When you purchase a new roof, you should receive 2 warranties in writing.
The 1st: from the manufacturer covering the integrity of their product.
The 2nd: from the contractor covering the integrity of their workmanship.
The manufacturer covers what they have control over – the product, and the contractor covers what they have control over – the installation.
Manufacturer’s Roof Warranty
Often, contractors take advantage of homeowners and shift the focus to the manufacturer’s warranty.
When you read product warranties, beware of those issued by suppliers who are not manufacturers. These warranties are limited in scope, covering the value of the raw materials and not the finished product. For metal roofing, they only consider the performance of the material, not the entire roof system. They ignore weather conditions, like wind or hail damage, and are difficult to collect.
However, the manufacturer’s product warranty is what matters. It protects your investment, and in turn, is usually covered by the supplier’s warranty.
The product warranty from your with quality products manufacturer will have several key areas:
- Manufacturer’s Defects. Pay close attention to product warranties that cover only manufacturer’s defects and not problems due to age. Unfortunately, many manufacturers avoid these, and if the product degrades and fails due to “normal weathering conditions,” they escape liability. Instead, look for warranties covering cracking, splitting, fade, granule loss, etc.
- Proration. Roof warranties are typically prorated, meaning that you receive less compensation as your roof ages and failure occurs. This makes sense – you pay for the portion of time that the roof provides service. Typically, a short non-prorated period is reduced by a constant yearly percentage. However, we have seen many companies begin to offer warranties with widely varying proration schedules.
- Transferability. Some warranties never transfer, some do once or twice, and others transfer as many times as the home is sold during the warranty period. Limiting transferability allows manufacturers to capitalize on the average home selling every eight years (according to the National Association of REALTORS 2021 report). A warranty with one transfer shortens the liability to 16 years while advertising a much longer period.
- Limitations and Exclusions. Here are things to watch:
- Does the warranty cover materials and labor if necessary, or just materials?
- Is there a maximum payout?
- Does the warranty require installation over an approved substrate? If so, what is the approved substrate?
- Are there ventilation requirements?
- Does it offer specific wind coverage but have exclusions for hurricanes and tornadoes?
- Is there a “normal weathering” exclusion? If so, what counts as “normal weathering”?
When you purchase a roof, you will receive a warranty covering installation from your contractor. You should request this in writing with exactly what is covered, for how long, and under what terms. It should be for a minimum of two years, and we’d suggest longer for high-end products.
It should also specify if it is transferable to future owners of your home. (This is rare, but if you intend to sell your home soon, you may be able to negotiate one transfer.)
Pay attention to anything that voids the warranty, like storm damage. Sometimes, storm resistance warranties fall under the manufacturer’s product warranty.
Find answers to these questions:
- Are you receiving a written, legal warranty or a verbal promise?
- What does or doesn’t the warranty cover? What about Acts of God?
- How long is the warranty? Does it transfer to future owners or a surviving spouse?
- What is this contractor’s track record, and how long have they been in business?
- How seriously do they take their warranty?
If you’re considering a roofing product, send over the warranty to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to take a look and determine the value it offers you and future owners of your home.
We offer ONE Lifetime Roof Warranty for Materials and Installation
Exclusively for homeowners in Kentucky and our service area, we offer the convenience of a single lifetime product and workmanship warranty that is the best in the industry. We’re your direct connection to our manufacturing facility in Ohio and our own installation teams.