London Ontario Roofing Company CVH Roofing

Roof Warranties: You may be shocked to know

By admin | Published: January 23, 2010

You may have the notion that when you buy a 30-year shingle you are covered for 30 years. If you experience a roof leak, say 24 years from the date of installation, you can call the shingle manufacturer, and someone will re-roof your building at no cost to you. Unfortunately, that’s not even close to reality.

Shingle manufacturers tout product warranties that range from 25 to 50 years. They use impressive-sounding long-term warranties to convince buyers that their shingles are the best and will last the longest. They compete over such features as the length of coverage, algae resistance, wind tolerance, and whether the warranty can be transferred to a new owner. Since warranties are foremost a marketing device, they are more or less of a predictor of lifespan – others would argue otherwise.

Many roofing companies will only offer their customers a 30-year limited material warranty through the manufacturer.

What does this include then?

The typical shingle warranty covers materials and labor to replace shingles that are proven to have significant manufacturing defects within 5 years from manufacture or installation for a 30-year shingle (10 years for a lifetime shingle). After the 5 years the cost of labor is excluded, and the cost of shingle material is pro-rated (decreases in percentage) based on the expected life of the shingle.

Tear off, disposal, replacement of flashing and other components are typically excluded, as are shingle replacement in cases where installation was not completed in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations or where ventilation is not adequate. Another notable exclusion is that warranties do not cover damage to your interior and belongings.

So what do I look for in a roof warranty?

A good roofer and certified shingles. A credible roofer will give you a good workmanship warranty and will be around to honor it. Properly certified shingles are lab tested to perform.

01 ASTM D 3462 certification – to be certified to these standards, the shingle products must have successfully withstood procedures such as nail withdrawing and tear strength tests.

02 UL certification – means the shingle has been tested against wind and hail impact. Check for the ASTM and UL labels on shingle packaging and in product brochures.

03 Newer shingles also come with zinc or copper coatings, which considerably reduces the problem of algae and staining to help maintain a shingle's good looks.

Manufacturer's Defect vs. Roofer Error

Shingles found to have a manufacturer's defect are credited in a warranty. However, this occurrence that is so rare, your local roof supplier likely hasn't ever seen it if you ask them. Even if you are one of the rare ones, getting reimbursed for a dozen bad shingles won't help much with the cost of repairing your roof. Other materials are needed, roof components and labor being the largest expense. Don't forget that the spaces around and between the shingles (the most leak prone areas) are not usually covered by a shingle warranty.

The Warranty Process

The claim process itself is a barrier to a successful shingle warranty claim. Each company has a different procedure. Some require a daunting task list, completed questionnaires, photographs, and a sample of the damaged shingles. Unless the warranty covers labor as well as materials, the money or shingle credits you receive from the company may not even cover the cost of paying someone to climb up on your roof to take photos and gather samples of your defective shingles.

Identifying Defective Shingles


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