Roof replacement is a major expense, costing an average of $20,000 or more. Whether you need to replace your roof due to old age, or you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade and boost your property value, warranties will be essential.
Roof warranties come in several different variations, so knowing the details will help you protect your investment. They’re a great starting point for homeowners who want to cover their new roof for decades, but they do some with some caveats you should know.
In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of roof warranties, including how to get the best warranty from your contractor and what a roof warranty doesn’t cover.
What Is a Roof Warranty?
A warranty is a guarantee from a manufacturer or contractor that a roof will be sound, stable, and effective for a set period of time. The warranty can cover materials, labor, and the installation of a new roof.
What’s important to note is that a roof warranty is not a form of insurance coverage. Although it can be a lifesaver if you experience trouble, warranties have their own stipulations and limitations.
Knowing the difference between roof warranties and why you still need insurance coverage will spare you the shock of a hefty repair or replacement later.
Terms for roofing warranties vary extensively. For example, some may be a “lifetime warranty,” but the contractor or manufacturer considers 5 or 10 years a lifetime, even though a roof typically lasts 25 years or more
Understanding these terms and different limitations will help you get the right warranty for your home.
Manufacturer warranties tend to accompany roof shingles. Asphalt shingle roof warranties tend to last 25 to 30 years, though some may extend up to 50 years.
A manufacturer warranty is also called a material defect warranty. This means that if there is any problem with the material that requires repair or replacement within the warranty’s time frame, the manufacturer will reimburse you any costs to fix it.
However, it’s important to note that manufacturer warranties are prorated. This means the amount a manufacturer pays will decrease over time. So, even if you spent $15,000 installing your roof, after 10 years, you wouldn’t receive that amount from the manufacturer.
There are some non-prorated warranties, however, which can last a lifetime or for a specific number of years. These warranties always reimburse the same amount for materials.
Materials are the key term when exploring the limits of your manufacturer’s warranty. They do not cover the cost of workmanship unless you upgrade to an enhanced warranty.
Enhanced warranties vary in price by manufacturer, but they tend to cover the cost of a full roof replacement as well as the cost of workmanship for a set period of time.
Roofing material warranties are important when installing a new roof because they protect you against any defects in the shingles themselves.
A contractor is not at fault if a manufacturer’s materials are not up to par, but it can still cost homeowners all the same.
To ensure that your manufacturer’s warranty stays valid, you should read the warranties fine print. You may be required to have an annual roof inspection to identify any potential defects. If they are left unattended, or if you do not opt to repair them in a timely manner, you could cancel your warranty.
Contractor warranties, also known as workmanship warranties, provide coverage for a contractor’s services.
Even a wonderful contractor can provide an excellent installation, but roofing may still fail to meet expectations.
When problems arise, you have a contractor’s warranty to guarantee quality service and performance for years to come.
What’s important to know is that contractor warranties vary vastly from each company. To ensure you get the best possible coverage, you can:
- Ask for a written explanation of what is and is not covered by their workmanship warranty. If they refuse to provide this, it’s best to look elsewhere.
- Research a contractor’s history and online reviews. Ensure they have no outstanding claims with the Better Business Bureau or previous customers.
- Ask questions about any unclear terms or conditions, and be 100% confident in your understanding before agreeing to purchase a warranty.
How to Protect Your Finances and Roof
No one wants to spend thousands of their hard-earned money on a roof, file a claim, and hear that it’s null and void. Unfortunately, this happens all too frequently.
People are not clear on what their warranty covers, and they assume they have more coverage than they really do.
To avoid experiencing this yourself, there are four ways you can protect your roof and investment.
- Have a professional roof inspection at least once a year.
- Stay with your original contractor to keep your warranty active.
- Register your warranty through your manufacturer’s website.
- Read the fine print and ask about any concerns or unclear terms.
What a Roof Warranty Doesn’t Cover
While manufacturer and contractor warranties can cover most issues you may encounter, there are some exceptions to both .
For starters, a warranty is a guarantee, not a form of insurance. It does not cover any “acts of God” such as natural disasters, hurricanes, heavy storms, floods, or fires.
They also tend to exclude issues caused by improper repair (especially DIY jobs), and damage resulting from interior damage, such as poor insulation or existing moisture.
Roof warranties often exclude any consequential damages as well, so if your ceiling, walls, floors, or belongings are damaged from a roof leak or collapse, your warranty will likely not cover any of those damages.
A Word of Advice
As you look for the right warranties to protect your home, make sure you get adequate insurance coverage as well.
With reliable contractors, a reputable manufacturer, and good insurance provider, you will be able to have peace of mind that your house and interior is covered no matter what life throws your way.
If you have questions about roof warranties, the experts at Advanced Consulting are always happy to answer. Contact us today to discuss your roofing questions!