Are you looking for home maintenance items to add to your to-do this year? Maybe it’s time to look up and inspect your roof and research your shingle warranty. Your roof is one of the most important aspects of ensuring your home stays safe and secure. But there is more to buying a new roof than focusing in on style and color. What about the shingle warranty? If the product is defective and causes problems shortly after installation, will you be covered? What if workmanship creates an issue, will you have to pay?
If the shingles aren’t in great shape, leaks could trickle down and cause water damage throughout your home. Or worse, allow mold and mildew to accumulate and impact your indoor air quality.
Selecting a new roof will be one of the most significant home improvement projects you take on. If you do it the right way, it can last for years – decades even. It can give you peace of mind no matter what weather blows in, summer or winter.
Should this be the year you’re investing in a new roof, there are several reasons you should pay attention to your shingle warranty before signing on the dotted line.
1. Not all shingle warranties are created equal
Let’s say you’re interested in the CertainTeed line of shingles. You visit with several roofing companies that offer the CertainTeed product line and assume all shingle warranties between the companies are created equal.
Don’t let the brand fool you. Your shingle warranty depends as much on what’s offered by the roofing manufacturer as it does the workmanship of the company that performs the installation.
What if the roofing contractor goes out of business in a few short years? If this person is no longer in business when a problem arises, you might not have the ability for restitution. Pay as much attention to who you’re doing business with as you do with the product line you select.
2. Only some shingle warranties will cover you for life
There are a lot of misleading marketing messages within the shingle industry. Have you seen the phrase “covered for life” as you’re comparing roofing companies? It’s a good idea to explore what that phrase really means.
Some shingle companies like to offer lifetime warranties, but it means different things.
For some, it means for the lifetime of the product. With a little research, you’ll find how long the product is designed to last – 20, 30, 40 years, or more – and the “lifetime warranty” means you’ll be covered for the life of the product.
For others, it might be the lifetime of the homeowner. If the homeowner moves, the rights aren’t transferable. The “lifetime coverage” ends when the homeowners sign over their rights.
3. Some things can void your shingle warranty
Some installers are merely there to get your business. They will sell you on things just to get the job. And that doesn’t always work in your favor. There are many things that can null and void your warranty right from the beginning, including:
- Over-roofing – This is when the original layer of roofing tiles is kept in place, and your new shingles are installed over the top. Be sure to check with manufacturers guidelines to ensure you don’t break this rule right from the start.
- Structural changes – Home improvement projects are a part of operating a home. When you add to your home, some of your additions will cause structural changes to your roof line. Like changing a woodburning fireplace to gas. Or adding a skylight to your home. If your home maintenance item impacts your roofing material in any way, it may impact your warranty coverage as well.
- Weather – While many roofing materials are designed to protect against certain types of weather, catastrophic storms may not be included. The once-in-one-hundred-years hailstorm or the wildfire that rages through a neighborhood may be beyond the warranty coverage.
- Age – Each manufactured product will only last for so long. Normal wear and tear will not be covered by a warranty.
4. Product warranties and workmanship warranties are not the same
When it’s time to install a new roof, you should select the roofing material that works best for your home and your neighborhood. Some homeowners’ associations have to approve your final product choice for color, style, and material.
Once you make your final selection in materials, ask to see both product and workmanship warranties.
A product warranty covers the roofing product you install. This is the warranty that protects you from defects in the product and ensures your shingles are of the highest quality and don’t put you and your home at risk.
A workmanship warranty covers you against the way the product is installed. This comes directly from the company you select to install the roofing material to your roof.
Reputable contractors will always guarantee their workmanship; the question is, for how long? Because no matter how good the shingles you select are, they are only as good as the quality of their installation. The workmanship warranty will give you some indication of the installer’s reputation.
5. Shingle warranties may or may not be transferable
Right now, you might be in love with your house. It may be your dream house. You may be planning to live in it for life.
But things change. What if your company offers you a position in a new city? What if your family size increases and you need more space? Or maybe your empty nest years have you dreaming of downsizing into a smaller home?
Nothing lasts forever. And while you may be happy with a shingle warranty that promises several decades of protection, if you can’t transfer that to new owners, it doesn’t have much value.
A transferable warranty can be passed on to new owners. And that adds value to the purchase price of your home. If a buyer is comparing multiple homes, this can be the tipping point toward a purchase.
Your shingle warranty might not include what you think. The only way to determine how much coverage you have is to read the fine print. Ask questions. Do a little research. Compare warranties, especially if you have questions and notice differences. A reputable company will always welcome your questions and work with you to provide answers you understand. Don’t sign on the dotted line until you’re sure.
This post is a collaboration and may contain resourceful affiliate links. All opinions are our own and for informational purposes only.