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How To Understand Your Roof Warranty

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Warranties, in general, can be difficult to understand due to complex legal wording which isn’t readily interpreted by the common person. Your roofer should be able to answer any simple question about a warranty – what it covers or how long it lasts. If not, you need another roofer who communicates more clearly.

Why Warranties Matter

Obviously, if someone promises you a roof with a lifetime warranty you shouldn’t have to worry much about repairs, except that they get done. But sometimes even the best roofers can accidentally install a component incorrectly. The root of many roofing problems stem from improper installation. A major key to a long-lasting roof, besides working with a high-quality roofer who conducts routine maintenance, is to understand the warranty. Since any roofing project involves a large investment, it’s wise to make sure the warranty works in your favor as a homeowner.

Roofing Materials

Every roofing warranty should at least cover the materials involved, whether the roof is made of metal, wood, or other materials. Any type of roofing material is subject to degradation due to environmental or unforeseen factors. It’s standard for warranties to cover material defects, but the details are what determine the exact actions to be taken in such cases. When it comes to reimbursement, homeowners need to build a strong argument by keeping records of all inspections and repairs.  

Prior to the installation, the contractor should inspect the packages of materials to check for any cracked shingles. Once the roof has been installed, you should have photographs taken of the roof in case you have to compare future photos for defects.

Owens Corning is a roofing manufacturer that strives to make warranties easy to read and understand. The company allows you to file a no-hassle claim and get reimbursed quickly. According to GAF, the majority of problems with new roofs are attributed to how the roof was installed, not the quality of the roofing materials. The two types of coverage to be aware of are coverage for material defects and coverage for installation errors.

Even though all roofing manufacturers offer warranties against defects, the amount of coverage depends on the brand. Each product has its own specific terms and conditions, which is why you need to read a warranty carefully before signing a contract.

Parts and Labor

The warranty on components on your roof can last anywhere from a few months to 50 years. GAF offers a third warranty beyond materials and labor to cover your entire GAF roofing system. Be sure to keep track of all the paperwork involved, including the dates when the shingles were installed.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) advises homeowners to make sure the contractor is an NRCA member and explain how they oversee quality control. You should be aware of the member who is supervising the installation, the number of workers involved, and the estimated time frame for completion. Look out for provisions that might void the warranty and be aware of the level of professionalism the contractor exhibits.

In order to use a Parts and Labor Warranty, the work must be well documented in terms of repairs and replacements. If you can show proof that a product was installed improperly, it gives more weight to your argument. Understand that when multiple roofers are involved in an installation, errors may not be covered under the main contractor’s warranty.

Lifetime and Transferrable Warranties

Make sure if you purchase a “lifetime” warranty to have your contractor explain what it means. It may only mean 30 years or may be related to the expected lifespan of components such as shingles. If you come across the term “prorated roofing,” ask what it means, since it may only cover a fraction of repair costs in the future.

A transferrable warranty means you can sell it to another home buyer. This means in theory the new owner will be entitled to the same coverage rights as the original owner. It’s a good idea to notify the manufacturer when such a change in homeownership takes place. Keep in mind there may be requirements to be met within a transfer window such as a transfer fee. Remember the fine print is just as important as the easy-to-digest print. Getting the most from your roofing investment clearly depends on who you choose to work with.

Make sure you choose an experienced roofer who knows the climate and laws of your region. Contact us at J. Carnes & Son Roofing at 603-686-7763 for Owens Corning roof systems to learn more about roofing warranties. Many times the effectiveness of a warranty comes down to the trust and reputation of the contractor and how well they communicate with customers.