Everyone worries about warranties. Whether you’re buying a blender or doing serious home improvement work, you may be suspicious of the fine print exceptions in many warranties. A roofing warranty is no exception.
Typically, there are several warranties tied into the construction of your roof. These can include product warranties from the manufacturer(s) as well as the installation warranty.
So how do you know if you’re getting a solid deal? Here are some answers for your roofing warranty questions.
Why does a roofing warranty matter?
A new roof is a huge investment. Why wouldn’t you want to be protected? If something goes wrong, you don’t want to hand over thousands of dollars for repairs.
Ask questions before you purchase your roof. Understand the coverages that come with the materials and installation you’re considering. Make sure the roof and the warranty are right for you.
“Every homeowner we talk with has their own personal concerns when it comes to replacing their roof and trusting a home improvement company,” says Jeff Caron, director of sales at Long Roofing. “We offer many product and warranty options to meet the needs of each homeowner. Sometimes the best warranty is a 20-year, while other clients love our 50-year. We take as much time as our clients want to explain all the product and warranty options that are available. The end result is that we will always do what is best for our clients.”
What is covered as part of my roof warranty ?
Roof warranties generally provide coverage from defect in materials or workmanship.
In simple terms: If there was something wrong with a roof component because of the way it was made, or if something was installed incorrectly, the manufacturing company or installation company (with respect to the type of defect) will take responsibility and help correct the problem.
Warranties vary because each product and each installation is unique. Your roofing contractor should provide you with all of the product warranty information up-front. This should include roofing warranty info related to the installation itself. Some manufacturing companies have links to product warranties on their website, which is an added bonus.
Here is a breakdown of common roof warranties to help you get a better idea of what to expect.
Asphalt shingle manufacturer warranties range from 20 years to lifetime depending on the grade of shingle used. Most companies offer 20-, 25- or 30-year shingles. A few companies like CertainTeed stand behind a lifetime shingle warranty on select products.
You may find that basic asphalt shingles carry lesser warranties, while higher-quality laminated dimensional shingles are more likely to offer lifetime guarantees.
“CertainTeed offers a broad spectrum of roofing products with competitive warranties,” explains Jeff Frantz, Washington, D.C. metro area territory manager for CertainTeed Roofing Products. “We have a product and a warranty for everyone. Lifetime warranted asphalt shingles like our Landmark® line offer very aggressive wind-resistance warranties with a dimensional aesthetic that will last you a lifetime and look great on your roof. We also offer shingles that provide great 20-, 25-, and 30-year warranties without the dimensional look.”
Fiberglass underlayment can be warrantied to protect your roof deck for up to 50 years (for a high-quality fiberglass underlayment). Like other roofing materials, there can be limitations.
- Most require a clean roof deck. A clean roof deck refers to the complete removal of all previous roofing materials that were applied to the roof deck (underlayment, shingles, etc.). This is generally accepted as an industry standard.
- Hammer it home. A roofing warranty in some wind-prone regions may only apply to manual installation over an additional base layer. This means that a person has to literally drive each nail with a hammer. An air gun cannot be used, or it will void the warranty.
Most ridge and intake vents carry lifetime warranties. They are made of robust plastic materials and are virtually indestructible. Other options, like power vents, have limited, short-term warranties because of the risk of mechanical failure. However, power vents can still be a valuable option when ridge and intake vents can’t adequately vent an attic space.
Installation warranties are a bit complex. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy way to simplify this one. Each material product warranty provides installation requirements to qualify the product warranty.
Your best bet: Choose a contractor whose roofing warranty includes the replacement of warranted materials. A good contractor will always stand behind his work.
When does my roof warranty expire?
Every roofing warranty has different expiration date. It depends on the company that installed the roof and what roof materials were used.
A manufacturer’s warranty will often vary between 20- and 30-year shingles. If you buy a lifetime warranty, ask what is considered a “lifetime.” A lifetime, by warranty terms, may only be 30 years.
You will also want to ask if there is proration associated with your roof warranty. Proration refers to the exponential decrease in value of an object over time.
Let’s simplify that: With a prorated roofing warranty, the value remaining on your roof will decrease over time. Ten years into a prorated warranty, the warrantor might only cover 60% of the associated costs of repair — even if the repair is due to their defect.
Who is entitled to the benefits of my roofing warranty ?
Basically, it’s you. The homeowner who had the roof installed is the primarily entitled to the benefits of any roofing warranty. However, a growing number of companies are offering transferrable warranties.
A transferrable warranty is the way to go. Why? Because if you sell your home knowing that a new roof is needed, you want to be able to transfer your roofing warranty to the new homeowner.
There are a few warranty stipulations that you will want to ask about:
- Most companies only allow a one-time transfer. If the new homeowner sells the home, even within the warranty period, the warranty will not transfer to the newest owner.
- Who needs to know? The warranty company may need to be notified of the transfer within a certain timeframe (often 60 days). Sometimes there may be a transfer fee to cover administrative costs.
Are there exceptions to my roofing warranty?
There can be exceptions to your warranty based on where you live or who installed your roof.
If you live in a hurricane-prone region, for example, a manufacturer might only warranty a certain type of shingles.
Likewise, the manufacturer may require that your shingles be installed in a particular weave style of installation to be covered by the full manufacturer’s warranty.
Your roofing contractor will be able to discuss these details with you. So ask!
How do I file a claim if I have a problem during the warranty period?
Have a roofing problem during the warranty period? Reach out to the installer and the material manufacturer as soon as possible.
A good rule of thumb: Ask questions about your warranty and familiarize yourself with the details at the time of purchase. Then, file the paperwork in a safe place. When you need phone numbers or other contact information to file a claim, you don’t want to struggle to find the documents you need.
Let’s talk about a 50-year roofing warranty.
Companies with great products and workmanship know the quality of their work. We aren’t afraid to stand behind the best warranties in the business!
At Long Roofing we use top-of-the-line roofing products from CertainTeed. We can give you one of the best warranties in the business: our 50-year, non-prorated, transferrable warranty. No nonsense, just great coverage.
Contact us for more info today.
Long Roofing now serves the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Richmond, Virginia metro areas.
When you need a new roof in the Washington, D.C. metro area, Harrisburg, Pa. or Richmond, Va., contact Long Roofing at 1-866-328-1187 or visit us online to get a price, schedule a free, in-home consultation or find answers to any home roofing questions.