30 yr. vs 50 yr. Shingles

bobntessAugust 31, 2009

Hello, I am having my 20+ year old roof re-shingled soon. I have received a very good estimate (IMO) of $2400 for 12 1/2 squares complete, including tearing off old roof, 6 ft. ice barrier, 30 lb felt, new vent boots, ridge vent, & re-flashing chimney. The shingles are 30 year IKO Cambridge - he claims to only use asphalt shingles due to our weather here in NE PA.

I asked for a price with 50 year IKO shingles and was told it would be $1200 more. The roofer doesn't think the additional cost is worth it - he doesn't think the 50 year's are that much heavier.

I would hope that there would be a substantial difference in the 2 and don't mind paying the extra $$ as I want this to be the last time I have to worry about re-roofing.

Any advice or experience would be appreciated, thanks.

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I think any mfgr's lifespan claims on any shingle type is dependent on geographical location. Here in the mojave desert you're not going to get 50 years out of any shingle. Your concern is that the shingle that you choose is installed to mfgrs. warranty guidelines in order that if you need to make a claim, it is valid if installed to those guidelines. I seriously doubt any shingle mfgr will warrant any shingle for the claimed lifespan, but if that's the case, make sure it's a dead on install per mfgr's requirements.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 7:53PM
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On our build in northern california in the sierra nevadas, we went with "50 year" grand manors by certainteed. The shinglers complained about having to work with such a heavy shingle, but we are glad we went the heavier shingle route. Could be your roofers are whiners like ours were?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 7:56PM
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Thanks for the replies. No, I don't realistically think the shingles will last 50 yrs. but would hope they would last considerably longer than the 30 yrs.

Actually the roofer offered to show me a sample of the 50 yr. vs. the 30 yr. and he claims that the 50 yr. isn't much heavier at all - so it doesn't seem that he's complaining about the them being thicker or harder to install.

I just got off the phone with my insurance co. about any rate reduction with a better fire and wind rated shingle and they told me it won't matter?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 4:02PM
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You'd think it would matter! Out here because we get high winds often throughout the year, even with small areas that are damaged, the insurance companies will just pay for a new roof. Most are out of town and dont want the hassle of sending an inspector to see about the repair or even investigating the damage. I have family around the Pittsburgh area. I'm assuming north east P.A. would be a little more severe in the winter months concerning freezing. Ice damming would be the biggest factor not necessarily for the life of the shingle, but the sheathing/underlayments/flashings under them, so be sure your roofer is well known for quality installs in your area. Ask to check out their work by getting addresses of current/past projects ansd check out their references. Make sure they have all the proper licensing/insurances. I think you will be better off seeking out a reputable roofer than worrying about mfgr warranties and insurance discounts. Make sure they install to mfgr's specs in order to keep the warranties valid. Im thinking in your case, with proper underlayments,(ice sheild), flashings installs, you would be alright with the thirty year shingles, but best to take them up on the offer to physically show you the two types so you can judge as well. In areas of severe winters, most roofers are advising to ice sheild the entire roof these days as an underlayment. More costly than ice shield/felt combination, but you might consider going with the thirty year shingles, but ice shield the whole roof. I wish now we would have as our roof is real cut up and the majority is ice shielded any way. Should have asked them to just go ahead and do it all. Oh well! Best of luck!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 5:13PM
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What would he have installed other than asphalt shingles if the weather was warmer?

You may be thinking of organic (cellulose/wood fiber) vs fiberglass base mats. The asphalt fiberglass shingles are thinner, lighter weight, and have a Class A fire classification, but the asphalt organic shingles are supposedly more tear resistant, more flexible in cold weather and have a Class C fire classification.

The manufacturing process required for fiberglass shingles is simpler than for organic shingles since the fiberglass mat doesn't need to be saturated with asphalt before going on to be coated with a more viscose asphalt common to both types. It is the absence of the highly flammable asphalt saturant that gives the fiberglass singles it's better fire classification.

The warranty periods have less to do with the quality of the shingle and more to do with marketing. If someone is willing to pay more for a shingle the manufacturer wants to be able to offer some feature in order to raise the price. Before fiberglass shingles, the weight per 100 s.f. for each shingle model was what they used to indicate quality and raise the price. Now for lightweight fiberglass shingles it's the warranty period.

The company is counting on the fact that most homeowners will not be in the house for 50 years but just in case you do they pro-rate the warranty and don't include labor. In reality it's the first 5 or so years of the warranty that counts. The purpose of a warranty should not be to force the manufacturer to give you 10% of purchase price in the 45th year but to replace them in the first 5 years if they came from a bad batch. All a coating machine has to do is run at the wrong speed or the asphalt be at the wrong temperature or the filler be of a low grade for the shingles to be of poor quality in a 1/2 mile long fully automated plant. If you get past the first 5 years the shingles will probably last until you move.

It is important to get a good installation warranty from the roofing contractor.

The longest lasting shingles are the "architectural" or "laminated" ones. In a hot sunny climate or high altitudes, a lighter color will extend the life of an asphalt shingle longer than any other feature.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 6:26PM
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Go up & read the old post about the failed shingles, Some installed in 2002-3. Class action lawsuit!! Sounds like 30 yr shingles are lasting 5-10 yrs max. Just thought you should know!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 3:05AM
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