My 25 year roof failed after 10 years!?
More and more homeowners are seeking out alternative roofing solutions to asphalt because they are tired of their roofs only lasting 7-15 years. There are many contributing factors to the stigma surrounding asphalt shingles. Here we outline some of the main causes:
- Inflated Manufacturers Warranties
- False Promises from Roofing Contractors
- The Organic Era
- Poor Workmanship
- Inadequate Roof Specification
- Foreign Objects – Antennas and Solar Panels
Inflated Manufacturers Warranties
Shingle manufacturers are continually trying to one-up their competitors. It started with the promise of a 10 year warranty, which was soon trumped by 15… and then 20… and then 25. Today shingle manufacturers have made it simple for homeowners because almost everything is LIFETIME! Technically, the word "Lifetime" means as long as the original individual owner(s) of a single family detached residence [or the second owner(s) in certain circumstances] owns the property where the shingles and accessories are installed. For owners/structures not meeting above criteria, Lifetime coverage is not applicable. This confusing disclaimer raises a good question, if manufacturers have enough faith in their product to offer a lifetime warranty to an individual residence, why does this confidence change if the same product is installed on a church? Homeowners are often confused by the answer: Marketing. Even though the term LIFETIME sounds all inclusive, a standard warranty provides 100% coverage on shingles ONLY against manufacturer’s defects for the first 10 years. Workmanship errors and problems that are not related to shingles are not covered under basic coverage. Extended warranties are available through certified roofing contractors (Click here to learn more about warranties). On top of this detail, shingle manufacturers protect themselves with pages of legal mumbo jumbo that is often overlooked by homeowners. When choosing a warranty, it is important you have a professional explain the fine print.
False Promises from Roofing Contractors
In today’s LIFETIME market it is important to understand that a lifetime shingle is probably not going to last 50 years. A contractor that guarantees your shingle will last forever is playing the same game that manufacturers often do. They are betting that you will likely move by the time the roof is due for replacement. Shingle warranties are designed under ideal conditions, not the four drastically different seasons that Windsor and the surrounding areas go through. At Dayus we expect (but do not guarantee) that a well installed fiberglass laminate shingle will last 20 to 25 years. This makes choosing the right warranty and understanding your protection all the more important. It is a salesman’s job to impress the customer enough to earn their business. Be leery of the sales pitch that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The Organic Era
The asphalt roofing industry has been tainted by a recent history of underperforming products. One of the largest contributing factors to this stigma was the Organic Shingle era. Through the 90’s and early 2000’s organic based shingles became extremely popular, at which time they were claimed to be the next best thing by manufacturers. The idea of the organic shingles was to create a heavier shingle that would result in a stronger roof while using more natural materials in the process. The construction of organic shingles used a paper base sheet that was saturated with asphalt prior to the granule application process. In today’s market, fiberglass shingles are the most popular choice, which has corrected many of the problems that organic shingles created. However, the scars of the organic era still remain.
The two largest issues with organic shingles include:
- The core materials used were not strong enough to last the test of time
- There were some critical manufacturing errors made during the construction process.
The paper base sheet of organic products dried out faster than manufacturers expected resulting in curling, granule loss, exposed base sheet, brittle shingles, cracking and breakage. Some of the products that have had the most problems in Windsor Essex include:
- BP : Rampart, Mirage and Tradition
- IKO : Renaissance and Chateau
- Certainteed : Independance
Most manufacturers have been very reasonable with their warranty settlements and some have even reached agreements during class action lawsuits. If you currently have one of the above products installed on your home or another organic based shingle we encourage you to investigate your remaining coverage. A representative from Dayus Roofing would be more than willing to help you through the process. Warranty claim forms may seem discouraging, but with the price of today’s roof replacements manufacturers have to protect themselves. With the guidance of a rep from Dayus the process can be handled quickly and professionally, maximizing the return of a claim.
The most important aspect of a roof replacement is the workmanship provided for the installation. Shingle manufacturers do not care if their product is installed upside down and backwards, so long as their products are being sold. It is the responsibility of the contractor to ensure the job is done right and the responsibility of the homeowner to choose the right contractor. When choosing a contractor make sure they employ certified, experienced roofers and abide by all building codes and manufacturer’s recommendations. If you need help with this take a look at our Contractor Selection Guide.
Inadequate Roof Specification
Often homeowners will buy the cheapest roof available to them and then are upset when their roof somehow fails prematurely. Too many homeowners make the mistake of thinking all roofs are the same. In Windsor and Essex County each roofer specifies their roofs differently. A roof replacement is one of the largest maintenance costs of owning a home and too often homeowners allow price to be the deciding factor in their purchase. Fortunately it is not a cost that happens very often and proper planning and savings can make the investment a lot less stressful. It is essential to make sure that the roofing system you are investing in abides by all building codes and manufacturer’s recommendations. It can be difficult to compare the variances between contractor’s specifications, and homeowners are often misguided by differences in claims made by salesman. Many homeowners will look to cut costs wherever they can to save money up front. This is a mistake that has cost hundreds of homeowners thousands of dollars in the long run. Educate yourself about roofing prior to making a purchase and save wisely to prepare yourself. Investing a little more initially in the face value of your roof can pay huge dividends over its lifetime.
Foreign Objects – Antennas and Solar Panels
It may sound crazy or like an excuse for a failed roof, but foreign objects such as antennas and hot stacks can cause your roof to deteriorate more quickly than normal. Take a look at the following images:
Pretty easy to spot the similarity (if you missed it we are referring to the antennas). Foreign objects create quite a predicament because they are often required to be located on the roof. For example, antennas get the best signal at the highest point of the home, but do cause problems with your shingles. If possible, it is recommended to keep foreign objects off of your roof.
The above images are all of organic based shingles. However, even the latest fiberglass shingles are affected by foreign objects. The biggest problems include:
- RUST that can corrode your shingles and leave streaks.
- BIRDS are attracted to antennas and other objects and tend to leave presents behind that can cause corrosion of your shingles.
- HOLES are created when fastening objects to your roof that can be the source of future problems and leaks.
Antennas, satellites, hot stacks and vent pipes all are known to cause problems, which are by no means limited to asphalt shingles. Time will tell what kind of effects having a large solar panel system on your roof will have.
Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular on homeowners roof tops, but the same logic applies to all foreign objects. Many solar companies install their panels by driving large spikes with simple rubber fasteners through your roof and rely on caulking to keep them watertight. All solar companies make promises that their panels will not leak and are maintenance free. History and a 94 year old history (which is significantly longer than any solar company in Windsor Essex) have taught us that regardless the promises made to you, it is important to consult with a roofing professional before installing solar panels. All objects are supposed to be installed using corrosion proof materials so that rust is not created, but this does not keep the birds away. Time will tell what kind of effects having a large solar panel system on your roof will have.
Only 3% of roofing contractors in North America are Master Elite Certified through GAF. Click Here to learn more about the Dayus Advantage.
Roofing 101 Topics
- Roof Design Types
- Early Deterioration
- Warning Signs
- Problem Areas
- Building Code
- Deck Preparation
- Material Options
- Metal Flashings
- Valleys & Ridges
- Common Mistakes
50 years materials defects coverage and a 25 year workmanship guarantee makes the GAF Golden Pledge one of the best warranties in the industry today! Click here to learn more.