Everything You Need To Know About A Roof Warranty
What’s The Difference Between Warranties
Not every roof warranty from the manufacturer or roofing company is the same. Even if they use the same language like, “Limited Lifetime” or “50-year shingle” doesn’t mean this is accurate.
We highly recommend reviewing the fine print and understanding the terminology and identifying the difference between contractors and how they are qualified to provide manufacturer roof warranties in Florida.
Not Every Roofing Contractor Can Give The Same Warranty
Each roofing contractor will have a special relationship with a manufacturer that creates the roofing products. These manufacturers will put the roofing contractor through a process to qualify them to install the roofing material. Some contractors will only be able to offer the standard warranties while others are able to offer the Enhanced Warranties.
For example, one company might be fully certified with Owens Corning, but not fully certified with Tamko roofing products, so they would only be able to provide the Owens Corning Enhanced roof warranty.
We will discuss Enhanced Warranties and basic warranties below.
Is Your Roofer Qualified To Give The Warranty?
Some manufacturers will give any contractor a certification to provide their enhanced warranties, all the roofing contractor needs to do is sell enough of their products.
But other companies, such as Owens Corning, will require their roofer to go through training for proper installation methods. And most importantly, they perform regular spontaneous inspections of our work. This means that a company has to maintain quality standards at all times.
A roofing company can only provide a non-prorated warranty or a longer workmanship warranty if they are fully certified to do so.
Enhanced vs Standard Roof Warranty
Here is an example of the different warranties within one manufacturer. As seen in the picture below, you will notice the Standard Product Warranty at the bottom and the Ehnaced Platinum Roof Warranty at the top.
In this example, the “Tru PROtection Period” is the portion of time that your material is covered without being prorated. So with the Standard Product roof warranty, it’s 5 years for a non-residential roof but 20-years for the Enhanced Platinum roof warranty.
Anyone can offer the Standard roof warranty but only a few in each State can offer the Enhanced Platinum roof warranty. And as always, be sure to read the fine print for each type of warranty.
Have your Florida roofing contractor show you this type of paperwork as it relates to your roof warranty. Remember, that only a qualified installer can actually give you the Platinum roof warranty.
This picture of the different types of warranties is for commercial roofs. The coverage for residential roofs covers a longer period of time.
Understanding The Fine Print
There are many words that need to be defined when it comes to these warranties. Someone might say you have a 50-year shingle but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be covered for 50-years. So let’s take a look at a few of the most important words
- What “Limited lifetime” actually means.
- According to the fine print of the roof warranty, the term “limited lifetime” means “for as long as the owner owns the home.” And this only applies to “single famly detached homes.”
- Single-family vs other structures
- Not every property gets the same roof warranty. They catoigorize properties between detached single-family homes and non-residentail properties. So if you have a town house, you won’t be able to get the Enhanced Warranty. And the warranties are different between residential and commercial.
- This refers to how a percentage of what you are able to receive in case of a claim. So for example, with the Platinum Owens Corning Warranty, if you are in year 19, you get full coverage on manufacturing defects but after year 20 it drops so you receive only 60% for the cost of materials and it reduces by 2% each year after that.
- Wind warranty
- The key thing to understand here is that the wind warranty doesn’t last as long as the rest of the roof warranty when it comes to shingles. The Tru Protection warranty as seen above does not include wind. The wind warranty is only for 12 or 15-years depending on the shingle.
- Labor, and Workmanship
- Aside from the material warranty, the better Enhanced Warranties come with workmanship and labor warranties. Labor refers to the costs required to pay someone to install the material, assuming the material had a defect. Workmanship refers to the cost of paying someone to fix a roof when the initial installer made a mistake. So if you have a Platinum warranty, and the certified installer made a mistake, Owens Corning will cover the costs of that repair.
Comparing The Best Warranties
Keep in mind that while some of the general details between brands are the same, the fine print is different, so be sure to read all the details from the manufacturer.
Also, while the manufacturer says one thing about your roofing material, your insurance company will probably have a different opinion, which some something we get into later on this post.
Florida has specific regulations around roofing that override manufacturer warranties, so be sure to keep this in mind.
