Typical Lifespan of a Traditional Shingled Roof


Technology has improved the capability of manufacturers to improve the life span of today’s shingles with more asphalt, stronger matting, UV protection, algae resistance, better sealant strips, and higher wind resistant ratings. 

The most commonly used shingle in the past was the 3-tabs shingle which roughly have a lifespan of 15-20 years. 

Professional grade shingles are known as architectural shingles which is an industry leading standard today.  These styles of shingles offer a limited lifetime warranty and a one-time transferrable warranty upon the sale of a house. 

From a professional installer standpoint, the lifespan is only as good as the installer is at installing your roof.  That is why it is important to hire a professional contractor that not only is installing a name brand product but is offering an installation warranty as well.  The number one reason the lifespan of a product is voided is due to poor installation.  This will cause a manufacturer warranty to fault. 

There are more options than just the mentioned shingles above.  There are endless upgrades for a more designer look if desired. 

Signs You Need a New Roof

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A roof is more than just a roof. It is the first line of defense for you and your home.  It is one of the most important aspects of your house, protecting your valuables and family 365 days a year. 

The integrity of your roof can be compromised due to the severity of storms.  The obvious things to see are leaks and blown off shingles scattered debris your yard.  The not so obvious things are heavy winds damaging seals on shingles, hail impacting shingles, and granule loss that is collecting in your gutters.  All unseen damages to the untrained eye will cause pre-mature aging of a roof.  These are all things that a professional should be looking for which can be easy for a homeowner to overlook.

We encourage homeowners of two-story homes to call a professional for inspection.  A roof may appear to be easy to walk. However, with varying pitchs it’s important to follow the proper safety rules.  If you are unsure about climbing on your roof please call a professional to have the roof inspected. 

Frequently Asked Roofing Questions


1. Is there an ideal time to replace a roof?

Roofing can be installed year-round as long as the weather is permittable and is within the manufacturer's guidelines.  Some installers only install during warmer months while others might install year round. 

2. How long does the roof replacement take?

An average home project for a professional roofing crew will be 1 – 4 days depending on the scope of the project.  That does include prep, install, and cleanup time.   Job difficulty such as pitches, landscaping, and accessibility always play a factor in the efficiency of getting a job done.    

3. Are there any ideal roofing accessories?

Yes, there are.  A roofing professional will evaluate your home and where it is located.  For example, houses located inland vs. lakeshore and open lots (high wind areas) vs. wooded/shaded areas. 

Codes and common products are always evolving into better longevity for homeowners.  Key components are ice/water underlayment, cap masters for pipe boots (which is the #1 cause of leaks within the first 15 years of a new roof) and kick out flashing (J’d Out Kick Out Flashing) (which protects your side walls from water filtration which is the #1 cause of rotted side walls.)

Free Inspection Services

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Please take advantage of our professional free inspection services.  We are proud to announce the reopening of our Greenville Location on the corner of Sidney Rd and I91.  In April we will be opening our doors to the public! Our showroom showcases the latest in home exterior trends so homeowners can easily pick the products they love.   Keep in mind not only does American Classic do roofing we offer other exterior home upgrades such as siding, windows/doors, decking, gutters, etc. While we do install home exteriors we also can supply exterior products to builders and DIY homeowners at very competitive rates. 

5 Michigan Winter Tips to Protect Your Home from Potential Damages

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As a homeowner, we hope you never find yourself singing, "I Will Survive" as you pray your home makes it through another Michigan winter. It's important to do some preventative maintenance and to know the warning signs that your home may need some TLC before the snow begins to blanket your roof.

1. Feeling Drafty - check your home for interior drafts. Here are the areas to check for drafts: doors, windows, attic hatches, crawl spaces, basement, etc.

   Top of your list should be your attic. Because heat rises you'll want to be sure your attic is secure and that you're not paying for the heat to escape up and out of the attic.

