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McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
How can I tell if an asphalt shingle roof manufacturer's warranty rating is 20 years, 30 years, or more?
Sunday, June 16, 2019
Asphalt shingle manufacturers offer “lifetime” warranties that are usually rated from 20 to 50 years. This type of warranty only provides protection for manufacturing defects in the roof materials if they deteriorate or fail before they should, and the warranty can be voided due to improper installation or inadequate maintenance of the roof.
The roofing contractor provides warranty paperwork at the time of installation, so you might be able to receive the warranty information from the seller of a home you are buying. The warranty may, or may not, be transferrable to a new owner of the home. Also, many warranties are pro-rated and only cover replacement materials. But we are assuming your concern is not the details of the warranty, but the rating of the shingles.
If the homeowner cannot provide paperwork on the the warranty, your home inspector may be able to tell you the approximate rating of the shingle using a roofing gauge tool (shown above) that measures the thickness of the shingle. Thickness is directly correlated to life expectancy and, although not an exact measure, can give you a good idea of the how long the shingles can be expected to last.
Unfortunately, the intense Florida sun batters shingles with UV-light and shortens their actual life compared to their rating and installations in other states. You should not expect a 30-year shingle, for example, to last longer than 25 years at best.
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