Most if not all shingle manufacturers have changed the warranties on their shingles to a limited lifetime warranty.

What does this mean to the homeowner? Laminated or architectural shingles used to be rated as 30 year, 40 year 50 year or Lifetime. As of January 1, 2011 most of these shingles carry a limited lifetime warranty even though the shingles themselves have not changed.

An unscrupulous contractor can come in and let’s say you have a shingle rated previously as a 50 year shingle, they may tell you they are upgrading you to a lifetime shingle and give you a lesser quality shingle than you currently have. Taking the extra insurance money as profit. It isn’t exactly lying, but it certainly isn’t telling you the whole truth.

GAF, Certainteed, Owens Corning, Atlas, Tamko, have all changed their warranties on architectural shingles, 3-tab shingles at this point have not changed. It is important to know what is on your roof and what your insurance company is paying for. It is also important to make sure you are dealing with a quality contractor if there is a hail storm don’t hire the first guy to knock on your door, make sure you are dealing with a local contractor and not a storm chaser. If you have t-locks then the new limited lifetime architectural shingle will be an upgrade to what you currently have, but should not cost you more, since t-locks have been discontinued.

It may seem like there is no reason to upgrade to a higher quality shingle since they now basically have the same warranty, however the heavier shingles have more asphalt content and can typically handle higher winds and small hail better than the lighter shingles. There are also impact resistant shingles which may cost more up front, but might reduce your insurance premiums. Over time these shingles can save money because of reduced insurance premiums and the possibility of avoiding another deductible. No shingle is Hail proof, but impact resistant ones can stand up to larger hail than non-impact resistant ones. The other option is to upgrade for asthetics, shingles like Carriage House, Grand Manor, Highland Slate and Presidential Shake all have unique design features that make them an attractive option.