Lifetime VS Extended Warranties
It would be great if we could trust that every investment we make in our home will last forever. Unfortunately, this is not the case. With all the different kinds of weather our home faces- hail, snow, ice, rain, tornadoes, hurricanes, heat, etc., you can't be sure that anything that is exposed to these forces will last forever.
You will find that a lot of companies offer "lifetime" warranties on their products, but what exactly does this mean? You probably have several questions. What defines a "lifetime"? What kind of things does the warranty cover?
If you are thinking about putting a new roof on your home, the shingles you will install will likely carry a lifetime warranty. To make an informed decision, you need to fully understand what a "lifetime" warranty means. If you ever have a problem with your new roof, you need to know what your warranty does and does not cover.
What Exactly Is Covered by a Lifetime Shingle Warranty?
Because they are written in tiny type and filled with legal terms, warranties can be confusing and intimidating. To put it simply, a warranty is a promise from the manufacturer that the customer will be protected if something goes wrong with the product that was sold to them.
Let’s go over the basics of roofing warranties so you can be better equipped to ask informed questions of your roofing contractor.
In today’s market, most shingle warranties are “lifetime”. “Lifetime” simply means that the warranty applies as long as you own your home.
All warranties cover manufacturing defects such as excessive granule loss, press variation, inadequate sealant, and more.
ALL but one manufacturer will only consider it a “manufacturing defect” if your roof is leaking or the roof’s performance is adversely affected.
The only manufacturer who will cover manufacturing defects even if your roof is not leaking is CertainTeed. This is a very important distinction you should keep in mind.
Front-loaded coverage is included with all warranties and offers full replacement material and installation in the early years after a roof is installed if a defect occurs. This coverage usually applies for around 10 years, but differs depending on the manufacturer.
After this period only the shingles are covered, and this coverage decreases as the roof ages. This decrease in coverage is called proration. This basically means that if your roof fails in the 15th year due to a manufacturing defect, you will be covered only for the replacement shingles, and at a reduced rate. The labor required to remove old shingles, install new ones, and dispose of the defective materials is not covered by the manufacturer.
Most of the frustration among homeowners, their contractors, and shingle manufacturers stems from the limitations listed above. Most consumers assume that a “lifetime” warranty covers every maintenance and repair expense from installation onward. In reality, it doesn’t. This misunderstanding often leads to the contractor being stuck between the manufacturer’s warranty and the customer’s expectations.
Extended Warranties: What Are They and Are They Worth It?
Getting an extended warranty for your roof is a very different subject. Imagine paying a fraction of the roof cost to extend the front-loaded protection for up to 40 additional years and extend the coverage to apply to tear off, replacement material, labor and disposal, depending on the product and coverage chosen. This can be an inexpensive way to insure your roof for as long as you live in your home, giving you valuable peace of mind.
In a way, your home is a reflection of your personality. From kitchen and bath remodels, to additions, to exterior renovations, everything you do says something about your style and taste. You’re going to invest a lot of time and money into your home, so you want to know you’re getting the best value and quality.
As you decide on a new roof and the contractor you want to install it, begin the process with a good idea of what to look for. Now that you know the basics of roof warranties and what they cover, you should be better equipped when you do your research.
Replacing your roof is a large investment, and it takes a lot of work. If you can find a good contractor who can set you up with a quality roof system and a solid extended warranty, you will end up with a beautiful roof that will protect you and your family for many years to come.