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Shingle Warranties Explained

Posted on Friday, July 24th, 2020 at 2:36 am    

As an Austin roofing company, one question that we are constantly asked at Kidd Roofing by homeowners is, “What do shingle warranties really cover?” If you’ve ever read one of the shingle manufacturer warranties, it’s long and contains a lot of legal talk. You almost need to be an attorney to understand it! These limited warranties only offer protection against shingle defects. They offer no protection from workmanship errors, so if your roofer improperly installs the shingles and you start to have problems, these warranties don’t cover that. Since most homes these days have dimensional shingles on them, this is what we are going to focus on.

Are defects that common?

You’d be surprised. Even though it’s a small percentage, it does happen. We’ve seen cases where several roofs in a particular neighborhood were all installed from the same batch of shingles and deemed to be defective. So everyone on the block had a defect claim!

“Are my shingles really covered for life?”

Earlier this year, almost all of the shingle manufacturers upgraded their standard 30 year dimensional shingle to a Lifetime shingle. So does this mean your shingles are really covered 100% for life? Not if you read the fine print! Most of these Limited Lifetime Warranties only offer 100% coverage for 10 years, and then are prorated down over the shingle life. Manufacturers have different names for their 10 year period of 100% coverage…GAF calls it their “Smart Choice Protection Period”, Certainteed calls it their “Surestart Protection Period”, Owens Corning calls it their “Tru PROtection Coverage Period”, and so on. So yes, you will have partial lifetime coverage, it just might be prorated down to a fraction of the cost to replace any defective shingles, if it happens after 10 years.

“What is covered?”

If the shingles on your roof are deemed to be defective, most of these warranties will only pay the cost of the replacement shingles (which is prorated down after 10 years) and they exclude any underlayments, metalwork or flashing. They will pay for the labor to install the new shingles, but they will not pay for the labor to tear off the defective shingle or to dispose of them. Also, after the 10 year period, none of the labor will be covered. So as you can see, if you were to have a manufacturing defect in your shingles, you could still be on the hook for a majority of the cost! And an important thing to note is that most manufacturers will not honor the warranty if the attic is improperly ventilated, or the shingles are not fastened correctly. At Kidd Roofing, we always check and make sure your attic has proper ventilation. Our crews also undergo constant training in proper shingle installations.

“How can I get 100% Coverage and better protection?”

The largest shingle manufacturer in North America, GAF, has enhanced warranties that can be offered by select contractors. Kidd Roofing, an Austin roofing contractor, is a GAF Master Elite Contractor, which only 3% of all roofing contractors qualify for. We undergo extensive training, are adequately insured and have a proven track record for providing quality roofing services throughout Austin and surrounding areas. As a Master Elite Contractor, we can offer an enhanced defect warranty called the System Plus Warranty. This is considered a “bumper to bumper” warranty. This warranty offers you 100% protection for 50 years, non-prorated, as opposed to the 10 year 100% protection of a standard warranty. In addition, this warranty covers the cost of the entire roofing system, not just the shingle cost. The labor to tear off the roof is covered, unlike the typical warranty. To get this warranty, certain GAF products have to be installed on the roof by a GAF Certified Installer and the warranty must be registered with GAF. This really should be a no-brainer because the additional costs of the System Plus Warranty are nominal and well worth it in the event of a shingle defect.

For more information, please call us at Kidd Roofing. You can also visit each manufacturer’s website to view their Limited Shingle Warranty.