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Owens Corning vs. GAF Roofing: Which Shingles Are Better for Your Roof? (The Ultimate Comparison Guide)

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owens corning vs gaf shingles

Protecting one’s home is every homeowner’s top priority. Installing the best roof is vital to having a safe and dry home.

In the US, 80% of homes have asphalt shingle roofs. Popular shingle brands include Owens Corning, GAF, CertainTeed, Malarkey, TAMKO, Atlas, IKO, and more. When choosing the best, two of the top shingle brands are Owens Corning and GAF.

This article will compare two top brands, Owens Corning vs. GAF. Many homeowners ask which is the best roof shingles when installing a new roof or replacing their existing roof.

You won’t go wrong with either brand, as each has pros and cons. The following is a complete GAF vs. Owens Corning comparison across many categories (shingle designs and finishes, quality, durability, energy-efficiency, pricing, maintenance, warranties) that matter most to homeowners and contractors.

Owens Corning and GAF: Top-Quality Roofing Brands With Great Reputation

Owens Corning and GAF are widely known as top-quality brands with great reputations.

Owens Corning is a global building and industrial materials leader, focusing on three integrated businesses: a broad range of residential and commercial insulation, asphalt shingle roofing systems, and fiberglass composite materials. A key attribute for Owens Corning is the strong brand association with the Pink Panther.

Owens Corning manufactures various products and colors of asphalt shingles, each with different Class ratings, wind-speed resistance, and other attributes. Beyond roofing field shingles, it offers hip and ridge shingles, roof and valley underlayment, and ventilation, enabling homeowners and contractors to buy a complete roofing system from one brand.

GAF markets itself as North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, far more than asphalt shingles and insulation. Its product offering also includes a range of commercial, flat roofing, siding, and solar roofing. For a contractor that wants to purchase and install more products from a single brand – not just on an individual project but for all its projects, especially those that install residential and commercial projects, GAF is an excellent choice.

Both have invested heavily in advertising and marketing spending to boost brand recognition. We are not suggesting that both brands have no differentiators, but both have a premium reputation and are perceived as similar by many homeowners.

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Owens Corning Roofing Shingles

What does Owens Corning make? Owens Corning is a top residential roofing shingle manufacturer in North America. Most of the Owens Corning roofing shingles sold are entry-to-mid range architectural shingles, but it still makes the entry-priced 3-tab Supreme shingles and premium styles like the Berkshire and Woodmoor.

Aerial photo of a house in Aurora, Colorado with a gray asphalt shingle roof in the center of the image

The 3-tab Supreme shingles have a 25-year limited warranty and a 60 mile per hour (MPH) wind resistance. This entry price point is attractive for many home builders and homeowners, but 3-tab shingles have recently lost popularity to architectural shingles.

Building code requirements have also changed over the years, so knowing which shingles meet your local code requirements is essential for homeowners and building owners. For example, many Colorado cities and counties have minimum wind resistance requirements, and the Supreme shingles with their 60 MPH wind resistance will not meet minimum building code requirements. By contrast, the Owens Corning Duration shingles have a 130 MPH wind resistance limited warranty.

Further, Class 4 shingles have become a required standard in some counties. Unless insurance covers the upgrade during a roof replacement, homeowners will have to pay the premium themselves for products like the Owens Corning Duration STORM or Duration FLEX.

In summary, Owens Corning shingles are an excellent choice for quality, durability, and design. And with a range of colors from which to choose, you can rest assured you can find the right Owens Corning shingles for your home or business.

GAF Roofing Shingles

GAF, which stands for General Aniline & Film, is North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, dating back to the late 19th century.

Close-up of GAF Woodland shingles

It boasts that its GAF Timberline shingles are America’s #1-selling roof shingle, with a 130 MPH wind resistance warranty. GAF integrates continued technology advancements like a 25-year limited warranty against blue-green algae discoloration into this 30-year rated shingle. For those that want to upgrade to Class 4 shingles with UL 2218 impact resistance, GAF offers its Timberline AS II SBS Modified IR shingles.

Like Owens Corning, GAF residential roofing products range from its most economical Royal Sovereign 3-tab shingles with a 60 MPH wind resistance warranty or its Marquis WeatherMax 3-tab shingles with a higher 80 MPH wind warranty.

And, for those seeking the most premium asphalt shingles that come with higher budgets, GAF offers a wide range of luxury shingles, including the Grand Canyon, Grand Sequoia, Camelot, Stateline, and Woodland.

GAF roofing shingles are available in many styles and colors, so you can select the perfect roof color to complement your home or business. Since many roofing contractors and home builders work with GAF, homeowners can find the best option for their budget. Speak with a local roofer to learn which products and colors are available in your local market, as not all products and colors are available everywhere.

Both Owens Corning and GAF are excellent choices for your next residential roofing project. Both are strong brands with similar products at various price points, from the most economical 3-tab shingles to architectural shingles in Class 3 and Class 4 impact resistance to premium shingles.

We’ve already covered that Owens Corning and GAF are top shingle brands. We’ll now discuss each brand’s respective top-selling products, namely the Owens Corning Duration shingles and the GAF Timberline shingles.

