Q & A - Roofing Shingle Warranties, How Good Are They?

Presidential Shake TL
October 3, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

What is the life expectancy of the Presidential TL shingles from CertainTeed?

Roofing question from Klaus, Thank you for providing some history on your website about the Presidential TL shingles from Certainteed. Based on your experience with that product, what is the life expectancy of these shingles?

These asphalt shingles have a lifetime warranty that I personally think is a laughable description. What lasts a lifetime? Using the term lifetime  manufacturers of shingles are betting on the consumer dying, moving, losing the paperwork, or counting on the installation is incorrect. When this happens it removes any need to honor liability. The labor alone, if done wrong, can void most of the warranties out there and that is why using a trained certified trained installer is important.

Now my statement may be viewed as very harsh by some but the odds are in the manufacture's favor. Let’s be real, the word “lifetime” is a really long time and most of these shingles that claim that longevity has not been around nearly that long to be have been tested by real year-in and year-out conditions.

To answer your question about the Presidential Shake roofs, they do very well from what I have seen locally here in Sacramento CA. We have very hot summers that reach well up into the 100’s and the winter months down to the 20″s. These changes can cause expansion and contraction which is hard on roofing materials. The mirror laminated layers make the Presidential Shake a durable and thick looking shingle compared to the design of other two-piece laminated shingle designs. The vast amount of shake roofs we did in the 1970s started cycling around fifteen years later with many contractors using the Presidential product as replacements. They have performed very well. I rarely have seen any issues with this shingle with the exception of poor installation. I feel good with a forty-year claim from what I have seen but with the advanced underlayments and better knowledge and installation of attic ventilation, these shingles installed presently by certified trained installers may have a life well into the 2060s.

One failure with any roofs that last longer than forty years will be the metal used with the roofing system and I would advise copper or lead flashings and valleys. Basically the gage of the pre-painted or galvanized valley metals used these days would be a weak point of any roofing system after forty years. Most contractors are not discussing this because of added costing when giving you a bid, but it is a critical point of any roof if they believe their roof will last a “lifetime." I hope this helps answer your question.

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