2. Remove Roof & Gutter Debris - Before the snow begins to fall it's important to be sure that your overhangs haven't collected leaf debris and gutters aren't clogged with leaves. Most important is that the gutters & downspouts are clear of debris so that as the ice melts the water will drain properly. Clogged gutters will lead to ice damming. Ice dams will keep consistent moisture around your home. Standing water can potentially damage your home's siding and/or foundation.

3. Prevent Ice Dams - Large masses of ice can form at the edge of your roof creating an ice dam. An ice dam will prevent any melting snow from draining off of the roof properly. On occasion, ice dams can be tricky to see. However, it is important to know what to look for to prevent water damage to your home.

   Ice dams can be identified by large icicles or by water running down the house. However, if you have a steeper roof or skylights an ice dam may be difficult to see. Keep in mind walking your roof can be dangerous. If you don't feel comfortable be sure to contact a contractor to identify any potential issues for you.

   **Important Note** Removing ice dams can be a tricky job even for a skilled roofing technician. Attempting to remove them yourself can be dangerous and can cause damage to your roof. If you think you have an ice dam, American Classic can help. Our crews can identify ice dams, carefully remove them, repair any damages that may have occurred, and protect your home from future damages.

4. Don't BEAT the Heat... KEEP the Heat - Be sure that you have a good amount of evenly distributed insulation. Insulation aids in keeping your home warm where you need it. It also stops the transportation of heat to under your shingles where it will help reduce the formation of ice dams.

5. Removing Snow - We've all seen the crazy pictures of homeowners on their roofs with a snow blower to remove snow build up. While we don't recommend you haul your snow blower on your roof we do recommend you remove any excess snow accumulation. Removing the snow will help prevent ice dams and damage to your roof.

   To know when to remove snow from your roof, we use the following Rule of Thumb: Rake it every 6 inches or so of snowfall.

   **Warning** Never put any salt products on your roof. Salt will discolor your shingles.


We hope you have found these tips helpful. Should you have any questions or need any assistance with your home be sure to call American Classic. Our service technicians will be able to assist you with any questions you have regarding your home.

Do You Have Damage from Storms? Let American Classic Help You!

West Michigan has suffered the wrath of some wild storms this summer.  High winds, heavy rains, hail, etc. can be damaging to the exterior of a home.  Your roof will protect your home and its contents from the wrath of Mother Nature but in the process the roof could suffer some damages.  Significant damages that can be easily seen are obviously in need of repairs.  However, keep in mind some roofing damage maybe out of your line of vision from the ground.  American Classic offers FREE Roofing Inspections should you ever be concerned that your home may have experienced some damages.  We’d be happy to put your mind at ease and/or help you with an insurance claim. 

How to Select the Proper Shingle Color

Start looking around at roofs in your neighborhood and you will begin to realize that there are a variety of colors to choose from when it comes to asphalt shingles and metal roofing.  Before considering a new roof many homeowners are often under the impression that there are only black and gray shingles.  Shingle manufactures, such as CertainTeed and IKO, have a wide variety of shingle colors.

Your new roof will be a feature on your home for the next 20-30 years and it is an important aspect of the curb appeal.  The roof should complement the rest of your exterior (siding, stone, brick, and/or any other out buildings on your property).

Here are a few tips....

   -  Use a complementing color to the rest of your exterior.

   -  Don’t rush it!  There are many shingle options out there, so talk to a trusted roofing professional.

   -  Always check the shingle color next to your existing exterior.

   -  Think about curb appeal and resale value if you think at some point you’ll be selling your home.

Last but not least, always refer back to your roofing professional.  He/She will have examples of shingles installed if that will help aid you in the decision making progress.  American Classic associates have a database of a variety of shingles that we have installed with different exteriors.  These pictures can aid you in the decision making process.  Also, feel free to check out our Roofing Gallery Page.

CertainTeed's current shingle options

CertainTeed's current shingle options

IKO's Newest Product Line: Dynasty

IKO's Newest Product Line: Dynasty