Roofing DIY & Homeowner Tips

The Ins and Outs of Roof Replacement Warranties Explained

The national average cost of a roof replacement is about $20,000 in 2018. When you’re spending that much money to safeguard your home and increase value, it’s nice to have some sort of protection for your investment. Luckily, warranties are a great selling point for roof replacement contractors.

Don’t be so easily swayed by a 25, 30, or even 50 year warranty, though. It may seem like you’ll get a new, free roof in case of an issue, but that’s not usually the case.

The reality is that roof replacement warranties are complicated. But with the right guidance, you can cut through the noise and understand your true coverage.

Two Main Types of Roofing Warranties


For all the misunderstandings about roofing warranties, there are only two main categories to distinguish between—manufacturer warranties and contractor warranties.

There are nuances to each. Knowing which you’re covered by, what it promises, and what you need to do to maintain coverage is critical.


1. Manufacturer Warranties
The majority of roof warranties come from the manufacturer of your shingles. With the common asphalt shingle, you can expect a 25-30 year warranty (though there are some options for 50 year and “lifetime” coverage).

Typically, a basic manufacturer’s warranty will cover roofing materials. However, it’s important to note that when you go to submit a claim in the future, the prices will be prorated, and the cost of disposal won’t be covered.

Most importantly, basic manufacturer warranties don’t cover workmanship. For that, you would have to upgrade to an enhanced warranty. While these vary based on the manufacturer, they often cover the full replacement value as well as workmanship for a period of time.


2. Contractor Warranties
In addition to a manufacturer warranty, contractors may offer some sort of coverage for workmanship.

The problem is that these guarantees look vastly different from one contractor to another. As you collect project proposals, it can be difficult to keep them straight. To get a clear understanding of contractor warranty coverage, you can:

  • Request a written explanation of what’s covered and what’s not. If the contractor can’t provide this copy, you may want to look elsewhere.

  • Ask whether the warranty covers workmanship, materials, or both. In most cases, a contractor’s warranty will only cover workmanship.

  • Research the credibility of a warranty by looking into the contractor’s history and track record.

Four Steps to Protect Your Warranty


The last thing any homeowner wants is to submit a claim only to find that their roof replacement warranty is null and void. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens when people assume they are covered with their warranties.

To protect your coverage, follow these 4 steps:
  1. Get Regular Inspections: Inspecting the roof every one or two years allows your contractor to spot and fix any minor issues with vents, flashing, shingle damage, caulking deterioration, and more. When you stay ahead of repairs and prevent major work in the future, you maintain your warranty coverage.

  2. Stay with Your Original Contractor: Most contracts include language that voids the contractor’s warranty when a separate company is hired to alter the original installation. Continuity helps original installers correct their own mistakes. Keeping a good contractor as a lifelong roofing partner will protect your investment and maintain warranty coverage.

  3. Register Your Warranty: Don’t forget to submit your warranty registration to the manufacturer. Without it, you may not have coverage at all. The process is different for enhanced warranties, though. First, the contractor installing the product must be credentialed to install and provide the warranty. Then, the contractor must register the warranty on behalf of the customer. This type of upgraded coverage requires more than just a mail-in registration.

  4. Read the Fine Print: Your contractor must be certified through the shingle manufacturer and be authorized to provide the specified warranty. Without that authorization, your warranty will be voided. Ensure you understand the exact level of certification for your warranty as well. The highest certifications enable contractors to offer enhanced warranties and increases the likelihood of protection and retaining coverage.

Your roof exists to protect your family and your possessions. As your roof protects your home, you must protect the warranty. These steps will keep you from being surprised by a voided warranty when you submit a claim.

The bottom line is that your warranty is an insurance policy. It has lots of fine print that is important to understand if you need to submit a claim. Ask for clarification from your contractor on the fine print and make sure you can trust the workmanship before beginning a roof replacement project.

 

left right
Recent Articles
Who to Call for Your Home Improvement Project: Contractor vs. Full-Service Remodeler
Choosing who to hire for your home remodeling project can be stressful. Depending on the work you need done, there could be hundreds of options in...
Home Living
Read More
Maintenance Tips for Your Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is the most popular siding option in the United States with good reason. It comes in a variety of colors and styles, is quite durable,...
DIY & Homeowner Tips
Read More
Checklist: Five Areas of Your Home to Inspect Every Fall
While spring is usually associated with fresh home repairs, fall preparations can save you from costly problems when winter storms and freezing...
DIY & Homeowner Tips
Read More
Fall Gutter Cleaning Tips: When to DIY and When to Call the Pros
With falling leaves and the remnants of summer storms, fall is an important time to inspect and clean out your gutters. Debris and water sitting in...
DIY & Homeowner Tips
Read More
How to Extend the Life of Your Roof
Your roof is a critical component of your home, keeping you dry during heavy spring storms and warm in freezing winter temperatures. Even though it...
Roofing
Read More
Is It Time to Replace Your Windows? What to Look for
Even high quality, professionally installed windows have a set lifespan. The windows on your home can last around 10 years, maybe a bit longer if...
Education
Read More
Why Fall is a Good Time to Replace Your Roof
With over 30 years of experience working on Maryland roofs, Brothers roofing consultants are often asked, "what is the best time of year to replace...
Roofing
Read More
8 Important Questions to Ask Before Finishing Your Basement
Many homeowners think basement finishing will be a simple project. It's just putting down some flooring and hanging drywall, right? Well, that's a...
Read More
Vinyl Siding: What’s on the Outside Counts
Modern vinyl siding has come a long way from the practical but boring beige slabs that coated suburban homes, making them indistinguishable from one...
Home Living
Read More