Here is a list of manufacturers and a link to their roof warranty information:
When You’re Covered
Everything listed in this blog is superseded by the applicable warranties of each manufacturer.
Depending on which roof warranty you get, there are some that will cover you even if your contractor makes a mistake while installing the roof.
When damage is caused by manufacturer errors. For example, if granules fall off, algae start to grow sooner than expected, etc.
Wind, within the right time and MPH
If there is a wind storm that blows the roof off. For example, if your roof is rated at 130 MPH but a 70 MPH wind blows it off, place a claim.
When You’re Not Covered
Everything listed in this blog is superseded by the applicable warranties of each manufacturer.
Acts of God
This often means catastrophic things like hurricanes that exceed the wind speed or if a tree branch falls through your roof.
Because manufacturers have to qualify the installers, if your roofer isn’t certified by the manufacturer, they won’t be able to honor a warranty.
On a flat roof, if you see water ponding it could be a problem. It’s ok for water to pond on a roof as long as it has dried up to a minimum of half an inch by 72 hours after the rain.
Some warranties will not cover specific things if unqualified people walked on the roof or if the damage was caused by someone walking and scuffing up the roof.
Especially with shingle roofs, ventilation is a big deal. Without adequate ventilation, the roof can age quicker or worse things can happen.
Improperly Installed gutters
If your gutter system dumps water on the roof in a way that it shouldn’t, it can overwhelm that part of the roof. The leak would then be coming not from the roof material failing but from the gutters.
Warranties On Roof Coatings
Too often a roof coating is looked at as an easy fix. When in reality, a roof needs to be repaired before the coating is applied.
You will need to repair the seams, clean the roof, flash any corners of the roof that are weak or damaged. And if there is a portion of the roof that is causing water to pond, you will need to rectify that as well.
Some warranties are not designed for water to pond on them as well, so this is also another factor to look out for.
It’s important to remember that a coating is only as strong as the material under it, that is, the original roof. If your original roof is brittle or dirty, the coating will not stick to the surface. So a material warranty claim will involve the inspection of the original roof surface.
So before you get too excited about an easy coating fix, be sure to check all these other details listed above.
Warranties That Come With Roof Repairs
We provide warranties with our repairs. In general, a normal warranty on a roof repair in Florida is going to be between 90-days to a year. Because it’s going to rain and adequately test the repair within 90-days to a year.
When it comes to flat roofs and difficult roof conditions, it becomes basically impossible to provide a warranty. There are a couple of reasons for this.
A leak on a flat roof can enter through the layer of roofing in multiple areas and all flow to the same entry point in the ceiling. So you could repair one but the others might not reveal themselves for a longer period of time. Flat roofs can have leaks that travel up to 20’ away.
Storm Damage And Your Warranty
If you notice damage on your roof after a storm, definitely have your Florida roofing company inspect your roof for you. Even if it turns into a homeowners insurance situation, you will still want your roofer to work alongside you to make sure you get the best value for your project.
It’s safe to assume that all manufacturer warranties do not cover acts of god such as large storm damage. Just be sure to ask your roofing company about how to best navigate getting full value for your project.
Keep in mind that roof damage can not always be seen from the ground. For example, a shingle roof can have hail damage that removes the granules, as a result, the shingle will age quicker. But since it’s so small from a piece of hail, you might not see it. But at this point, your manufacturer won’t help because it was an “act of god”.
Lastly, as I’m sure you know, be aware that if you work with a company from out of state, there is a good chance they are a storm chaser, which means when you need them to handle a warranty for you on their work, it might be impossible. This is why you want a local roofing company.
How To Avoid Warranty Scams
Always read the fine print of your warranties. There will typically be two documents that come with manufacturer warranties, the one that simplifies it for a quick read and the other one that has all the fine print. The one with the fine print is what you need to be aware of.
Make sure your roofer is certified with the manufacturer, they should be able to provide proof of this and you can also verify it on the manufacturer’s website.
If your contract with your roofer says one thing, but the manufacturer roof warranty document says something else, your manufacturer warranty is what will get you covered.