One of the number one questions homeowners ask contractors is, “What kind of warranties do you offer?” The answer can depend on many variables. Different manufacturers offer different warranties on products based on location, type, materials, size of the roof, etc. These factors can determine how long a warranty is and under which limitations.

Overall, homeowners can expect to receive a warranty anywhere from 10 to 30 years, give or take. When your roof is one of the most significant investments you can make in your home, you want to make sure it’s covered. So here are some helpful facts about roofing warranties for new roofs, as well as how to check your existing warranty to get the proper coverage when you need it.

What is a Standard Roof Warranty?

You will find that a standard roofing warranty consists of two separate warranties—a materials warranty and a workmanship warranty. Both important, and both protect your investment. But what does that mean? And will every roofing warranty have both? It can depend.

Workmanship Warranty

A roof is only as good as its installation. Poor workmanship can affect your roof’s ability to prevent leaks, insulate your home, and even lessen its intended lifespan. It is imperative to find a roofer who offers a workmanship warranty on top of their materials warranty. Not only can you rest easy knowing your roof is fully covered, but it shows they have integrity and stand behind their work.

Materials Warranty

A materials warranty covers any defects to the shingles or roofing material. This is very important, and also the most common warranty you’ll find. Obviously, defective products can happen and aren’t the fault of any contractor or installation. Having that protection is essential to ensuring when your roof is repaired or installed that a defective product isn’t going to set you back and break the bank. However, some may not cover the cost of re-installing those shingles, so doing your research on the best brands to make sure you get the best available options to you.

Does a Lifetime Warranty Mean Forever?

Short answer, no. A lifetime warranty does not necessarily mean forever, or as long as you own your house, etc. But it will often associate “lifetime” with the intended lifespan of your roof. For example, an asphalt shingle roof can last anywhere from 15-25 years, so that you may find a lifetime warranty attached for 20 years or so.

A lifetime warranty will also change based on location, climate, manufacturer and won’t be the same across the board. Coastal cities can be hit harder with harsh weather, and the salt can deteriorate roofs and siding, so you might see lifetime warranties as low as 5 years. So it’s important to ask upfront what your contractor’s warranties are and find the right one for you and your home.

What is the Best Roofing Warranty to Get?

It can be really daunting to learn about warranties and figure out which one is the best. And of course, it can depend on some of your intentions with your home. Are you a first-time homebuyer? Do you plan to live in your home for a long while, or forever? Do you intend to move and sell your home soon? All of these can play a factor in the type of warranty you should get and whether or not your actions could void the warranty.

But in the end, the best warranty you can get has at least 10 years of workmanship coverage, 20+ years of materials coverage, and can be transferred to the next homeowner should you move. This is why the length of time you spend in your home can play a factor. A bonus is finding a warranty that includes discounted or pro-rated materials and labor not included under the standard warranty.

Which Manufacturer Offers the Best Warranty?

Of the top roofing manufacturers, here are some basics on the warranties they offer.

Owens Corning

  • 15-50 year warranties
  • Materials and labor defects included
  • Costs extra for extended warranties
  • Transferrable

IKO

  • 20-year warranty
  • No materials or labor defects included
  • No extra cost
  • Non-transferrable

Certainteed

  • 30 year limited warranty
  • Materials defect coverage at manufacturer’s discretion
  • Labor/repair defects included
  • No extra cost
  • Transferrable with limited coverage for 2nd homeowner

GAF/Elk

  • 50-year non-prorated, limited warranty
  • Materials and labor defects included
  • No extra cost
  • Transferrable (only once)

How Can I Find out if My Roof is Under Warranty?

You may have purchased an older home with a roof that looks new, but you don’t really know how old it is. This information may not always be disclosed when purchasing a home, so how can you check to see if your roof is under warranty? There are a few things you can do.

If you can get the prior homeowners’ information via your real estate agent or the deed, contact them and ask when they replaced or repaired the roof. They may be able to tell you upright exactly what, when, and who installed the roof, plus any potential warranties transferred to you.

Second, you can check the property records. It’s possible that when the house was built or the roof was replaced, it was recorded on record and the name of the contractors who did it. They could carry that warranty information for you.

You can get an inspection, and the contractor may be able to tell you both the manufacturer’s name and how old your roof is. Plus, if it’s eligible or void of any warranties.

Either way, when you install a new roof on your home, always keep those warranty records close. Then, if you ever have storm damage or another event where you need repairs, you will know immediately whether your warranty can cover it.

Secured Roofing offers a 20-year roofing workmanship warranty on all roofs we install, which can help alleviate some of the stress of having to re-roof your home. Plus, we’ve seen all kinds of damage, roof conditions, and manufacturers, so we can aid you in the entire process of both repairing or replacing your roof, along with how to decipher what a warranty actually covers. To get started on your roof replacement, contact us today!