This article is the archived version of a report that appeared in June 2009 Consumer Reports magazine.
Our Ratings (available to subscribers) include enough top picks to give you plenty of options, even if your installer prefers certain brands. Considering the differences, we suggest you opt for a special order or even use another installer to get one of our recommended products. Here’s what else to bear in mind:
Most roofing warranties include full reimbursement for materials and installation but only for a limited time. That usually doesn’t cover winds above 85 mph or faulty installation, so get a labor warranty from the installer. Save all receipts, invoices, and a bundle of shingles for repairs. And be sure roofing has the highest fire rating, Class A, as found on all roofing we tested.
Building codes mandate a tear-off down to the sheathing if you already have two layers of shingle. We suggest tearing off even a single layer to avoid missing any rot, water damage, or insects beneath. (Figure on another $100 or more per 100 square feet.)