We will focus on the Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration shingle vs. the GAF Timberline HDZ shingle.

Owens Corning TruDefinition DurationGAF Timberline HDZ
Style typeArchitecturalArchitectural
AvailabilityStocked at Home Depot and Lowes across the USHarder to find
Number of shingles per 100 SF (1 SQ)6464
Fire resistance ratingClass AClass A
Wind resistance130 MPH130 MPH
Impact resistance classificationClass 3Class 3
Algae resistance10 years25 years
Number of colors offered11 available everywhere + 2 limited colors20 basic colors + 4 Harvest Blend speciality
Shingle life expectancy30 years30 years
Nailing stripSureNail technology nailing areaStrikeZone nailing area

Both are architectural shingles, compared to 3-tab shingles or luxury shingles. Both brands are frequently selected by home builders, roofing contractors, and homeowners who want a cost-effective architectural shingle.

Both are top products with Class A fire rating, the industry’s top fire-resistance rating. A Class A fire rating means the shingles can withstand a direct flame for sustained periods without igniting.

Both have wind resistance ratings at 130 miles per hour (MPH). Based on standard wind resistance testing, these shingles rate between the top two classes, G and H. Class G can withstand winds up to 120 MPH while Class H can withstand winds up to 150 MPH.

And both are UL 2218 Class 3 rated shingles, which means these are designed to withstand simulated hail damage using a steel ball up to 1 ¾” in diameter at a drop height of 17 feet. Underwriters Laboratories is a global safety certification company that performs independent testing. Neither these Owens Corning nor the GAF shingles qualify for a homeowners insurance premium discount, reserved for Class 4 rated shingles.

Most roofing companies across the US will be pleased to install either brand when deciding between GAF vs. Owens Corning shingles, so there is no clear winner on which is better.

Comparison of Owens Corning vs. GAF Roof Shingles

Both Owens Corning and GAF shingles are great options for your roof. There are various ways to compare GAF and Owens Corning shingles, including attributes like price, availability, number of shingles per package or bundle, fire-resistance rating, wind resistance, impact resistance classification, algae resistance, number of colors offered, nailing strip, and overall life expectancy. There would be even more criteria if wanting to get more technical.

Let’s explore a side-by-side comparison of these industry-leading brands. We can see precisely where they are similar or different.

Owens Corning vs. GAF Shingles: Design and Available Finishes

Owens Corning is a premium asphalt shingle manufacturer but makes much more than just shingles. It promotes its Total Protection Roofing System, highlighting how roofing shingles, ventilation, and insulation work best together. And the Owens Corning SureNail Technology features a wide, prominent fabric strip in the nailing area for consistent, quality installation. This nailing strip is highly popular with roofing contractors to ensure the asphalt shingles are correctly nailed.

GAF is a top brand in asphalt shingles but goes far beyond residential roofing products with a broader product range. Its Timberline shingles are the #1 selling in the US.

Each manufacturer offers various shingles in 3-tab, architectural, and designer or luxury styles, although GAF provides a broader selection of design styles and colors. There is no doubt you can find the right shingle for your home or business.

Let’s explore more details about each of the different styles.

Standard 3-Tab Roof Shingles

Three-tab shingles are the simplest and most economical asphalt roofing shingles available. They come in one shape and size with a flat complexion. Both Owens Corning and GAF make 3-tab roof shingles. Owens Corning has only one option, while GAF has two.

Close-up of Owens Corning 3-tab Supreme shingles

Owens Corning 3-tab shingles are the Supreme, with a 25-year warranty and 60 MPH wind resistance. GAF 3-tab shingles are the Royal Sovereign and Marquis WeatherMax. They look the same, but the Marquis WeatherMax has a higher wind resistance warranty, 80 MPH vs. 60 MPH for the Royal Sovereign.

GAF’s Royal Sovereign comes in 9 colors, from various shades of gray and black to brown or tan. Its Marquis WeatherMax is available in only 3 colors: Autumn Brown, Charcoal, and Weathered Gray.

By contrast, Owens Corning’s Supreme 3-tab shingles are available across the US in 8 colors, with an additional 9 colors like Spanish Red or Chateau Green having only regional availability.

Architectural Roof Shingles

More than 30 years ago, asphalt shingle manufacturers advanced the flat design of the traditional 3-tab shingles and introduced architectural roof shingles, also known as dimensional shingles. Architectural shingles are manufactured from a dense fiberglass mat base and ceramic-laced granules within a refined and water-resistant asphalt. These shingles are higher-quality and higher-performing compared to standard or three-tabbed fiberglass shingles.

These architectural roof shingles boast random colors, textures, and dramatic appearance on steep-sloped or pitched roofs. In addition to more extended warranties, typically 30 years and longer for Class 4 impact resistant shingles, architectural roof shingles will increase your home’s curb appeal and resale value.

Owens Corning Architectural Shingles

Owens Corning Duration shingles in popular Driftwood color

Homeowners and contractors can find a vast product line of Owens Corning architectural shingles, including:

  • Oakridge
  • Duration, plus several Designer variations
  • Duration STORM
  • Duration FLEX

The Oakridge is Owens Corning’s entry price point for architectural shingles. The Oakridge shingles have a full double layer in the nailing zone, giving better holding power than shingles with single layer wide nail zones. Oakridge is available in 9 colors everywhere, with 4 enhanced colors and bolder designs, like the Black Walnut or Peppermill Gray.

