Roofing warranties can be a hard thing to navigate. You may think you have all the info, but you’d be surprised at all the little things companies try to sneak in.
When spending so much money on a new roof for your home, it’s important to know the ins and outs of your roof contract agreement. We’re going to cover the five most important things to look at in roof warranties in 2022:
- Transferable lifetime warranties
- Algae prevention
- Pro-rated vs. non-prorated coverage
- Leaks vs. cosmetic issues
5 Important Considerations for Every Roof Warranty
At the end of the day, you may end up signing up for a warranty that seems like it has great coverage, but there may be a lot of fine print that leaves you in the dust when you need it most. Be sure to ask about these five considerations:
1. Roof Shingle Blow-Off Coverage
This detail is very important. Wind storms are often the leading cause of roof damage, so you want to ensure your shingles can stand up to intense winds. Lots of shingles offer a 130 mph wind warranty, but they may have blown-off exclusions just after the first few years. Be sure to ask your contractor about how long your shingles have blown-off coverage.
2. Is the Lifetime Roof Warranty Transferable?
Some warranties may come with lifetime coverage, which sounds like a fantastic deal. But how much does it cost to transfer a lifetime warranty? “Lifetime” simply means they owe to it the person who bought the roof. It is not the statement that the roof is expected to last that period.
Typically, a lifetime warranty simply means you’re covered as long as you own the home. If you intend to sell your home, you may be able to transfer the warranty to the new homeowners, which can be a huge selling point. Be sure to confirm if the warranty is transferable and if it would cost extra money to do so.
3. Algae Warranty
This detail is very important— maybe even the most important consideration if you live next to big trees. Some manufacturers will replace the entire roof, and some will limit their liability to $15 per square. Some of the best algae warranties come from Atlas And Malarkey.
It’s also important to take preventative action against algae to prevent roof shingle damage.
4. Pro-Rated & Non-Prorated Coverage Period
Non-prorated coverage means you get full protection and don’t have to cover the costs for the replacement or repair of roofing materials. Prorated coverage means you may incur some of the costs of the repair because coverage diminishes over time.
This one will differ a lot between manufacturers. Some manufacturers will give you 5 years not prorated, and some will give you 15. After that, it drops like a rock. For example, IKO’s entire liability for most products is tops at $40. Here is an example of a warranty.
5. Leaks vs. Performance Coverage
Understand what is covered and when. Some manufacturers will not cover anything unless you have real leaks. Cosmetic issues are not included even if your roof is discolored and looks like it has been there for 20 years after just two years. Confirm with your roofing company if cosmetic damages are covered or not.
The Main Types of Warranties That Come With a New Roof
All roofing warranties and roofing companies were not created equal. Some roofing contractors don’t offer warranties at all. If this is the case, run. You should always have extra peace of mind from a reputable roofing contractor.
The two main types of roof warranties are manufacturer and workmanship warranties. Most established contractors at least offer a manufacturer’s warranty, while others may offer both kinds. Incredibly reputable companies may even have an “extended manufacturer’s warranty” option which comes with a long-term relationship with a particular roofing material manufacturer.
Standard manufacturer warranties strictly cover the cost of defective materials that cause issues on your roof. If shingles are found to be defective during the initial coverage period, then the manufacturer will provide replacement shingles at no cost.
Keep in mind that since this warranty solely covers materials, you would still have to pay for any labor charges to get the materials replaced.
A manufacturer warranty will cover factory defects, not any mistakes made during installation or issues with other components of the roofing system. While this warranty is good to have, there is definitely added protection if your contractor includes a labor warranty.
A roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty is a fantastic warranty to look for. Reputable contractors who are confident in their work will provide a workmanship or labor warranty. This warranty covers any issues incurred due to improper installation techniques.
The timeframe on these warranties varies from contractor to contractor, with some offering 5-10 year warranties and others offering 50 years or even lifetime coverage. A workmanship warranty typically covers the cost of labor and materials needed to make repairs. However, accidental damage outside o
f the contractor’s control is not covered, such as:
- Storm damage
- Lack of maintenance on the homeowner’s part
- Damage from falling tree limbs or other debris
Extended Manufacturer’s Warranty
Finally, some roofing companies have long-term exclusive relationships with certain manufacturers like Owens Corning or GAF. Sometimes, these companies can be eligible to offer special extended manufacturer’s warranties to their customers because of this long-lasting relationship.
Certified contractors are proven to install the entire roofing system according to the manufacturer’s standards, so this offers extra peace of mind. This warranty covers the entire roof system, materials, and labor. Just keep in mind that you need to have an entire roof system installed to be eligible, which includes:
- Soffit and ridge vents
- Ice and water barriers
- Hip and ridge cap shingles
- Starter and field shingles
Find a Happy Medium for Your Roof
Warranties are great and we need them, but the product is often more important. Don’t only go with the best warranty— do your research and go with the best product. The best product will have the best coverage. Would you rather drive a reliable car with a 60,000 miles warranty or a shoddy car with an 80,000 miles warranty hoping it will be covered? You get the point.
Based on quality and warranties after reviewing hundreds of roofs every year, we highly recommend our top 4: Atlas, Owens Corning, CertainTeed, and also Malarkey roofing products stand out from the competition.
One final tip: read the fine print and don’t trust the sales rep if you are not convinced with the presentation of the product or have any concerns! And if you need help finding a reputable contractor, use Directorii to find a proven company near you.