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Introduction

Your roof silently safeguards your home year after year, shielding you from the elements. When it’s time for a replacement or a new installation, the choice of roofing material matters. Asphalt shingles are favored for their affordability, durability, and versatility. However, they come in various types. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the realm of asphalt shingles, focusing on the differences between 30-year and 50-year options.

So, what sets them apart, and which one should you go for? Whether you’re a homeowner searching for a long-lasting investment or a roofing contractor dealing with shingle identification and insurance claims, we’ve got your needs covered.

The Battle of Durability: 30-Year vs. 50-Year Asphalt Shingles

The Robust 30-Year Shingles

Let’s begin with the 30-year asphalt shingles. These shingles are the workhorses of the roofing world. They come with an affordable price tag and a promise to safeguard your home for three decades. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Cost-Effective Choice: 30-year asphalt shingles offer reliable roofing without breaking the bank, making them appealing to budget-conscious homeowners.
  2. Moderate Lifespan: These shingles are built to last around 30 years, though they may not handle extreme weather conditions as well.
  3. Variety of Styles: You won’t compromise on style for affordability. 30-year asphalt shingles come in various colors and styles, allowing you to match your home’s aesthetic.

The Sturdy 50-Year Asphalt Shingles

Now, let’s turn our attention to the heavyweight champion in the asphalt shingle category—the 50-year shingles. These shingles promise to endure the test of time and deliver exceptional performance. Here’s why they’re gaining popularity:

  1. Extended Longevity: As the name suggests, 50-year asphalt shingles can last for over half a century. They’re designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, making them an excellent choice for homeowners looking for long-term peace of mind.
  2. Top-Notch Quality: These shingles are often thicker and sturdier than their 30-year counterparts. This added thickness boosts their durability and resistance to damage from wind, hail, and UV rays.
  3. Increased Home Value: Investing in 50-year asphalt shingles can significantly boost your home’s resale value. Potential buyers appreciate the assurance of a long-lasting roof, making your property more attractive in the real estate market.

The Pros and Cons Unveiled

Now that we’ve explored the fundamental differences between 30-year and 50-year asphalt shingles, let’s break down their advantages and disadvantages to help you make an informed decision.

Pros of 30-Year Asphalt Shingles

  • Affordable Choice: They are budget-friendly, offering a cost-effective roofing solution.
  • Variety: You have a wide range of styles and colors to choose from, allowing for customization.
  • Ideal for Short-Term Plans: Perfect for homeowners not planning to stay in their current home for several decades.

Cons of 30-Year Asphalt Shingles

  • Limited Lifespan: They may require replacement sooner than 50-year shingles, which can be inconvenient.
  • Vulnerability to Weather: They are more prone to damage from extreme weather conditions.

Pros of 50-Year Asphalt Shingles

  • Exceptional Durability: They can last for over 50 years, providing long-term protection.
  • Premium Quality: Thicker and more robust construction enhances resistance to damage.
  • Increased Home Value: Boosts the resale value of your home, making it an attractive investment.

Cons of 50-Year Asphalt Shingles

  • Higher Initial Cost: They come with a higher upfront cost compared to 30-year shingles.
  • Style Options May Be Limited: While they offer durability, choices in terms of style and color may be somewhat restricted.

Identifying 50-Year Asphalt Shingles: A Roofer’s Guide

As a roofing contractor, correctly identifying the shingles you’re working with is crucial. This is especially true when dealing with 50-year asphalt shingles, as misidentification can lead to errors in insurance claims and significant financial losses for the roofer. Here are the steps you should follow:

Examine the Manufacturer’s Label: The first step in identifying shingles is to check for a manufacturer’s label. This label typically contains information about the shingle type, warranty, and other important details. Look for keywords like “50-year” or “lifetime” to confirm the shingle’s longevity.

Measure the Thickness: Use a shingle gauge to determine the thickness of the shingles. 50-year shingles are often thicker and more substantial than their 30-year counterparts.  You should photograph this process, as well as video the process for the insurance carrier, even if the adjuster is present.

Measure the exposure: Measure shingle exposure by determining the distance from the lower edge of an exposed roof shingle or shingle tab downward to the lower edge of the shingle in the row directly beneath it.  This process should also be photographed and recorded.

Consult the Manufacturer or independent lab: If you’re still uncertain about the shingle’s type, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer. They can provide valuable information and help you verify the shingle’s specifications.  Roofers will frequently send samples to iTel for shingle identification.

Document Extensively: This cannot be understated. Take detailed photos and notes of the shingles, including their condition and any damage. Documenting the shingles thoroughly can help substantiate your claim.  You must be certain that in the course of documenting the shingles, anyone reviewing your documentation can tell that your on the roof you’re saying your on.  Many fraudulent claims will use documentation from another home to justify replacing a 50 year shingle, so carriers have placed a heavy burden on roofers to prove their case.

Contact the carrier: If you have any doubts regarding the steps needed or documentation necessary for proving to the carrier that the shingles are indeed 50 year shingles, call the carrier. You’ll want to extensively document this call as well. At EOD, we use Dialpad for all of our calls, and Dialpad uses AI to transcribe calls in real-time, and also has the option to record call when desired.

Team EOD

Author Team EOD

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