Shingles are an overlooked component of your home. More than just a part of aesthetic appeal, shingles shield your home from precipitation, winds, extreme temperatures, and other dangers. Not only that, but shingles can be a huge investment. These days, there are choices between materials, like asphalt and ceramic, as well as composition versus architectural shingles, and more.
When you start comparing shingles side by side, you might notice that some architectural shingles can last twice as cheaper shingles, some up to 50 years! But do you really need shingles that last that long? Are 50-year shingles worth the money?
We’re going to answer those questions and more, so keep reading.
What Are Architectural Shingles?
First, since we’re going to be talking about different kinds of shingles, it’s important to know a little bit about each type. There are ones called composition shingles, which are thin and cheap and need replacing every decade or so. Asphalt shingles can stay on for twice as long. There are also metal and ceramic roofs that will last a lifetime, if not longer.
Then, there are architectural shingles, which are a premium version of asphalt shingles that have been on the market since the 1970s. Architectural shingles off more color, shapes, and sizes than traditional 3-tab shingles and can add more dimension to a home.
What’s The Difference Between 30-Year vs. 50-Year Shingles?
Architectural shingles are divided into two sub-categories based on their limited warranties. By saying this, you might already realize that the difference between a 30-year shingle and a 50-year one is how long the product is guaranteed to last. In other words, 30-year architectural shingles are covered by the manufacturer from any unforeseen defects that could occur once the shingles are installed.
Similarly, 50-year shingles are guaranteed for 50 years; they also have enhanced materials to assist with lasting through whatever can be thrown at your roof—severe storms, hail, heatwaves, and more.
Are 50-Year Shingles Right For Your Home?
Now, 50-year shingles might sound like a bargain. You get enhanced protection from superior quality shingles and a warranty that will probably outlast your time at your property. So, why wouldn’t you get them?
Well, it depends. There are a couple of factors that go into determining if 50-year shingles are worth it or not.
How Long Will You Live There?
The first question you should always ask yourself is if you are really planning on enjoying your current home for 50 years or more. If you’re planning on leaving within a couple of decades, you probably don’t need 50-year shingles. The first reason for this is the math. In terms of cost, 50-year shingles don’t add any more value to your home than 25-year or 30-year shingles. Part of this is due to labor-related expenses, such as removing the old roof and disposing of the debris.
The other reason is that if you’re not going to stay there, why would you put pay such an expense for something you won’t need in the future? While the new owner of your home will thank you for the incredible upgrade, it doesn’t really benefit you in the long run.
Lifespan of Shingles
The next thing you need to consider is this: 50-year shingles do not necessarily have a lifespan of 50 years. In fact, they usually fall 5-10 years short of that period.
While this is sometimes caused by improper installation, it is more often the result of poor maintenance or negligence. Most homeowners don’t realize that shingles need to be maintained and cleaned, regardless of how good the warranty may be or how resilient the shingles are made.
If you can commit to the routine maintenance of your roof, then you can extend the lifespan of any kind of shingle, whether they are 25-year shingles or 50-year ones.
Many architectural shingles, regardless of how long they are said to last, now come with lifetime warranties. This includes popular brands like GAF Timberline and Owens Corning. Keep in mind that this doesn’t cover any 3-Tab shingles on the market, though that may change.
Unfortunately, most of these basic warranties only cover manufacturer defects, not damage. In other words, whether you install 30-year or 50-year shingles, the result is still going to be the same if they get ruined by fallen branches in 5 years.
So you need to consider the cost of the shingles, the warranty packages, and even the cost of repairing damages to your roof.
Conclusion: Are 50-Year Shingles Worth It?
So, now that you know a little more about architectural shingles and their lifespan, as well as factors going into the overall value of 50-year shingles, we can answer the question: Are 50-year shingles worth it? Again, it depends on your situation. If you plan on living at your current property forever, can commit to routine maintenance, and need superior protection, it could be a worthwhile investment. On the other hand, if you plan on moving or can’t afford such a hefty price tag right now, 25-year or 30-year shingles might be a better match.
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