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What are Defective Shingles? (CertainTeed Horizon, Atlas Chalet)

What are Defective Shingles? (CertainTeed Horizon, Atlas Chalet)

As your roof ages, you may begin to observe certain indicators of wear and tear, including granule loss and the possibility of shingles blistering or cracking. However, in some instances, homeowners may notice these issues well before their roof reaches its expected lifespan. Several factors can contribute to these premature signs of deterioration.

In some cases, the premature deterioration of roofing materials can be attributed to a poorly executed roof installation. Incorrect installation practices may lead to vulnerabilities that accelerate the aging process.

While roofing manufacturers strive to produce reliable and durable shingles, occasional defects can occur. These defects may arise as manufacturers explore new methods and materials for roofing products. Such issues are not typically intentional but rather a result of experimentation and production variations.

It's important for homeowners to be vigilant about monitoring their roofs for any signs of deterioration or defects, even before the anticipated lifespan of the roof.

In this blog, we will break down

Let’s get started!


In recent history, homeowners have encountered issues with certain defective shingle products, notably CertainTeed's Horizon shingle and Atlas's Chalet shingle. While both of these products have been discontinued (in 2005 and 2010, respectively), they can still occasionally be found on roofs, which is why addressing these issues remains relevant.more horizon_WebP

In the 1980s, architectural shingles were considerably more expensive than they are today and pricier than the prevailing three-tab shingles of that era. In an attempt to bridge this cost gap, CertainTeed and Atlas developed shingles that mimicked the appearance of architectural shingles but were structured like three-tab shingles. They achieved this by adhering an additional layer of granules to the top of a standard three-tab shingle. CertainTeed also sought to reduce costs by using an organic paper mat instead of the fiberglass backing that was the standard for many shingle products at the time.

However, despite the promising theory, these products faced practical challenges and did not perform as expected in practice. These issues with defective shingles underscore the importance of selecting reputable roofing materials and manufacturers to ensure the longevity and durability of your roof.


The defective shingles, including CertainTeed's Horizon shingle and Atlas's Chalet shingle, faced several challenges that affected their performance and led to their discontinuation:

Initially, the paper mat used in the Horizon shingles began to blister and degrade quickly when granules were dislodged, exposing the mat to sunlight. This accelerated the deterioration of the shingles and compromised their durability.damaged horizon_WebP

While CertainTeed transitioned to using fiberglass in the Horizon shingles to address the paper mat problem, it did not resolve the overall wear and longevity issues that continued to plague these shingles for several years.

Atlas discontinued its Chalet shingle line in 2010 due to similar issues, while CertainTeed pulled its Horizon shingles from the market in 2009. Homes with these defective shingles today may experience leaks, increased moisture levels, and reduced insulation effectiveness, as the shingles are unable to provide adequate protection and performance.

For homeowners who suspect that their roof may contain these defective shingles, it's advisable to consult with a professional roofer for a thorough assessment and to explore options for remediation or replacement to ensure the integrity and longevity of their roofing system.

Identify defective shingles?

Distinguishing between defective shingles like CertainTeed Horizon shingles and standard architectural shingles can sometimes be challenging due to their visual similarities. However, there are certain characteristics and methods to identify them.

CertainTeed Horizon shingles often feature a distinct and pronounced black "shadow" line that appears between the shingle layers. While this line may appear normal and resemble the textured shadows found on architectural shingles from a distance, a closer examination reveals that it was intentionally added to simulate the architectural look.up close on horizon_WebP

To confidently identify defective shingles and assess the condition of your roof, it's advisable to have a professional roofing contractor conduct a thorough inspection. Experienced contractors are typically well-versed in recognizing roofing materials and can readily identify whether your roof is covered with this type of material.

Relying on a professional roofer's expertise can help homeowners determine the presence of defective shingles and make informed decisions about any necessary steps, such as replacement or remediation, to ensure the reliability and longevity of their roofing system.


The extent of insurance coverage for roofs with defective shingles can vary widely depending on your specific insurance policy, provider, and the manufacturer of the shingles in question.

CertainTeed faced a class action lawsuit in 2009 regarding the premature failure of the paper mats used in their organic Horizon shingles. A similar lawsuit has been filed for the fiberglass Horizon shingles, though no settlement has been reached. Atlas has also encountered issues with their shingles, resulting in homeowners filing lawsuits against them.

Insurance coverage for roofs with defective shingles will largely depend on the terms and provisions outlined in your insurance policy. It's essential to review your policy carefully to understand the coverage available in such situations.

Since the shingles in question have been discontinued, it may no longer be possible to repair any damage with the same shingles. You may need to consider installing a different type of shingle that may not match your existing roofing system. Some roofing contractors may not recommend or be willing to perform such mismatched installations.unmatched shingles_WebP

Your insurance company will assess the extent of damage and may determine whether repairs with mismatched shingles are sufficient or if a full roof replacement is necessary. The outcome may vary based on the insurance provider's evaluation.

To navigate insurance claims related to defective shingles, it's advisable to consult with your insurance agent and potentially seek legal counsel if necessary. Understanding your policy's coverage and working closely with professionals can help you address the issues effectively and ensure your roofing system's integrity.

WHAT Can you Do About it?

If you suspect that you might have defective shingles on your roof, taking proactive steps is essential to address any potential issues and ensure the long-term integrity of your roofing system.

Here are some recommended actions:

Contact a Roofing Contractor: Reach out to a professional roofing contractor with experience in assessing roofing materials and identifying potential problems. They can inspect your roof thoroughly to check for storm damage, defective shingles, or any areas that may require attention.

Request an Inspection: Schedule a comprehensive roof inspection to assess the condition of your roof. The roofing contractor can identify any signs of damage, shingle defects, or areas that may be compromised.

Estimate Roof Replacement: Based on the inspection findings, the roofing contractor can provide you with an estimate for roof replacement if it is deemed necessary. They will consider factors such as the type of shingles, the extent of damage, and the scope of work required.

Consult with Your Insurance Company: If applicable, discuss the inspection results and estimated costs with your insurance company. They can provide guidance on the coverage available for repairs or replacement, depending on your policy.

Consider Timely Action: Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage to your roof and home. Delaying necessary repairs or replacement could lead to more extensive and costly problems.

Choose High-Quality Roofing Materials: If you decide to replace your roof, consider investing in high-quality roofing materials and hiring a reputable contractor to ensure a durable and long-lasting roofing system.

Taking these steps will help you determine the condition of your roof, address any potential problems, and make informed decisions about necessary repairs or replacement to protect your home and investment.

On Tops Roofing has been working with Raleigh homeowners for their roof repairs and replacements since 1991! Whatever your roof requires, We're on it!

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