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Are 50 Year Shingles Right for Your Home?

When it comes to making improvements on the exterior of your home, the roof is one of the most obvious areas to update. You may have shingles that have faded, sections that are missing, or even some wood rot that threatens the structural integrity of your roof. Many roofing companies will try to talk you into purchasing 50-year shingles, but are they really worth the investment?

If you are wondering whether to opt for the longer warranty on your roof, you should make sure you have all of the facts first. Here are some of the things that you should consider before you sink the extra money into your roof.

How long will you live here?

The most obvious question you need to ask yourself is how long you plan to live in this home. If you plan to sell it within the next ten to twenty years, you may not truly need 50-year architectural shingles.

You may choose to bless the next homeowner with this excellent upgrade, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get your investment back when the house is placed on the market. According to real estate professionals, you might not get back the difference between what you would have paid for twenty to thirty-year shingles and fifty-year shingles.

It is always worth asking your roofing professionals what the cost difference will be between twenty-year shingles and their fifty-year counterparts. Because you will already be paying for the labor associated with tearing out your old roof and installing new roofing your home, the cost difference between these two materials may be relatively minimal. In the end, you may choose to upgrade simply to put your own mind at ease.

Of course, you might find that the style and color that you like is only available in the fifty-year warranty. If this is the case, you should not hesitate to choose the design that you love the most. After all, the roof is a significant part of your home and can drastically impact your curb appeal. Particularly if the price difference is nominal, you should consider purchasing the shingles you really love.

The real lifespan of a shingle

Unfortunately, it is a possibility that your shingles may not make it to their expected lifespan. Some contractors would argue that 50-year roof shingles will not actually last you for the full fifty years. Instead, they may fall five to ten years shy of that benchmark.

Improper maintenance means that they may not even last that long. You drastically reduce the lifespan of your roof by not taking the time to care for it properly from the very beginning.

Instead of replacing the entire roof every fifteen years, commit to doing regular maintenance on it. Cleaning the shingles and making repairs as needed are easy ways to extend the lifespan of your roof.

Many people are drawn in by shingles that advertise themselves as algae-resistant. Unfortunately, this is extremely misleading to homeowners who install these shingles, believing that they never need to be cleaned. The reality is that they will only truly be algae-resistant for the first year or two following installation.

Limited lifetime warranties

Back in 2011, many of the major companies that are responsible for manufacturing shingles made a drastic switch that benefits homeowners greatly. Instead of offering twenty to fifty-year warranties on their architectural shingles, they now offer limited lifetime warranties to homeowners. This includes top name brands such as the GAF 50 year shingles and the Owens Corning 50 year shingles.

Keep in mind that this shift applies only to the architectural shingles. Three-tab varieties have not made a similar switch in warranty coverage yet.

You should also know what these warranties exactly cover. In fact, they only cover one thing: manufacturer defect. The manufacturer may ask you to send them a sample of your damaged shingles to determine whether manufacturer defects are present before issuing a claim. Alternatively, they may send a representative out to your home to take a few photos and evaluate your claim in person.

Poorly installed equipment could cause major problems later.

If you have damage to your roof coming from hail, wind, tree branches, or any other type of storm damage, the warranty does not apply. These items will not be covered by the warranty on the shingles, but they might be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. It is best to know what your insurance policy includes to make sure that you are covered, no matter what happens to your roof.

Choosing the right shingles

Many homeowners are confronted with a choice about what kind of shingles they want to install on their roof. You may find that there is a significant cost difference between the thirty-year shingles and the fifty-year shingles. Deciding which one to go with can be a little complicated. If you have been struggling to choose what shingles are the best for your home, this short guide can give you the answers you need to make a wise financial investment.

Thomas Luttrell
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