Reroofing your home usually involves two types of warranties. A roofing material manufacturer issues a material defect warranty. The roofing contractor issues a workmanship warranty. In tandem, both warranties work together to provide you comprehensive coverage. However, warranties and what they do and don’t cover vary. So, what do roofing and workmanship warranties really mean? Here’s a general rundown that’ll help you understand.
The National Roofing Contractors Association released a Consumer Advisory Bulletin stating:
“A roofing warranty’s length should not be the primary criterion in the selection of a roofing product or roof system because the warranty does not necessarily provide assurance of satisfactory roof system performance. There is a common misconception by roofing consumers that long-term warranties are all-inclusive insurance policies designed to cover virtually any roofing problem, regardless of the cause or circumstance. Even the most comprehensive manufacturer warranties that cover materials and workmanship generally provide only that the manufacturer will repair leaks that result from specific causes specified in the warranty. Unfortunately, there are a number of manufacturers that issued long-term warranties and no longer are operating companies with the capability of honoring their warranty commitments, leaving consumers with an ineffective warranty and serious roofing problems.”
That being said, most roofing products today come with a lifetime warranty. A lifetime warranty means that the warranty is good for as long as you live in your home. On average, homeowners move every seven years. Plus, all warranties will come with exclusions and will not necessarily pay for all costs involved (roof removal or disposal costs; labor cost; the cost for flashings). Some warranties, even if the shingle has failed, may only repair sections of the roof that actually have a leak. Most warranties are prorated after 10 years.
A magnifying glass is needed to read these warranties. They contain legal jargon and lots of exclusions. And more than likely, they’ll try to blame the roofing contractor for causing damage or failure, not the product.
That’s why Signature Roofing only installs GAF and Certainteed roofing shingles with lifetime warranties that are among the best in the industry. They cover not only material cost, but also labor cost and in most cases roof removal cost. Most claims arise in the early years, so both of these companies have a non-prorated period of ten years. The warranties are transferable one time only to a new owner for free (good for resale).
Both of these manufactures also offer warranty upgrades. These upgrades are not free, and personally, we don’t think they’re needed if you use Signature Roofing. Our roofing contractors have installed over 3,000 roofs and have not been involved in a material defect claim with GAF or Certainteed. Roofs that were installed by Signature Roofing 20 years ago are still holding up extremely well.
Every workmanship warranty is different. Compare them before choosing your roofing contractor. Our 10-year workmanship warranty is on the back of our roofing agreements and has almost no legal speak – just a couple of paragraphs in plain English.
Basically, we will repair any leak and also pay for any sheetrock, insulation, and paint repair up to $5,000. Although legally it’s a 10-year warranty, so far any workmanship-related leaks after 10 years have been minor and usually taken care of for free. It’s good to spread goodwill. And when you do great roofing work, it’s easy to stand behind it.