Why Your Roofing Warranty Matters - Digital Roofing Innovations

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Why Your Roofing Warranty Matters

Roof warranty

Before you purchase a new roof for your home, there’s one element you have to take serious consideration of.

Roofing warranties.

These thick slabs of paper can save you thousands of dollars if you read through them thoroughly. Understanding what your roofing warranty covers is even more crucial.

To save you the hassle, we’ve compiled this guide to help you understand everything there is to know about your roofing warranty.

Why It’s Important to Have Roofing Warranty

Most of the time, when manufacturers or companies offer warranty coverage, we take the warranty as it is.

This might be fine for that juicer you bought last week, or the brand new coffee grinder sitting on your kitchen counter.

With a new roof though, product warranty can significantly affect your replacement costs. Here are 2 reasons why it’s important to have warranty roofing:

1. A New Roof is a Big Investment

Spending on a new roof doesn’t come cheap. Seeing as how it’s a significant investment on your end, why wouldn’t you want the extra protection?

Roof warranties are similar to insurance for your home. If something goes wrong, would you be willing to spend thousands of dollars again for repairs?

2. Save on Costs

Roofing warranties can help you cover the cost of your materials, including any labor costs associated with it.

When purchasing roofing warranties, it helps to think long-term. 10 years down the line, you might incur damages or leaks in your shingles, vents, or critical areas in your roof.

Without proper coverage and protection, repair and replacement costs can easily surmount to a total cost similar to purchasing a new roof.

In effect, having a roofing warranty can save you a lot more than not having one.

What Does My Roof Warranty Cover

The short answer: it depends. Roofing warranties vary depending on the type you received.

Generally, roof warranties cover material defects and workmanship; however, it’s important to understand the type of roofing warranty you receive.

The reason why it varies is that every installation is unique. That being said, the manufacturer of your roof should provide you with all the warranty information needed up-front.

To help you get a better insight on your roofing warranty, the next sections below will talk about the different types and what each has to offer.

Types of Roof Warranty

There are only 3 main roof warranty types, and each covers a specific coverage for your roof. Understanding what these warranties have to offer will give you a better overview of what you need for your home.

Workmanship Warranty

Your workmanship warranty typically covers improper roof installations or techniques used that may result in material defects or damage. Basically, it covers both labor and installation costs.

Workmanship warranties depend on your contractor and how reputable & skilled the roofers are when installing roofing material in your home.

A solid workmanship warranty should protect you from material defects and damages that occurred due to poor installation or work errors regardless of the warranty coverage term.

Having a workmanship warranty can also protect you from any damages to your home’s furnishings and interior; however, this also depends on the contractor you work with.

Not all contractors offer the same workmanship warranty terms & coverage. With that said, you should check your contractor’s track record thoroughly before proceeding with the installation.

Manufacturer’s warranty

Manufacturer warranties only cover defective materials. Any labor and installation costs that come with it are charged separately.

The difficulty of having a manufacturer’s warranty is it only applies to factory materials defects.

What this means is, if there was improper installation involved or faulty labor, be it your shingles, underlayment, flashing, or ice and water shield, a manufacturer’s warranty would not cover these costs.

Sometimes, your manufacturer will offer warranty coverage for replacing any defective materials during the first few years. If any faulty materials are found, the initial replacement will also cover labor and installation costs.

Take note, though, that this will only cover the first few years. Disposal and tearing off of shingles won’t be included as well.

The following years after this initial period of warranty coverage will be prorated from then on. During the prorated period, if defective materials are found, you’ll receive a lesser amount of shingles and only a portion of the total cost.

Receiving a manufacturer warranty provides limited coverage for your roof. This is why we recommend you should always opt to receive both workmanship and manufacturer warranties.

That way, you’ll be covered for both materials and labor & installation.

Extended Manufacturer’s Warranty

Extended manufacturer warranties are optional warranties that come at an additional cost. Leading manufacturers understand the importance of quality work and the performance of roofing products.

This is to ensure homeowners get the most value out of purchasing a new roof and long-term wise, a worry-free installation that lasts for many years.

Extended warranties though, require you have a complete roof system installed. This includes:

  1. Underlayment
  2. Soffit and ridge vents
  3. Starter, hip, ridge cap, and finished/field shingles
  4. Ice and water shield

Having a complete roofing system installed makes you eligible for an extended manufacturer warranty, and although this comes at an additional cost, you’ll receive much more benefits such as:

  • Labor costs for defective materials e.g., repairs and replacements to last you up to 50 years
  • Warranty for all roof system components except for flashing, fasteners, and wood decking
  • Workmanship warranty for any installation errors, including labor, disposal, and tear-off labor costs

What Your Roof Warranty Doesn’t Cover

Foot Traffic

If your roof has high foot traffic (or from wearing the wrong roofing shoe), this can lead to punctures in your roof system. Warranties do not include foot traffic or puncture damage as part of their coverage plan.

