There are plenty of plus points to being a homeowner. When renting, you can’t call the shots without worrying about upsetting the landlord. But there are also additional responsibilities involved, including home maintenance. Roof replacement is probably the most expensive project a homeowner can undertake. You can expect to shell out more than $9,000 to have a new roof over your head. While roof warranties can help with the expenses, they may not offer enough coverage. Here’s how roof warranties work so you can make informed decisions and avoid costly surprises.

Understanding the 3 Types of Roof Warranties

Roof warranties may seem complicated, but there are three main types homeowners should focus on. One covers the materials, the other covers the installation, and the last is a mix of both. Here’s a closer look at them:

Manufacturer’s Warranty

Most roof shingles that homeowners purchase have a basic limited lifetime warranty. That’s the industry standard. “Lifetime” usually means as long as you own the house. That brings the average range to 20-25 years, but some warranties are only valid for five years. That’s why it’s crucial to read the fine print.

The level of protection you get depends on the manufacturer’s definition of “limited.” Here are the usual conditions that come with manufacturers’ warranties:

  • Most manufacturers’ warranties only cover the cost of defective materials. Homeowners must pay for the labor costs of removing and disposing of old shingles. The installation fee for the new materials might also fall on the homeowner’s shoulders.
  • Most manufacturers pay for defective shingles for the first few years only. They might also offer free installation during that period. After that, homeowners get prorated coverage. You’ll receive a small part of the cost only or fewer shingles.
  • Manufacturers’ warranties only cover factory defects. Homeowners can’t use them for damages due to improper installation, severe weather, and insufficient maintenance.

Defects in roof materials are rare, so homeowners may not have much use for manufacturers’ warranties. They don’t address the usual reasons for premature roof failure. Improper installation is one of them. If your contractor lacks experience and skills, your roof is more likely to fail. The combination of poor maintenance and harsh weather conditions can also cause roof failure. It can turn small problems like leaks into a costly nightmare. Unfortunately, manufacturers’ warranties can’t help with these common problems. This is why roof warranties are usually not helpful!

Contractor Installation Warranties

Your chosen contractor plays a crucial role in the quality and durability of your roof. Skilled and trustworthy contractors will stand behind their work and provide customers with an installation warranty. The duration of coverage varies greatly. Some contractors offer lifetime protection, while others only cover damages for 5-10 years. Regardless of duration, the purpose of installation warranties is to protect you from improper installation and contractor errors.
how do roof warranties work
Installation warranties usually cover expenses for the necessary repairs, including labor and materials. Some also take care of damages to interiors, furniture, and personal belongings due to incorrect installation. However, installation warranties don’t apply to issues unrelated to craftsmanship. These include the following:

  • Water damage because of ice dams on the roof
  • Damages due to severe weather
  • Damages from roof alteration after installation
  • Damages from foot traffic
  • Roof leaks due to falling debris

Installation warranties offer more protection than manufacturers’ warranties. However, the level of coverage still depends on your contractor. Have a clear understanding of your roofer’s warranty terms before letting them get to work. More importantly, examine their track record. You won’t have to worry about warranties if you have a skilled and experienced contractor. Even though there are some benefits, the warranty only lasts for 5-10 and covers installation or contractor errors. This will not help you in the event of harsh weather conditions, which is a very common reason for roof problems as the roof ages.

Extended Manufacturer’s Warranty

For homeowners who want more protection and peace of mind, they have the option to get an extended manufacturer’s warranty. While this warranty costs more than standard plans, it still costs less than a roof replacement.

An extended manufacturer’s warranty covers both material and installation defects. It also has a longer validity period than a standard warranty, lasting up to 50 years. However, manufacturers only offer it to customers under certain conditions. First, you should only hire a certified contractor who sticks to specific requirements. An extended manufacturer’s warranty also requires you to have a complete roof system. That includes the following components:

  • Underlayment
  • Hip and ridge shingles
  • Soffit and ridge vents
  • Water and ice barriers
  • Field and starter shingles

An extended manufacturer’s warranty offers protection for the entire roof system. Some manufacturers will even pay for a roof replacement if any components fail. However, these parts must be from one manufacturer to keep the warranty valid. This is an area you should tread very carefully with. If the roof fails due to weather, which again is very common, this warranty will be of no help.

Keep Your Roof Clean to Prevent Damages

Many homeowners make the expensive mistake of neglecting their roofs, thinking their warranty will pay for repairs. But even the most comprehensive roof warranty can’t cover all damages. In addition, many homeowners invalidate their warranties without even knowing it. The best way to prevent a financial nightmare is through proper roof maintenance. When you give your roof the care it deserves, you keep costly damages at bay and help it last longer. You’re also protecting the validity of your warranty as manufacturers require regular maintenance.

That’s where professional roof-washing services come in. Here at Blue Collar, we’ll remove the algae, moss, lichen, and other organisms feeding on your roof. That will help preserve its structure and prevent premature repairs and replacements. Contact our team today.


Author Kevin

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