ROOF WARRANTIES, HOW TO MAKE SURE WHAT COVERS YOUR HOUSE IS COVERED BY THE MANUFACTURER.
Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Imagine, you purchase a new roof that you thought had a 25-50 year warranty, only to find out that it was voided out the day it was installed! Does that sound crazy? What if I told you that it happens every day, more often than you think. Roof warranties are complex and can be very hard to understand. Manufactures put things like "lifetime" and "limited" on the packaging, but did you know that if the materials are not correctly installed by a factory certified installer you may not have a warranty on day one!
In this post we will break down and simplify the complex world of roofing warranties, and give you the tools you need to get your roof installed the right way with the best warranty.
The first thing you need to check, and I can't stress this enough, YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE WHOEVER INSTALLS YOUR ROOF IS A CERTIFIED INSTALLER BY THE MANUFACTURER OF THE MATERIALS THEY ARE INSTALLING! Anyone can buy a ladder, hammer, nails and some shingles. The shingles even will say they have a 15-50 year warranty on the package. The installer may even be very good at installing, or is certified with another manufacturer. Unfortunately, if they are not certified by the manufacturer of the materials they are installing, you will not see the full benefit of the manufactures warranty, and in a lot of cases you won't get any warranty at all. Some manufacturers, such as GAF, require their contractors to become "Master Elite " certified in order for the homeowners to qualify for the best warranty they offer. The good news is, the manufacturers make it easy to check and see if the contractor bidding on your roof is certified. Here are the links to check or find certified pros of the top 3 manufacturers.
So why is certification so important? Why do all of the manufactures require it? For one thing roofing is very complicated, and the smallest mistakes can lead to very big problems. Sometimes immediately, or down the road. The other aspect, (and larger concern) is that every manufacturer has a large checklist of materials that have to be installed to their specification in order for the warranty to be in effect day one. For example, if you install a "50 year" shingle over the wrong underlayment, or the roof isn't ventilated properly, you have no warranty day one. It's important to ask the right questions of whoever is selling the roof to avoid missing out on the full benefits of the manufacturer warranty.
OK, you found a certified professional, now which roofing company offers the best warranty?
After a ton of research and hours spent digging through the minutia of roof warranty details we found this chart to be the best breakdown by brand. This chart we found on the internet was put together by Murphy's roofing supply company in Biloxi, MS. They did an awesome job breaking down the complexities of manufacturers warranties and put it all in one simple place.
As this chart illustrates, Certainteed Landmark Pro has the best warranty in the industry. Keep in mind all of these manufactures require the shingles to be installed as part of their exclusive system for the warranty to be active, but Certainteed has the best warranty in the industry. They even cover workmanship for 25 years. You may be thinking, "Well, they must be the most expensive then, right?" Nope. Keep in mind all of these manufacturers are competing for your and other contractors' business. So, the prices are very close. Certainteed wins the competitive edge with a stronger warranty. At Home Exteriors of Michigan, we are or have been certified and trained to install Certainteed, GAF, and Owens-Corning. With that experience of having installed all three of the top manufactures in the world, we have gained crucial insight into what is best for our homeowners. That is why we strongly believe that Certainteed is the best warranty in the industry to date.
more details here.
Pictured above are the top three manufactures specifications on how their roof system must be installed in order for their warranty to be in effect. Whoever you choose to go with to protect your largest investment, make sure they are installing all of the components required by each manufacturer in order to qualify for their best warranty. IF ANY OF THESE STEPS ARE MISSED BY THE INSTALLER (AND THERE ARE MANY MORE I WON'T GET INTO) YOU WON'T HAVE THE WARRANTY YOU NEED.
The last and most important thing we want you to know is whoever you choose to install your roof, they need to be sure to tackle ventilation. Many contractors will talk to you about ridge vents for exhausting the attic, and they will play it up over can vents. The problem is that if they don't address intake ventilation, you won't have a warranty day one. In our experience, the vast majority of homes do not have the required balanced ventilation for a healthy home, and full roof warranty. Many contractors don't know about proper ventilation, as the research on it is fairly modern. In fact, if you notice in the pictures above, the only manufacturer to include ventilation in the illustrations above is Owens-Corning, even though all three require it. It's no wonder proper intake gets missed so often.
At Home Exteriors of Michigan, we ensure every home has the proper balanced intake and exhaust ventilation so homeowners receive the full manufacturer warranty. Through our research and experience, we have found the best way to ventilate virtually every home to meet strict ventilation standards.
So how do you add proper intake ventilation to an existing home with no, or undersized soffits? Easy, we install Smart Vent intake ventilation. It's a patented system that can add the correct ventilation to nearly ANY home!! This not only means you will get the full manufacturer warranty, but it also helps many other problems modern homes face today such as mold growth in the attic.
Hopefully this Article was helpful in the simplification of what is important when choosing the right warranty and roof system for your home. If you are having issues, we would be more than happy to come out and take a look. Simply fill out your info here, and we can come out and inspect your roof for free.