the board.

      Also, many manufactures have at some point faced a class action law suit tied to a faulty shingle product line.

      Reply
      • I’ve had 6 independent roofing contractors access the shingle lifting issue and obtain estimates. ALL have said that the shingles were installed properly by the building contractor, they ALL said that it was an adhesion problem as the shingles are not sticking to each other and the slightest wind lifts them and eventually rips and tears them off.

        I’ve only owned this new construction home for 3 years, the shingles have been lifting and tearing from the very first year in different areas of the roof. I’ve sent pictures and sample shingles that have lifted and torn, and IKO refuses to cover the replacement.

        The home was built in August in Pennsylvania, so the shingles had ample time and temperature to adhere.

        Reply
        • Hi Michael,

          This sounds pretty annoying, given this is only a 3-year old roof, but this doesn’t tell us the whole story.

          What product line of IKO shingles do you have on your house? Do you know if the roof was installed in August also?

          What is the basis for IKO’s refusal to honor the warranty? Does IKO’s warranty coverage that you have cover both materials and replacement or materials only? Is IKO blaming the builder for faulty installation and as a result refusing to cover the replacement?

          Also, is there some sort of workmanship warranty from the builder, in case IKO is blaming the builder for misapplication?

          Lastly, is your homeowner’s insurance willing to pick up the tab? I realize it may mean higher premiums going forward.

          Reply
        • Michael, this really sucks. I am in the same boat as you. First IKO rep said the adhesive strip was not adhering (had roof done in May 2017) with first blow off in November 2017. Rep said that absolutely my roofing contractor did the job correctly… and to specs., and that “they” would do everything to make it right… telling me they would approve faulty adhesiveness for the ENTIRE roof. This was said in front of my roofing contractor. The roof is now just 3 years old and has lost shingles every year around Nov – Jan, 2017-2020. IKO did not give the contractor/supplier any credit/money for doing this.

          Second IKO rep came out 3/6/20 and said the entire roof had areas where adhesive strip had not adhered… said it was “bad luck. Took samples and sent to a lab… after 60 days I called the rep and he said he got the letter (dated May 15, 2020), but I had not received a letter… he provided a copy… bottom line is they rejected my claimsaying “high nailing” took place

          I don’t know what to believe except that at roughly $13,000 and I have a defective roof… any ideas? I’m going to pursue this, as I see that IKO’s standard is to refuse to stand behind their product. So disgusted I ever thought to try a new product and now have a big manufacturer taking advantage of a senior citizen… it really isn’t fair. I’ll re-post when I have anything new to offer. Would like it if anyone out there has any advice to give me… thanks in advance.

          Reply
          • Hi Colleen,

            Sorry to hear about your situation with the IKO roof.

            If IKO is saying that “high nailing” took place, then the contractor would be responsible for replacing the roof at their expense under the normal workmanship warranty provisions.

            You could hire an experienced home inspector to help ascertain IKO’s claim. The contractor should provide you with a written rebuttal to IKO’s claim or they would be responsible for replacing the roof, provided you have a proper workmanship warranty from the installer.

            If the home inspector’s report says that the shingles have been installed properly, then you will have a legal basis for disputing IKO’s claim whether through an attorney, some sort of a customer protection agency such as BBB, and/or your state’s attorney general. The legal path can be a tedious one, though, and it might be easier to have the contractor replace the roof under the workmanship warranty provisions, as long as an experienced home inspector can point to credible installation errors.

            Also, IKO should probably provide some pictures and/or some sort of evidence/proof that your IKO shingles have in fact been nailed too high, as the basis for rejecting your claim.

            Lastly, you should consider contacting your homeowner’s insurance to see if they can inspect the roof (this should be done free of charge to you), provide a written report and photographs with their findings (especially with respect to the nailing strip – whether the shingles were nailed too high), and perhaps help pay for the replacement, assuming the roof was installed properly and something external (covered under the home’s roof replacement insurance) has happened that caused the roof to fail.

            Hopefully this is somewhat helpful and best of luck with getting the roof fixed.

  10. IKO has been my shingles of choice for more than ten years. Last year alone I put over 200 if not more squares, mostly IKO charcoal gray and had winds over 60 mph, not one shingle has come off. I stand by the brand all the way Norm Perkins side by side contracting northern NH.

    Reply
  11. As I type this, my house is currently getting a new roof using shingles from IKO Cambridge Cool Colors. Why didn’t I read this website first? Now I’m concerned about the quality of IKO shingles. I decided to go with IKO vs. Owens Corning Duration Cool based on the price and the fact that they both looked exactly the same in terms of thickness.

    Owens Corning Duration Cool did have a better sealant line though, the line was more continuous than the IKO one. The IKO sealant line is intermittent, not where the nails go but the line on the leading edge of the shingle. On top of that, it’s the middle of the winter.

    The only good thing is that this is California which has warmer weather, so I hope the sealant activates. Should I be concerned by the quality of IKO shingles? I’m also worried about the IKO shingles not sticking together because of the sealant and blowing off.

    Reply
    • Hi Gerry

      There is probably no reason to be concerned since most parts of California are probably warm enough for the IKO shingles sealant to activate. As far as, the difference between OC and IKO, the difference in quality is probably quite negligible.

      The greatest predictor of the longevity of the roof is almost always the quality of installation, not a particular brand of shingle. What really makes a difference is the quality of roof flashing details, such as chimney flashing, and how well the roof is ventilated. So, if you have a reputable crew working on your roof, then there is probably nothing to worry about.

      Also, in most cases, the workmanship warranty provided by the contractor should cover any major installation defects (provided they are an honorable contractor who will still be in business when you call), such as installing roofing when the weather is too cold for the shingle sealant to activate properly.

      Reply
    • IKO doesn’t stand behind their products. Shingles lift up and tabs tear off. House is new, purchased August 2017, had home distributor repair and replace several shingles the first year. Now more shingles, more frequently tear off and had them replaced at my expense. Filed claim with IKO warranty dept and was denied due to their 8 page warranty with so much legal verbiage that pretty much excludes IKO from any fault or responsibility. I had 5 roofers confirm that this is a shingle defect and IKO is one of the worst shingles and company to deal with for warranty issues.

      BEWARE OF IKO.

      Reply
  12. Looking at having IKO ArmourShake installed on my home here in Minnesota.

    The salesman recommends them over GAF Grand sequoia.

    I was told by the rep. there should not be any issues with IKO ArmourShake shingles.

    What are your thoughts?

    Brad

    Reply
  13. IKO has changed their sealent strip to a SBS sealent in the cooler climates, which should eliminate many sealant issues. In warmer climates, it doesn’t tend to be an issue, but the sealant has been changed/improved there as well, to my understanding.

    IKO shingles are decidedly heavier as well, compared to other shingles, and for my money Dynasty is the best performing shingle for wind, based on some of the demonstrations I’ve seen from the reps.

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing that Roofer Rob,

      Yes, all else being equal, thicker / heavier shingles, such as IKO Dynasty, will deliver better value than thinner / less-heavy shingles.

      Reply
    • Hi Mike,

      The review has just been written and published at the end of June. We have ongoing updates made to the guide as new products or information become available.

      Reply

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