30 years to life

Understanding lifetime limited asphalt shingle warranties

Earlier this year, asphalt shingle manufacturers significantly increased the duration of warranty coverage for the most popular segment of the asphalt shingle roofing product market: laminated asphalt shingle products. Asphalt shingle manufacturers have replaced their "30-year laminated shingles" designation (based on product warranty length) with a "lifetime shingles" designation in their updated asphalt shingle product warranties.

GAF Materials Corp., Wayne, N.J., released an announcement Jan. 10 stating all GAF Materials laminated shingles installed after Jan. 1 automatically are covered by a lifetime limited warranty. Similar announcements from other asphalt shingle manufacturers followed, with a few exceptions.

However, when a company markets a warranty as a "lifetime" warranty, it does not necessarily guarantee satisfactory performance. It is important to consider why companies decide to extend warranties and whether a product's performance history is adequate.

Changing the rules