Selecting A Roofing Product Part 2

What type of warranty should I look for?  Aren’t they all the same?

Warranties range from 20 years to lifetime.  The length of the warranty is an indicator of performance and value. The upfront coverage in the first few years following application is also very meaningful.  This is the time when, according to contractors, problems caused by defects are most likely to occur.  As a result you should:

  • Look for manufacturers’ warranties that cover materials and labor in the first three to five years after application on any grade of roofing shingle.
  • Carefully review the manufacturer’s warranty stipulations about proration and transferability.  Proration is the reduction of the manufacturer’s contribution to the homeowner for repairing or replacing defective shingles during the warranty period.  Select products carrying a warranty that does not prorate during the first three to five years after installation.  Also, make sure the warranty prorates on the current market cost of the replacement shingles (as opposed to the original cost of the defective shingles).
  • Examine the manufacturer’s stipulations on ventilation and warranty validation.  Shingle roof system failure as the result of inadequate ventilation may cause the shingle warranty to become invalid.
  • Note the contractor’s guarantee of performance.  Contractors’ guarantees are usually for one to five years on the average. Remember that the length of the contractor’s guarantee is less important than his ability or intent to stand behind his workmanship and to service a valid complaint in a reasonable time period.  This intent must be determined from referrals and references and his general reputation in the local business community.

Look for manufacturers’ warranties that cover materials and labor in the first three to five years after application on any grade of roofing shingle.  Some local building codes may have ordinances specifying a certain UL Class for your residential area.  Your contractor or local building codes officer can tell you what the requirements are for your particular area.

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