Do 50 year shingles really last 50 years

I have two quotes to do my roof that I am considering, just to let you know, I live near Ottawa Ontario and my house is 16 years old and the roof has a 4:12 pitch.

The first one is using a 30 year IKO Cambridge shingle and is putting three rows of ice and water shield for $5200 and the other one is using 50 year IKO Cambridge shingles and two rows of ice and water shield for $7000. The price is not really a factor but I also do not want to spend the extra money on the 50 year shingle quote it is not worth it. I am 39 and I will be living in the house until I kick it so that is why I am considering the 50 year shingles. The contractor with the 30 year shingle quote says that he does not know of a house where shingles have lasted more that 25 years so paying the extra money to go to the 50 year is a waste.

Just to let you know about the area, in the winter the temp. can get to be about -35 degrees Celsius and can go to +35 degrees Celsius in the summer.

Some opinions would be appreciated

in tampa bay florida (extreme heat)
they do not last fifty years.

not even close.

put a good thirty year on.


Well first off an IKO shingle will never last 50 years no matter what temp it is outside. They are just a builders grade shingle and dont last very long at all.

I agree, IKO’s are the very worst on the market, in my opinion. I try to stay far, far away from them

I third that motion. IKO’s are garbage.

A 25 yr three tab shingle would last longer than Iko use Tamko Gaf or OC are Better shingles you should get a manfauture warrant if they go buy the manfauture spec a 50yr will last longer than 30yr plus there thicker nicer looking gives you more shadow effect look and if they dont call a Rep from one of the shingles companys

use anything but those IKO - you will regret it !!!

a GAF or certainteed 50 year shingle will last 50 if properly ventilated. and if installed by a factory certified contractor you will get a 50 year warranty.


bscrive is from Canada. IKO’s are the shingle up there. The shingles you are suggesting are not availble there.

Likley scenario:
30 yr shingle (NOT IKO) will last almost 25 yrs.
50 yr. shingle will last over 30.
Question is: Before you kick, do you want to re-roof two more times, or one more time?

And also, long lasting shingles will look crummy even though they will still be servicable, at least in the lower 48 where Algae, not global warming of course, will really wipe out the color in under 20 yrs.

Twill beat me to it; you want to prevent the growth of algae with zinc strips run jus tunder the ridge cap (they are usually 2" wide x 50’ long in one long run that can easily be snipped to length).

If you have a hip roof, the mfg’s instructions say to put a 6" long piece about every few feet, but to me this would look kind of odd…

Another thing is that sthis should go on both sides of the ridge or hip cap if you want “true” protection from algae. One of the problems with algae is that it can prematurely age the shingles & over time, it really gets down into the base causing grit loss.

Here’s a suggestion - get a package wrapper from some of these 50 year shingles, or @ least the mfg’s brochure & see exactly what they list as exclusions to their warranty. Also, note where there is a sliding or pro rated scale of what they pay because even a 50 yr. product won’t have 100% coverage.

Finally, your primary concern is to never have to re-roof again so don’t look ONLY @ the shingles. Consider what can be done for the best & longest lasting form of:

– Ventilation. Improper air flow = shortened shingle life.
– Ridge cap if you have steep slopes & hip cap (as I like to tell my customers, most 30 year roofs only have 20 year seams)
– Flashing, counterflashing, valley, etc. Why have a ‘perfect’ field but lousy termination joints? If you wanted to go all the way, you could always have the entire permiter & along valleys with some kind of a peel & stick product or other cold weather applications (I’m in Texas & we don’t usually do much for this kind of issue here in the Hill Country).
– Same goes for chimney flashings or any concrete to metal connections.

Also, pay attention to color - make sure it’s something you’ll like in 30 years!

Actually, Lefty, you can get GAF in Canada. However, it’s being sold by specialty places. The roofing supply stores up here (Roofmart) are owned by the same people that own IKO. In comparision to IKO shingles, the GAF are about 50% more expensive.

