Comparing Roof Warranties

August 10th, 2016

Comparing Roof Warranties

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.  Some roof warranties are also prorated which 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 metal roof warranties, there are a few unique terms.  Lifetime warranties are becoming 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 are warranted to stay 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 coating manufacturers warranted period.  And salt spray, for example, a metal roof located within 1500 ft. of salt water may be an excluded circumstance in the fine print of the warranty.  Some warranties will cover roofs near salt water when documentation is kept showing evidence of a bi-annual tap water rinse.  It is always best to read the fine print.

Asphalt, Cedar and Other Roof Warranties

Typically these types of roof 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.

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