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What to Look for in a Shingle Warranty

Provided it’s well constructed and properly cared for, a sturdy roof can last for years or even decades before it needs to be replaced. This durability even extends to the shingles that make up the roof, despite the beating that they take every day from wind, snow, and the punishing rays of the sun. Nevertheless, a major repair or roof replacement can be a costly proposition so it’s important to make sure your roof is covered by a warranty.

Choosing the right warranty isn’t always a simple prospect, especially since there’s some misinformation out there regarding how these warranties work. One important distinction to make is between the shingle warranty—provided by the manufacturer—and the workmanship warranty—provided by the contractor.

The manufacturer’s warranty will be the focus of this article. We’ll tell you how to navigate some of the more complex issues as you look for the best shingle warranty.

What, Exactly, Does the Word “Warranty” Mean?

Simply put, a warranty is a guarantee from your manufacturer that, should your roof encounter any defects, it will cover the costs of replacement or repair. Most major purchases have warranties, and roofing materials are no exception.

What Does Your Warranty Cover?

The terms of a warranty will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so you need to shop around a bit to ensure you have the best one available to you. In most cases, your shingle warranty will cover any defects in your roof caused by flaws in the manufacturing. This is an important distinction to note: they only cover defects that arise from manufacturing flaws, not anything caused by improper installation.

Because of this, it’s important to ensure your roof is installed by a great contractor, like Interstate Roofing, that offers comprehensive workmanship warranties of its own. In this way, you ensure you’re covered on both the manufacturing end as well as the installation end.

In most cases, the shingle warranty will cover replacement materials—although not installation or disposal—for a number of years. This number could be 20 years, 50 years, or even a “lifetime” warranty. Note, however, that the length of the warranty does not necessarily correlate to the lifetime of the roof (i.e., just because a roof has a 50-year warranty doesn’t necessarily guarantee it’s actually expected to last for 50 years).

It Doesn’t Matter How Good the Manufacturer Is If They Don’t Offer A Good Warranty

When it comes to roof warranties, homeowners sometimes shrug their shoulders and don’t worry about them. They figure that, since the shingles that make up the roof can take a beating, a warranty isn’t something they’ll ever have to worry about. Or they opt for a cheaper manufacturer that offers a less comprehensive warranty. This is a mistake because, if issues with the roof do end up presenting themselves, repairs can cost many thousands of dollars if you’re not covered.

Beyond this, a good warranty is also a sign of the manufacturer’s confidence in its product. If it doesn’t offer comprehensive coverage, you should ask yourself why not. Do the roofing materials break down often, to the point where repairing them would become prohibitively expensive for the company? A strong warranty is a good indicator that the manufacturer believes strongly that its product will last for many years. It’s also an indicator that quality matters to the company and that it’s willing to pay to replace any materials that aren’t up to snuff.

Beware of the Proration Period

All standard manufacturer’s warranties are prorated, which can severely limit your coverage. In the case of warranties, prorated simply means that the amount covered will diminish over time. This means that, early in the lifetime of the roof, you may have full coverage, but if defects appear halfway into the coverage period, you may only be covered for half of the damage. Most manufacturers offer extended warranties through their certified contractors that will increase the non-prorated period. This is a fantastic option and could be considered an inexpensive insurance policy.

Look for “Transferable” Warranties

Another important detail to check for on your warranty contract is whether the warranty is, in fact, transferable. This simply means that, should you sell the house, you can transfer the warranty to the new owner so that they’re covered in the event a manufacturing defect presents itself.
A transferable warranty is an important thing to have because many prospective buyers will be looking for one when they’re house hunting. If you can demonstrate to them that they’ll be covered if there are any issues with their roofing materials, they’re more likely to consider purchasing your house. In this way, a transferable warranty may increase the value of your home and the chance of selling it when the time comes.

Make Sure You Have Everything in Writing

Because there’s so much to watch out for when you’re shopping around for a warranty, it’s critical to have everything in writing from the manufacturer you end up choosing. How long is the warranty good for? What does it cover? Is it transferable? Is it prorated? All of this should be written down so that it’s legal and clear. This is the only way to guarantee peace of mind for a homeowner who’s already spending a great deal of money to replace their roof. The contract should be written in plain English as well. You shouldn’t have to be a lawyer to navigate it.

Finally, Make Sure You Have a Great Contractor

A good shingle warranty is a must, but a good workmanship warranty is key as well. Your manufacturer will cover defects in the products it sells, but this coverage won’t extend to improper installation. That’s why you need to make sure you have a proper installation and that this installation is covered just as thoroughly as the materials being used. A company like Interstate Roofing is a great choice for a contractor that can ensure your peace of mind as you sleep under your carefully constructed new roof.

