“I have a 50 year shingle, it is only 3 years old, I don’t need an inspection.”
At Red Line Restoration, we hear this all the time. We understand why homeowners would be under the assumption that their shingle will last for the advertised lifespan…because contractors use that lisfespan as a selling point! This blog will discuss why the practice of selling a shingle’s lifespan is unfair to you, and why an annual roof inspection is crucial to the well-being of your home.
What does Limited Lifetime, 40-year, and 30-year shingle life really mean?
The lifespan listed on the shingle packaging can be a little misleading. First of all, shingle life expectancy is based on accelerated timeline tests done in perfect lab conditions. To be clear, your 40-year shingle was not tested for 40 years. It was tested using artificial weather conditions over a short period of time based on national averages, and then the rate of shingle decay is used as a factor in a complicated math equation to get a rough estimate of the lifespan of any given shingle. This means that a shingle maintains its advertised life expectancy, no matter where in the country it is installed, with no regard for the unique weather characteristics of the actual location of the install.
The advertised lifespan also correlates to the length of time that a manufacturer provides warranty coverage to the material. Generally speaking, manufacturer’s cover a shingle against manufacturer defect for 10-15 years at a non-prorated rate. In the event of a manufacturer defect in the non-prorated coverage period, replacement shingles (this does not cover any of costly accessory products) and the labor to install them (not the labor to remove the old or the disposal) will be provided by the manufacturer. After the non-prorated period expires, the manufacturer drops coverage for the labor, and begins to prorate the coverage on the cost of shingles alone until the advertised life of the roof is reached. Many contractors will offer to sell you an extended warranty, which extends the length of time that your roof is covered against manufacturer defects at a non-prorated rate and usually covers the entire roofing system as opposed to just the shingles.
What is covered under my shingle warranty?
Did anyone notice how many times I said “against manufacturer defects” in the last paragraph? The warranty on your shingle ONLY covers you against product failure due to normal wear and tear. It only covers you if the manufacturer cannot find any other reason for the roof to fail. Other reasons may include; poor installation, installation in cold weather, insufficient ventilation, recent storm activity, etc. Your warranty does not cover you for any additional damages to the home. For example, damage created inside your home when the roof leaks. The shingle warranty DOES NOT cover you against hail, even if you paid for fancy “Impact Resistant” shingles. Finally, some shingle manufacturers have a requirement for an annual roof inspection to be completed for their warranty to remain effective on your roof. They don’t want to respond to a warranty claim that could have been mitigated years prior, but now needs to be fully replaced due to roof not being inspected on a regular basis.
Why did my contractor sell me on a Limited Lifetime Product?
Roofing materials are marketed partly based on their life expectancy, and honestly, it would be weird if we as roof salesmen didn’t mention that. However, over the last few years, the market has shifted and now every asphalt product is listed as a “Limited Lifetime” product. That means the life-expectancy really isn’t a selling point anymore, and it is unfair to the consumer to be tricked into thinking that they are getting a long term option, when they aren’t. If your roofer doesn’t send out an annual reminder email to schedule a roof inspection, like Red Line Restoration does, then they are allowing you to be deceived by the advertising.
Real Life Example:
In early August, one of Red Line’s Senior Field Representatives performed an inspection on a roof that was 8 years old. The house was located in an area that was affected by large hail exactly 1 year prior. The homeowners had just purchased the home before the storm, and it was fully inspected by their home inspector and their insurance company. The home inspector inspected the roof before the storm, and the insurance company inspected the roof after the storm. On both occasions the roof passed with nothing more than a comment about a few “nail pops.” When I knocked on the door one year later, I was told that the roof was only 8 years old, it had been inspected when they bought the home, and it was a lifetime product….why then would I want to waste my time looking at it again? After a little conversation, the homeowners agreed to have me look at the roof. It is a very good thing they did. The pictures in this blog are all from this roof. The roof was covered in blisters and had thousands, that’s right, thousands of potential leak points. This change happened in one year. A blister is a manufacturing defect (therefore covered under the manufacturer warranty) that occurs when pockets of gas are trapped beneath the granuals during production. Eventually, the gas expands enough to pop, and creates little craters in the shingle surface. Red Line is working diligently with the homeowner to file a warranty claim and hopefully replace the roof before winter to avoid melting snow from entering the home through the thousands of little holes.
What can you do?
Red Line believes in bringing a new approach to the roofing industry. Instead of building a business that thrives on repeat customers, we want to build a business that thrives because our customers are so pleased with our work that they tell all of their friends. We aim to accomplish this is two ways. We offer our “Peace of Mind: Roof Management and Repair Program”, and we offer superior products that ARE WARRANTIED against hail. Call Red Line Restoration today to learn more about our Peace of Mind program and our superior products!