Your roof is a critical component of your house. It keeps you dry and safe. It keeps you cozy in the frigid, windy winter. It can also make you miserable if it fails. The right roof warranty could save you thousands in repairs. The wrong warranty could leave you out in the cold.
Unfortunately, many people don’t understand their roof warranty or what it covers. The last thing you want is to assume you have a coverage only to find out when you need it you don’t.
If the worst happens and you are looking at having to get a new roof, you will want to know 1. If you have a roof warranty and 2. What your roof warranty covers. Not all warranties are created equal, and some might not give you the coverage you think.
Keeping your roof in good shape will save costs down the road.
Are roof warranties useful? It depends.
You wouldn’t dream of making a purchase the size of a roof without some assurance that the seller was standing behind their work. Pretty much any company is going to offer you some sort of guarantee when you’re shopping around.
But it’s up to you to read the fine print and understand what you’re getting. Ensure you are working with a quality roofer with experience. A knowledgeable roofer will be able to clearly explain to you what warranty comes with the roof you chose.
What do roof warranties cover?
Roof warranties are either going to be offered by the company that made the roofing material or by the company that installs it for you.
Manufacturer materials warranties cover the product made by the manufacturer. If you are using asphalt shingles for your roof, this type of warranty covers only the shingles. If it splits or blisters after the first sunny day, that would be covered. If it tears off because your roofer used the wrong hardware, that’s excluded.
Think of this like the warranty on your TV. If something inside it stops working, that would be covered. But if you knock it off the table and it breaks, Sony isn’t going to be sending you a new one.
With this type of warranty, if you buy shingles, and they leak or tear, they’ll replace those shingles. But you’ll be on your own when it comes to installing those new shingles. Also, don’t expect them to cover any problems linked to installation errors.
Manufacturer full-system warranties cover more. This type of warranty covers your roofing material the same way the material warranty does. It also covers other materials that might not have been made by the manufacturer, such as flashing and underlayment. And it covers the cost of hiring someone to make repairs when those items fail.
Some system warranties cover installation errors, but this is usually only for the first year or two. Read the fine print to know what you’re getting.
Contractor/workmanship warranties. The company that installs your roof offers this kind of warranty. It covers their workmanship. Since most roof failures are the result of installation errors, this can be a lifesaver for your budget.
What to Look For in a Roof Warranty
Before you make a decision, you’ll want to make sure you check for these things.
- Is there a dollar limit? Some warranties will cap the total amount they pay for repairs. You don’t want that. A good warranty will have No Dollar Limit (NDL), meaning they will cover the repair at today’s market value.
- What are your responsibilities? Many warranties require that you maintain your roof. You may need to provide periodic receipts showing you had it inspected. Contact All Craft Roofers to set up a maintenance plan.
- Don’t put off repairs. Many warranties require you to report a leak within 30 days. If you wait too long, the bill may be on you.
- How long does the coverage last? And is that prorated? Many companies offer a materials warranty for 20-50 years. That sounds like a long time, right? But if it’s a prorated warranty, the coverage amount shrinks as time goes by. A schedule will show the decreasing value of this contract. So if your warranty covers 100% of repair costs after five years, but only 60% of repair costs after ten, you could still wind up paying more than you would want out of pocket.
- What voids the warranty? Some contractors will void a warranty if anyone else works on the roof. Make sure to check for this before hiring a buddy or attempting any DIY fixes.
What don’t roof warranties cover?
All warranties spell out things that aren’t covered. You will want to thoroughly read your warranty to understand what is covered and what is not. Here are some standard exclusions:
- High-wind damage. Most warranties have specific limitations about how much wind they can withstand. Your roof might be rated to withstand a 55 mph wind for 5 seconds. Some companies will offer a wind gust upgrade for an extra fee.
- Hail damage. Hail falling from the sky isn’t the manufacturer’s or the installer’s fault.
- Punctures. When your shingles survive the storm only to have a branch poke through them, don’t expect your roof warranty to kick in.
- Acts of God. These include floods, tornadoes, fires, and anything else the contract specifies.
- Consequential damages. If that roof leak destroys your carpet, walls, or other property inside your house? Nope, that’s not covered.
Every warranty has limitations. Read your contract to get the details. Don’t be scared to ask questions.
The Bottom Line: Read the Fine Print
Your roof is a crucial part of your house. Companies use warranties to demonstrate that they stand behind their product or workmanship. Take a close look at the warranties out there before you decide which is best for you.
We strive to give the best customer service in the business. Let us prove to you we are the best.
Contact All Craft Roofers for a free, no-obligation inspection today!