Stuck With Discontinued Roofing Shingles? You Still Have Options for Roof Repair

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Reviewed by Ami Feller
Updated June 9, 2022
Home with shingled roof
Photo: karamysh / Adobe Stock

Discontinued roofing shingles doesn't have to mean your roof is in the gutter

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If you’re lucky, your roof lasted a couple of decades worth of sun, wind, and rain damage. But even the best roofing shingles won’t last forever; what was trendy in 1980 could very well be discontinued today. If your contractor says you have discontinued roofing shingles, don’t panic. And don’t be hasty with your insurance claim. You and your “vintage” roof have options.

Will My Insurance Company Cover Discontinued Roofing Shingles?

Your insurance company won’t always cover a full roof replacement if you have discontinued roofing shingles. Coverage varies, so be sure to review your policy before filing a claim. Usually, your coverage policy options are as follows:

  • Covering the cost to match the old shingles as closely as possible with a newer option currently available

  • Covering only the work that ensures the safety of your home

  • Coverage for repairing only one layer of shingles, even if it doesn’t meet building codes

Many states have matching laws that require the shingles to match, as well as"line of sight" clauses. Those clauses make it so that if the insurance company only wants to replace a portion of the roof, but you can see the mismatch when you are standing on the ground looking at the roof, they must make it match.

If you are having matching issues on an insurance claim, especially if your material or color is completely discontinued by the manufacturer, you should find a roofing contractor who is well versed in insurance work and understands what the laws are in your area.

In general, the greater the damaged area, the more likely the insurance company will approve a complete replacement. Unfortunately, aesthetics typically take a back seat to functionality in these cases.

What are My Roof Repair and Matching Options?

If repairs are minimal, your local roofing contractor will do their best to match your existing shingles to a shingle that’s currently on the market. You’ll be able to work closely with them, looking at samples and comparing them to your existing roof for the best color match. 

Put the new and old shingles side by side to compare. If the old shingles have faded in the sun, opt for the next lighter shade of the same shingle. It’s possible to paint the shingles if you can’t find a match you like. While it may not be exact, the difference can be practically unnoticeable from a distance. Keep in mind that algae stains make it hard to match new shingles.

If a total roof replacement is necessary, then you’ll be able to choose any shingle you like. However, you’ll need to get an evaluation from a professional roofer to confirm replacement is necessary before you get in touch with your insurance company.

Some pros will charge a little extra to pull matching shingles from a less-noticeable side of the house, and move them to a more prominent location (like the front).

What to Do Before Filing an Insurance Claim

Before hitting “send” on your insurance agent’s contact number, it’s important to have estimates from several roofing contractors in your back pocket. Once you choose which roofer you’re hiring, you should have them on-site when the claims adjuster performs the evaluation. Your contractor may be able to pinpoint damages that the adjuster overlooks or possibly convince them to opt for a full roof replacement rather than a simple repair. Either way, it’s always helpful to have an expert there to help you out.

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