The Owens Corning Duration, Duration STORM, and FLEX will all have more extended product and wind resistance warranties. The Duration STORM and FLEX are both Class 4 impact resistant shingles that better withstand hail as simulated in the UL 2218 steel ball test.

While they may appear the same, some distinct differences exist between products. Specific markets require more premium shingles to meet local building codes. For example, the building code in Fort Collins, Colorado, requires any new shingle installation or replacement with Class 4 shingles only. It’s best to check with your local roofing contractor or online by zip code when searching for just the right color to complement your home.

GAF Architectural Shingles

GAF boasts that its Timberline architectural roofing shingles are North America’s #1 selling shingle. This claim can be misleading as there are multiple variations under the Timberline name. No matter which you choose, all achieve a 130 MPH wind resistance rating, Class A fire rating, and a limited lifetime warranty. But the similarities with GAF architectural shingles end here.

Close-up of GAF Timberline shingles

The following are the different versions of GAF’s Timberline architectural shingles series:

  • High Definition (HDZ)
  • Natural Shadows (NS)
  • Ultra High Definition (UHD)
  • Cool Series (CS)
  • UHD Reflector Series (RS)
  • ArmorShield (AS) II

We’ve already covered the Timberline High Definition HDZ shingles, the most basic in the Timberline series – but still an excellent shingle choice and available in 16 colors. The Timberline NS shingles create a subtle, upscale, even-toned, architectural look with the warmth of wood and are available in 8 colors. The Timberline UHD shingles provide a thicker, ultra-dimensional wood-shake look for your roof, available in 7 colors.

For homeowners wanting to save on energy costs, consider the Timberline CS shingles. These highly reflective shingles can help reduce temperatures in your attic, allowing your home to stay cooler in the summer and save on air-conditioning costs. These cool shingles are available in 3 colors, including Antique Slate, Barkwood, and Weathered Wood, but may only be available in select locations throughout the US. Further, GAF makes its RS+ shingles to meet the Green Building Standards Code of Los Angeles County for residential buildings, available in 5 colors.

When considering GAF products with UL 2218 Class 4 impact resistance, GAF offers the Timberline AS II SBS Modified IR shingles. GAF touts their proprietary shadow bands, which are applied using a sophisticated, computer-controlled “feathering” technique that provides exceptional depth and dimension across 7 color options.

GAF offers something for everyone wanting to upgrade the look of their home with architectural roofing shingles. Contact a local, professional roofer to discuss what style and color options are available for you.

Related: Asphalt Shingles Comparison: 3-Tab Shingles vs. Architectural Shingles

Designer Roof Shingles

Both Owens Corning and GAF offer luxury, premium, or designer roof shingles for discerning homeowners who want the best asphalt shingles to provide the best curb appeal for their homes.

Each manufacturer offers styles that emulate wood shake or slate or simply an upgraded look.

The number of shingles per bundle, required installation materials, and installation process may differ from the traditional 3-tab or architectural shingle.

Owens Corning Designer Shingles

Owens Corning has a solid lineup of designer shingles, each with wind resistance ratings to meet most building code requirements across the US. Nailing patterns and requirements may dictate the number of nails per shingle. And with wood shake and slate designs, homeowners will find an excellent asphalt shingle option without the maintenance of natural wood or slate.

Owens Corning premium Woodmoor shingles in brown on a roof

Owens Corning Designer shingles product line includes:

  • Woodcrest. Owens Corning’s Woodcrest designer shingles are thick and designed to create a natural, rustic look resembling wood shake. Woodcrest designer shingles are available in 6 colors.
  • Woodmoor. Owens Corning’s Woodmoor is a Class 4 rated shingle designed to resemble wood shake but is even thicker and heavier than the Woodcrest. Woodmoor designer shingles are available in 6 colors.
  • Berkshire. Owens Corning Berkshire shingles resemble a natural slate, with large tabs and unique shadow lines for an added dimension and are available in 5 colors.

Owens Corning’s luxury line is sure to excite any discriminating homeowner who wants to stand out from the crowd and be the envy of the neighborhood.

GAF Designer Shingles

GAF designer shingles are pricier than architectural shingles, with several simulating natural materials, typically wood or slate. Some are Class 4 impact resistant shingles, but all have a premium look. You are sure to find something you will love for your roof.

Close-up of GAF Grand Canyon shingles

GAF Designer shingles product line includes the following:

  • Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon shingles are an excellent choice for a rugged wood-shake look with enhanced depth and dimension. The Grand Canyon is available in 4 colors.
  • Camelot II. GAF’s Camelot II shingles offer a classic, artisan-crafted look, available in 5 colors.
  • Grand Sequoia. The Grand Sequoia shingles are designed in artisan-crafted shapes combined with oversized tabs and are available in 5 colors.
  • Grand Sequoia AS. The GAF Grand Sequoia AS shingles are designed to look like rugged wood shakes with UL 2218 Class 4 impact resistance protection.
  • Woodland. The Woodland shingles have the stylish look of hand-cut European shingles with a 21st-century style. Woodland shingles are available in only 2 colors, Castlewood Gray and Cedarwood Abbey.
  • Slateline. The GAF Slateline shingles have bold shadow lines and tapered cut-outs. Homeowners get the appearance of slate without the cost of traditional slate. The Slateline shingles are available in 4 colors.

