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Roof Warranty Guide: What Every Property Owner Needs to Know

January 18, 2023

When people think about protecting their roofs, they often think of annual maintenance, winter prep, and cleaning the gutters. However, some roof damage is unavoidable and may lead to a complete replacement, costing thousands of dollars. To avoid a hefty and unplanned roof replacement bill, consider getting a roof warranty. Read this roof warranty guide to learn all the essentials and determine if it is the right option for your home or business.

What Is a Roof Warranty? An Overview

A roof warranty is a formal guarantee that the roof materials and/or roof installation will last a set number of years, barring any unforeseen catastrophes, such as a tornado or fallen tree.  Roof damage caused by an act of nature or sudden accidental event often falls under a property owner’s insurance policy, so if storms, floods, or fires are a worrying threat, consider investing in additional protection for your roof and property.  The details of your roof warranty will vary depending on whether it’s a manufacturer warranty or a contractor warranty.  What’s the difference? 
  • A manufacturer’s warranty covers the materials. 
  • A contractor’s warranty (also called a workmanship warranty) covers the roof’s installation. 
When inquiring about a roof warranty, it’s important to read the fine print, as every company may have slightly different policies. The Roof Maxx Warranty, for example, is valid for five years, beginning at the start date of the treatment, and remains valid even if the manufacturer’s warranty becomes void.  It’s important to only work with roofing contractors who offer warranties because a warranty acts as a guarantee that the company you’re working with is trustworthy and will stand behind their work.  Should you buy a manufacturer or contractor warranty? And what’s the difference between the two?  Read on to learn more.

What Is a Manufacturer’s Roof Warranty?

Manufacturer roof warranties cover roofing materials, such as roof shingles. Manufacturer policies last between 10-30 years; however, some companies also offer 50-year or lifetime policies.  Most companies offer a standard/limited version and a premium/extended version. Keep in mind that extended policies often have weaker long-term benefits past a specific date, and prices will be prorated (so they reflect future prices). 

What Does a Manufacturer’s Roof Warranty Cover?

What manufacturer roof warranties cover varies from company to company, but the cost of replacing defective shingles is nearly always covered. A few exceptions exist, such as:  
  • Poor roof maintenance—A manufacturer’s roof policy will become void if you fail to care for your roof. For example, a warranty won’t cover roof water damage if you neglect to clean your gutters.
  • Poor installation—The manufacturer’s warranty won’t cover issues related to poor installation, which is why a contractor roof warranty is important.
  • Extreme weather—Your policy often won’t cover damage by extreme weather, such as hurricanes or tornadoes. However, if your shingles fall or crack outside of extreme weather events, the manufacturer will replace them at no extra cost.

What Is a Contractor Roof Warranty?

A contractor roof warranty, also known as a workmanship warranty, covers the installation of your roof. A reputable contractor will offer contractor warranties to prove they are confident in their services.

What Does a Contractor’s Roof Warranty Cover?

Contractor policies vary in length and terms. Before signing any paperwork, research the roofing company’s reputation and policies. Meet with the contractor ahead of the installation to go over all the fine print.  A contractor’s warranty will often cover any damage or issues caused during the installation process. For example, a leak caused by improper shingle placement or damage to the exterior or interior of a home due to worker error.  A few exceptions exist, such as: Weather and acts of nature—A contractor’s roof warranty will not cover damage caused by weather, flooding, water, fallen trees, or branches. Foot traffic—Your policy will often become void if you or another contracting company damages the roof by climbing or walking on it. Most policies do not cover damage done after the installation unless it happened as a result of an installation error. 

4 Steps to Protect Your Warranty

Roof warranties, especially contractor warranties, vary in quality and often have a lot of technical jargon.  If you are struggling to understand the fine print, follow these four steps to protect your warranty.

1. Schedule Regular Inspections

By scheduling an annual inspection, you can help prevent issues before they occur. A professional can check for shingle or flashing damage, pest problems, leaks, standing water, ventilation issues, clogged gutters, and more. By properly maintaining your roof, you can avoid the need for costly repairs or early replacement.  

2. Stay with Your Original Contractor

Keep the same contractor if possible. Doing so will allow you to build a long-term relationship, which means quicker repairs because they’ll be familiar with their work and your roof. Keeping the same contractor can also help protect your warranty. Many contractors have strict policies that void the warranty if another contracting company alters the original company’s work with additional repairs or additions. 

3. Register Your Warranty

Always submit your warranty registration directly to the manufacturer.  If you’re extending your policy or choosing a premium version, the process is a bit more complicated because your contractor has to submit the policy and be qualified to provide that policy. 

4. Read all the Fine Print

Make sure that the contractor provides all the services they promised and that you understand each line of the policy before signing. Also, verify that the contractor is certified by the shingle manufacturer to offer you a policy.

Why Are Roofing Warranties so Important?

Roof replacement costs vary greatly depending on where you live, your roof materials, and the size and design of your roof. Replacing shingles can cost between $5,000 to $12,000. It’s only logical to want to avoid further roof repair or replacement bills after installing your new roof. Seeing that roof warranties kick in whenever your roof contractor or manufacturer is at fault, you shouldn’t have to foot the bill. 

Trust the Experts at Roof Maxx

If you’re looking for a new asphalt shingle roof that can stand the test of time and handle extreme weather, consider Roof Maxx.  Contact the professionals at Roof Maxx to learn more about our five-year flexible warranties.

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