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The History of Malarkey Roofing Products


Since its origin in 1956, Malarkey Roofing Products has been an innovator. It all began with Herbert Malarkey Paper Company producing card stock paper rolls, which evolved into felt paper for the roofing industry. Within four years the plant was expanded to manufacture the company’s first 3-tab shingles, marking the official launch of the roofing division.

While Michael Malarkey took over the reins as president of the company in 1975, Malarkey Roofing Products installed the first random lay, fiberglass mat machine in Western North America, and the first 20-year shingle warranty was born.

During his childhood, Michael had traveled to Germany to spend the summer with family friends, where he was introduced to the process of modifying asphalt with polymers for use in roll roofing. Polymers allowed the asphalt to bend and flex with the fiberglass, reducing issues of wrinkling and ushering in the next era of built-up roofing. In 1977, armed with years of research and development, Malarkey Roofing Products introduced the first SBS polymer modified base sheet in North America.

Years ahead of the sustainability curve to come, Malarkey partnered with the City of Portland in 1984 to install a methane recovery pipeline from a nearby wastewater treatment plant which helped power the manufacturing facility and reduce natural gas consumption by over 80 percent. In recognition of this innovation, Malarkey received the State of Oregon Governor’s Energy Award for Outstanding Achievements in Energy Conservation.

In 1986, with the success of polymer modified commercial systems, Malarkey introduced the first SBS polymer modified roofing shingle. The rubber-like characteristics were well suited to the cold weather and high winds of the Alaskan coastline, where the new shingle earned its name, The Alaskan®. Malarkey began independent wind testing of The Alaskan® in 1993 that showed the shingle withstood110 miles per hour, setting a standard that remains a benchmark for shingle performance in North America. 

In 2003, Malarkey became the first manufacturer to receive the 3M Scotchgard designation for algae resistant shingles designed to prevent the black streaks on shingles caused by algae growth.

After observing installation issues with architectural laminate shingles throughout the industry, Malarkey took on the task of re-engineering the product design. The Malarkey technical team tapered the shim and enlarged the nailing strip on laminate shingles to 1¾” to prevent leaks due to troughing and ensure the contractor had the opportunity to fasten shingles quickly and correctly every time. This revolutionary design was patented as The Zone® nailing area and went on to earn the company the Outstanding Service Award from the Western States Roofing Contractors Association.

As sustainability came to the forefront of environmental concern in 2009, Malarkey released their first solar reflective shingle, Ecoasis™ Premium. Solar reflective shingles feature Cool Roofing granules from 3M that reflect solar rays, which may reduce the amount of heat entering a home compared to standard shingle colors.

Looking to add a designer shingle to their product line, Malarkey began their work with roofing contractors to re-engineer the designer shingle. Over the next two years the Windsor® polymer modified asphalt shingle was engineered to incorporate designer looks with ease of installation customized to fit contractor needs.

After years of dedicated recycling programs, Malarkey brought in Green Circle Certified, LLC for review and third-party certification of the process. In 2015, all three Malarkey Roofing Products asphalt roofing production facilities received the Waste Diversion from Landfill certification with over 90% of waste diverted from the landfill.

After 60 years, Malarkey remains a pioneer of quality, performance, and innovation in the roofing industry.