Are Roofing Warranties for Real?
A roof is a significant investment. Depending on your area, materials used and contractor fees, the average cost to repair or replace a roof is between $5,347 and $10,637. When you’ve spent that much money on a roof, the last thing you want is to be stuck with repair costs for any issues you may face.
What you need is a roofing warranty.
A roofing warranty covers a variety of items. Some protect against defects or the premature wear of the material. Others protect against issues caused by poor installation practices. For the most comprehensive protection, you’ll need both, and for your material to be installed by a qualified roofing contractor.
Warranties can be a confusing topic. Here, we’ll discuss what comes with a service contract, why you need one, and how to choose the best option.
What Is a Roof Warranty?
A roofing warranty is a service contract that pays for repairs for damage that occurs after installation. The contract is an agreement that outlines in detail what types of things are covered should you experience a problem. Some contracts only protect against defects in the materials used. Others cover issues caused by improper installation.
Do I Really Need a Roofing Warranty?
Your homeowner’s insurance only covers certain types of damage. Typically, anything caused by acts of nature is covered by homeowner’s insurance. Anything else is your responsibility.
Service contracts fill that gap and can cover most of the expenses for repairing and replacing your roof.
How Do You Get a Roof Warranty?
You can get a service contract from your installer. Before work begins, ask your contractor about your options. A good contractor knows that their business depends on quality service. Given that, they should be eager to offer you full protection so that your roof continues to provide the same great protection as the day it was installed.
Have your contractor explain each option in detail. Many contracts have stipulations on the type of materials covered, the type of issues covered and requirements for who must make repairs. There are also stipulations on how long your coverage lasts.
You’ll also want to ask about how long the coverage lasts. Materials service contracts range in length from 10 to 30 years. Some manufacturers even offer a lifetime warranty, which we’ll discuss below.
The length for an installer service contract is less than a manufacturer warranty. Ideally, make sure your contractor offers you at least a two-year option. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to notice any installation issues.
Types of Roofing Warranties
Not all warranties are created equally. There are two basic types of contracts to consider: A workmanship warranty covers issues due to installation, while a materials warranty covers defects in the materials.
Materials Defect Warranty
The manufacturer provides a service contract that covers premature aging or defects in the materials.
Workmanship Roofing Warranty
Normal wear is expected. A couple of loose shingles, mild warping, or even occasional chipping is okay. However, recurring and costly issues are not the norm. In these cases, what you want is a workmanship warranty. This type of service contract is offered by the contractor and covers any issues due to installation.
Ideally, you should get both types of protection for your big investment. Be sure to work with a contractor who offers both so that you get full protection if anything goes wrong.
Choosing the Best Roofing Protection Plan
There is no one correct answer for choosing a protection plan, but there are factors to consider when evaluating your options.
Does It Suit the Weather?
Consider the weather in your area. If you are prone to extreme wind conditions, make sure you select a plan that covers high wind gusts.
Is It Transferable?
Another item to evaluate is transferability. Ask your contractor what happens if you sell your home. Don’t assume the service contract automatically transfers to the new owner.
Is Your Warranty NDL or Pro-Rated?
A No Dollar Limit (NDL) warranty covers the full cost to fix the issue. Prorated warranties, however, are a confusing topic that can leave homeowners in a tough situation when it’s time for repairs.
A prorated warranty begins to depreciate over time. That means you may not get the full cost for the repairs when it’s time to make a claim. Unfortunately, many long-term warranties are actually prorated. Be sure to ask which one you are getting so that you aren’t left with surprises if you need to file a claim.
What Does A Lifetime Roofing Warranty Actually Mean?
When it comes to warranties, the term “lifetime” is relative and can take on a lot of different meanings depending on who you ask. Does it mean the lifetime of you owning the home? Does it mean the entire lifespan of the roof regardless of who owns the house? If you buy a lifetime warranty and the company (wither the contractor or the manufacturer) goes out of business, is your contract still valid?
The answer to these questions varies between companies. Make sure you get answers to these questions before you sign anything.
Protecting Your Warranty
A good service contract can give you years of peace of mind, but what if you’ve voided the warranty already and don’t know it?
The last thing you want is to file a claim only to be denied. You can avoid this situation by taking a few simple steps to protect your coverage.
Read the Fine Print
Warranties often have stipulations on what is covered. The protection plan may only include specific products, or they may require that a certified installer did the work before they will resolve the issue.
Ask questions before signing anything. Work with your contractor or call the manufacturer to clarify things if necessary. The more information you have, the better prepared you will be to protect your coverage.
Register Your Warranty
Registering your contract ensures that the manufacturer has a formal record of your purchase. Registering your service contract also informs the company of the type of roof you have, what kinds of materials were used, and information about the contractor who installed the product.
Perform Regular Inspections
The key to maintaining a valid contract is to avoid major problems. You can do this by performing regular inspections. Regular inspections can help you identify and fix the minor issues before they become significant problems. Common things to look out for include puddling, clogged gutters, and algae.
Stay with The Original Contractor
Many service plans require the original contractor to perform the repairs. If you hire a different contractor, you may find yourself without coverage.
Avoid Pressure Washing
Your roof was not made to sustain focused, high-pressure water. Using a pressure washer could cause premature damage, such as eroding the granules or breaking the shingles, that is very unlikely to be covered by your warranty.
What Does a GAF Roof Warranty Cover?
Our Rennison warranty guarantees quality installation. We also offer GAF warranties to cover manufacturer defects.
GAF provides five levels of coverage. Each has varying eligibility requirements, coverage periods and type of damage covered.
GAF Shingle & Accessory Limited Warranty
A basic GAF Shingle & Accessory Limited Warranty does not have eligibility requirements. This plan offers lifetime protection and wind damage for winds up to 130 mph.
GAF Roofing System Limited Warranty
With a GAF Roofing System Limited Warranty, you would need at least three qualifying accessory products. Examples of accessory items include leak barrier products, roof deck protection and ventilation products.
The plan has no maximum wind limitation and provides lifetime protection.
System Plus Limited Warranty
A System Plus Limited Warranty also requires three qualifying accessory products. However, to get this coverage, the product must be installed by a GAF Certified Master Elite Roofing Contractor.
This option offers lifetime protection with no wind limitation.
Silver Pledge Limited Warrant
The Silver Pledge Limited warranty is the same as the System Plus Unlimited plan. However, the Silver Pledge requires four qualifying accessory products.
Gold Pledge Limited Warranty
The Gold Pledge Limited Warranty requires five accessory products.
The Bottom Line on Warranties
Roofing warranties are not only a real thing, but they are vital to protecting your investment. At Rennison Roofing, we stand by our work and offer plenty of warranty options for your peace of mind. Call or email us today to get started.