A new roof is a major investment, so many homeowners feel a sense of relief knowing that a new roof comes with a warranty to protect their investment. However, roofing warranties can be complicated. Choosing the wrong contractor to install your new roof could mean that your warranty isn’t what you thought it was. When you choose a contractor for your new roof, you are also choosing the guarantee that the new roof will perform well.
Types of Roof Warranties
There are several types of roof warranties, so it’s important to make sure you understand what your roofing contractor is offering you. These warranties will cover any material failure in your new roof. Some may include:
- Roof installation warranties: these are usually 5 years or fewer, although some roofers will offer lifetime warranties.
- Roof vent warranties: these cover the vents on the top of the roof, although they will not cover electrical vents.
- Roof underlayment warranties: these can be as long as 50 years.
- Shingle warranties: usually 20 years.
What Does a Roof Warranty Cover?
Most roof warranties cover the basics, like routine leaks or issues with the flashing. You may be required to perform regular roof inspections to document issues as they arise. Warranties also cover the materials for a period of time (usually 30 years) from the date of manufacture, not installation, so make sure you know how long your roofing materials have been sitting before installation.
What Isn’t Covered by a Roof Warranty?
There are things that aren’t covered by a roofing warranty. Some of them can’t be avoided, but others can. Fire damage, storm damage, vandalism, and hail will likely be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Negligence on the part of the homeowner typically won’t be covered at all. In addition, there are things that can void your warranty which include:
- Poor Workmanship: If your roofing contractor did a poor job installing your new roof, you will likely be out of luck. Most warranties only provide coverage against manufacturing defects, and if your contractor didn’t do quality work, you won’t be covered for that under the manufacturer’s warranty.
- Overlay: There are very few situations where layering a new roof on top of your existing roof is warranted, and in the majority of cases, doing so will void any warranty on the new roof. Yes, you may save money initially by avoiding the tear off and disposal, but it’s a big risk to take. If there is damage underneath the old layer of shingles, you are likely looking at a very expensive repair that will not be covered. Your contractor should be very up front with you about this if an over-roof is discussed.
- Transfer: You may use your new roof and the accompanying warranty as a selling point if you put your house on the market, but make sure you read the fine print. Not every warranty will allow the new owners to be covered. When you speak to your contractor about a roof warranty, make sure you understand if your warranty will be transferable if you decide to sell.
- Structural Changes, Alterations, or Additions: Installing an antenna or satellite dish may void your warranty. Check with your roofing contractor about this before you sign any paperwork.
How Can I Make Sure I Protect My Investment?
There are two ways to make sure you are protecting your investment with a roof warranty. Always read the fine print on any warranty document you sign. Check for anything that would void your warranty and make sure you understand exactly what is covered, for how long, and what isn’t covered. The second way to protect your new roof is to make sure you have hired a quality contractor who will stand by their work. Check your contractor’s references to make sure they have a good reputation for quality installations.
A quality roofing contractor is honest and will stand by their work. These roofing contractors know and understand the roofing warranties and will make sure that the new roof they install on your home is covered by the warranty offered. Reading the fine print, choosing quality materials, and, choosing the right contractor for your new roof will ensure you’ve done everything you can to protect your home and your investment. Contact Armorvue Home Exteriors for a virtual appointment to talk about getting a new roof installed on your home by our roofing specialists.