GAF Materials Corporation claims to be the largest manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing products in North America. GAF operates as a subsidiary of Standard Industries and is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey. Standard Industries is a privately held company. GAF reported revenue of $3.2 billion for the fiscal year ending Dec 31, 2016.
GAF was founded in 1886 as Standard Paint Company. Standard Paint developed an easily transported ready-to-use asphalt shingle product called “Ruberoid”. In 1921 Standard Paint changed its name to The Ruberoid Company, reflecting the popularity of the product. In 1933 Ruberoid introduced Tite-On shingles, which were the first interlocking roofing shingles.
1967 was an auspicious year: The Ruberoid Company was acquired by chemical giant General Aniline & Film, and also released the Timberline line of asphalt shingles. In 1968 the company’s name was changed to GAF, an acronym of General Aniline & Film.
Samuel J. Heyman took control of GAF in 1983 and it continues to be owned by the Heyman family. Today the company employs about 3,200 employees in 29 plants across the United States.
GAF’s parent company, Standard Industries, bought ElkCorp -- another roofing company in 2007. In 2016 the company acquired Icopal, a roofing materials company based in Denmark. In 2017 Standard Industries purchased Braas Monier Building Group. Standard Industries has more than 15,000 employees in 80 countries.
Many roofing brands offer credentialing opportunities. These can be a win-win-win opportunity for the brand, roofers and homeowners. GAF provides training and marketing tools to the roofers, who purchase more materials from GAF. The roofer uses the credential as a marketing tool to win more contracts with homeowners. The homeowner gets a contractor that has factory training and access to better warranties from GAF. However, you as the homeowner should not use the credential as a replacement for doing your due diligence on the skills and reputation of the roofer that you hire.
As a first step, when a contractor tells you that they are CAF certified, you should ask for their GAF contractor ID. The ID will begin with the letters “ME” followed by 5 digits. (For example: ME12345). Then, visit GAF’s contractor verification page and verify that the contractor currently has the GAF certification that they claim.
GAF offers 4 levels of certification to roofing contractors. From the highest level of certification to the lowest, they are:
Master Elite contractors must prove that they:
Each certification level offers contractors ways to increase business by providing training and marketing tools to generate leads. Contractors get discounts on products and financing, and can earn rewards which include clothing, truck signs and vacations by joining the GAF Master Rewards Program.
GAF offers several roofing lines, including a Lifetime Roofing System which offers a choice of either Timberline (the most popular), Specialty, or Designer shingles. A value collection of Designer shingles includes Camelot II, Sienna, Slateline, Grand Sequoia, Grand Sequoia ArmourShield, and Woodland shingles. Three-tab shingles are offered as an economical shingle line. GAF also offers the DecoTech, a low-profile solar roofing system.
GAF has a Sustainability Mission Statement which states, in part: “GAF is proud to promote sustainability in all areas of our business. We practice and support new technologies in energy efficiency, material optimization, and recycling that help conserve natural resources….”
Some of the products and initiatives that GAF highlights include:
Warranties on roofing shingles are complicated. They differ based on whether the products are installed on residential buildings vs commercial buildings. They differ based on whether you are the original owner of the home, the 2nd owner or subsequent owners. They differ depending on whether the 2nd owner notifies GAF within 60 days. The moral of this story is that you will need to research your warranty carefully if you believe that you have a claim against the company.
GAF warranties also vary according to product and according to whether the contractor that installs the shingles is certified by GAF, and their level of certification.
GAF warranties cover two essential costs in the event that a manufacturer defect adversely affects the performance of your roofing materials:
GAF warranties come with a labor warranty period where the company will cover labor costs if your shingles have a manufacturer’s defect. (GAF calls this the “Smart Choice® Protection Period”).
GAF offers 3 more comprehensive warranties: