A Brief Lesson on Shingles... Things You Should Know
Composition shingles are comprised of felt or fiberglass material with tiny stones glued to the surface. From the moment these shingles are installed, the wind, weather, and heat from the sun begin to break down the asphalt-based adhesives that hold everything together. This sets off a process where the shingles begin to curl, crack, and streak due to algae and loss of granules.
Composition shingles also act as a sponge, soaking up the sun’s radiant heat and trapping it inside the home’s attic space. Unlike metal, asphalt and fiberglass shingles hold onto their heat, forcing the home’s air-conditioning unit to work harder to keep the house cool.
According to the asphalt roofing industry, the average shingle roof lasts 17 – 19 years. The actual lifetime is dramatically lower than this in hot climates and extreme weather situations. Unfortunately, the warranties on these products do not cover natural wear and tear from the weather. Damage resulting from high winds, hail, rain, and extreme temperatures are also not covered.
Lastly, in order for new shingle warranties to be effective, the old shingles must first be removed. These petroleum-soaked shingles are placed in landfills across the country where the oils and chemicals seep into the ground. There is unfortunately, nothing “green” about a shingle roof. If a homeowner decides not to tear off the old shingles, the new shingle warranties are often voided.
Industry Experts Weigh-In About Roofing
Our 60+ years of experience has shown us, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that metal roofing is a better option than asphalt roofing. Please read what other experts have to say about why asphalt fails.
When it comes to shingles, the drawbacks center on service life. While asphalt shingles come with warranties ranging from 20 to as long as 45 years, roofers and builders remain skeptical of those warranties. Since warranties are a marketing device, they are not a reliable predictor of lifespan. In the past decade, there have been many complaints of asphalt shingle failure long before warranties expired. Many homeowners have been dissatisfied with warranty payouts that didn’t cover the costs of repair or replacement.
Failed shingles that we have tested contain approximately 30% asphalt by weight. New shingles contain less than 25%. This asphalt is mixed with sand and fine mineral matter and then has granules embedded in it. There is no separate asphalt binder for the filler. What coating exists on the back of the shingle appears to have bled through the mat from the top side during manufacturing. No wonder shingles "weep" water after only a few years.
Richard Tippet Applied Roofing Technology
The pressures placed on large, public companies to maintain profitability brought forward good old American ingenuity, reduce fiberglass mat weight (fibers were expensive) and increase filler content (asphalt was also expensive)...
Dwain Bouton Certified Roofing Consultant
Features Comparison Metal vs Asphalt
|50+ Year Lifespan
|Wide variety in style & color
|Labor & Material Warranty
|Fully Transferable Warranty
|Increase Home Value
|Extremely Durable to Wind & Hail
|Made from recycled material
|Mid to High Price Range
|10-20 Year Lifespan
|Few style & color options
|Typically, Material-Only Warranty
|Typically, Non-Transferable Warranty
|No Added Home Value
|Easily Damaged by Wind & Hail
|Rarely Made from recycled material
|Not Solar Friendly
|Not Energy Efficient
|Low to Mid Price Range