Are you ready to get your roof replaced? Or perhaps you just had it replaced and are seeing some issues with it? One of the questions you may have is regarding the warranties that surround the shingles you buy and the company who installs them. In this article we will go over what you need to know about these warranties so that you can make an informed choice regarding the product on your home.
What is a warranty?
Warranties, in short, are a guarantee about the product or service that you are receiving. It means that you will be covered against certain defects that are stated in the warranty clause. Most people have had experience with warranties, and if you haven't that is nothing to be sad about! With roofing there are different warranties that you need to look out for so that you aren't caught off guard when disaster strikes.
Shingle Warranty -
Roofing Contractors can use a variety of shingles. Some of the more popular types of shingles are Owens Corning, GAF, Malarkey, and CertainTeed. When buying shingles from these companies you will see in your estimate things such as "15-year shingle" "30-year shingle" or "50-year" shingles. This is the length of the shingle life, but this doesn't mean that it's guaranteed for that time. This covers defects in the product, not faults in installation by the contractor. However, each manufacturer has warranties that they offer. These come with requirements to have their shingles guaranteed and if those aren't followed, the warranty and claim won't be accepted.
What do you mean won't be accepted?
An example would be Owen's Corning. Owen's Corning offers a standard lifetime warranty on their shingles. This comes when you buy the shingles, but they have other warranties that you can buy for additional prices. These special warranties are only valid if they are done by the approved contractors. The standard warranty can be done by any installer if it is done by the instructions and follows local code. However, you must use at least three components of Owen's Corning. A component means that you have used three of their products on your roof. Many contractors will use the same felt, ridge, and vents as the shingle manufacturer, so you would be covered. However, if three products are not used, then there is no lifetime warranty. The standard lifetime warranty is also void if proper installation was not followed, regardless of if it was done by a preferred contractor (their preferred contractor and platinum coverages DO cover defects caused by workmanship as stated above).
Many other manufacturers offer similar requirements and warranties. Because of this it is important that you verify all the requirements with your contractor. I always prefer to do my own research first so that I can ask any questions that need to feel a peace of mind. Feel free to click on each of the companies below to see their roofing warranties. You will notice that most companies offer similar limited warranties.
My roof has been finished, now what?
One thing that can be skipped over, and often isn't done, is registering your product. It isn't just enough to buy the shingles and follow proper installation. The shingles and warranty must be activated through the manufacturer to be effective. This requires knowing the product installed, date, color of shingles, and square footage. Some may require more information so knowing that in advance can help to avoid the tedious task of tracking documents down. Typically, the contractor installing your roof will file the registration for you. Hopefully you never have to file a claim regarding your shingles, but in the unfortunate circumstance you do the paragraph below will go over what to expect.
Getting your shingles covered
If there comes a time you need to have your warranty take place, the warranty and claim must be filed through the company or manufacturer of the shingle. There are a few things that you will need to gather up depending on who the warranty is through. Requirements generally include, an invoice (proof of purchase), proof of ownership of the house, sample of the roof, and photographs. Once this is sent in and a claim is filed. This can take a while (3-4 weeks on average) and they may request more information. If the claim is approved, they will inform you of what was covered, the amount, and any other information you need to know regarding the claim.
When receiving coverage, fine print can be stingy. You may be responsible for some additional costs not covered by the manufacturer. If the cost of shingle was $60 a bundle, but the price when you are needing a replacement is $78, you may end up paying the $18 difference. This can also be said about the cost of labor and other materials on the roof. Always read or ask these questions when filing for a warranty so you are prepared.
This time can be extremely stressful for homeowners. It is important that you take the time to make sure your home is still protected despite any defects. Having a roofing expert preform a repair can be the easiest way to get the shingle samples you need, as well sealing your structure until the warranty can be processed.
Installation/Workmanship Warranty -
There are times where your roof will leak within 1-5 years of being installed, that isn't the fault of shingles. As always, we recommend you do your research on the company installing your shingles to avoid this, but in the unlikely circumstance that error occurs knowing what is covered can be beneficial.
Some roofing contractors offer what can called a personal guarantee but is often called a workmanship warranty. This guarantees their installation for a time after the work has been completed. This means that if they made a mistake or did not properly install shingles they will come out and fix it free of cost to you. Most of these are caveated with a few years. The most common are 1, 2- and 5-year guarantees.
These workmanship warranties cover labor, materials, and removal of debris. This does not cover acts of nature that may have caused damaged to your roof. (If this has happened, we recommend filing an insurance claim as they deal with those types of accidents.) A different type of workmanship guarantee can be a membrane-only warranty. This covers only the materials installed on the roof, and not the labor or additional costs associated with repairing the roof.
Keep in mind that these are different from the manufacturer guarantees. If a roofing contractor offers a manufacturer guarantee, then see above. Companies may not list the guarantees or warranties they have so it is important to ask if this is available. Some may try to tell you that you won't need a guarantee, but if they are that confident in their abilities it should be no problem to offer you that peace of mind.
Important Things to Remember
There was a lot of information in this article and we hope that you find it helpful in understanding what protections you have after installation. Here are a couple of things to remember:
While I love to jump in to everything technical on the first post, it is holiday season and so I believe there is a special thanks that needs to be given. We take our winter season very seriously, and it's not just because of all the family quality time we are able to have. For many in the construction industry winter is a time where business slows, changes, or comes to a stop completely. While there are some benefits to doing projects in the winter, there are also many delays that come when the snow falls or the ground freezes.
During this time I find a growing warmth in my heart as I see many roofers, framers, siders, painters, etc. continuing to provide support for their families despite harsh weather conditions. It would seem that despite many adversities America always has a way of continuing to move forward. So thank you, to all workers and businesses, who provide an unwaivering support to our communities and our nation. Zam Roofing LLC thanks you for the deliveries, clerical support, grocery services, law enforcement, and health aid during this time. We would not be able to do what we do without each and every one of you. Please stay safe this holiday season and enjoy the time with family and friends.
Zam Roofing LLC