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 distributors. In Canada, Lowe’s and other retailers sell IKO shingles to the public.

IKO asphalt shingles roof

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.

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 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.

IKO Pro 4 Roofing System via All State Remodeling

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.

2) RoofGard-Cool Grey or Stormtite synthetic underlayment options are chosen based on local climate.

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.

IKO Residential Roofing Contractor certificate via Anytime Roofing Inc.

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.

IKO Cambridge IR with ArmourZone via RoofMart

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.

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

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.

IKO Cambridge shingles color selection

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

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.

*Compare to GAF Timberline Ultra HD, 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 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 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.

IKO shingles warranty details

Cons

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:

  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 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

IKO Driftwood-Sw Marathon Plus AR – Algae Resistant Shingles

Architectural Shingles: Cambridge: $70-$81

IKO Cambridge Beachwood architectural shingles

Performance Shingles: Dynasty with ArmourZone: $78-$99

IKO Dynasty Shingle – Pacific Rim color

Premium Shingles: Royal Estate: $102-$118  / Crowne Slate: $150-$164

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:

$5-$15: Accessories

$125-$250: Base installation labor costs

The above are prices you can expect for most brands.

Install Roof Shingles

$7,500
Average price
Install Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
Install Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

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Verdict

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

  1. Roofer Jarred

    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
  2. Tom

    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
    1. The Roof Guy Post author

      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
  3. Larry

    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
    1. Alex M. Brody Post author

      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
  4. Michael Wolferman

    IKO shingles don’t hold up and they don’t honor warranty. BUYER BEWARE

    Reply
    1. The Roof Guy Post author

      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
      1. Michael Wolferman

        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
        1. Alex M. Brody Post author

          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
  5. Norm Perkins

    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
  6. Gerry

    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
    1. The Roof Guy Post author

      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
    2. Michael Wolferman

      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
  7. Brad George

    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
    1. The Roof Guy Post author

      Hi Brad,

      ArmourShake is a premium grade asphalt shingle product with an estimated true lifespan of 25-40 years with proper maintenance.

      The same can be said for GAF Grand Sequoia.

      We also like impact resistance for hail protection offered by GAF Grand Sequoia shingles with ArmorShield (https://www.gaf.com/en-us/roofing-products/residential-roofing-products/shingles/designer/value-collection/grand-sequoia-amorsheild)

      Our view is that you should have no issues with either product, as long as the roof is properly installed.

      Proper installation and flashing methods, plus adequate venting of the attic space are the keys to a long lasting roof.

      Reply
  8. Roofer Rob

    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
    1. The Roof Guy Post author

      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
  9. Mike

    Hi,

    I am considering IKO shingles for my house and I was wondering when the review was written?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    Reply
    1. The Roof Guy Post author

      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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