Roof Warranty Lifespan & How To Transfer It

Whether you're buying a phone or doing extensive home remodeling, it's natural to worry about the fine print of warranties. This is also true when it comes to roof warranties.

Image placeholder
Roof Warranty Lifespan & How To Transfer It

There are several types of warranties that come with a new roof, but they all exist to manage expectations and establish the details of the installation. Manufacturer roof warranties promise quality products that will stand the test of time.

Since roof warranties can seem overwhelmingly complex, how do you make a smart choice? We've put together this guide that answers your roofing warranty questions.

Standard Manufacturer's Warranties

Nearly all roofing manufacturers offer a standard warranty covering the product against defects in the materials. For a very long time, architectural shingles came with a 25, 30, or 40-year manufacturer's warranty.

One of the manufacturers then decided to change the warranty options to 30, 40, and 50 years. That was sometime around 2000. The other manufacturers followed and a few years later, all the roofing materials went to a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

The degree of coverage varies depending on the manufacturer and their definition of "limited." Most warranties strictly cover manufacturing defects that cause the roof to fail prematurely. This excludes deterioration of the roofing system due to shoddy workmanship, environmental factors, or inadequate ventilation or insulation.

And if the roof fails due to manufacturing flaws, you're responsible for any labor charges, disposal fee, and components like flashing, underlayment, and vents.

In essence, if a roof warranty provides coverage for 30 years, it means it will remain free from manufacturing defects for those 30 years. Exact coverage varies depending on the brand and type of product.

What Does "Lifetime" Mean?

This might be one of the biggest sources of roof warranty confusion. If you buy a roofing material that comes with a "limited lifetime" warranty, ask what is considered "lifetime." Does it refer to all the minutes you ever live? Or maybe the lifespan of your home?

For the purpose of a roof warranty, a lifetime may only be 25 years. Lifetime could mean the length of time the homeowner who had the roof installed live in the house. It could also refer to the lifespan of the actual roofing product, regardless of who owns the house. In other words, the warranty will be as good for as long as the original owner owns a home or until the roof reaches its lifespan.

Does Coverage Change As Time Goes On?

You'll want to ask if your roof warranty is prorated or non-prorated. Proration refers to a decrease in the value of a product over time. With a prorated roofing warranty, you may have 100% coverage for defective roofing products for the first 5 to 10 years.

Over time, however, the warranty will cover a dwindling percentage of the cost. This means the amount of coverage will be proportional to the time left in the warranty period or the value of your roof at that time.

If your roof fails prematurely 15 years into the warranty, the manufacturer might only cover 30% of the costs of material, provided the manufacturer agrees the problem was caused by a material defect. You won't get anything for labor and the installation.

With the non-prorated warranty, you're guaranteed total protection throughout the life of your roof. The amount of time that passes does not change the manufacturer's responsibilities.

Does a Warranty Have Different Lifespans for Different Things?

Roof warranties may be different based on the uniqueness of the product used as well as the installation process. Your roofer should provide you with all the information you need to make a decision up-front. You can also check the manufacturer's website for info on product warranties.

Let us help you get an idea of what to expect in terms of coverage for different roofing components:

  • Asphalt Shingles - Shingle warranties typically range from 20 years to lifetime depending on the manufacturer and the grade of the shingle installed.
  • Underlayment - A high-quality fiberglass underlayment can be warrantied for up to 50 years, as long as it is installed on a clean roof deck.
  • Vents - Most intake and ridge vents are made of robust plastic materials so they carry lifetime warranties because they're virtually indestructible. Conversely, power vents carry short-term warranties because they are prone to mechanical failure.

Can Your Transfer Your Roof warranties?

Some manufacturers do have transferable roof warranties. This type of warranty allows the homeowner who has the roof installed to transfer the warranty to the new homeowner when they sell their house.

There are a few exceptions you'll want to ask about. Most manufacturers only allow a one-time transfer, which means that the warranty is only transferable by the original homeowner to the first subsequent owner. If the new homeowner sells the home, the warranty will no longer be transferable, even if it is still active.

Before you sell your home, you should notify the roofer and the warranty company of the change in homeownership and be sure to stay within the transfer window. In some cases, a monetary fee may be required to transfer.

The Industry's Best Warranty

Getting the most from your roofing warranty involves asking your roofer the right questions, reading the fine print, and following the rules. In the end, you'll have a warranty you can depend on for a lifetime.

If you need a new roof in Central Florida, you can rely on West Orange Roofing for top-of-the-line products and exceptional workmanship. For all roof replacements, we offer a lifetime limited transferable warranty against manufacturing defects, plus a 7-year workmanship warranty. The warranty provides coverage for the life of the roof and is transferable to new homeowners.

What's more, our warranties include a 15-years StreakFighter algae-resistance warranty to provide coverage against premature damage caused by growth and algae. You also get a 15-year, 110 mph wind-resistance guarantee and 10-year SureStart protection. Nothing but great coverage!

To learn more or to schedule a free, in-home consultation