Emily Videtto: Hi! I am Emily Videtto, Executive Director of Residential Roofing at GAF. Today I am going to discuss how to choose the right shingle for your roof. So, you needing a new roof and you are wondering, what should I choose first, the contractor or the materials.
Some people choose the contractor and then they use whatever materials he or she recommends, that can be a critical mistake, because not all roofing materials are the same and some contractors use lesser known brands to cut cost. Your contractor will spend just a few days installing your new roof, but you'll be living with the materials on that roof for decades. For that reason it's important that you educate yourself on the materials available before you select a contractor. Your first step should be an internet search for the term roofing, that will get you a list of the largest roofing manufacturers, where you can start to familiarize yourself with the shingles that are available for your home. Focus your research on the following three elements. First, research shingle brands to indentify the leaders in the industry and learn about their quality track-record. Remember your warranty will only be as valuable as the strength of the company that you choose.
Second, look for information about the performance and durability of each manufacturer's shingles. You can do that by looking for benchmarks or performance, such as code approvals. Recently a new performance based expectance criterion called AC438 was introduced which test shingles after simulated aging. Be sure to tell your contractor you want shingles that pass this newer more regress testing standard. And third, make sure you understand the manufacturer's warranty. Some manufacturers will limit or even cancel your coverage. If the contractor doesn't follow everyone of their very specific installation instructions. Even if the problem you encounter has nothing to do with the installation. So read the warranty and make sure you understand it. Also some manufacturers offer extended warranties that for a small additional charge can get you better converge. One manufacture even offers an inspection of your finished roof to check that it was installed correctly.
So, do your research, focusing on these three key items will insure you make the best decision on the roofing materials for your home.