Asphalt Roof Shingles: GAF vs Certainteed


Part of a roofer’s job is to guide the consumer in brand choices.  Certainteed shingles are recommended, as workmanship and materials are a higher quality than with GAF.

GAF Materials Corporation was founded in 1886. They merged with Elk in 2007, but continue to manufacture both Elk and GAF brands. They sell 15 types of shingles that vary in quality, composition, and price.

Certainteed Certainteed Roofwas founded in 1904 as the General Roofing Company. They were acquired by Saint Gobain in 2008. In 2005, Certainteed won the Professional Remodelers Best in Class award for their superior quality roofing system.

Both companies make shingles from asphalt to slate. Both have been around a while. How to make a decision?

Look to the warranty. How much faith does the company have in its product?

GAF has a 3-tier system for their warranty. The base warranty is 100% coverage for 10 years, with the cost of labor included. Three-tab shingles are covered for only 3 or 5 years, depending on what the warranty is on. It can cover the entire system.

Their better warranty has 100% coverage warranty for 50 years, or 20 years on 3-tab shingles. It covers the entire system; labor is warranted for lifetime, or 25-30 years on 3-tab shingles.

Their best warranty has similar coverage as the better warranty, and also covers disposal costs and a 40-point factory inspection.

Certainteed offers a minimum manufacturer warranty of 20 years to the lifetime of the buyer.  They will repair or replace, labor costs included, shingles found to be defective.

The Certainteed warranty is based on several factors, such as climate, model of shingle, ventilation factors, and the country the shingles were installed in.

Both warranties are for the original Asphalt Shinglesbuyer only, not for subsequent owners.

In comparing the two warranties, GAF covers for a minimum of 5 years, while Certainteed offers a minimum warranty of 20 years. They cover manufacturers defects for a time with their initial warranty called Sure Start.

As with everything, do the homework. Buyer beware. Look every warranty over carefully to ensure you are protected.

Many roofers see Certainteed shingles as higher quality than GAF shingles. Some consider GAF looking cheap, but in actuality the quality is not that different. GAF is lower-cost than Certainteed, but Certainteed shingles come in a wider variety of colors and many prefer the aesthetics of the Certainteed’s shingles. Suffice to say, both Certainteed and GAF have sustainable roofing products.

Contact a roof expert, like ourselves for more in-depth reviews from experience. Our experts would be more than happy to explain various brands and act as a guide to models of shingles are best for our New England region.

Based off our own experience of working with both companies, we believe Certainteed has the most faith in their product and fulfilling their warranties with the utmost of ease. However we do believe GAF puts out a good product. Please note that this analysis is strictly based on our own experience.

Repairing or building a roof is an enormous project, but will add beauty and years of life to a home. For information about our own roofing services, visit our main roofing page!