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What To Know About Your Roof Warranty If You Own Or Are Buying A Home


Here in Colorado, it’s not a matter of if hail hits, it’s a matter of when hail hits. And the chances are that during the 20-25 year lifetime of a roof, your home is likely to see more than only one damaging storm. However, besides the aftermath of storms, your roof may experience unwelcome and unforeseen damage. This is where a quality roof warranty comes into play.

What many homeowners are surprised to learn is that their warranty should be composed of two parts:

  • The Material Warranty
  • The Workmanship Warranty

In this post we will cover what you need to know about material warranties, and will cover workmanship warranties in a follow-up post.

What Exactly Is A “Lifetime Warranty”?

Most common shingles today carry what is called a “lifetime” warranty. This is your warranty on materials. This warranty comes standard with every bundle of shingles, and covers material defects in the shingles themselves. In the unlikely event of the failure of the shingle, such as if the granules are falling off prematurely, the shingle is cracking, losing its color, or curling, the lifetime warranty will in most cases cover the cost of new shingles, as well as a small amount to pay for their install.

There are often a few “catches” to be aware of with this type of warranty. For instance, the accessories required for a re-roof are not usually covered, such as underlayment, nails, vents, drip edges, flashings, cap or starter. It also does not usually cover the cost of tear off or disposal of the old roof.

It is also good to know up front that a “Lifetime Warranty” is usually only 100% available for the first 10-15 years, and then it is pro-rated based on the age of the roof. Will this warranty be helpful in the unlikely event of a warranty claim? Yes. But it will do you well to understand what is, and is not, actually included in the warranty coverage, so you are not disappointed.

What About An “Extended Warranty”?

Don’t lose heart–a reputable, local company will have additional warranty options available to you! Warranty upgrades can often be purchased, and there are varying degrees of value, and cost.

The most basic of warranty upgrades can be very cost effective, and can often be included at little to no extra charge. These most basic of upgrades can cover the roof for a full 50 years without pro-rating, as well as entire roof systems,rather than just the shingles.

Some warranty upgrades also include factory workmanship warranties of up to 25 years!  In addition, these upgraded warranties can often be transferred in part, or in full to another owner, helping to alleviate fears, and assist with a smooth selling process.

Whether you are purchasing a new home and curious about an existing roof warranty, or you’ve notice some premature wear and tear to your newer roof, or it’s time to replace your roof, don’t get bogged down by warranty fine print. Call in a local, qualified roofing contractor who can walk you through the process step-by-step, answering all of your questions with experience and knowledge.


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