Bscribe, given your plans to live in that house for a while, it may be worth for you to explore alternatives such as metal. There are various styles and materials available (panels or shingles, steel or aluminum), and these almost always will give you a real “permanent” roof. Of course, since the quality of the install is determined by the installer, you need to find the best installer you can afford.

considering iko`s are worth nada,only 50% more for gaf timberline is a great deal,especially w/the fungus eater(good for 1st 10 yr.s at least,maybe longer) go ultras

Thanks to everyone that has replied.

The only shingles that the roofers use up here are IKO, GAF and BP.
BP is used by the installer for Home Depot but he wants $7000 for 25 year three tab - he is on drugs as far as I am concerned.
I found another installer that uses GAF but he wants $6200 for 25 year three tab, I asked about using their 40 year Timberline and he said it is $900 more. The guy struck me as a real moron and I did not like his “I know everything and you know nothing” attitude.
The installers that use IKO have been the best ones and one guy will not use anything else (he subs for a building centre up here so he will not substitute another product).
Also, after checking with the BBB the only guy who has a clean record is the one who gave me a quote for $5200 and uses IKO. I am going to see if he will use GAF and how much more it will be.
Thanks again for your knowledge.

I have also looked into alternatives like metal sheeting - got a price of $14000 - holy crap was the words that came to mind considering I calculated the cost of the materials at $4500 tax incl. and I looked at metal shingles - got a price of $15000, way too expensive for me.

IKO is a good shingle in Canada. I am assuming they make them differently in the states because you guys seem to hate them. We have had good success with IKO for years. We also use GAF and like them. Same price as IKO. I am in Ottawa at Sanderson Roofing. Email me at if you would like a quote. Stay away from the box stores.

As of 2016, GAF Timberline 50 yr architectural shingles and also some fancier designer GAF 50 yr shingles are available in most of the colours in Canada. Colours vary by region and are not that much more expensive (unless you opt for designer)… Also, in Canada, there are BP (building product) brand Canadian made shingles that are 50 yr and comparable to GAF. You just need a master certified roofer in either one of these brand to get a good shingle installed.

8 yo thread… Why bother?

Definitely there is no assurance that it will last for 50 years. The years indicated for any roof materials are only criteria rate. The life span of any roof depends on a lot of factors and usually the weather conditions is a major factor.

:grin: The best time for roof repair is when the sun is shining. :sunny:

First call your home insurance company and ask them if the contract conditions will change on the 20th. anniversary of the installation of an asphalt shingle roof. My company in Canada, Belair Direct made it clear that 20 years is the limit on this type of roof, irrespective of the quality of asphalt shingles and other materials used. This week I just finished mine with BP Everest. Even if the prorated warranty expires at the 40th year, I don’t expect to get more than 20 years on my true south facing 4:12 slope that at my latitude, places the sun at nearly perpendicular on the longest day of summer. I put a membrane not just on 2 or 3 rows of 3 feet width at the eaves , but rather on the entire 1400 sq. ft. roof. This means that as my shingles begin to crack over time and nail heads become visible, my entire surface will remain waterproof as long as the membrane stays covered from the sun. Remember when you do an asphalt shingle roof, you end up putting two layers of material everywhere due to the overlapping of each shingle over the previous row. Everest shingles actually have 3 layers for a 2 inch wide band. In the past I have seen how the exposed tab shingles crack and deform over time, but when I did a repair last year, I noticed how intact the bottom layer of shingles was, as well as the 2 layers of #15 felt paper I installed back in 1995. My conclusion was that people panic over their roofs when they aesthetically lose their appeal on the surface while the underlying protection is still solid. That is why a well installed roof won’t leak in spite of its worn appearance. For my 2016 re-roofing project, I also doubled the number of MaxiVents on the roof from 2 to 4 and replaced a mushroom vent with a fifth MaxiVent. I plan to double the soffit ventilation to keep the same ratio of ridge vent area to soffit vent area. Paying an extra $375 for 3 MaxiVents on a $10000 project is a drop in the bucket. Already my attic is cooler than in the past.