Warranties come in two basic flavors—material warranties, and labour warranties. Sometimes you’ll find a single warranty that covers both, called a system warranty, but typically they will be separate. This is because material warranties generally come from the manufacturer, while the labour warranties come from the company doing the work, and rarely are these two the same.
About Material Warranties
Material warranties, or manufacturer’s warranties, are fairly common—in fact, if you find a roofing material that doesn’t have some sort of manufacturer’s warranty you may want to question why. These warranties may offer coverage for 20 or more years, and some may even be for the lifetime of the product. Which sounds great, except…
Manufacturer’s warranties usually only cover you against defects in the materials. And these defects are pretty rare—especially when it comes to causing major roofing issues where that added protection really comes in handy. Still, it’s good to know that if you have a faulty shingle, it’ll be easy to replace at no cost to you.
Just know that many material warranties are only valid if you can prove a history of regular maintenance on your roof. If that faulty shingle only breaks down after years of neglect, most manufacturers won’t take the blame.
About Labour Warranties
Material warranties are common, but material defects are rare. And even if a roofing issue is caused by a material defect, that manufacturer’s warranty may only cover the material itself, not the work that went into it. Because of this, it’s absolutely vital that you have a warranty on the installation work as well.
Substandard roofing work is far too common of a problem, and you definitely don’t want to find yourself in a situation where someone else’s poor work leads to a costly leak repair down the road.
A skilled roofer should guarantee their work. Roofing isn’t easy, and those who are good at it are proud to stand by their skills. If you’re shopping for a roofing contractor, ones who don’t offer a warranty or guarantee should automatically raise a red flag.
A roofing labour warranty of 10 years is a good sign that the contractor stands by their work, and that you’ll be able to fix any installation mistakes without any hassle.
What Doesn’t My Warranty Cover?
Now that you understand the two basic types of warranties and what they generally cover, let’s talk a little bit more about the things they don’t cover. It’s important to note that every warranty is different, so be sure to read any and all provided paperwork closely to understand exactly what your specific warranty is offering.
If you have a roof that collects water, your warranty likely won’t cover damage that occurs as a result. (This may be different if you can prove the standing water comes from a defect in the material or installation process.) Because of this, it’s important to regularly maintain your roof such as, clearing drains to prevent water from collecting.
Severe Weather/Acts of God
While you may have protection against damage from a typical storm, your warranty likely won’t help you if your roof is damaged by extreme conditions. This is where your homeowner’s insurance is most likely to save the day.
If your roof leaks, and it drips onto your carpet and ruins it, your carpet is considered consequential damage—and your warranty probably won’t help replace it. Warranties tend to focus solely on the roof’s construction and materials.
Always Ask About the Warranty
As mentioned above, every warranty is different. You’ll want to make sure you understand exactly what’s covered. A quality warranty is important enough that it should be a deciding factor when choosing a roofing company. After all, if something goes wrong during installation wouldn’t you rather know that you’re covered?