When it comes to choices for luxury shingles so you can stand out from your neighbors, with artisan, wood shake, or slate design, GAF has you covered.

Owens Corning and GAF both have fantastic product lines that will stand out compared to more traditional architectural shingles, with thicker shingles, added texture, and a premium design. GAF offers more styles options for designer shingles, but both brands offer something for everyone.

Owens Corning vs. GAF Shingles: Quality

GAF and Owens are two top reputable brands for the best quality roofing shingles manufactured. Neither brand is known for manufacturing defect issues or recalls, which is great for contractors and homeowners alike.

While high-quality roofing shingles can extend your roof’s useful life, a properly installed roofing system is the most significant variable to determining the roof’s overall lifespan. It is critical to hire a trustworthy and experienced roofing company for your next roof replacement or installation.

The right roofer will not only work with you to select the right shingles but also the right combination of roofing products to maximize your roof’s performance and useful life.

A key component of high-quality installation is the installer nailing into the shingles and the roof’s deck, called the nailing zone. Some manufacturers make the nailing zone easy to navigate, while others do not. If a manufacturer clearly marks the nailing zone, roofing installers can nail the shingles properly. Conversely, suppose the nailing zone is thin or not highly visible. In that case, shingle installation can suffer by not following the manufacturer’s installation instructions or with nails in incorrect positions (i.e., high nails, low nails, angled nails), and even having exposed nails. Exposed nails without properly applied sealant can rust and loosen over time and create a water penetration spot to enter the home.

Let’s explore in more detail between Owens Corning and GAF to determine the best quality asphalt shingles for your home.

Owens Corning Shingles Quality

Owens Corning promotes its Total Protection Roofing System, with specific products that seal and keep moisture away from the roof’s deck, shingles to shed water quickly and optimize airflow in your attic to manage temperature and moisture.

Metro City Roofing crew replacing the roof of a duplex in Denver, Colorado with five crew members working in orange vests with landscape protection kit in the front of the duplex

Each component has specific products that achieve these goals. For example, properly sealing a roof includes installing a quality underlayment to prevent ice damming and wind-driven rain damage. A properly sealed roof helps prevent rot and mold.

Installing Owens Corning shingles with strong adhesion will resist blow-offs and help shed water away from the roof deck. The various shingles required are starter shingles, field shingles, and hip and ridge shingles.

The installation process is the same, but homeowners can choose different products like Class 4 shingles, the best Owens Corning shingles manufactured, have the most extended warranties, and qualify for discounts on homeowners insurance premiums.

Owens Corning has a great and patented nailing line to ensure the best quality shingles installation, called the SureNail Strip. This technology features a wide, highly visible engineered fabric strip in the nailing area that allows for a consistent, quality installation and excellent gripping power.

With Owens Corning, you are sure to find the best quality asphalt shingles for your home or business and choices to meet any budget.

GAF Shingles Quality

All GAF shingles are designed to help protect your home from the elements. With a strong brand reputation, GAF asphalt shingles may be perceived as superior to some lesser-known brands but similar to other top manufacturers such as Owens Corning and CertainTeed.

Close-up of GAF Camelot II shingles

GAF’s most popular shingles are its Timberline product line, offering durability and performance against extreme wind. Timberline shingles with GAF’s LayerLock Technology may qualify for its WindProven Limited Wind Warranty, the industry’s first wind warranty with no maximum speed limit when installed with the required combination of GAF accessories.

Homeowners living in hail-prone areas of the US may consider the GAF Grand Sequoia or Armorshield II Class 4 shingles the best GAF shingles you can buy to keep your home safe. Both shingles have increased flexibility to recover from hailstone impact.

For regions with intense sun exposure, GAF has a Cool series of reflective shingles, available in limited colors, to reduce temperatures in your attic, saving you money on your home’s energy bills.

GAF is well-known by roofing contractors for high-quality shingles with minimal product defects or recalls. GAF promotes its StrikeZone nailing area, claiming 30% increased nail fastening speed and 99.9% nail placement accuracy. Combined with strong brand marketing, GAF is a popular choice for homeowners and building owners with a wide range of products.

GAF and Owens Corning have industry-leading reputations for product quality to address strong wind, hail, extreme sun, and moisture. Each has wind resistance ratings and clear nailing zones for more secure installation. There is minimal difference between Owens Corning and GAF shingles regarding product quality.

Owens Corning vs. GAF Shingles: Which is More Durable?

Asphalt shingles are designed for twenty-five years in most 3-tab shingles, up to fifty years for Class 4 styles. Most will last between only 15 to 30 years. In areas of extreme storms, like Colorado and Texas, hail and severe winds can damage your roof (and much more), requiring you to replace your roof much sooner than the shingles and roof’s otherwise expected life.

Both Owens Corning and GAF design shingles to achieve standards, with different styles offering high wind or impact resistance.

