30 vs 50 vs Lifetime Ratings for Shingles
Paying for a new roof is a big investment, and when the time comes you may find yourself weighing the pros and cons of spending more money on shingles to try to get the best bang for your buck. There are a number of factors you should consider when making this decision.
It’s important to realize that any durability rating for shingles is given with the assumption of ideal conditions. Shingles that are rated for 30 years are expected to last that long in a climate without temperature extremes, with some shade from the sun, and under mild precipitation and wind conditions. The number of houses that experience conditions like these are very few, and in “real world” conditions, it’s likely that 30-year shingles will only last 15 to 20 years, and this depends on routine maintenance and inspection to get ahead of problems before they develop. Longer-rated shingles will generally be built of higher-quality, more durable materials and may come with longer warranties to cover issues such as algae or wind damage.
Spending more money on shingles should also be weighed against other factors aside from wear and tear. Before you go out and buy 50-year shingles in order to get the longest-lasting roof possible, be sure that you’ll actually be living in the home for long enough to experience the benefit of all those extra years! If you’ve just purchased a starter home and anticipate moving into something larger in 5 to 10 years, you may be better served by investing in a less expensive roof. You’ll still be able to use that new roof as a selling point a few years down the line without spending more money than you needed to.
Most new shingles sold today come with some form of limited lifetime warranty, so it’s worth doing your research to see which offer you the best protection, especially if specific issues such as high wind are a problem where you live. You may not need to spend top dollar to get the peace of mind you’re looking for.