Warranties range from 20 years to lifetime. The length of the warranty in an indicator of performance and value. The upfront coverage in the first few years following application is also very meaningful. This is the time when, according to contractors, problems caused by defects’ are most likely to occur. As a result you should:
- Look for manufacturers’ warranties that cover materials and labour in the first 3 to 5 years and after application on any grade of roofing shingle.
- Carefully review the manufactures warranty stipulations about proration and transferability. Proration is the reduction of the manufactures contribution to the homeowner for repairing or replacing the defective shingles. Example: If the roof fails due to a manufacturers default at year 6, the warranty will only cover the worth of the material on the roof at that time. Increase to material market cost, labour, additional materials will not be covered.
- Most warranties only cover the cost from the date of purchase. Make sure that if anything goes wrong the materials & labour are covered for the current market value at the time of the problem.
- Examine the manufactures stipulations on ventilation and warrant validation. Shingle roof system failure as the result of inadequate ventilation may cause the shingle warranty to become invalid.
- There is always some maintenance that will be required to be done over the years of a new roof. Check carefully as to what the manufacturer and/or contractor requires of you to maintain the warranty.
- Note the contractors’ guarantee of performance. Contractors guarantee are usually for one to five years on the average. Remember that the length of the contractors guarantee is less important than his ability or intent to stand behind his workmanship and to service a valid complaint in a reasonable time period. Check to see if the contractor is a Better Business Bureau Member and if they have any complaints or claims lodged against them.
- Is the contractor backed by the manufacturer? Most products can be installed by anyone but a warranty may be extended or have extra features if the manufacturer has pre-qualified the contractor.
- Make sure that your contractor’s installation follows the manufacturer’s requirements as some products may require special installation techniques or have stipulations on pitches. Example: If you have a steep pitch the manufacturer may require you use more fasteners, or a low pitch may require an ‘Ice n Water Shield’ underlayment.
- How long have the manufactures been in production? Are they going to be around to warranty their product?