Understanding the Basics of your Roof Warranty


Are you ready for your roof replacement but worried about how your investment will be protected in the future? 

Customers always ask what their options are if their new roof starts to have problems or leaks. That’s what roof warranties are for.   Not all roofing contractors offer warranties, so I’m going to break down your warranty options, what they cover, and how long they will last.

What warranties can you get to cover your new roof?

There are two types of warranties that protect your roof investment. These warranties come from the manufacturer of your roofing materials and your contractor. It’s important to know what each one covers and how long the warranty is good for. 

Material Warranties

Standard Manufacturer’s Warranty

The industry standard is that roofing shingles come with a basic limited lifetime warranty. A lifetime warranty simply means that your coverage applies as long as you own your home.

However, the degree of protection you receive depends on what the manufacturer means by “limited”. Some manufacturer warranties only cover the cost of defective materials. This means you are responsible for the labor charges to remove and dispose of the failed shingles.

Other manufacturers cover the cost of replacing defective shingles for the first few years. After this period is over, they offer prorated coverage. If a shingle breaks or is found defective, during the initial period, the manufacturer will provide you with replacement shingles at no cost. The manufacturer also bears labor costs for the installation of the replacement shingles. However, the tear-off and disposal costs have to be taken care of by the owner of the house.

At this point, it is important to understand that these standard manufacturer warranties only provide coverage against factory defects. They may not hold if a shingle fails prematurely because mistakes were made during the installation process.

Enhanced Manufacturer Warranties

This is comprehensive coverage offered by well-established and reputable roof manufacturers. They are usually offered by shingle companies that understand the direct connection between installation quality and how well their roofing products perform long-term.

Most enhanced warranties provided by manufacturers are available only to certified contractors of that manufacturer. These contractors are vetted by the manufacturer with specific requirements including length of time in business, financial viability, licensing, industry reputation, and training. The upgraded warranties require specific installation of the entire roof system, not just the shingles. 

Some enhanced warranty options also include up to 25 years of workmanship coverage by the manufacturer against installation errors and lengthy, non-prorated, or continuous coverage for defective materials.

A good manufacturer’s warranty should also be fully transferable without proration for at least ten years. This means that in the event of a sale, the next homeowner receives the same benefits of that enhanced warranty. This is another indication that the shingle manufacturer is confident enough in the quality of its product and its certified installers to stand behind its warranty.

Contractor Workmanship Warranties

The contractor that you hire to install your new roof plays an important role in the performance and longevity of the shingles. Most contractors provide their customers with a workmanship warranty that covers misapplication. The length of the warranty can vary depending on the contractor.  If you don’t get an enhanced warranty through the manufacturer to cover the workmanship warranty, make sure your contractor provides you with their own applicable warranty paperwork.

Note that these warranties only cover the cost of labor and any materials needed to make necessary repairs in case there were any issues with the workmanship and installation.

Contractors’ warranties exclude:

  • Storms, high wind, and impact damage
  • Damage caused by natural disasters or “acts of God”
  • Damages done to the roof if it was altered after installation
  • Harm caused by foot traffic
  • Leaks triggered by falling tree limbs or wind-driven debris

Get the best warranty with the right local contractor

If your roof starts to leak anytime in the future, you now know what your options are to get the problem taken care of. These warranties are in place to protect your roof investment. 

A warranty is only as good as the company that offers it.  When you purchase a new roof, you want to have the peace of mind in knowing that the company you do business with will be around for as long as your roof is.  Williams Roofing Company has proudly served the area since 1977.  Our slogan “providing your home’s best coverage” is our pledge that your new roof will be constructed properly.  Your total satisfaction is the only acceptable outcome.