3 Key Things To Know About Your Roof Warranty

3 Key Things to Know About Your Roof Warranty

Buying a new roof can cost almost as much as buying a car. Naturally, when making a purchase of this size you’ll want some assurance that the product will perform as expected. You need a good roof warranty. But what should you know about roof warranties BEFORE you buy a roof?

  1. The first thing to know is that not all roof warranties are the same. In fact, you should receive at least two warranties with a professionally installed roof, and roof warranty upgrades should also be available.
  • The types of roof warranties are:
    • Standard Product Limited Warranty
      • Covers materials against defects or failures
      • Typically 25-30 years in duration, some can be longer
      • Can be voided by improper installation
    • Workmanship Warranty
      • Provided by your contractor covering the labor/work portion of the total roof cost
      • Typically 5-10 years in duration, sometimes negotiable
    • System Warranty (extended warranty)
      • Must be certified contractor performing the installation
      • Roof System must contain 3-5 specific components from the manufacturer
      • There is an additional cost from the manufacturer typically billed by the contractor

You should talk to your contractor and make sure to understand what warranties you will receive with your new roof. You can always ask to see the warranty documents before you commit to your purchase.    

2.  A shingle manufacturer’s product warranty can be voided for a number of reasons. It’s not that they don’t want to stand behind the product. For the products to work correctly they must be treated correctly.

The most common reasons for a roof warranty to be voided are:

    • Poor installation – when the products are not installed per the manufacturer instructions
    • Layering over old shingles – when you do not remove the old shingles before installing new ones
    • Improper ventilation – you must allow a specific amount of airflow to your roof, per the International Residential Code which is followed by most manufacturers’ warranties
    • Improper washing – you see discoloration from algae, rust, or mold and decide to remove it with chemicals or a pressure washer

When selecting a roofing contractor, ask them for some addresses that you can drive by to see previous installations. This also gives you the opportunity to see different roof colors to help with your product selection.

Some local municipalities require a permit for roof installations. If so, you can check with your local city or county building department to see if they provide post-installation inspections. This will confirm that your roof was installed to code.

3.  DIY roof installations are not fully warrantied. With the right amount of research, and typically more hard work than expected, some folks can install their own roof both to local building code and to manufacturers specification. And you might save some money, but it will come at a cost.

 The costs include:

    • No workmanship warranty, you have a leak and the damage is on you
    • No option for warranty upgrade
    • Some manufacturers add additional limitations to their standard warranty

Manufacturer certified roof installers receive training and they know the warranty rules. DIYers are one-time customers for the shingle manufacturer. As a recurring customer, a certified installation company holds more leverage with the manufacturer if a warranty claim should arise.

Conclusion – It is important to know what warranty options are available to you, before you purchase a new roof. Make sure you are comfortable with the level of warranty coverage you will receive and ask for upgrade options if it suits your needs.

Be sure to select a roofing contractor that you trust to stand behind their work. Local companies are usually best, but still do your homework. Google reviews, Better Business ratings, and even a call to the building department to ask if there have been previous issues will help you to choose the right roofing company.

Using a roofing contractor that is certified by the shingle manufacturer is important for your roof warranty. And, it is required if you want to upgrade your warranty. It is best to find a partner that the manufacturer trusts to do your installation correctly.

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