Innovations in construction materials do not always hold up to the test of time. Such was the case in 1987 when CertainTeed introduced its Horizon organic roofing shingles. The composition of the shingles made them vulnerable to thermal blistering and became the subject of a class action lawsuit, which has since been settled. Unfortunately, CertainTeed’s next generation of Horizon asphalt shingles, which replaced the organic materials with fiberglass, did not fare as well as hoped for either. Although fiberglass is commonly used as an underlay material in asphalt shingles, issues remained with the 1996-2009 manufactured shingles. The shingles were still vulnerable to thermal blistering, and any wind or hail-damaged shingles were not immediately detectable because of a stylized design intended to mimic architectural shingles. This resulted in a more recent class-action suit against the company. While the majority of these installs predate G. Fedale’s history as a roofing and siding company, there are several salient points worth mentioning:
- In spite of the legal actions, CertainTeed products should not be dismissed as subpar. While 90-95 percent of our roofing jobs include GAF manufactured shingles, we are certified to install products manufactured by GAF, Owens Corning, Tamko, and CertainTeed, and still receive requests for the latter. “CertainTeed has fixed their issues and is still a good company,” says Jake Domanski, a sales manager here at G. Fedale. Additionally, when it comes to vinyl siding, we predominantly use CertainTeed products. “At the end of the day, these are good products and are made well. What we really stress is the workmanship and the company backing them,” Jake says.
- Regardless of the manufacturer, roofs installed during the time period reflected by the lawsuits are nearing the end of their expected life, and a manufacturer’s warranty, likewise, will also be close to expiration. Scheduling a roof inspection is advisable prior to the conclusion of the warranty period. Jake notes that the organic shingles, while in use between 1987 and 1996, didn’t begin to fail until about 2005.
- It is important to further note that not all problems are indicative of faulty product. Improper ventilation or poor workmanship will also play a role. Improvements in both functionality and methodology in ventilation have increased the lifespans of today’s roof replacements. Material improvements have also contributed. GAF, our preferred manufacturer, offers a 50-year warranty on the product. We further back that with our own 20-year warranty on workmanship. An upgrade to a 25-year workmanship warranty is also available, which is further backed by GAF with a Golden Pledge Package. The upgrade is due to our President’s Club & Master Elite Certifications through GAF, which is the best warranty in the industry.