Many homeowners know little about roof warranties, including how long they last and what they cover (or exclude from coverage). This lack of information arises from the complexity of many warranties. After all, they typically contain substantial volumes of legalese or fine print. Specific warranty exclusions can be challenging to understand, even for the most discerning and learned homeowner.
Although roof warranties deviate somewhat in coverage terms, most provisions are standard. The average warranty addresses one of two areas: the roofing material or the workmanship (labor). When a warranty exists on the roofing material, a roofing manufacturer typically issues it with specific limitations. Certain roofing manufacturers and some roofing contractors may provide a labor warranty.
What Is A Roof Warranty?
A roof warranty functions like an insurance policy to protect the homeowner’s investment in purchasing a new roof (or to acquire repairs). The expense to repair, restore, or replace a roof may cost the homeowner many thousands of dollars. To ensure the product’s longevity and/or the quality of workmanship, a roof warranty covers a portion or all of the cost the homeowner otherwise must incur.
How Many Different Roof Warranties Are Available?
Most roofing industry experts and insiders agree that three primary classes of roofing warranties exist. These classes primarily depend on the party issuing the warranty and the coverage available under that particular agreement. As written guarantees from the manufacturer or roofing contractor, roof warranties promise repair, restoration, or replacement of roofing materials and/or components.
Material-Only/Standard Manufacturer Warranty
Typically associated with asphalt shingles, this warranty protects the homeowner from product defects that materially affect performance during the warranty period. Most major manufacturers (i.e., CertainTeed, GAF, Owens Corning, etc.) offer either a lifetime or limited lifetime warranty lasting anywhere from 25 to 50 years.
Of note, the manufacturer usually will not cover:
- Roofing components not made by that manufacturer.
- Workmanship defects caused by improper installation by the roofing contractor.
- Damage from outside elements (i.e., hail, wind, ice, etc.).
Most warranties of this nature are not transferable from owner to owner.
Material And Labor/Workmanship Extended Manufacturer Warranty
Often referred to as a system or extended manufacturer warranty, major roofing manufacturers provide coverage for material and labor if the homeowner adheres to specific stipulations when installing a particular roofing product. For example, if the homeowner hires a manufacturer-certified installer, a labor warranty may be triggered.
This limited lifetime warranty often covers the cost of labor and materials if a roof replacement becomes necessary during the warranty period. Typically, homeowners must pay an additional fee to secure an extended warranty. They also are made available primarily (if not exclusively) through a manufacturer-certified installer.
Labor/Workmanship-Only Roofing Contractor Warranty
A limited number of roofing companies provide a workmanship warranty for the installation or replacement of a roof. If a subsequent issue arises due to an error by the roofer, the roofer will address it at no cost to the homeowner. Although rare, a select handful of roofing contractors also offer this warranty for roof repairs.
No roofing company is obligated or required to extend a workmanship warranty. The roofer offering this type of warranty to homeowners typically has an established reputation for excellent workmanship. They want to differentiate themselves from the roofing competition – especially the fly-by-nighters and less experienced roofers.
How Long Does A Roof Warranty Last?
Roof warranty coverage limits vary greatly depending on the manufacturer or the roofing company extending a warranty. Major manufacturers usually offer a tiered system of product warranties based on the type of material selected and what defect coverage the homeowner prefers. Depending on the roofer’s relationship with a manufacturer, the homeowner may have access to more meaningful warranties.
Owens Corning utilizes a tiered system of warranties on its products and labor. If a homeowner works through an Owens Corning Preferred Contractor or Platinum Preferred Contractor, the roofing project has certain product defect coverages not available to the homeowner if they hire an unaffiliated roofer. Also, workmanship coverage only becomes accessible through an Owens Corning-affiliated contractor.
Hiring A Roofer With Access To Outstanding Warranties
As a seasoned professional roofing contractor, we believe what we do truly matters. We don’t take our work or our customer relationships lightly. Each day, we help homeowners beautify their premises, protect their loved ones, and enhance their homes with superior roofing products and unmatched craftsmanship. We accomplish this mission while contributing to a healthier, more sustainable environment.
If you need a roofing company committed to your best interests, contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. At Red Diamond Roofing, we proudly serve Greater Denver and Fort Collins with the finest roofing services throughout the Front Range. In conjunction with our manufacturing partners like Owens Corning, GAF, and Malarkey, we offer unsurpassed manufacturer and workmanship warranties.