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.
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.
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’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 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:
- Deck Protection – GoldShield™, ArmourGard™, IKO StormShield® Ice & Water Protectors, and IKO GoldSeam™ Roof Sealing Tape
- Underlayments – RoofGard-Cool Grey® or Stormtite® Non-Breathable Synthetic Underlayments
- Starter Shingles – Leading Edge Plus™ or EdgeSeal® Roof Starters
- 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.
- 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. 😊
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. 😉
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.
- Leading Edge Plus™ or EdgeSeal™ starter shingles are installed at eaves and rakes as an extra line of defense where it’s needed most.
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).
- UltraHP® / UltraHP® IR give roofers choices for matching the profile of the shingle.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
- 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 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
Architectural Shingles: Cambridge: $85-$100
Performance Shingles: Dynasty with ArmourZone: $95-$125
Premium Shingles: Royal Estate: $125-$155 / Crowne Slate: $145-$185
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):
$200-$300: Base installation labor costs
The above figures are current prices you can expect for most brands.
New Shingle Roof
New Metal Roof
New Flat Roof
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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.
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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