Tag Archives: Roofing product comparison

Gutter Comparison Guide

Gutters Comparison Guide

When it comes time for new gutters, it can be difficult to know where to start.  Do you want the kind of gutters most of your neighbors have or ones unique for your home?  Do you want to install them yourself or leave that to the professionals?  How often do you want to clean them?  How long do you want them to last?

All of these questions and more can be important to answer.  Like our asphalt shingle comparison guide, we intend to help you answer the most important questions you have about gutters.

K-style vs. Half Round

There are mainly two different styles of gutters: K-style and Half Round.  K-style is most common on new homes and Half Round is most common on traditional homes.

Gutter Comparison Guide

K-style:

Pros:

  • They have high capacity relative to size
  • Easy install due to straight backside
  • Easier to construct seamlessly

Cons:

  • May drain less efficiently due to angles of sides and bottom
  • May be more prone to corrosion

When to get K-style gutters: You want well-functioning gutters for a reasonable price on a modern style home.

Half Round:

Pros:

  • They look great on some traditional homes
  • Have a wide variety of aesthetic options
  • Drain more efficiently due to curved walls
  • Go well with round downspouts, which drain well
  • Can come in multiple sizes
  • Less prone to corrosion

Cons:

  • They aren’t that deep and overflow easily
  • May need to be cleaned out more frequently
  • Require special tools and should be installed professionally
  • Are typically heavier and more expensive than K-style
  • Are harder to construct seamlessly than K-style
  • Larger sizes needed for equivalent performance of K-style

When to get half round gutters: You have a traditional home and want gutters that match the historical or unique look.

Gutter guards:

Pros:

  • They may reduce the number of times you need to clean your gutters.
  • Block larger objects from entering gutters

Cons:

  • They increase the costs of gutters
  • Can take some effort to find ones that fit well
  • May need to be removed for each cleaning
  • Do not block smaller objects from entering gutters
  • Can prevent water from entering gutter

When to get gutter guards: Your home gets a lot of larger debris that the guards can deflect, and you prefer less frequent maintenance.

Size:  5″ vs. 6″ (K-style)

5″ gutters are the most common size of gutter, usually on K-style.  While custom sizes do exist, like 7″ or 8″, they are rarely needed.  For Half Round gutters, bump the size up by at least one inch.  Their rounded profiles reduce their capacity per size.

Gutter Comparison Guide

 

5″ (K-style):

Pros:

  • Great for most homes
  • Cheap and lightweight
  • Easier install than 6″ gutters

Cons:

  • Can overflow in regions prone to storms
  • Harder to clean than 6″ gutters

When to get 5″ gutters:  Your roof is not very large or complex and you don’t experience heavy downpours from storms.  Most homes fall into this category, so if you’re unsure if you have any use for larger gutters, it probably means that you don’t.

6″ (K-style):

Pros:

  • Can handle up to 50% more water inflow than 5″ gutters
  • Great for large homes or industrial buildings.

Cons:

  • Fascia board must be mounted properly to handle the extra weight of 6″ gutters full of rainwater
  • More expensive than 5″

When to get 6″ gutters:  Your roof is steep enough, has large enough area per gutter entry point of rainwater, or you live in a stormy area with high downpour density.  The steeper the roof, the more quickly rainwater travels into the gutters.  The longer the travel of rainwater, the greater the volume of rainwater in the gutters.  Homes with a large enough increase may be better off with 6″ gutters instead of 5″.

If you think 5″ K-style gutters might not be large enough for you, then Half Round gutters almost certainly will be too small since their 6″ size holds less volume than 5″ K-style.

Downspouts: 2″x3″ vs. 3″x4″ (K-style)

Where gutters collect rainwater, downspouts drain it.  2″x3″ downspouts are most common and they match with 5″ gutters.  3″x4″ match with 6″ gutters, yet can be installed on 5″ gutters as well.

Gutter Comparison Guide

2″x3″ (K-style):

Pros:

  • Low cost
  • Easy install
  • Function well for most homes

Cons:

  • Can drain too slowly for heavy rain regions

When to get 2″x3″ downspouts: You have 5″ gutters and don’t have any of the previously mentioned issues associated with drainage trouble.  Most homes are in this category.

3″x4″ (K-style):

Pros:

  • Can solve many drainage problems when applied to 5″ K-style gutters.

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Might not be installed properly on 5″ K-style gutters

When to get 3″x4″ downspouts: You have 6″ K-style gutters or drainage issues with 5″ K-style.  Many drainage problems can be solved just by increasing the downspout size (along with increasing the gutter outlet size).  Sometimes increasing the gutter size alone won’t improve drainage since outflow can only be as much as the downspout allows.

Seamless vs. Sectional

Gutters can be installed either piece-by-piece (sectional) or altogether as one piece along the gutter line (seamless).

