When obtaining estimates from roofers for having a new roof installed, homeowners should ask specific questions about any warranties that are offered. Roof warranties can be a bit complicated, since there are actually two different types of warranties that normally cover a roof that has been installed by a roofing company. To ensure a new roof has the best coverage possible, it is essential to understand the warranties that apply, and how roofers honor these warranties in the event that there is some kind of problem.

Two Different Roofing Warranties

Like most other products and services, roofing work done by good roofers should include some kind of warranty; however, roofing warranties can be a bit confusing. There are two different types of warranties that normally cover a roof:  1) contractor warranties; and, 2) manufacturer warranties. Although they both apply to the same roofing work performed, how roofing companies honor these specific warranties may differ.

What Is A Contractor’s Warranty?

A contractor’s roofing warranty is the warranty the roofer gives to cover their workmanship. Should there be a problem with the roof, and the cause is determined to be due to workmanship, the contractor warrants that they will cover their mistakes. Some contractor’s warranties also work alongside the manufacturer's warranty, depending on the problem and the manufacturer.

What Is A Manufacturer's Warranty?

A manufacturer’s warranty is the warranty that is given by the maker of the roofing materials. These warranties cover roofing issues that result from problems with the roofing material itself, as long as it was installed correctly. Because a poor roofing installation, even if the materials are found to be problematic, can void the manufacturer’s warranty, the roofers who do the actual work must be chosen carefully. It is essential for homeowners to only hire a roofing company experienced in the proper installation of the materials, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and will warrant their workmanship.

Warranties - Materials Only or Materials and Labor?

Another detail of a manufacturer’s warranty homeowners should inquire about is whether the warranty is “materials only” or “materials and labor.” This is where the contractor’s warranty and the manufacturer’s warranty can overlap. With a materials only warranty, the manufacturer is stating they will pay to replace roofing materials if they are found to be faulty. A materials and labor warranty states that if the materials are found to be faulty, the manufacturer will pay for new materials and cover the contractor’s fee to install them. Sometimes in this type of situation, the manufacturer will pay the contractor; and sometimes the agreement is that such that the contractor will warranty the installation as part of their arrangement to install certain products for a manufacturer.

Roofers may offer different warranties, with different time spans, and covering different things, depending upon the materials installed, the manufacturer, and other details. Because there can be so many variables, it is essential for homeowners to not only inquire about the type of warranty offered by the roofing company, but how long the coverage lasts, and who is responsible for paying for what, under a variety of circumstances. Understanding all aspects of a roof warranty is extremely important in helping a homeowner make the best purchase decision!

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