Malarkey Roofing Shingles Review – Pros and Cons

In the battle for the best roofing shingle, Malarkey puts up an incredible fight. But does all their hard work pay off enough to make this brand the best? This article will break down the factors that put Malarkey at the top of the list for the best shingles.

Is Malarkey a Reliable Roofing Manufacturer

Many roofing contractors, homeowners, and insurance companies consider Malarkey at the top of the pack for being a reliable roofing manufacturer. In the battle for the number one spot, Malarkey and CertainTeed run head to head, with Malarkey having a slight advantage in the Pacific NorthWest and along the West Coast. 

Malarkey's reputation for premium, high-quality shingles also reflects on the price, with this brand's shingles being more expensive than second-best shingle lines like Owens Corning or GAF. 

Editor's Note: Want to know more about GAF, Owens Corning, or CertainTeed? We've made side-by-side comparisons of GAF vs. OC and CertainTeed vs. GAF.

Malarkey Product‌ ‌Lineup‌ 

Malarkey prefers the motto of quality over quantity, a value reflected in the smaller selection of shingles compared to the competition. GAF is the world's largest roofing manufacturer and offers a much more extensive selection of affordable shingles. 

And because Malarkey is a high-end company, its pricing runs higher than other more affordable brands. Malarkey and CertainTeed have higher prices in terms of costs, but they also have better quality and performance. Let's take a look at Malarkey's product lineup.


The most affordable and traditional shingle style is 3-tab. Malarkey offers one 3-tab product. The Dura-Seal AR is a 3-tab design with a polymer-modified asphalt - NEX - that protects against extreme weather. This line has a 25-year limited warranty on materials, with a limited wind warranty of 60 mph to 70 mph (Enhanced Warranty) and a 5-year Algae Resistant (AR) warranty. 

It also has a Class 4 impact rating (protects against hail and falling debris), a 7-year Right Start Period, and 3M Smog-Reducing granules to help reduce air pollution. You have the choice of eight colors, including one CRRC (Cool Roof Rating Council), certified Energy Star color - Ivory Mist. 

Competitor Brands: CertainTeed XT25, Tamko Elite Glass-Seal, GAF Royal Sovereign, or Owens Corning Supreme.


Malarkey offers three different product lines for laminated architectural shingles, which is less than the competition, many of whom provide a signature line with a few different subtypes. You can pick from Legacy, Vista, or Highlander NEX

All three architectural lines have polymer-modified asphalt for superior weather, wind (110 to 130 mph), and impact resistance (varies by product). 

Pro Tip: To qualify for the 130 mph wind warranty, you have to use Malarkey's Smart Start shingles (starter shingles), a 6-nail application (9 for Windsor line), and hip and ridge shingles (RidgeFlex 10" or 12" or EZ-Ridge 8" or 10"). 

And all products have a limited lifetime material warranty, 3M Smog-Reducing Granules, and some kind of algae protection (varies).



Right Start

Algae warranty




Limited Lifetime (20-year) Scotchgard




12-year Algae Resistant

Highlander NEX



10-year Algae Resistant

  • Legacy 

The Legacy line (Legacy or Legacy Scotchgard) features a Class 4 impact rating, extreme weather protection, top-of-the-line granule adhesion, and 3M Scotchgard Algae Protector (optional). There's also one CRRC rated Cool Color option for energy efficiency - Silverwood. 

  • Vista (Vista AR)

The Vista line has a Class 3 impact rating, nine colors - two CRRC approved - Silverwood or Sienna Blend - and algae-resistant granules. This line does not feature Scotgard AP. 

  • Highlander NEX

The Highlander NEX and Highlander NEX AR have nine total colors - four CRRC - Ivory Mist, Golden Amber, Silverwood, or Sienna Blend. This line of shingles offers the least protection due to a Class 2 impact rating. 

Although there is Streak Resist Technology from algae-resistant granules, there is no advanced algae protection (Scotchgard). This line also has shorter warranties, but it's more affordable than the other two laminated options. 

Competitor Brands: CertainTeed Landmark Premium, Tamko Heritage (and Premium), Owens Corning Duration (and Designer), GAF Timberline (and Ultra).


In terms of designer shingles, Malarkey only has one line - Windsor with Scotchgard. Most of the competition offers two or more options for designer shingles. 

This NEX shingle offers the look of cedar shakes with a Class 4 impact rating and 3M Smog Reducing Granules, available in seven dark colors (no CRRC options). 

This line has a Limited Lifetime warranty on materials and Scotchgard Protector for algae (20-years), 110 to 140 mph (with enhanced installation) wind warranty, and a 15-year Right Start Period. Most designer shingles from competitors have a lower wind warranty of 130 mph.

Competitor Brands: Owens Corning Woodmoor or Devonshire, CertainTeed Belmont or Presidential Shake, Tamko Heritage Woodgate or Vintage, or GAF Woodland.

Company Advantages

  • Malarkey Secure Choice Roof System

You have the option to use other brands of products with Malarkey shingles. But Malarkey, like other top brands, offers all the products you need to protect your roof. 

Starting with the decking, Malarkey offers polymer-modified or synthetic underlayments and water and ice barriers in three lines. Arctic Seal (prevents ice dams and leaks; also suitable for valleys and low-slope roofs), 1031 Secure Start Plus (extreme cold -40°F to extreme heat 240°F), or Right Start UDL (steep roof but not severe weather rated). 