Gutter Comparison Guide

Seamless:

Pros:

  • Less prone to leaks
  • Fewer points of failure
  • Less labor intensive install

Cons:

  • When damaged, the entire length of that gutter must be replaced
  • Not a do-it-yourself option

When to get seamless gutters: You want better-looking gutters that are robust against damage and leaks, and professionals are handling the installation.

Sectional:

Pros:

  • A do-it-yourself option
  • Easy to replace a damaged section

Cons:

  • Propensity to leak at seams
  • Has more points of failure

When to get sectional gutters:  You’re doing it yourself and are willing to replace portions yourself when they leak, bend, or dent.

Materials

Gutters can be made out of multiple different types of material.  Each type of material has a unique set of attributes that can make one type fit perfectly for one person yet not another.

Gutter Comparison Guide

Vinyl:

Pros:

  • Lightweight and have easy-to-install snapping mechanism
  • Cheapest
  • Don’t rust or rot
  • Come in many styles and sizes

Cons:

  • Become brittle in climates with extreme hots and colds
  • Can bend or collapse from heavy rainfall, snow, or wind
  • Sectional only and prone to leaks
  • Even though they are easy to install, they can also be easy to install improperly, resulting in unnecessary sagging or leaking
  • Shouldn’t place ladders against them
  • Short lifespan (about 20 years)

When to get vinyl gutters:  You live in a year-round mild climate, are on a tight budget, want to install them yourself, and are not too concerned about leaks or needing to replace them at some point down the road.

Aluminum:

Pros:

  • Sectional or seamless
  • Not too costly
  • Don’t rust or rot
  • Can be lightweight and easy to handle

Cons:

  • Thin and lightweight versions can bend or dent to falling objects or improperly placed ladders
  • Comparable lifespan to vinyl gutters, but can last longer with thicker versions

When to get aluminum gutters: When you want to go low cost without unnecessarily sacrificing quality.  5″ K-style aluminum gutters are popular and well-rounded.

Steel:

Pros:

  • Sectional or seamless
  • Some kinds never rust and can have a long lifespan

Cons:

  • Can be rust-prone if only galvanized
  • Reducing rust propensity with Galvalume increases cost
  • Eliminating rust propensity with stainless steel can get very costly

When to get steel gutters:  You want to go heavy and stainless and know of a good deal or you don’t mind spending a little more for gutters that are better than most.

Zinc:

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Rustproof
  • Have a neat finished look
  • Longer lasting than most (up to 50 years)

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to acidic conditions
  • Expensive
  • Should probably be installed professionally

When to get zinc gutters: You don’t want to do-it-yourself, are willing to pay for attractive gutters that last a long time, and there is no risk for them to come in contact with acidic conditions.

Copper:

Pros:

  • They don’t rust or peel
  • Can last longer than the Roman Empire (okay, not quite that long)
  • Sectional or seamless

Cons:

  • Color changes over time
  • Can cause stains
  • The most expensive gutter material

When to get copper gutters: You want to pay enough to never have to replace your gutters, and you are well informed of the unique issues involving copper (like how they change colors and can stain).

Conclusion

There is great variety when it comes to choosing gutters.  They range from cheap to expensive, rustproof to rust-prone, functional in storms to non-functional in storms, and many other factors.  This guide describes the main concerns of each so that you have all the information you need to select the gutters best for you.

Looking for new gutters with your new roof?  Just let us know and we can make it happen! CHASE CONSTRUCTION NORTH WEST, INC. is a leading contractor in the roofing industry of Western Washington, we’re GAF MASTER ELITE® contractors, and we have been installing fantastic roofs since 2002.  Give us a call at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate form!

Roofing Contractor in Pierce County

GAF vs. CertainTeed

Most homeowners are looking for a top quality shingle yet often don’t know the difference between some of the top brands. GAF and CertainTeed have reputation for being among the best and they are commonly compared.

We have a favorite: GAF. We’re one of the select few Master Elite® certified roofing contractors, and our experiences with their products are always positive. For homeowners looking for a high-end, long-lasting roof that doesn’t break the bank and that they don’t have to worry about, our go-to recommendation is GAF Timberline HD®. But some customers have heard that CertainTeed offers a better product, so we would like to clear up why we prefer GAF.

The first place you want to look when evaluating a roofing shingle is the reputation of the manufacturing plant you’ll receive your shingles from. Even when one company might have the same product with the same name and the same specifications, the quality of the product can vary greatly depending on where it is manufactured.

GAF as a whole has not had an unblemished history. Several of its manufacturing facilities underwent a class action lawsuit that settled in 2015. This may be a contributor to why some homeowners are cautious about using GAF shingles. However, when history is broken down by facility, the story changes. The plant that manufactures all GAF products in our area of the Pacific Northwest, Gaf Shafter Shingle Plant, has a phenomenal track record. The plant creates the best shingle we’ve seen. While there might be cause for concern in some plants in some parts of the world, over here in the Pacific Northwest, our GAF shingles are about as good as it gets.