Speak to a local roofer to learn building code requirements in your market to ensure you choose a shingle with a quality hail and wind rating. Provided you do not select the cheapest shingles and your roofer installs your roof to manufacturer and local building code requirements, you will have a quality roof protecting your home.

Owens Corning Shingles Durability and Lifespan

Owens Corning offers a range of products, from 3-tab to traditional architectural shingles to premium Class 4.

Close-up of Owens Corning Woodcrest shingles

The entry 3-tab shingles are designed with a 25-year rating, while the Class 4 shingles have the most durability and most extended lifespan at 50 years. Most asphalt shingles, regardless of brand, don’t last to manufacturer specs, like most cars don’t achieve the gas mileage per gallon listed on a window sticker. One would need to drive a vehicle precisely as tested for the mileage average to be realized. Similarly, homeowners in areas of high moisture, extreme sun or wind, and hail-prone regions will likely need to replace their roofs sooner than in otherwise optimal conditions.

Let’s look at the most popular Owens Corning shingle, the Duration product. So, how long do Owens Corning Duration shingles last?

For example, if you live in Colorado, with extreme sun, wind, and frequent hail, you can expect these 30-year rated shingles to be less than 30 years. Your roof must be installed correctly and have good ventilation and insulation to last this long. Owens Corning boasts its Total Protection Roofing System, where roofing, ventilation, and insulation work together to protect your home and roof.

Regular roof inspections and maintenance are things you can do to extend your Owens Corning Duration shingles lifespan.

A professional roofing company will identify any areas of concern and recommend roof repairs like fastening any lifted shingles or flashings or covering any exposed nail heads with silicone or roofing cement.

Owens Corning has added rubber-like polymers, such as SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene), to its asphalt composition on its premium shingles. The SBS polymer blend with the asphalt produces a rubberizing effect. The result is a more flexible shingle and more capable of recovering from hail impact. It can also be installed in lower temperatures, making SBS shingles an excellent option for roof installation in the winter months across much of the United States.

Owens Corning Shingles Wind Resistance

According to the International Code Council, the industry’s standard in developing building codes and standards, all asphalt shingles must be tested according to ASTM D7158 to meet specific classification requirements.

Different Owens Corning shingles have different wind resistance ratings. The Supreme 3-tab shingles can resist winds up to 60 miles per hour, while the premium architectural shingles like the Duration STORM can withstand winds up to 130 miles per hour. When selecting roofing shingles for your roof installation or roof replacement, it is vital to check your local building requirements.

Owens Corning Shingles Fire Resistance

All Owens Corning roofing shingles have a Class A fire-resistance rating, the highest rating available in standardized product testing. Thus, no matter which Owens Corning shingles you select for your next roofing project, you can have confidence that your roof will have proper fire protection.

Owens Corning Shingles Algae Resistance

In some areas of the United States with high moisture, algae can attach to a roof. To protect its asphalt shingles against algae discoloration, Owens Corning uses its StreakGuard technology. Every Owens Corning shingle is manufactured to protect against algae for a minimum of 10 years, but some offer more extended algae resistance.

Owens Corning Impact Resistant Shingles

The industry-standard test to measure a product’s resistance to impact is the UL 2218 test performed by Underwriters Laboratories in the 1990s. UL assigns one of four ratings to asphalt shingles based on the testing results, with Class 4 being the highest rating. Asphalt shingle manufacturers like Owens Corning sell Class 4 shingles in hail-prone markets.

Owens Corning offers several products like the Duration STORM and Duration FLEX that achieve a Class 4 rating. Not only do they better protect one’s home against most hail damage, but they also enable a discount on most homeowners insurance premiums.

Like other Owens Corning shingles lifespan, impact resistant shingles will likely have a shorter lifespan than the advertised 50-year lifetime warranty.

Impact resistant shingles are popular in markets with extreme weather like strong winds and hail but can accelerate the shingle’s life.

GAF Shingles Durability and Lifespan

All GAF products have excellent quality and durability throughout their entire product line, from the entry Royal Sovereign to the Timberline series to the premium Grand Sequoia, Grand Canyon, and Glenwood.

Close-up of GAF Slateline shingles

So, how long do GAF shingles last? All have a minimum 25-year lifespan, with premium Class 4 shingles carrying a 50-year rating. All products have a Class A fire rating. The actual expected life will depend on various factors, including proper installation, ventilation, and extreme weather like wind or hail that can impact a roof’s useful life.

GAF is a premium manufacturer of asphalt shingles with an industry reputation of high quality and few product defects, unlike some other brands.

GAF laminated shingles and manufactured in multiple fused layers. When installed, GAF shingles can have three to five layers of protection on a roof, depending on the shingle.

Proper GAF shingle installation means nailing shingles in its StrikeZone nailing area. According to GAF, the StrikeZone nailing area is easy for roofers to nail correctly. 999 out of 1,000 nails were nailed correctly in testing. High nailing is a top roofing mistake and is crucial because shingles blow off a roof. Angled or under-driven nails can prevent proper sealing and invite water into the roofing system.

