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Review Of GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles


If you're in the market for a new roof, you've probably taken the time to look at what shingle options there are to choose from. You have also likely realized there are A LOT of options! Here we're going to take an in-depth look at one of the most popular shingles on the market today, and provide you with an honest review of them.

GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles


GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles are one of the most popular shingles on the market today, and GAF is one of the biggest names in roofing. The shingles hit the market in January of 2020, and quickly became GAF's best selling shingle. But do they live up to the hype? Let's take a more in depth look.

Features Of GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles

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GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles boast a plethora of unique features like the industry's first wind warranty, algae protection, and layer lock technology. What does all of that mean for you as a homeowner? What do these features really do?

Layer Lock Technology

GAF-Timberline-HDZ-layer-lock-technology-1024x614What is LayerLock Technology? It's a fairly new feature introduced by GAF that is supposed to make shingles easier to install as well as standing up better to common roofing issues.

LayerLock Technology:

  • Offers a strike zone (the place where the nails are put into the shingle) over 600% larger than other top shingles - meaning that mistakes in nailing the shingles down are far less likely
  • When installation times were tested by Home Innovations Research Lab, they found installation times for LayerLock shingles were up to 30% faster - which means less labor is required to install your new roof
  • LayerLock creates a unique dual-phase, shingle to shingle seal using Dura Grip sealant in combination with the strikezone nailing area. This creates a strong and uniform bond that increases the shingles strength, durability, and most notably - wind resistance.

Limited Wind Warranty

GAF has a lot of confidence in their Timberline HDZ® Shingles. Because of the advanced seal and bond created with the LayerLock technology, they offer the industry's first wind warranty with no maximum wind speed limit. This is with a four nail per shingle application. This vastly improves upon the previous model - the Timberline HD - which has a 130 mph wind capacity with a six nail per shingle application.

StainGuard Plus Algae Protection

GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles also offer algae protection. This is a new feature in GAF shingles - because it utilizes time release copper instead of traditional algae resistant copper coatings which can wear down and become less effective over time. With this new technology, GAF offers a 25-year StainGuard Plus Algae Protection Limited Warranty against blue-green algae discoloration.

Pros & Cons Of GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles

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As with any roofing shingle, the GAF Timberline HDZ has both it's pros and cons. It's hard to make an informed decision on what's best for you without knowing both the good and the bad, so we've listed out both sides for you.

Pros Of GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles

  • They are easy to install
  • They come with a wind warranty with no maximum wind speed
  • They have 25 year stainguard algae protection
  • The warranty can be transferred if the home is sold

They Are Easy To Install

With the new LayerLock technology GAF offers, GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles are much easier for contractors to install, and the larger strike zone and shingle to shingle adhesive make mistakes much less likely, which means your roof will function better, stand up to extreme weather better, and require less repairs.

Wind Warranty

GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles are the first in the industry to offer this kind of coverage. Most wind warranties top out at a certain speed, but GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles do not have that stipulation. There is even anecdotal evidence of roofs with these shingles installed not losing any shingles in a hurricane.

StainGuard Algae Protection

This is a really innovative feature of GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles. With their newly engineered shingles, they created a shingle that releases copper (which combats algae growth) steadily over time. Most shingles with algae protection simply have a copper coating, which will wear down and become less effective over time. But with the constant release of copper, GAF is able to offer a 25 year warranty against blue-green algae growth.

The Warranty Can Be Transferred

This right here is a huge deal. There is virtually no other company that offers a warranty transfer if you sell your home. This is especially great if you're a homeowner, because if you do choose to move and sell your home, you add a tremendous amount of value by your ability to offer the buyer access to the roof's warranty. There are some stipulations around how exactly this is done, so be sure to verify these steps with GAF if you plan on selling your home and you have this warranty.

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Cons Of GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles

  • The warranty can only be accessed if you install four or more accessories with the shingles
  • The warranty can be complicated
  • They don't offer a unique look
  • There are not many color options

You Must Install Four Or More Accessories With The Shingles

In order to qualify for GAF's most extensive warranty, you are required to install four or more of GAF's approved accessories with your GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles. This means if you are replacing your roof, you need to be sure almost all of your components are coming from GAF. It doesn't leave you much room for choice in other areas, or the ability to choose products or components you may think are better suited for your home.

The Warranty Can Be Complicated

As with any roofing warranty, you're going to have to jump through hoops to utilize it. GAF does offer one of the best and most comprehensive warranties, but the burden of proof is still on the homeowner. Your shingles must be installed correctly and by a GAF certified roofing contractor for starters.

GAF also required proof of damage if there are material defects after installation. GAF wants to be sure that it's a material defect and not a secondary issue caused by your contractor installing the roof improperly - which is why it's so important for you to use a contractor that is certified by GAF. You may also have to provide photo evidence, and a lot of back and forth will be necessary.

They Don't Offer A Unique Look

GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles are an attractive choice for any home, don't get us wrong. But for homeowner's who want their home and roof to stand out, or who are looking for a more unique look, GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles aren't going to offer it to you. They have a fairly standard architectural shingle appearance. Again, while this definitely looks great, it won't make your home stand out.

There Are Not Many Color Options

This one may come as a surprise to many homeowner's. When looking at GAF's website, there are a ton of color options for the Timberline HDZ® Shingles - 29 in fact! However, your actual options are limited by your geographical area. Some colors and finishes are only available in certain areas, and GAF does not ship shingles that are manufactured in the Southwest to the Northeast, for instance.

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Final Review

So, what's our final review of GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles? They are a great option that offers reliable quality with some state of the art features you won't find with other shingles. You won't have the most unique home, but your roof will be protected and stand up to the elements well with proper installation. The warranty can be a headache to utilize, but for the most part it shouldn't be necessary, as these shingles hold up especially well when stacked against other shingles, even ones that are offered by GAF.

In conclusion: if you like the look of an architectural shingle roof and are looking for something that will last, GAF Timberline HDZ® Shingles are a great choice.

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