Having a new roofing system is a substantial investment, and you can easily get caught up comparing the various grades, profiles, and colors of roofing shingles. However, ensuring you get the best warranty protection is also a critical consideration. Roofing warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and also between different roofing materials. Even roofing contractors will have different warranties. It’s important to understand what is covered under the roof warranty to help you make an informed decision about your roofing material and who installs it.
Types of Roofing Warranties
Although it may seem as though there are several types of warranties offered on roofing systems, they all fall within these three common types.
Standard Manufacturer’s Warranty
Shingle or manufacturer warranty covers the roofing products you purchase. Depending on the material type, the coverage period will vary. For example, asphalt shingles often come with 20-50 years of coverage. This warranty covers the actual materials when they fail due to a defect before the end of their life expectancy. You’ll need to keep up with regular maintenance to keep the warranty intact.
Most roofing shingles often come with a basic limited lifetime warranty – which is the industry standard. In many cases, a lifetime warranty means you’re covered as long as you own the property. However, the degree of protection changes depending on the definition of the term “limited” in the warranty terms and conditions. Also note: manufacturer warranties only cover the cost of defective materials, meaning you’ll be responsible for labor charges to tear off and replace the shingles.
Some manufacturer warranties cover the cost of replacing defective roofing materials over the first few years and then provide prorated coverage afterward. If any shingles become defective during the initial period, the manufacturer will give you replacement shingles at no cost. This initial coverage often includes labor costs for installing the replacement shingles but excludes the cost of tear-off and disposal of the defective roofing materials. If any failure happens during the prorated duration, you may receive just a portion of the cost of new shingles.
Industry-wide, all manufacturer warranties only cover against factory defects and not failure triggered by mistakes made during the installation. Your manufacturer warranty will also exclude problems caused by other roofing components such as flashing or ventilation products, ice and water shield, and underlayment.
Roofing Contractor’s Workmanship Warranty
Typically, most defects with roofs emanate from the installation process and use of substandard contractors. This makes it important to research and find a reliable and trustworthy roofing contractor to do things right the first time. Reputable roofing contractors offer a workmanship warranty to cover their installation.
A workmanship warranty is a sign the roofing contractor stands behind each installation job they do. The length of this type of warranty is different from contractor to contractor, with some offering a lifetime warranty. While a longer coverage period is often desirable, a good workmanship warranty should adequately protect you against roof failures which occur due to improper installation techniques or worker errors regardless of the coverage term.
Generally, a workmanship warranty typically covers the cost of labor and any roofing materials needed to make the necessary repairs, as well as any related damages done to the interior of your home. However, it will exclude issues not related to the installation workmanship, such as:
- Water damage due to ice dams
- Storm, impact, or high wind damage
- Damages occur after the roof is altered after the initial installation
- Leaks resulting from wind-driven debris or fallen tree branches
- Damage caused by foot traffic
Extended Manufacturer Warranties
Also referred to as Comprehensive Coverage, an Extended Manufacturer Warranty offers an optional extended warranty on new roof installed by authorized roofing contractors certified by the manufacturer. These contractors have been adequately trained by the manufacturer to install roofs according to their installation requirements, giving homeowners peace of mind the roof will last a lifetime.
Most extended warranties come at an additional cost and require you have a full roof system installed. This typically includes certain coordinating roofing components such as underlayment, ice and water barriers, soffit and ridge vents, hip and ridge cap shingles, and starter and field shingles.
Finding the Best Warranty
When choosing the right roofing material and a contractor, it’s essential to do your research and find the best possible warranties. When a roofer offers an impressive warranty on both the materials and their installation workmanship, it shows they stand by their work and they care about you and your home. At West Orange Roofing in Central Florida, we offer a 7-year workmanship warranty and a lifetime manufacturer warranty. Contact us today with any questions about roof warranties and how we can be of help to you.