A local roofing contractor should know the local building requirements for every city and county where they are working. It is critical to install with knowledge of local building codes, as some require additional nails per shingle to accommodate high wind zones.

A quality roofer with local market knowledge and experience with GAF should install your GAF shingle roof well, providing the quality and durability you need to protect your home best.

GAF Shingles Wind Resistance

GAF shingles meet different ASTM D7158 ratings, the industry-standard test method for wind resistance of asphalt shingles. For example, the GAF Timberline HDZ product has a 130 mile per hour wind rating and warranty and achieves the top ASTM D7158 Class H rating. Check your local building requirements to ensure you select the right GAF shingles for your next project.

GAF Shingles Fire Resistance

GAF shingles have a UL Class A fire rating, the highest rating for a roof. Asphalt shingle manufacturers follow the same standards for fire resistance, so this criterion alone should not help a homeowner or contractor select one shingle brand compared to another.

GAF Shingles Algae Resistance

In various regions of the US, many asphalt shingles appear to be old long before their useful life. It may not be age but blue-green algae. GAF developed StainGuard Plus time-released technology that steadily releases copper to prevent unsightly discoloration caused by algae streaks. GAF shingles include a 25-year limited warranty against blue-green algae discoloration for products sold in packages bearing the StainGuard Plus logo.

GAF Impact Resistant Shingles

Several GAF shingle products meet the UL 2218 Class 4 impact resistance rating. GAF Class 4 shingles include the Timberline ArmorShield II, Grand Sequoia IR II, and Glenwood IR. Besides simply providing the best protection for your home and extending the life of your roof, Class 4 shingles yield a discount with most insurance companies on the homeowners insurance premiums.

Shingle manufacturers have recently added SBS modified shingles, which provide even greater durability and protection for your roof. Further, SBS shingles can be installed in lower temperatures than more traditional architectural shingles, making cold winter months no problem for roofing installation.

Owens Corning and GAF have similar products in terms of quality, durability, wind resistance, algae resistance, fire resistance, and lifespan. GAF has a broader range of styles, including Class 4 impact resistant shingles, including the heavy-duty Glenwood.

When comparing more typical architectural shingles like the Timberline vs. the Duration or Class 4 lines like the Timberline AS II vs. the Duration FLEX, both Owens Corning and GAF lines show more similarities than differences.

Owens Corning vs. GAF Shingles: Energy-Efficiency

Both brands have created energy-efficient asphalt shingles as homeowners, building owners, and contractors look for more sustainable, green options. Cool options better reflect the sun’s energy and absorb less heat than standard shingles.

Owens Corning Duration Storm shingles in Onyx Black color on a steep, 2-story roof in Denver, CO

Owens Corning Cool Roof Collection Shingles

The Owens Corning COOL Roof Collection increases solar reflectivity and radiates less heat.

Owens Corning promotes that its COOL roof line positively impacts the environment with lower CO2 emissions, lower home energy costs, and extends the roof’s useful life with its solar-reflecting granules that reduce shingle temperature and slow asphalt aging.

There are ten color choices in the Owens Corning Duration COOL collection, including Amber, Forest Brown, Night Sky, Shasta White, and Summerwood.

GAF Timberline Cool Series Shingles

Like Owens Corning, GAF Cool roof shingles reflect heat and reduce temperatures inside a home’s attic, keeping the house cooler in the summer month. While white is typically viewed as the best color for reflectivity, the GAF Cool Series shingles do not need to be light in color.

The GAF energy-star shingles are manufactured with specially designed granules to reflect more light. The Timberline Cool Series shingles are available in three colors – Antique Slate, Barkwood, and Weathered Wood.

Both Owens Corning and GAF offer similar energy-efficient products. While Owens Corning’s COOL collection has more color choices than GAF’s Cool series, determining the best option will be based on brand preference and color. Homeowners may also consider ENERGY STAR rated colors like GAF White or Owens Corning Shasta White.

Owens Corning vs. GAF Shingle Roof: Which Roof Requires Less Maintenance?

Asphalt shingle roof maintenance is an essential part of a home and building maintenance. Without regular roof inspections, homeowners and building owners may not be aware of missing shingles, lifted or rusted nail heads, or exposed flashings that invite water inside your home. And depending on where you live in the United States, it’s essential to look for moss, algae, and have regular asphalt shingle cleaning to rid molds and mildew from your roof.

Two Metro City Roofing crew in orange vests completing a roof repair on a gray asphalt shingle roof in Parker, Colorado

No matter what roofing material brand you choose for your home, Owens Corning shingles maintenance and GAF shingles maintenance will keep your roof in top shape and maintain your home’s value.

What may start as a minor issue can quickly evolve into a costly roof repair or even a complete roof replacement.

Both GAF and Owens Corning manufacture a range of products designed for various regions where high winds, hail, extreme sun and heat, and algae, mold, and mildew require specific roofing shingles to protect your roof and home best.

GAF and Owens Corning are equally high-quality roofing brands. With regular, annual roof inspections, and maintenance performed, both brands are great options for homeowners across the United States.

Which Manufacturer Offers Better Asphalt Shingle Warranty?

Several vital elements determine an asphalt shingle warranty. Most manufacturers distinguish between labor and material issues.