We recommend instead, you install a thicker membrane to provide protection against heavy foot traffic. Alternatively, you can also request for additional puncture coverage.

Harsh Weather Conditions

Hail damage, harsh winds, tornadoes, floods, and fires are all harsh weather conditions that your manufacturer will not provide coverage for.

If you live in a high-wind zone area or any area prone to hail damage and floods, you’ll have to purchase a separate warranty for this.

Weather conditions like these are unpredictable, so we suggest purchasing additional coverage as part of the necessity.

Leak Repairs

Roofing warranty typically doesn’t cover leak repairs caused by earthquakes, fire, high winds, hail, vandalism, or any acts of negligence.

This means maintaining your roof and installing the necessary roofing material are vital to preventing leaks.

Products such as underlayment, flashing, and ice and water protectors are all roof components you should take serious consideration of.

Standing Water

Standing water is water that has remained on your roof for a certain period of time after the rain has stopped. Your roof’s valleys are the most susceptible to water pooling in this area.

In that case, make sure the valley flashing installed is done thoroughly, and that proper maintenance is also done at least once a month.

Roof Replacement

You won’t find any roof warranty that offers full coverage for a roof replacement. The closest replacement costs you can get for a warranty would be defective materials.

This means if the shingles that were newly installed disintegrated on its own without any external factor, your manufacturer would have to replace your shingles at no cost.

Other than that, there is no such warranty that offers complete or total replacement of your roof system.

What is the Best Roofing Warranty?

Looking at the different types of roofing warranty available, the best warranty for homeowners would be to get both manufacturer and workmanship warranty. 

Your manufacturer’s warranty covers the cost of defective materials; however, the likelihood of this happening is rare. Quite frankly, most defects occur because of poor installation.

Although manufacturer warranties can go as high as a 30-year coverage, remember that this 30-year term only pertains to factory defects and not materials that were damaged from hail, high winds, floods, installation, etc.

With a workmanship warranty, at the very least, you’ll have labor and installation costs covered for about one or two years.

Some roof companies offer 2-year, 5-year, and even 10-year workmanship warranties. Preferably, we recommend extending your workmanship warranty as soon as its coverage ends or purchasing a longer warranty plan.

Finally, before agreeing to any warranty terms, make sure your roofing contractor is reliable and has the experience to handle roof installations thoroughly and effectively.

If your roofing contractor prioritizes the speed of your installation, rather than the quality of the work and roofing material used, it’s highly likely you’ll experience installation defects & errors in less than 5 years.

Should I Go For Pro-Rated Warranty?

Some roofing companies will offer NDL (No Dollar Limit) warranty for a certain period like 5 to 10 years, followed by a pro-rated warranty for the succeeding years.

The downside of getting a pro-rated warranty is that it diminishes in value throughout the life of your roof system.

For example,

If your roofing contractor or company offers you a pro-rated warranty of 20 years coverage, where the first 8 years will have NDL coverage and the remaining 12 years as pro-rated. The first 8 years will cover a full 100% of total repair costs. By year 9, your warranty may only cover 90% of total repair costs, and by year 14, it may only cover 40%.

Pro-rated warranties cost less, but long-term wise, you also spend more. In cases like these, if you’re given to choose between a roofer warranty with 15 years NDL coverage or 30 years pro-rated coverage, we suggest going for NDL.

Some Tips Before You Go

1. Conduct Regular Roof Inspections

It falls to every homeowner’s responsibility to run regular roof inspections at least once a month.

Improper maintenance can lead to damaged roofing material, leaks, and damages that may not be covered by your roofing warranty.

In fact, most roofing companies and even your roofing contractor will tell you the same thing. If you let a small leak pass, the consequences could be severe in the future.

What was once a small leak can easily spread to your roofing material, roof deck, and worse, your home interior.

2. Report Your Roof Leak ASAP

As mentioned earlier, warranties cover a certain period of time only. Rarely will you find warranties that cover a lifetime coverage.

With that said, reporting a roof leak is as vital to the eligibility of your warranty. A product warranty might require you to report a leak within at least 30 days before it becomes void.

If you don’t take precaution and urgency sooner, you’ll have to shell out the roofing material cost and repairs associated with the leak.

3. Read the Fine Print of Your Warranty

This might sound like a hassle and even time-consuming; however, it’s worth every minute of it.

Reading the fine print of your warranty will not only tell you what your warranty covers, but it will also inform you of what it won’t cover.

This will help you make any necessary changes or requests for additional add-ons that would be essential to protecting your roof and savings long-term.

4. Run a Thorough Background Check

Before choosing the roofing contractor or manufacturer to install your roof, run a background check, and take into account the track record your manufacturer has.

Trusted manufacturers and certified roofing contractors will ensure a quality installation job along with the guarantee of providing roofing material that’s sure to last.

This last tip is crucial to your roof’s performance after 10 years or more. If you can trust the quality of their work, this can save you the hassle and worry of roof damages and installation errors for as long as 30+ years or more.

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