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What Does a Good Roof Warranty Look Like?

What Does a Good Roof Warranty Look Like?


Having a new roofing system installed on your home can be a considerable investment. It is easy to focus on comparing different roofing grades and selecting the most attractive color and profile to match your home. However, it is also important to ensure you have adequate roof warranty protection. At first glance, a roofing warranty can seem incredibly complicated, which emphasizes the need to understand all coverage options so you can be an informed decision-maker regarding your roofing material and the contractor who installs it.

The Basics of a Roof Warranty

Although there appear to be multiple roofing warranties, there are only three types.

Standard Manufacturer's Warranty

Almost all roofing materials come with a limited life standard manufacturer's warranty, which is common within the industry. This means you are protected for the length of time you own the home. The amount of protection is defined by the word "limited," which varies per manufacturer. Common coverages of a limited life roof guarantee include:

Covering the cost of defective materials so you are responsible for labor charges to remove failed roofing materials and have the replacements installed.

Covering the cost of defective materials for the first several years then prorated coverage thereafter. The manufacturer provides replacement materials at no cost if defective components are found within the initial few years of full coverage. This initial coverage period includes labor and material costs but does not cover the removal and disposal of the defective components. If a failure occurs during the prorated period, you will receive a percentage of the cost for new materials.

As an industry-standard, these warranties only offer coverage against defective materials and don't cover materials that were incorrectly installed or other component issues from the installation including underlayment, ice and water shield, or ventilation or flashing products. Depending on the component manufacturer, they could be covered by an individual roof warranty.

Workmanship Warranty

The roofing contractor plays a critical role in the longevity and performance of your roof. Skilled and reputable roofers always stand behind their installation with a workmanship warranty. The length of this roof guarantee varies based on the contractor, but many offer lifetime coverage. Although the longer the coverage the better, a good workmanship warranty protects you from material failures that result from worker errors or incorrect installation, regardless of the term.

A workmanship warranty commonly covers the cost of materials and labor required to make the required repairs and could cover damages inflicted on the home's interior, as well as personal effects and furnishings. Most of these warranties exclude:

  • Damages from foot traffic.

  • Leaks due to falling limbs or debris.

  • Roof damage if altered post-installation.

  • Storm damage.

  • Water damage from ice dams.

Factors including a contractor's track record of quality, their commitment to customer satisfaction, and their length of time in business should overshadow all warranties they claim to offer so it is critical to vet any potential contractor you are considering for your roofing replacement or repair.

Extended Manufacturer's Warranty

The best manufacturers understand the relationship between installation quality and the long-term performance of their products. To assist homeowners with peace of mind and receiving long-lasting value, most manufacturers offer extended warranty coverage on all new roofs installed by a certified roofing contractor who is authorized to install the entire roofing system per the manufacturer's standards.

Most extended manufacturer's warranties can be purchased beyond the standard roof warranty and require the entire roofing system is installed, not just one or a few components. This includes all of the following:

  • Hip and ridge cap shingles

  • Ice and water barriers

  • Soffit and ridge vents

  • Starter and field shingles

  • Underlayment

The best-extended warranty provided by reputable manufacturers offers a variety of other benefits including:

Complete roofing system coverage excluding fasteners, flashing, and wood decking.

Continuous, lengthy, and non-prorated coverage for defective materials which includes labor costs for replacement or repairs. This option is typically extendable for up to 50 years.

Workmanship coverage for all installation errors of the system could be a lifetime term including a prorated beginning after a specified number of years. This coverage includes removal, disposal, and labor costs.

How to Spot Bad Roofing Processes

Be cautious of companies that push you into using a single material. The most reputable contractors specialize in a variety of roofing types so they should be able to offer a range of options. Also, they must be well-versed in beginning-to-end processes and should be transparent about the work that is being performed throughout the entire process.

Some of the most common poor roofing processes that could cause installation issues, and therefore warranty issues, include:

  • A missing asphalt shingle

  • Curling or buckling shingles

  • Chimney flashing

  • Roof valleys

  • Wavy or non-uniform roof

  • Issues with nails

  • Daylight shining through the roof boards

  • Shingle granules found in the gutter

  • Spotting a roof leak


These warning signs show that your roof was not installed by a reputable source. If this happens to you, reach out to the roofing company to understand the warranties they offer for their craftsmanship to ensure you are physically and financially protected.


To better understand the available options for your roofing material, contact us at H&R Roofing today! Our professionals can help you determine the best materials for the job and give you more information about the warranties we offer as a company and available manufacturer's warranty. Roofing is a complicated installation, so you want to find the best contractor with the best warranty available, especially if you plan to live in the house for decades to come!