Next, there are the Smart Start starter shingles, a generic product compatible with any brand. Malarkey also offers six matched started shingles to fit all shingles lines for the best style integration. 

And then there are three types of hip and ridge shingles - EZ-Ridge 8" or EZ-Ridge XT 10" (both are high-profile), best for architectural or designer shingles or RidgeFlex (low-profile) for 3-tab. For low slope roofs, there's OmniSeal colored cap sheets and Paragon CHROMA Cap.

Pro Tip: To qualify for higher warranties, you typically have to use three or more components by the brand. It's also crucial that you pick an installer who knows how to install your shingles to the manufacturer's standards. Be sure the contractor registers your warranty with the company. 

  • Roofing Contractor Certification

Malarkey offers roofers training in the proper installation of all of the roofing products, allowing them to become certified installers. To get certified, a contractor must meet the appropriate criteria and have enough experience. 

This feature is not unique to Malarkey, as most brands like Owens Corning, GAF, or CertainTeed also offer certified contractors. However, Malarkey does have a three-tier certification, whereas others only have one. The levels are Certified Residential Contractor (minimum credentials), Emerald Pro Contractor, and Emerald Premium Contractor

Pro Tip: Contractors with higher certifications typically charge more than non-certified roofers. However, it's a price worth paying as Malarkey is more likely to pay off a claim if the installation was from a certified contractor.

  • Strong impact resistance

Both of Malarkey's Class 3 (3-tab) and 4 (designer and architectural) shingles proved to be able to withstand flying debris, up to 2" hail, and falling branches without cracking or damaging. 

  • Algae resistant

All of Malarkey's shingles have some type of algae protection, whether it's from copper-coated granules or an upgraded 3M Scotchgard coating. The warranties for stain resistance vary by line. The graph below shows the three product lines with copper granules. Scotchgard shingles have a 20-year stain warranty.

3-tab Dura-Seal

5-year stain warranty

Highlander NEX AR

10-year stain warranty

Vista AR

12-year stain warranty

Pro Tip: Shingles with algae resistance will have an AR after the name. If you live in a climate with a lot of humidity, frequent rainfall, and little sun, or your roof is primarily shady, an AR shingle will keep your roof looking streak-free for longer.

  • NEX technology

Multiple lines offered by Malarkey feature NEX technology. This construction allows the shingles to have the flexibility to not become brittle due to cold and age. It also makes the shingles less likely to tear from the wind or crack due to impact or freezing. 

  • 3M Smog-Reducing Granules

Malarkey shingles can help eliminate air pollution, allowing you to breathe cleaner air. Granules collect sunlight that photocatalytically converts NO, NO2 (smog) into NO3 (water-soluble ions). A roof that's 30 squares (3,000 square feet) can reduce the same amount of pollution as two (or more) trees. 

Editor's Note: Malarkey explains how their shingles reduce air pollution using 3M Smog-Reducing Granules (as featured in TIME Magazine's 50 Best Inventions of 2018). 

Company Disadvantages

  • Limits on warranty transfers

Although Malarkey allows for a warranty transfer once, there are limitations to know. First, the transfer must take place within the Right Start period. Transfers that occur after this period will have a 2-year term, despite the roof starting with a lifetime warranty.

  • Limited Selection

Compared to other brands, Malarkey doesn’t offer as much variety. In total, there are only five lines - 1 strip (3-tab), 3 architectural, and 1 designer. Most of the competitors offer a wider choice.

However, each of the available lines is high-quality and built to last. In terms of colors, Malarkey also offers less selection. If you’re looking for a brightly colored roof, Malarkey might not be the right choice for you. 

  • Warranty denials

Although it’s unlikely that you’ll need to file a claim for material defects, expect some push back if you do. As is typical of all roofing manufacturers, the first course of action is to blame the installer for any failed performance. Using a certified roofer will reduce the likelihood that your claim will get denied.


Malarkey offers the Right Start period, which provides 100% coverage for a set amount of years. After the end of the period, proration starts. Compared to other brands, Malarkey’s warranties are the longest. The graph below demonstrates the different warranty terms. All warranties allow for a one-time transfer to a new owner. 




Material Warranty

Right Start



60 mph/70 mph


7 years

Highlander NEX


110 mph/130 mph


10 years



110 mph/130 mph


12 years



110 mph/130 mph


15 years



110 mph/140 mph


15 years

* Enhanced wind warranties require the use of multiple Malarkey products from the Secure Choice Roof System.

Malarkey Costs

Malarkey has premium pricing in terms of costs, costing more than most other brands, even for 3-tab, which is usually the most affordable line.


Cost per Square (100 sq ft)



Dural Seal AR


Highlander NEX


Highlander NEX AR




Vista AR




Legacy Scotchgard




Expect to pay $200 to $350 a roofing square for labor if you're using a professional contractor. Remember that higher certified contractors will cost more. 

Final Verdict

Malarkey falls into the same class as the top-of-the-line CertainTeed, both in premium costs and high-end construction. The architectural and designer lines are comparable to GAF and Owens Corning, although both second-best brands have a wider selection and cost less. 

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