If you are like most homeowners, you probably don’t know a lot about roofing warranties. You may not even realize that your roofing contractor should provide you with a warranty for their work. Perhaps you didn’t even know there are three different roofing warranties:
- Workmanship warranties
- Manufacturer warranties
- Extended warranties
This guide will discuss everything homeowners need to know about roofing warranties before you start your roofing project. We’ll cover why they are essential, what is included in a warranty, and how to use your coverage if something goes wrong.
Workmanship Vs. Manufacturer Warranties: What’s the Difference?
For most home services that require installation of some kind, you’ll likely hear the words “workmanship” or “craftsmanship” warranty. But you’ll also get a manufacturer warranty— these are very different.
Workmanship Warranties Cover the Installation 🛠️
A workmanship warranty guarantees that the contractor or company who installed your roof will fix any mistakes made during installation— at no cost to you.
This includes fixing leaks, poor drainage, and any cosmetic damage caused by the installation process. Most workmanship warranties last between two and five years, though some companies offer more extended coverage periods from 10 to 15 years or more.
A reputable contractor who stands behind their work with pride will often offer the best workmanship warranties. They know they can do the work, and on the rare occasion their workmanship fails, your repairs will be covered. Be wary of contractors who do not include a workmanship warranty on new installs.
Manufacturer Warranties Cover the Materials 🏠
A manufacturer warranty differs from a workmanship warranty in that it covers the materials used on your roof, not the installation. In other words, if your asphalt shingles start to curl or crack within the first few years after installation, the manufacturer will replace them— as long as it’s due to a manufacturing defect and not poor installation.
A professional inspection can better diagnose whether the roof issue is based on a material defect (hopefully it is) or some other type of damage like failed repairs or storm damage. And yes, they should be able to tell.
What’s Included in a Standard Roofing Warranty?
Now that we know the difference between a workmanship and a manufacturer warranty let’s talk about what’s included in a standard roofing warranty.
A standard roofing warranty should include coverage for any defects such as:
- Wind damage up to 130 mph winds
- Algae growth
- Necessary tear-offs
- Cracks or other material defects
And how long do standard roofing warranties usually last? Most are valid for 20-50 years, with the average being 25 years. Some companies will also offer extended warranties for an additional cost. These typically cover a more extended period of time— anywhere from 30 to 50+ years— and often include coverage for more types of damage, such as:
- Hail damage
- Water leaks
- Fallen trees
While an extended warranty may cost you more upfront, it could save you a lot of money in the long run if something goes wrong. A good extended warranty will also protect any additional roofing system components such as the underlayment, ridge vents, ice barriers, starter shingles, etc.
What Does Limited Lifetime Warranty Actually Mean?
The industry standard for roofing shingles is most often a limited lifetime warranty. But does that truly mean for a lifetime? Not exactly.
It’s a common misconception that a lifetime warranty truly means for your entire life, but it’s more so for the product’s intended life or for as long as you own your home— whichever comes first. For example, if your shingle roof is only meant to last for around 25 years, that’s about how long the lifetime warranty will be.
It’s important to note that “lifetime” can also vary significantly between manufacturers. This, like climate or roofing material, can affect how long or how short a lifetime warranty may be. If your home is in a desert climate that experiences extreme temperature variations throughout a single day, you may have lesser lifetime warranty coverage.
One of the (many) reasons asphalt shingles remain one of the most popular types of roofing materials today is due to their durability in many climates. Asphalt shingle warranties often have pretty substantial coverage and protection for any home.
What Happens When My Warranty Runs Out? 🤷
Your roof is one of the most essential parts of your home, so keeping it in good shape is important. That being said, even the best roofs will eventually need to be replaced.
What happens when your warranty runs out, and you need a new roof? Well, you’ll likely have to pay for the repairs or replacement out of pocket, or if you experienced storm damage, you might be able to get insurance to cover repairs. Have a professional roofer do an inspection and walk you through the claims process to attempt to get the coverage you need when you’re out of warranty.
Important Roofing Warranty Tips ✅
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of roofing warranties, here are a few important tips for homeowners:
- Read your warranty carefully to know what’s covered and what’s not. This will help you avoid any costly surprises down the road.
- Be sure to keep all documentation in a safe spot for easy reference
- You must maintain your roof to prevent voiding the warranty. Upkeep includes making necessary repairs, keeping it clean, and getting regular inspections.
- Don’t forget to register your warranty!
- You must live on the property for your warranty to be valid. Some warranties can be transferable to the next owners of a home, however.
- Don’t void your warranty by attempting to make repairs yourself.
Don’t Get a Roof Without a Warranty
To fully protect yourself and your home, it’s a good idea to always go with a roofing company that offers excellent warranties so you can rest easy. Protect your most significant investment to date by working with Monarch Roofing.
Our roofing experts are GAF Master Elite, meaning we can offer you some of the best warranties in the business— just reach out for more information! We look forward to getting you the roof of your dreams and protecting it with the proper warranty.