One of the most important considerations homeowners have when getting a new roof is the warranty. In the past, warranties were scarce and unreliable, and this caused a lot of headache for homeowners as well as roofing contractors.
Today there are plenty of roof warranties on the market, but they’re confusing and often are sold as something better than what they actually are. In this article, we’ll guide you on the 3 primary problems you should know regarding the proposed warranty when deciding on what kind of roof to get and which contractor to hire.
1. The roofing contractor doesn’t have a long track record
An extremely useful way to look at the roofing industry is experience, experience, experience. You want the contractor with the most experience, or at least you want one with enough experience. This is because the roofing industry has some of highest bankruptcies of new companies in the economy.
It attracts people who can sell roofs better than they can install them. Often when this is the case, the contractor ends up with major problems on his hands and then he disappears. You never want to be in a place where you’ve hired a roofing contractor who doesn’t have a phenomenal track record of installation excellence and reliability. Roofs are not cheap, and when they’re done wrong, they’re extra expensive.
It’s common for roofing contractors to offer multi-year workmanship warranties. Sometimes these are specified on the contract, sometimes not. The length is usually just 2-5 years, and the workmanship warranty being specified on the contract doesn’t tell you much about how reliable it is, because the contractor could easily have gone out of business within that time period.
If instead your contractor has a long track record and has been in business for many years, it’s a sign that he’ll stick to his word and that he’ll be around if he gets called for warranty work during the time period.
2. The manufacturer warranty is for defect only
Roofing manufacturers tend to always warranty their products, but the details can be very confusing. You want to get your hands on the legal paperwork (ask the contractor for it) and read it yourself. There are plenty of warranties that sound great in the marketing, but in truth they are designed so that the customer has a hard time getting any positive resolution.
This can be true for any warranty, but it is especially true of warranties for manufacturer defects only. Even so, you do need to have manufacturer defect warranties. They are quite important, but the issue is when that’s the only kind of warranty the manufacturer provides. They don’t cover most types of problems that happen with roofs, and the resolutions are often from class action lawsuits that take near forever.
Roofing manufacturers do care that their products are not defective, but they also need to prove that they’re defective, which takes a lot of time. Meanwhile, if your roof is leaking because of a manufacturer defect, you probably would opt to pay out of pocket to get it fixed sooner than later. It would be far better to have a warranty that covers much more so that the resolution comes faster and easier.
What you want instead of manufacturer defect only is a warranty that covers workmanship error as well as has extensive cost coverage. The GAF Golden Pledge is the best example of this in the industry. It’s the highest tier warranty that only the highest tier contractors can provide, like us — GAF Master Elite roofers.
3. The manufacturer doesn’t have a robust warranty resolution program
Sometimes this can be difficult information to find out. A good way is to ask your potential roofing contractor what his experience is with performing warranty work for the product he’s offering. The contractor will be able to provide details on what the experience is like.
You can also call the manufacturer themselves to get their information on how they conduct warranty resolution. But the best way is to just make sure you get the GAF Golden Pledge. We have extensive experience with this warranty process, and GAF’s resolution infrastructure is superb. They have a proven track record of getting leaks covered by the warranty fixed in a timely manner at no extra cost to the homeowner.
There are numerous sources of potential headaches when it comes to dealing with a leak from your roof. You can virtually eliminate one of the sources of headaches when you make sure your warranty is good enough.
Chase Construction North West can help you with this. We’ve been proud members of the Master Elite program since 2011, and we hold the most desired and rigorous status of President’s Club with GAF. If you live in the south Puget Sound of Washington State and want the best roof in the industry, please call us at 253.445.8950 or fill out our quick estimate form.