  • Labor is the installation workmanship where a roofer installs a new roof per manufacturer installation guidelines or requirements and meets local building codes. Ideally, all licensed roofers obey both manufacturer instructions and building codes when installing a roof.
  • Material warranty covers material defects. Examples of shingle material defects include excessive granule loss or shingles that are proven not to withstand high winds as rated.

Class 4 shingles do not have a warranty to cover hail damage. The UL 2218 Class 4 rating is earned by an independent testing lab simulating hail with a steel ball test. Most insurance companies will provide a discount to your homeowners insurance premium with a Class 4 shingle, but no manufacturer includes hail in its material warranty.

Both Owens Corning and GAF fare strong regarding material warranties for their roofing shingles, but GAF fares better in the 3-tab and luxury product lines.

Owens Corning Shingles Warranty

Depending on which product you choose, you will find differences in the Owens Corning shingles warranty. But, by choosing Owens Corning, you get peace of mind that you selected a quality manufacturer.

Manufacturers, like Owens Corning, may offer enhanced or other extended warranties based on the number of manufacturer-specific components installed or roofing installer certifications. For example, an extended warranty may require the installation of field shingles, hip and ridge shingles, underlayment, and an ice and water barrier for valleys.

Owens Corning certified roofing companies who are Preferred or Platinum Preferred Contractors might qualify to offer homeowners extended warranties, which come with an extra cost.

Shingle StyleStandard WarrantyNon-ProratedWindAlgae / Stain
3-tab25 years5 years60 MPH10 years
ArchitecturalLifetime10 years130 MPH10 years
LuxuryLifetime10 years110 – 130 MPH10 years

You will see that aside from the 3-tab shingles warranties, the architectural and luxury or premium product warranties are similar.

Focusing on architectural shingles, for example, the Owens Corning Duration shingles warranty offers a Lifetime material warranty, with a 130 mile per hour wind resistance rating and 10 years of algae resistance. More premium Owens Corning 50-year shingles, like the Woodcrest or Woodmoor, have essentially the same warranty, but wind resistance is lesser than the Duration, based on nailing installation.

While you may prefer product differences in design, thickness, and impact resistance, depending on which region of the US you live in, you may consider the Owens Corning Duration, Duration STORM, or Duration FLEX shingles.

GAF Shingles Warranty

GAF has a broad product life with an excellent GAF warranty. Like Owens Corning, GAF offers standard and extended warranties, with some only available to Master Elite certified roofers. These additional priced warranties cover materials, installation, and labor.

A GAF shingles warranty includes the ability to transfer the warranty to a new owner when selling your home.

Shingle StyleStandard WarrantyNon-ProratedWindAlgae / Stain
3-tab25 – 30 years5 years60 – 80 MPH10 years
ArchitecturalLifetime10 years130 MPH10 years
LuxuryLifetime10 years130 MPH10 years

The GAF 3-tab shingles warranty, like the Owens Corning 3-tab warranty, is not as strong as the architectural and luxury shingles. The essential advantage to GAF with their 3-tab shingles is that they manufacture two products, the Royal Sovereign and the Marquis WeatherMax, the latter having an 80 MPH wind resistance rating.

A GAF Timberline HDZ warranty or GAF 50-year shingles warranty can be upgraded when installing a complete GAF roofing system. For example, the 10-year warranty covering algae above can increase to 25 years for its StainGuard Plus-labeled shingles and ridge cap shingles. Most manufacturers offer more extended warranties to certified contractors that install multiple roofing components by the same brand on a roofing system.

You will see that the GAF luxury shingles have a 130 MPH wind resistance rating, which is higher than the comparable product by Owens Corning.

Owens Corning and GAF are similar in warranties for workmanship and materials. The distinct differences are with the 3-tab and luxury shingles. With GAF’s premium 3-tab shingle, the Marquis WeatherMax, the standard warranty is 30-years vs. 25-years for the other GAF shingle and the Owens Corning 3-tab shingle. Additionally, the Marquis WeatherMax has a higher wind resistance rating at 80 miles per hour. Further, the GAF luxury products have higher wind resistance ratings than Owens Corning’s similar products.

For most homeowners, any warranty will be sufficient. Some may find that GAF warranties are superior and select GAF for this reason. No matter which brand and the product you choose for your next roofing project, be sure to check your local building code requirements to ensure your selected product meets local building requirements.

GAF vs. Owens Corning Roof Shingles: Which Is the Winner?

Is there a clear winner between GAF vs. Owens Corning? There are pros and cons across several key areas, from pricing, availability, and warranty, to name a few.

Every roofing contractor will have its preferred brand of shingles for various reasons.

While many products from these top brands are available in all markets, some colors are limited to specific markets or regions. With COVID, manufacturing shortages have also contributed to manufacturing and distribution decisions to limit colors and specific luxury products.

Shingle brands will manufacture in multiple locations, which may be a distinguishing factor for many homeowners, supporting a brand that produced local jobs.

