When you replace your roof with a new one you make a big investment, and naturally you want that investment to be protected. Large projects like roof replacement come with warranties. It is important to find out what kind of warranties are out there so you can make the best choices for yourself, your home, and your investment. For this reason, you should always look into the warranties offered by both material manufacturers and contractors before selecting a material for your new roof and the contractor who will install it.
Whether you are purchasing a completely new home with a new roof or you are replacing your existing roof with a new one, your roof will likely come with a warranty (and if it does not, you may want to look into getting a second or third opinion from a different contractor). Roof related warranties are generally split into two types, and both of these types of warranty should come with every new roof or roof replacement. The first is the manufacturer’s warranty, and the second is the contractor’s warranty. They cover two different aspects of the roof: the materials used and the way they are installed. We will look deeper into both aspects below.
A manufacturer’s warranty is so named because it is guaranteed and provided by the manufacturer of the material used to cover the new or replaced roof. As we have covered in previous posts, there are many different kinds of roofing material, the most common in central Florida being asphalt shingles, followed by tile and metal roofing materials. All of these come with different warranty periods, guaranteed by their manufacturers.
Asphalt shingles warranties vary in length by type of shingle. Just a decade or two ago the principal type of asphalt shingle in use was the 3-tab shingle, which carried a warranty of 15-25 years depending on the manufacturer. Shingle manufacturing technology, however, is constantly improving. Nowadays, 3-tab shingles, the cheapest kind of shingle, carry a warranty of 30 years. But these are no longer the most common type of shingle used. Instead, we almost always use architectural shingles, which have an improved aesthetic and quality. These shingles come with a 40 year manufacturer’s warranty for the most basic sort and a limited lifetime warranty for the average grade. This warranty essentially translates into 50 years. The highest quality architectural shingles, also the most expensive sort, can carry warranties equal to the lifetime of the roof. Manufacturer’s warranties for asphalt shingles are typically transferable once in the case of property exchanging hands.
Limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranties are also typically guaranteed by tile and metal roofing material manufacturers. A typical explanation of the limited lifetime warranty in these cases is that they are in effect as long as the home remains owned by the same owner who replaced the roof (or purchased the home with a new roof). The good news is that if the home transfers ownership (that is, if you sell your house), the warranty is transferable! However, once transferred, the warranty remains in effect for a limited period, such as 40 or 50 years.
Due to recent technological innovations, manufacturer’s asphalt shingle warranties are now typically equal in length to tile and metal roofing material manufacturer’s warranties. All of these manufacturers’ warranties cover specifically problems that may arise in the roofing material resulting from defects in the manufacturing process. Some examples of these include rapid granule or color loss in shingles (also color change). Splitting and cracking are signs of defects in metal or tile. These are only covered if the cause is manufacturing defect, not poor installation technique or external causes (such as a tree falling down on the roof). Weather events, such as wind or hail, that can damage new and replaced roofs are sometimes nowadays covered under manufacturers’ warranties, but with limitations in factors like wind speed. For example, the architectural shingles that we use at Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. come with a manufacturer’s warranty against winds of up to 130 miles per hour. It is important to remember, however, that weather damages like wind and hail are also typically covered by property insurance policies, and losses can be recouped by filing a claim with your home insurance company. For more details on this, see our earlier post on this topic.
Another thing to keep in mind about manufacturers’ warranties is that it is important to register your new roof with the manufacturer of the roofing material. This will put the warranty into effect. If you have questions about how to do this, consult your contractor, as they likely deal with this process on a daily basis.
Labor or Workmanship Warranties
This is the other side of the warranty coin. While manufacturers’ warranties cover new roof or roof replacement materials, labor or workmanship warranties cover installation. These warranties are provided by the contractor who replaces your roof or puts the roof on a new home. Their length varies by contractor, from 3 to 5 to 10 years, with ten years being the most common. Since it is the contractor who provides the warranty, it is typically only effective if the same contractor is called in to deal with a problem that may arise.
Contractors’ warranties usually cover the labor and material cost involved in repairing a roof under warranty if the repairs are made necessary by problems arising from errors made in the installation process when the new roof was installed or replaced. In the case that you have a roof under a labor or workmanship warranty and you notice a problem or leak, you should call the contractor who guaranteed the warranty to assess the damage and make the repairs. It is also important to note that some labor warranties do not cover material costs associated with repairs, so it is important to clarify what type of warranty you will be getting before signing a contract.
We at Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. offer a 10 year labor warranty on all our roof replacements. If you have any questions about roofing warranties or any other roofing needs in Flagler, Volusia, or St. Johns counties please call us at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!