Pros and cons of Malarkey shingles: are they worth the cost?

Image source: Malarkey Roofing

Chris Gennone

By Chris Gennone

January 20, 2021


Malarkey is one of the top roofing manufacturers in North America, devoted to producing environmentally-friendly materials. While Malarkey’s asphalt shingles are typically more expensive than other brands, the company holds a strong reputation among homeowners and professional roofers. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of Malarkey shingles and determine if they’re worth the steep price.

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Who is Malarkey?

Malarkey Roofing Products

Image source: Malarkey Roofing

Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1956, the family-owned business began manufacturing 3-tab asphalt shingles in 1960. Unlike many other companies, Malarkey focused on manufacturing environmentally-friendly roofing materials, including smog-reducing granules and repurposed shingles. In 2015, Malarkey’s manufacturing facilities received the Waste Diversion from Landfill certification from GreenCircle Certified, LLC, applauding the company’s management of end-of-life materials. While Malarkey carries the reputation of a premier roofing company, they do have a high price point.

Cost of Malarkey Shingles

Cost of Malarkey shingles

Image source: BMC

Malarkey shingles range from $73-$170 per square for materials alone, depending on each brand of shingle. They often compare most with CertainTeed shingles, which are some of the most expensive shingles available. For comparison, IKO’s popular Cambridge shingles can cost up to $60 per square, and Malarkey’s Legacy shingle can cost up to $150 per square.

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Types of Malarkey shingles

Malarkey sells three types of asphalt shingles: designer, laminated architectural, and 3-tab shingles. Most of Malarkey’s shingles feature the algae-resistant Scotchgard and its NEX polymer modified asphalt, which is made from recycled materials and improves the shingles’ flexibility, granule adhesion, and resistance to impact.

Designer shingles

Malarkey designer shingles

Image source: Washington Cedar

Malarkey’s designer shingles are heavy and made to appear like expensive cedar shakes, but feature the 3M Scotchgard, NEX polymer modified asphalt, and Class 4 impact resistance. Currently, Malarkey only has one type of designer shingle.

Windsor - Malarkey’s Windsor shingles feature 3M’s smog-reducing granules, which converts smog into water-soluble ions and reduces air pollution. It was featured in TIME Magazine’s list of 50 Best Inventions of 2018. Available in seven colors, these shingles are also algae-resistant, thanks to the Scotchgard, and can withstand high winds up to 110 MPH. Malarkey also offers an Enhanced Wind Warranty up to 140 MPH if you meet additional standards. Due to the strong flexibility from the NEX polymer modified asphalt, Windsor shingles are incredibly durable and make it a good option if you live in a colder climate.

Laminated architectural shingles

Malarkey laminated architectural shingles

Image source: Malarkey Roofing

The laminated architectural shingles are designed to give your roof a more textured appearance. They all feature the laminate NEX polymer modified asphalt and Scotchgard which prevents algae staining, but they also reflect solar rays, reducing heat from entering your home. Malarkey offers three brands of architectural shingles.

Legacy - The Malarkey Legacy shingles are a favorite among roofing contractors due to their ease of installation and durability against extreme weather. Available in nine colors, these shingles feature a limited wind warranty for winds up to 110 MPH and have a Class 4 impact rating. The Legacy shingles also include what Malarkey calls, “The Zone,” a larger and wider nailing area that improves the placement of fasteners.

Vista - While the Vista shingles are not as durable as Legacy shingles, they still carry a respectable Class 3 impact rating and protect your roof from any algae streaks with its Streak Resist technology. Vista shingles also cost a bit less than Legacy shingles, at about $135 per square. They’re available in nine colors.

Highlander - These algae-resistant shingles only have a Class 2 impact rating, but the Highlander shingles feature 3M’s smog reducing granules and the NEX polymer modified asphalt. The Highlander shingles are a more cost-effective option, costing about $120 per square. They’re currently available in seven colors.

3-tab shingles

Malarkey 3-tab shingles

Image source: Malarkey Roofing

Malarkey’s cheapest shingle is its line of traditional 3-tab shingles, costing between $75-$80 per square. These 3-tab shingles only feature a limited wind warranty up to 60 MPH, but also have a Class 4 impact rating. Malarkey currently has one brand of 3-tab shingles.

Dura-Seal AR - These shingles are available in eight natural-toned colors like antique brown, natural wood, and midnight black. The Dura-Seal AR shingles are designed to protect your roof from algae damage and prevent moisture with its polymer modified asphalt sealant. The sealant can perform well below freezing temperatures. These shingles also reflect solar rays, keeping your home cool.

Pros and cons of Malarkey shingles

Pros and cons of Malarkey shingles

Image source: New Heights Roofing

Pros of Malarkey shingles

The Malarkey Secure Choice System: Malarkey’s Secure Choice System includes a variety of waterproof underlayments, starter shingles, and hip and ridge shingles. Starting from the roof deck on, Malarkey’s roofing system gives you the option of which products to use, how they function, and their compatibility with one another – no matter if you have a steep slope or low slope roof.

Durable: Most of Malarkey’s shingles have a Class 3 or 4 impact rating and include limited wind warranties up to 110 MPH, making it incredibly durable in extreme weather conditions. Thanks to its NEX polymer modified asphalt and sealant, the roofing shingles won’t crack and will perform well in colder climates and keep moisture out.

Environmentally-friendly: One of Malarkey’s missions is to manufacture more environmentally-friendly products. In 1975, Malarkey began modifying asphalt using SBS or Styrene Butadiene Styrene, a synthetic rubber used for Malarkey’s NEX asphalt technology. Because of these efforts, Malarkey has also won several awards from green energy organizations.

Training program: Malarkey features a certification program for roofing contractors to become experienced with its products and properly installing them. The program has three levels of certification badges. The Certified Residential Contractor badge represents a contractor’s familiarity with Malarkey products, the Emerald Pro Contractor badge shows a contractor’s experience with the products and ability to install the Secure Choice System, and the Emerald Premium Contractor badge signifies a highly experienced roofer.

Strong reputation: Malarkey carries the reputation of a premier roofing company due to its dedication to producing high-quality environmentally-friendly products. With specific factors like Malarkey’s wider nailing zone and modified asphalt, the shingles are durable and easy to install.

Cons of Malarkey shingles

Expensive: Despite Malarkey’s strong reputation among contractors and homeowners, Malarkey shingles are incredibly expensive. They often rank with CertainTeed and GAF for producing the most expensive shingles available. Malarkey shingles cost double the amount of cheaper shingle companies like IKO.

Small selection: While Malarkey may feature high-quality shingles, there aren’t a lot of options to choose from. Companies like Atlas often feature shingles in multiple colors, designs and patterns.

Warranty issues: Many roofing companies face warranty issues, but Malarkey’s biggest complaint is that limited warranties can only be transferred during the Right Start period, a time frame of five years. Any warranty transfers after that period will default to a two year warranty.

Are Malarkey shingles worth the cost?

Malarkey shingles on a roof

Image source: Malarkey Roofing

Malarkey is one of the top roofing companies in North America, leading the way in producing environmentally-friendly and high quality asphalt shingles. And unfortunately, quality comes at a price. But while Malarkey shingles may be significantly more expensive than IKO or Atlas, you’re also investing in a longer-lasting and more durable roof. Thanks to Malarkey’s innovations in polymer modified asphalt and its customer-friendly Secure Choice System, you shouldn’t have to worry about defective shingles or consistent repairs. Overall, Malarkey roofing products are expensive, but you really get what you pay for.

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