Much of what people say about different shingles doesn’t take this information into account. A person who has a great experience with GAF may live in the Pacific Northwest yet not mention that when discussing his or her experience. The inverse can be true of somebody with a poor experience. If the manufacturing origin of the shingle is unknown, people discussing their experiences online can be misleading.

CertainTeed’s history isn’t unblemished either.  In 2009, the company settled a number of class action lawsuits for defective organic shingles.  There have since been similar reports of CertainTeed asphalt shingles malfunctioning in the same manner.  This doesn’t mean that CertainTeed shingles should be avoided.  Instead, it means the same thing that the storied history for all shingle manufacturers means: the facility in which the shingles that will go on your roof matters.

The next step is to evaluate the fine print of their warranties. GAF and CertainTeed both boast top notch warranties, but with some key distinctions. We believe that the GAF warranties are more secure. GAF’s language leaves less room for the company to void a warranty than CertainTeed’s language does. For example, CertainTeed states that “any shingles applied to inadequately ventilated or non-ventilated decks…are subject to a reduced limited warranty period of ten years and do not qualify for SureStart Protection.” The language allows CertainTeed to interpret ventilation adequacy and deny coverage based on that.  Since most homes have ventilation issues, many homeowners with CertainTeed products might find themselves being denied warranty coverage after their shingles fail. GAF doesn’t have such language and homeowners are not at risk of being wrongly denied warranty coverage for this reason.

An additional yet key difference in warranties is who conducts the installation.  GAF’s and CertainTeed’s highest warranties (Golden Pledge® and SureStart™ PLUS, respectively) may boast the same 25-year workmanship warranty, but that doesn’t mean that the probability of the homeowner having to call in the warranty is the same.  Who is allowed to provide each warranty?  CertainTeed only allows its 5 Star SureStart Plus warranty to be offered by its SELECT ShingleMaster™ contractors.  GAF’s highest level of contractor, Master Elite®, are the only who can provide the Golden Pledge warranty.  3% of GAF contractors are Master Elite.  The number of CertainTeed contractors that are SELECT ShingleMaster is a difficult number to come by.  By my calculations, there are approximately 2 and a half times as many SELECT ShingleMaster contractors than Master Elite contractors.

This means that if quality of installation and warranty are top priority to you, if you go with GAF’s most secure offering, the contractors installing the material are in the top 3% of contractors.  If you go with CertainTeed’s top offering, the contractors installing the material are in around the top 7.5% of contractors.  For something as important as your roof, this can be a big difference.  The larger pool of contractors providing CertainTeed’s top warranty means there is a higher probability that the installation may not be as good.

What is your experience with these different shingle manufacturers?  We would love to hear about it in the comments below!

 

Looking for a awesome shingles and you can’t decide which kind?  CHASE CONSTRUCTION NORTH WEST, INC. wants to help! We have extensive experience with every kind of shingle and want to help you find which suits you best!   We’ve been a family owned business since 2002 and have been GAF MASTER ELITE® certified for 8 years and counting!  Give us a call at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate form!

Asphalt Roofing Shingle Comparison Guide

The Layman’s Guide To Choosing An Asphalt Shingle

Compare-asphalt-roofing-shinglesIf you are a consumer looking for the best asphalt shingle, then you have come to the right place. This article is intended to break down the features of asphalt laminated shingles produced by the major brands in the United States. There are so many styles of shingles to choose from and everybody seems to be promising the world. We are going to lay all of them out on the table, show you what they have to offer, and then you can decide what is best for your roofing project. We will cover the three basic shingle styles from each manufacturer which include 3 tab, architectural laminates and key-cut or tri-laminate roofing shingles.

The Key Factors For Every Shingle

The typical factors that are important to a homeowner when choosing a roofing shingle are:  price points, true life expectancy, wind ratings (rated in mph), and color selection. These are all extremely important issues, but I would consider them surface issues. There are additional areas of a roofing shingle that play into its performance, longevity and price. Some of those factors are: how the shingle is made, is it an AR (algae resistant) rated shingle, the weight of the material, how wide is the nailing strip, pitch of the roof the product is installed on, what type of warranty does the shingle carry and what type of wind rating does it carry. When you purchase a new roof you want a shingle that is going to be aesthetically appealing on your home but will also perform well in the type of weather your particular city or region experiences.

Shingle-Comparison-Chart

GAF Roofing Shingles

GAF-RoofingGAF roofing shingles have long been the best selling and performing roofing material in the industry. A few of their awards include the Women’s Choice and Contractor’s Choice awards.   What distinguished GAF is the advanced mat technology, released in 2011, which was accompanied by their new 50 year limited lifetime warranties. They ‘broke the sound barrier,” so to speak, with their new shingle mat, and the rest of the industry was forced to follow. GAF remains to be the only roofing manufacturer that has made any changes to their shingle justifying the stature of the warranty they offer.

