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 distributors. In Canada, Lowe’s and other retailers sell IKO shingles to the public.
Did you know? Average IKO consumer ratings are poor, dragged down by widespread failure of organic shingles and the Cambridge AR line. The company is 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 hard on improving formulations across the board.
We mention this upfront because the lawsuits appear prominently 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.
Here are the advantages offered by this brand from various perspectives.
There are two reasons roofers suggest IKO products:
1. IKO Pro4 Complete Roofing System
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.
Here are the 4 components of the Pro4 roof system:
1) GoldShield, ArmourGard and StormShield eave protection defend the roof against wind-driven rain and ice dams. IKO recommends eave protection in valleys and around protrusions like vents and skylights.
3) Leading Edge Plus starter strips are installed at eaves and rakes as an extra line of defense where it’s needed most.
4) Three ridge cap shingle options give roofers choices for matching the profile of the shingle.
The above listed product components and accessories are compatible with all IKO shingle lines.
Did you know? In order to be covered by IKO’s best warranty, the roof must be installed with one of the IKO hip and ridge shingle options: Hip & Ridge Plus, Hip & Ridge 12 or Ultra HP.
The above requirement is standard for most brands. Some manufacturers, like GAF, require that at least two other GAF components be used.
These requirements help the manufacturer maximize material sales per job, which helps cover their risk for giving the better warranty coverage.
No tear-off, no problem! There’s an advantage here to using IKO. Most other shingle brands require using their underlayment, and that means the best warranties are only available when the old roofing is removed (a tear-off). IKO doesn’t require a tear-off to get the better warranty.
2. IKO ShieldPRO Plus+ Certification
Contractors can become certified IKO installers. Most major brands offer this type of training and certification.
In addition to going through training, the contractor must meet IKO qualifications such as being licensed and insured with at least 3 years of experience, without legal judgements against the contractor in the last 5 years.
This gives the consumer peace of mind. Certification can help roofing contractors get jobs and might allow them to charge a higher rate for their work.
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, ensured 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 shingles are rated for 60 MPH. All others are rated for 110 MPH (ASTM D3018 Class F), a rating that increases to 130 MPH with enhanced installation.
Impact resistance: IKO Cambridge IR are the brand’s impact-resistant shingles. They have a Class 4 Impact Resistance rating, which means they weren’t damaged in lab tests by a 2” diameter steel ball dropped twice onto the same spot from 12 feet. The downside is that this is the brand’s only option.
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 but Marathon and Cambridge Cool Colors have algae-resistant granules. 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.
Note: IKO’s rating is B- in Canada where defective shingles accounted for a higher percentage of sales.
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.
Architectural Series: The only shingle in this category is the Cambridge. It is the top-selling IKO shingle. Color availability varies slightly, but 12-15 colors are sold in most regions.
Performance Series: Cambridge IR (6 colors), Dynasty (11 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 6-11 colors and vary by region. High-definition profiles produce the type of shadowing seen on wood shingle and shake roofs.
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.
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 10 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.
Below are potential disadvantages of using IKO asphalt shingles:
Roofing professional concerns: IKO is a lower-rated brand among 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.
There’s a lingering issue though: 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.
Pro Tip: Sealing strips must be about 70 degree 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.
For instance, Atlas recommends a minimum of 45-50F with sun for its asphalt shingles.
Because IKO might have ongoing problems with sealing, it is a risk to install them unless 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.
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.
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 and Marathon AR: $68-$76
Architectural Shingles: Cambridge: $70-$81
Performance Shingles: Dynasty with ArmourZone: $78-$99
Premium Shingles: Royal Estate: $102-$118 / Crowne Slate: $150-$164
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:
$125-$250: Base installation labor costs
The above are prices you can expect for most brands.
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IKO is working to improve its products, but it is work in progress. Currently, CertainTeed, Malarkey and Owens Corning make shingle lines that are of consistently better quality, or at least have been in the previous years.
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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