Buying a new roof can be a huge property investment. After spending so much time and money, everybody wants to feel secure that their roof will stand the test of time. Especially if something goes wrong and you need some help getting problems fixed. That is usually where warranties come into play. Unsure what to expect from a warranty for your roof? Read on for an overview of what you need to know when it comes to roofing warranties: what options you have, what questions to ask, and where to draw the line in terms of expected coverage.
Types of Roofing Warranties
Typically, roofing warranties fall into one of two categories: manufacturer’s warranties or workmanship warranties. Both can be useful, but they are different in a few key ways so it’s important to understand what you’re purchasing.
Manufacturer’s warranties are offered by, you guessed it, the manufacturer of the actual roofing material you purchased. This protects against damage to your roof caused by defects in the materials used. This does not include damage caused by faulty workmanship, lack of maintenance, or acts of God. Cost can vary depending upon term and amount of coverage. Most manufacturer’s warranties are valid for a period of 15-30 years. The type of coverage available is going to differ based on the manufacturer, but most companies will warrant only certain parts of the roofing system rather than every aspect. A good example of this is a warranty that covers shingles but not the membrane, flashing, etc.
Workmanship warranties are typically offered by whichever contractor installs your roof. Also sometimes called labor warranties, this protects against issues with your roof that are caused by faulty workmanship. This does not cover defective materials, acts of God, or lack of periodic maintenance. These warranties are typically valid for much less time than manufacturer’s warranties–less than five years, in most cases. While this might seem short in comparison to the manufacturer’s warranty timeline, it’s not all that unreasonable. Faulty workmanship will almost certainly make itself known in this shorter timeframe, while improperly manufactured material can take more time to cause obvious problems.
Coverage, Questions, and Concerns
It’s true that roofing warranties can be a world of help to you. Once you’ve determined what type of warranty is best for you, there are a few things to take into to consideration if you want to be sure that your new warranty will be there for you when you need it most.
Basic coverage for each warranty type has been outlined above, but it is possible to gain additional coverage by purchasing an upgraded warranty. For example, most warranties won’t cover damage or material failure that was the result of high winds, hurricanes, or hail. Certain warranties, however, do offer the options to add this coverage. If you live in an area where these phenomena are expected occurrences, this kind of upgrade may be vital to ensure you have coverage.
Additionally, always be sure to know what conditions will void your warranty. It might be a pain to read all the fine print to figure it out, but you certainly don’t want to accidentally do something to rob yourself of protection from a good roofing warranty. Some common examples include material failure due to improper installation, non-covered weather events, lack of proper maintenance (allowing water to pool), or using multiple contractors to work on the same roof.
Roofing warranties might be a bit complicated at first, but they can be really useful in the event something goes wrong with your roof. Remember that although they’re designed to help you out, they’re also designed to protect the manufacturer or contractor, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and read through your warranty before buying.