GAF Shingle Line Up

 

GAF-3-Tab-Royal-Sovereign

Royal Sovereign 3 Tab Shingles                   
25 year limited warranty; 3 years non-prorated
60 mph limited wind warranty
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
225 lbs. per square
True roof life: 8-15 years w/ maintenance

 

Architectural laminate roofing shinglesTimberline HD Architectural Laminate Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph w/ 6 nails
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
210 lbs. per square
True roof life: 17-25 years w/ maintenance

 

Tri-laminate roofing shingles

Grand Canyon Heavyweight Key-Cut Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
5 bundles per square
450 lbs. per square
True roof life: 25-35 years w/ maintenance

CertainTeed Roofing Shingles

CertainTeed Roofing Products CertainTeed is another industry leading brand name among roofing products. They are predominantly recognized for the Presidential and Presidential TL series. In fact most HOA’s (home owners associations) list the Presidential shingles as their first choice. Like GAF, they also offer great upgraded warranties and systems that protect consumers.

CertainTeed Shingle Line Up

3 Tab Roofing Shingles By GAF

CT 20 3 Tab Shingles
20 year limited lifetime warranty; 3 years non-prorated
60 mph wind rating
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
196 lbs. per square
True roof life: 8-15 years w/ maintenance

 

CertainTeed Landmark

Landmark Architectural Laminate Shingles 
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating. 130 mph w/ 6 nails
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
240 lbs. per square
True roof life: 17-25 years w/ maintenance

 

Presidential Shake

Presidential TL Tri-Laminate Shingles 
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
5 bundles per square
480 lbs. per square
True roof life: 25-40 years w/ maintenance

 

Owens Corning Roofing Shingles

OC-Roofing-ProductsOwens Corning is a quality roofing shingle and so much more. They specialize in fiberglass products which is what makes up the core of every asphalt laminated shingle. Their Surenail Technology is a big hit with contractors and helps to ensure your roof is fastened well and withstands high winds.  They are well known for their insulation as well and branded with the famous Pink Panther, which I’m sure you have seen. Owens corning was founded in 1938 and has been a Fortune 500 company since the list was first created in 1955.

Owens Corning Shingle Line Up

3 tab shingles Owens Corning Supreme 3 Tab Shingles
25 year limited lifetime; 5 years non-prorated warranty
60 mph wind rating
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
180 lbs. per square
True roof life: 8-15 years w/ maintenance

 

OC-Duration-ShinglesDuration Architectural Laminate Shingles 
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating
Class A fire rating
4 bundles per square
260 lbs. per square
True roof life: 17-25 years w/ maintenance

 

OC Woodmore Shingles Woodmoor Heavyweight Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
6 bundles per square
450 lbs. per square
True roof life: 25-40 years w/ maintenance

 

Malarkey Roofing Shingles

Malarkey Roofing ShinglesMalarkey roofing shingles have a very strong and unique niche in the Northwestern parts of the United States. Founded in 1956, Malarkey is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. What sets Malarkey apart is their SBS modified or rubberized shingles, the high algae resistant rating and the patented nailing strip. Malarkey is specified by architects from the Northwest on almost all of the educational buildings being constructed.

Malarkey Shingle Line Up

Malarkey-3-TabDura-Seal 20 3 Tab Shingles
20 year limited lifetime warranty
60 mph wind rating
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
200 lbs. per square
True roof life: 8-15 years w/ maintenance

 

Malarkey-Roofing-Shingles Legacy SBS Architectural Laminate Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty;  20 year Scotchgard
110 mph wind rating, 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
275 lbs. per square
True roof life: 17-25 years w/ maintenance

 

IKO Roofing Shingles

IKO is a has a strong global presence in the roofing industry and was founded in 1951. They manufacture a broad variety of products for both low slope and steep slope roofing products. IKO is known for having a “true square” of roofing, and are 10% larger than most roofing shingles. IKO also has the strongest non-prorated portion of their limited lifetime warranty at 15 years. IKO is a popular and economical choice in many states.

IKO-Roofing-Shingles

IKO-MarathonMarathon 3 Tab Shingles 
20 year limited lifetime warranty; 3 years non-prorated
60 mph wind rating
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
True roof life: 8-15 years w/ maintenance

 

 

IKO-Composition-ShinglesCambridge AR Shingles Architectural Laminate Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty/15 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
240 lbs per square
True roof life: 17-25 years w/ maintenance

IKO-Premium-ShinglesArmourshake Heavey Weight Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 15 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
5 bundles per square
True roof life: 25-40 years w/ maintenance