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Asphalt Shingles Today

Trying to make sense of Asphalt Roofing Shingles today can be a difficult task. Common questions we hear include: Who makes the best shingles? Does my house require a specific type of shingle? Aren’t they all the same?

Asphalt roofing shingles, in various forms, have been around since the turn of the 19th century. Technological advances, in both production and ingredients, continue to promote change throughout the product line. Today, Roofing shingle companies have the capacity to produce thousands of squares of roofing shingles each week. From felt and asphalt to palletizing the finished product, everything is automated. It is an impressive process to watch!

One of the results of improved technology is the introduction of “new” ingredients to help reduce manufacturing costs while providing an “improved” product compared to yester-year. So while the shingles get lighter – the warranty gets better! In the early 1990’s, a typical architect shingle weight was 250 lbs. per square (a square being 100 S.F.), and carried a 25-year warranty. Proven performance of the product prompted the industry to extend the warranty to 30-years. Today, that same shingle weighs between 235-238 lbs. per square and has a “limited lifetime” warranty.

A few years ago, a leading roofing product manufacturer introduced the first “Limited Lifetime Warranty” sending the industry into confusion as other manufacturers scrambled to be competitive – with some adopting similar limited lifetime warranties, while others did not. The essence of a limited lifetime warranty is the change in the upfront coverage. In the past, shingles were usually warrantied for the first 5 years for 100% replacement coverage. This means if your shingles failed during the first 5 years, due to manufacturing defects, you would have coverage to remove the roof and replace it at no cost to you. After that initial period the warranty is pro-rated to include shingles only, no labor, no anything else. The logic being that if you were going to have a problem it would most likely be in the first 5 years. With todays limited lifetime warranty, the upfront coverage increases to 10 years, then is pro-rated to include shingles only after that period expires.

Roofing contractors, you have the opportunity to become a certified installer with the shingle manufacturing company of your choice. This enables you to offer longer warranties for labor depending on the level of certification. Most roofing product manufacturers have a list of their certified installers on their website, which is one of the benefits of being certified.

It is wise for consumers to check to see if a contractor is certified. It is so important to choose the right contractor for your roofing project, to make sure it is installed correctly. If you end up with a claim, a manufacturer’s representative will come out to inspect the roof, and if they find that it was not installed to their specifications – NO warranty. At Shepley we deal with many reputable contractors and are always happy to recommend them to you for your roofing needs. Shepley primarily sells Certainteed Roofing Shingles as we feel they best suit our needs and the needs of our customers. Certainteed is a local company, based out of Norwood, Mass., with a very high level of customer service. Shepley also maintains a database of addresses for every roof we sell, allowing us to help in your shingle decision process. Once you decide on a color (or two, or three!) we can send you to a home near your own, to view the roofing shingle you’re interested in already installed on a roof. This is the best way to view your choice of roofing shingles, ensuring they meet your expectations!

When you’re in need of a new roof – contact us at Shepley! Not only can we answer your questions, we can help to make sure you get the right shingle and the right installer for your home. You get what you inspect, not what you expect!