When it comes to your roof, you want to make sure you have the best available product for your investment, and a comprehensive warranty if something goes wrong. GAF and Owens Corning are two of the most popular and trusted shingle brands in the country. Known for their long-lasting products and contractor training programs, you can’t go wrong with either of these companies for your roofing materials. 

Let’s breakdown the GAF vs Owens Corning matchup to see how they compare where it matters most: product quality, contractor certifications, investment level, and warranty coverage.

GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles Quality

GAF sets the industry standard for reliable and long-lasting shingles and roofing products. Roofers prefer GAF because they offer a complete “lifetime roofing system” which includes: Timberline shingles with a lifetime limited warranty, attic ventilation, roof deck paper, starter strip shingles for eaves, a leak barrier for valleys, and ridge cap shingles for vents and ridges. GAF shingles are made with fiberglass-mesh reinforced asphalt, offering three to five layers of protection, depending on the product line. With superior wind and impact resistance, GAF’s ArmorShield shingles are UL 2218 Class 4 rated, with further improved capabilities when supported by the lifetime roofing system.

Owens Corning also offers a total protection roofing system, with tiered products based on investment and protection level. This system starts with a seal of felt or synthetic underlayment, covers it with an ice and water barrier, protects the roof with starter shingles and hip/ridge shingles in roll or strip form, and ventilates with additional roof products. Owens Corning also has Class 4 shingles available, in the Duration Storm series. 

For GAF vs.Owens Corning in product quality, both carry excellent products, though GAF offers more protection for wind and hail. 

GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles Contractor Certifications

GAF provides excellent training for contractors in proper product installation to ensure the very best performance for your roof. The highest certification level, the Master Elite certification, means the roofer is licensed and insured, has a great, customer-reviewed reputation for workmanship, and is committed to ongoing training with GAF for new products and practices. GAF certified installers are able to provide homeowners with enhanced warranties including System Plus or the Golden Pledge.

Owens Corning also has installer certifications that allow contractors access to enhanced warranties for their products. These higher level warranties can be added for an additional percentage of the project cost and require customers to install the total protection roofing system.

For GAF vs. Owens Corning shingles, the contractor certifications category goes to GAF, as the programs they provide are more thorough. Higher level certifications are available to an exclusive group of contractors who show complete mastery over the GAF product line, commit to ongoing professional training, and demonstrate customer-reviewed workmanship. The GAF Master Elite certification is held by only 3% of roofers in the country. A GAF Master Elite certified installer will build a roof you can trust, with the highest quality workmanship, and issue the best warranty GAF offers, known as the Golden Pledge. 

Investment in GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles

Both GAF vs. Owens Corning shingles and roofing products require similar levels of investment. GAF shingles are available in an affordable range of options, from the budget 3 tab to the most durable shingles with superior resistance to impact, stains, and UV rays. Their popular dimensional Timberline shingles start around $110-120. GAF products are widely available in a large range of color and style options. 

Owens Corning shingles are comparable in cost to other leading shingle brands, including GAF. Their mid-range Definition Duration shingles start at $80-110. Although a slightly lower price per square, you might be able to upgrade to the OC Duration Designer shingles for a similar value to GAF.

Keep in mind that shingle installation, whether GAF vs. Owens Corning shingles, will include labor costs and extra roof accessories like underlayment, ventilation and hip/ridge shingles. Owens Corning shingles might be available at a slightly lower investment cost, but you’ll likely pay the same price overall for installation, and potentially more over time in maintenance for the Owens Corning shingles. 

GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles Warranty Information

GAF is considered to have some of the best warranties in the industry, and is a trusted brand of roofers everywhere. If something goes wrong with your roof shingles, contractors and roofers are usually blamed first, so they prefer to work with better materials to make their job easier and build a roof you can trust. 

Roofers who have the prestigious Master Elite certification can issue a Golden Pledge warranty. This warranty not only covers the materials, but also labor and installation. When you have the protection of a Golden Pledge, a GAF representative will inspect the roof once it’s complete to make sure it is up to their brand standards. GAF warranties are also transferable if the ownership of your home changes — an uncommon feature with most brand warranties. 

Owens Corning also offers comprehensive warranties for their products. Their warranties are tiered based on the type of products installed, the number of products installed and the certifications of the installer. The Standard Roofing System warranty is available to work by any contractor, and covers structural defects in the shingles only. If you use the total roofing protection system you are eligible for the System Protection Warranty. Preferred Protection System warranty and Platinum Protection System warranty are offered by Owens Corning certified contractors. These enhanced warranties cost extra and require installation of the total protection system.

Warranties usually cover defects in the shingles or failure due to manufacturer error, not failure due to installation. Most claims are denied based on this difference. All shingle companies face customer service issues with this distinction.

GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles Claims

Warranty claims with shingle companies are tricky for customers, no matter what brand they choose. Most claims on warranties result from improper installation, not product failure, and are not covered by the warranty. GAF is well-known for having some of the best warranty options in the industry, but Owens Corning has had more success with customer service. 

There’s something to be said for having a great shingle product and a lifetime warranty, but those two are useless if the roof is not properly installed. Having a knowledgeable GAF certified installer will help you get the most out of your products and roof, and if there’s any problem, you can trust that you’re covered by the Golden Pledge. The pledge is more than worth it for the peace of mind and added protection of your investment.

If GAF shingles sound like the right option for you, get in touch with the Werner Roofing team. We’re proud to be a Master Elite certified installer. We can install GAF’s full line of shingles, and have been recognized with their President’s Award for four consecutive years. To learn more about our products and available warranties, give us a call at 616-844-5382 or reach out to us online.

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