Many homeowners choose their roof materials based largely on the warranty provided. Here are some tips on comparing roof warranties.
All Roof Warranties
Most roof warranties offered by roof manufacturers are only product warranties that cover things like product defects. These warranties don’t typically cover the labor cost to remove or re-install your roof or any problems arising from poor installation practices. Prorated roof warranty coverage means the amount of coverage declines significantly over time. Many roof warranties offer transferability to subsequent owners, sometimes for a small fee. Warranties can differ widely from company to company and even within some companies that offer several different products. Be aware that the roofing contractor is the one to provide a workmanship warranty and this warranty would cover any subsequent leaks. Be sure to read over the workmanship warranty prior to signing a contract.
Metal Roof Warranties
When talking specifically about metal roofs, there are some unique terms. Lifetime warranties are quite common. This usually refers to the lifetime of the original homeowner and may convert to a 40 or 50 year term when transferred to a subsequent homeowner. Also, things like chalking, fading and chipping might be covered on a metal roof warranty. For example, some high quality coatings warranty staying within a small degree of color change for a certain time span. The idea is that any chalking or fading will not be terribly noticeable within the warranted period. Salt spray, for example, may be an exclusion for a metal roof located within 1500 ft. of salt water. Some cover roofs near salt water when documentation shows evidence of a bi-annual tap water rinse. It is always best to read the fine print.
Asphalt, Cedar and Other Warranties
Typically these types of warranties are heavily prorated due to the inevitable deterioration that occurs when these materials are exposed to the elements. Asphalt shingle manufacturers now offer product warranties that range from 25-50 years. They use flashy and impressive warranties to persuade homeowners their roof products are the best and will last the longest. Often rivalling over benefits like the length of coverage, algae resistance, wind tolerance and transferability. Due to the prorating and many exclusions, when these roofs need replacing, there is minimal or no warranty coverage available. Regardless of which type of roof material you choose, having your roof installed properly by qualified professionals, is the best way to ensure it will last as long as possible.