Interested in a specific shingle? Type in the name of that shingle manufacturer on google followed by the word “lawsuit”. Chances are you’ll find someone who feels they were wronged, or in some cases just want something for nothing.
Many of these lawsuits are from homeowners who are realizing that the cost of a roof is a significant bite into their income and if they didn’t save up, they could be facing a financial crunch. Attorney’s who organize and arrange the lawsuits take a cut of the pie if they get any settlement at all and if they have many clients, it could be lucrative.
So let’s examine some of the reasons why. First, many of the shingles that tend to have lawsuits were not installed according to the manufacturer specifications. That’s enough reason right there to not pay out.
Some shingles had a design flaw that made them last for much shorter periods of time. For instance, most shingles today are made with a fiberglass base on the bottom to give the shingles strength, followed by a layer of asphalt which is the part that keeps the water out of your home, and finally the protective granules that, in the cases of lighter colored shingles, reflect back heat toward its source. If any one of those components are not up to par, there will be a premature breakdown of the shingles.
15 years ago there was a giant rush to participate in the lawsuit against a manufacturer that used an organic base (cellulose) instead of fiberglass. Those shingles broke down quickly and many people got small settlements from the manufacture because the shingles did not, in fact,last anywhere near the warranty period.
At the same time, there are people who hire a roofer that doesn’t understand how to calculate venting on a roof. This causes problems with the longevity that the roof will last.
So if someone around the water cooler scares you into not going with a certain shingle because they’re a self appointed expert, ask them what shingle they would recommend. Then google that manufacturer with the word “lawsuit” after your search term. I think you’ll be surprised.