Owens Corning manufacturing sites include:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Brookville, IN
  • Compton, CA
  • Denver, CO
  • Savannah, GA
  • Houston, TX
  • Irving, TX
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Kearny, NJ
  • Summit, IL
  • Medina, OH
  • Memphis, TN
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Portland, OR

Similarly, GAF produces shingles across the US. The following lists GAF manufacturing sites:

  • Moberly, MO
  • Statesboro, GA
  • Gainesville, TX
  • Shafter, CA
1. Design and Available Finishes
Owens Corning has a strong product assortiment, from 3-tab to architectural to luxury shingles. GAF has a similar product line, with more offerings for the 3-tab and luxury lines.
2. Quality
Owens Corning ranks very high for product quality across all styles. GAF ranks very high for product quality across all styles.
3. Durability
Owens Corning ranks very high for product durability across all styles. GAF ranks very high for product durability across all styles.
4. Energy Efficiency
Owens Corning has a specific product line focused on energy efficiency, with more colors available than GAF. GAF has a specific product line focused on energy efficiency.
5. Cost
Owens Corning products are less expensive with greater availability at home improvement retailers and specialized roofing material supply distributors. GAF products are more expensive than Owens Corning across most product lines, except the Timberline HDZ. Product availability is more limited to specialized roofing material supply distributors.
6. Maintenance
Owens Corning products are high-quality and durable with minimal maintenance needs. GAF products are high-quality and durable with minimal maintenance needs.
7. Warranties
Owens Corning product warranties are strong, with more extended options available for Owens Corning certified contractors. GAF product warranties are strong, with more extended options available for GAF certified contractors. GAF scores higher in various product lines with more extended coverage.

Owens Corning and GAF have more similarities than differences across their entire product lines. This should come as no surprise because top competitors in any industry are keenly aware of the competition and work aggressively to close any perceived gaps in terms of product quality.

We’ve compared various product line categories, including 3-tab, architectural, and luxury shingles. We have focused on the highly popular Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration shingles, and the GAF Timberline HDZ shingles.

Both are great options for your next roofing project. Although some contractors and salespeople will intentionally highlight the vast differences to sway your decision, the differences are minor.

GAF stands out with superior warranties in some product lines, while Owens Corning shines in pricing and availability.

A reputable roofing contractor should be able to articulate the pros and cons of Owens Corning, GAF, and other manufacturers. Installation and customer service should also be the top considerations regardless of the asphalt shingle brand and the product you choose.

Owens Corning and GAF vs. Other Asphalt Shingle Manufacturers

GAF and Owens Corning both manufacture various asphalt shingles to meet any homeowner’s taste and budget. But there are more choices from other great brands like CertainTeed, Malarkey, IKO, Atlas, and more.

Most brands manufacture basic 3-tab shingles, entry-level architectural shingles, premium architectural shingles like Class 4 shingles, and luxury options. For the most popular architectural shingle, Owens Corning has its Oakridge and Duration, GAF makes the Timberline, Malarkey has its Vista, and IKO’s most popular laminated architectural roofing shingles are the Cambridge.

Shingles come in various colors that will compliment your home’s exterior. Not every color may be available in each market, so it’s best to speak with a local roofing contractor or search online for the color choices in your local market.

Most brands have something for everyone. There are many criteria to consider, like weight, nailing zone, granule loss, and more. Some shingle brands are more popular than others in specific markets. For example, Malarkey distributes its shingles from Portland, OR, Los Angeles, CA, and Oklahoma City, OK. Roofing companies that opt to support local jobs may prefer Malarkey in these markets, but of course, that won’t be the only factor when working with homeowners and building owners to select the best shingles.

Hiring the Best Roofing Contractor to Install Owens Corning and GAF Shingles on Your Roof in Denver Metro Area

Metro City Roofing is the best roofing contractor in the Denver metro area. We specialize in residential roofing services, including roof installation, roof replacement, and roof repairs and maintenance.

We are proud of our exceptional reputation, earned one customer at a time. Our roof inspectors earned the prestigious All Lines Adjuster License. Our company is a proud member of the National Roofing Contractors Association and Colorado Roofing Association, the industry’s elite associations. We do business only in Colorado and are licensed in every city and county where we complete a roof inspection.

Our team prefers Owens Corning and GAF residential shingles. For most companies, selecting a roofing brand is a personal choice. Since Owens Corning manufactures locally in Denver, we often recommend Owens Corning to our customers to support local jobs plus strong brand recognition associated with the Pink Panther. Metro City Roofing is an Owens Corning roofing contractor, earning the Preferred Contractor status.

Why Choose Metro City Roofing?

Metro City Roofing is a Colorado roofing company, headquartered in Denver, CO. We specialize in hassle-free professional roofing and will treat your home like our own.

Metro City Roofing is a roofing and building contractor that has worked diligently to earn essential credentials, certifications, licenses with national and local governments and local building departments, and a roofer you can trust.

We deliver the best professional roofing services across the entire Denver metro area. We are proud of the excellent reputation we've earned, with outstanding customer satisfaction, one roof, and one customer at a time.

Jonathan Abramson

Jonathan Abramson

Colorado Roofing Expert, Founder of Metro City Roofing

Jonathan loves the roofing industry as his company helps individual customers to navigate the insurance claim process and get them the new roof they need after a hailstorm. He has earned numerous roofing certifications and licenses, including the distinguished All Lines Adjuster License.

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