What is covered by the manufacture warranty of an asphalt shingle? It’s not what is perceived by the consumer. Most people believe the warranty to mean the shingle will last the specified number of years and if their home springs a leak that it will be covered under the warranty. Not even close to the truth. The manufactures of asphalt shingles are only stating that their product will not fail due to the manufacturing of the product. If it does fail they will provide you with the amount of defective shingles to make the repairs. This does not include any labor to make the repairs.
Most manufactures state in the warranty that variation in color shading is not covered under the warranty. Unless you buy and extended warranty that was installed by a manufacture certified contractor you will not be covered for any labor to replace the defective shingle or shingles. Simply put the warranty only covers a defective shingle that was caused by the manufacturing process.
Asphalt shingle warranties are much like a car battery warranty in that they will prorate over the warranty period so by the end of the life of the asphalt shingles it will not be worth the hassle to file a claim.
In reality chances are that if you have a leaking problem with your roof it is caused by an installation problem or if some forces of nature caused damage to the roof. If all the granules came off the roof and you had no work done to it after it was installed then that might be something that is covered under a manufacture warranty.
Not long ago the standard warranty periods ranged from 20 years to a lifetime shingle. Now most manufactures have made all of their dimensional shingle lines have a lifetime warranty. Sounds like a great deal right? It really isn’t any different from the past warranty because they are still stating the asphalt shingle will be free from manufacturing defects for the life of the shingle. The asphalt shingle may wear out before 20 years as long as it wasn’t caused from a defect in the manufacturing process it would be considered the life of the shingle.
Face it folks, there really isn’t a shingle that will last more than 50 years in the Pacific Northwest. So how does one choose a shingle that will last as long as possible? Look at how the shingle is made. The amount of asphalt and the type of reinforcement scrim play a big part in the performance of the asphalt shingle. Just by adding more granules to the asphalt shingle will not make it a better shingle. The weight needs to come from the amount of asphalt and the reinforcement scrim. Among the top asphalt shingle manufactures are Certainteed, GAF and Owens Corning. They have good product literature to help you make the best informed decision on the asphalt shingle that will last a good amount of time.
So when it comes down to it, select a shingle that was manufactured with integrity and not base your decision on warranty alone.