Why You Should Always Buy the Upgraded Shingle Warranty

Your roof is an incredibly essential part of your home’s structure. You’ll want to be sure you can get the best protection for it. After all, the roof is your home’s defense against harsh weather. This is especially important to keep in mind when you live in an area like Portland.

A major roofing decision you’ll have to make, that many people overlook, is which warranty coverage to buy. When you have a roof installed, your first instinct may be to just go with the standard warranty. However, that’s a decision you’ll likely end up regretting. Installing a new roof is an important investment, so you should be sure you’re getting the best warranty you can.

Read on below to find out why you should go with an upgraded warranty instead.

When it comes to roofing warranties, you really have to read the fine print to make sure you’re getting the best. You might be offered a warranty that is for 20 years or so and will likely assume this provides 100% coverage during that entire time. However, for warranties that aren’t upgraded, it’s not that simple.

The standard warranties usually only cover you 100% for the first 5 to 10 years or so. After that, it is often prorated based on the age of the roof, so the coverage goes down a little each year. By comparison, the upgraded warranties have 100% coverage for up to the first 50 years. That’s a really significant difference!

What many people don’t realize is that a standard warranty doesn’t actually cover everything that you might expect. Typically, those warranties just cover the materials, as in the shingles themselves. Some of the labor costs are covered too, but only for the first few years. Then, once the warranty starts to be prorated, only the shingles are covered, which is only about 20-30% of the total cost. An upgraded warranty, however, covers both labor and materials.

Also, if you are re-roofing, these warranties do not ever cover the tear-off costs or the disposal costs of debris from the old roof. They also don’t cover underlayment, vents, valleys, flashing, edging materials, nails, and other accessories that are necessary for re-roofing. Upgraded warranties cover all of this.

Buying an upgraded warranty will also help you out if you ever plan on selling your home. This is because upgraded warranties are typically transferrable at least one time, whereas standard warranties are usually never transferable between home or building owner. If your warranty will transfer, this will definitely increase the resale value of your location and makes for a smooth transition.

Of course, you will have to let the warranty companies know that you are transferring the warranty. Usually, you will have about 60 days to provide proper notification.

These upgraded warranties can only be offered by a small number of contractors. Typically, this allowance is provided to the top roofing companies in your area and Interstate Roofing in Portland is among this select group.

We have earned and secured the highest level of certification with the top roofing manufacturers in order to provide their top tier warranties—GAF Golden Pledge, Owens Corning Platinum Protection, CertainTeed 5-Star Warranty—so you will be protected no matter what obstacles you face with your roof.

All three roofing manufacturer top warranties include a workmanship warranty. This type of warranty is the coverage against workmanship or installation errors. This is often not included with standard warranties.

The GAF Golden Pledge also includes a labor and workmanship warranty for 25 to 30 years or 20 years for 3-tab shingles. This is in addition to the 50 year upfront coverage, or 20 years for 3-tab shingles. This means that your roof will be in the hands of a manufacturer for a minimum of 20-25 years.

The Owens Corning Platinum Protection also includes a lifetime workmanship warranty, which starts to be reduced after the first 25 years. By comparison, only the next tier down, which is the Preferred Protection, does not offer a workmanship warranty at all and is only coverage for the first ten years.

GAF, Owens Corning, and CertainTeed are manufactures known for offering sustainable roofing and for their commitment to recycling. Sustainable roofing is becoming a more popular option, as people are more interested in living in an environmentally friendly way. This means your roof will be more energy efficient, reducing your energy costs and home’s carbon footprint by quite a bit. It can also be a healthier choice, reducing the moisture that can lead to health hazards such as mold growth. Because they reflect solar energy better than traditional roofing, sustainable roofing can be more durable and last longer. Coupled with the extended warranty, that will provide great protection for years to come.

In addition to offering the most upgraded warranties from all three manufacturers, Interstate Roofing is also committed to sustainable roofing. This includes offering green products such as Energy Star-rated shingles, solar tubes, and solar-powered vents.

You might be hesitant and think that upgraded warranties will majorly up the cost on an already expensive project, but that is usually not the case. In fact, you can now get much better coverage and extra benefits for a relatively inexpensive price. And when you decide to go with sustainable roofing, that will save you even money in the long run.

Ready for a replacement roof? Ask about the extended warranty. It’ll give you peace of mind knowing your roof will be around for many years to come.

Your roof is an essential component of your home and an upgraded shingle warranty is the best way to protect that investment.