We often encounter this question from board members and community managers alike. In this case, the question was in regards to a CertainTeed roofing product; however, the information can be applied to a variety of manufacturers. In our experience, roofing does not last much longer than 20 years in our climate, no matter what the manufacturer’s rating states. Most properties in Colorado are lucky to get 50% of the rated life expectancy.
There are several factors that can affect a roof’s useful life, most notably small hailstorms. On a typical summer afternoon, while the air temperature may be in the 90's, the surface temperature of a roof can reach temperatures up to 130+ degrees. When an afternoon storm rolls in and drops hail, the small stones loosen the granules that protect the felt materials. Go through this process at least 5 - 10 times a year, and you can see that after 10 - 15 years, there is not much protection left on the shingles. As a result, the shingles curl, crack, and split, and as a result deteriorate to a point where replacement is inevitable. The 50-year shingle is not a warranty, it is a rating.
The following is the warranty, according to CertainTeed’s website –
· Lifetime, limited transferable warranty
· 10-year SureStart™ warranty (100% replacement and labor costs due to manufacturing defects)
· 10-year StreakFighter™ warranty against streaking and discoloration caused by airborne algae
· 15-year, 110 mph wind-resistance warranty
· Wind warranty upgrade is available for Landmark Special up to 130 mph. Specified CertainTeed starter and CertainTeed hip and ridge are required
Nowhere in this warranty does it guarantee the roof shingle will last 50 years without any deterioration, especially in a climate like ours. Colorado is one of the harshest areas in the country on roofing materials. Additionally, manufacturer defects do not include deterioration from weather elements. Therefore, we typically adjust the remaining useful lives on these types of roofs from 50 years to 20 - 25 years. This protects the association’s asset, by allowing them to establish funds to replace and/or repair the roof within a more realistic timeframe, based on typical wear patterns seen in Colorado.