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What Does a Roof Warranty Cover?

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Hand covering roof of model house on rocky beach to represent warranty coverage

Having your roof replaced is an investment, so you’ll need to protect it with an effective warranty. However, different kinds of warranties can apply to the same roofing job, so it’s essential to understand the distinctions and know the specifics of what you’re getting.

Green Sky Roofing has received numerous awards for roof work in the Calgary area, including HomeStars’s Best Of 2020 award. We know what it takes to do a job correctly, and we’re here to answer your questions about warranties. With our help, you’ll be prepared to find high-quality contractors for your next roofing job and make sure it comes with the right guarantees.

Contractor vs. Manufacturer Warranties: What’s the Difference?

Not all warranties are the same—in fact, they often vary widely from one job to the next. However, it helps to understand that roofing warranties generally fall into two categories: contractor warranties and manufacturer warranties.

Roofing contractor performing work guaranteed by warranty

Contractor Warranties

A contractor warranty applies specifically to the work your contractor performs when installing, replacing, or repairing your roof. In most cases, a contractor warranty stipulates:

  • That the work under warranty complies with all approved plans, specifications, and changes.
  • That the roofing company will repair any deficiencies that result from workmanship problems at no cost to the property owner.

Standard warranties under the Canadian Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) only provide these guarantees for two years. By contrast, some contractors—including Green Sky—extend this guarantee for an additional length of time. We offer 10-year transferable workmanship warranties on every project we complete so that our clients can enjoy extra peace of mind.

Manufacturer Warranties

Manufacturer’s warranties are written guarantees for the buyers of certain products. When it comes to roofing, a manufacturer’s warranty vouches for the integrity of specific components or materials.

Typically, a manufacturer’s warranty covers:

  • Any defects in the product produced by the manufacturer
  • The cost of labour involved in removing and replacing defective materials

However, knowing that a product used in your roof has a warranty isn’t always enough. That’s because not every roofing contractor honors manufacturer’s warranties, so property owners need to check ahead of time.

Ideally, you want to hire a roofing company that offers an extended contractor’s warranty and honors the manufacturer’s warranty on any products they use. You’ll also need to register the manufacturer’s warranty, which you can often do through your contractor’s website or by going to the manufacturer’s website directly.

What Products Should Come with Warranties?

You’ll want to check for warranties on the following products:

  • Shingles: ideally, the shingles in your roof should always come with a manufacturer’s warranty. You can find warranties for shingles made from all materials—including asphalt (the most common kind), rubber, and even metal. We honor lifetime or limited lifetime warranties on many shingle brands, from Owens Corning to DecraEuroshield, Malarkey and IKO.
  • Roofing Systems: in cases where an entire roofing system is sold as an individual product, it may be covered by a single manufacturer’s warranty. Many two-ply roofing systems for flat roofs are sold this way, so be sure to check and see if your contractor will honor the warranty on these systems.

Other Important Roofing Terms to Understand

Several other terms and conditions can complicate both kinds of warranties, such as:

  • Limited warranties: these warranties come with certain conditions and exclusions. They may only cover specific parts, types of damage, or time periods.
  • Prorated warranties: these warranties decrease their coverage over time. For example, a defect found two years after your installation will not be covered to the same extent as a defect discovered two weeks after the installation is completed.
  • Non-prorated warranties: these warranties offer the same amount of coverage throughout the entire warranty period. However, it is essential to understand that non-prorated warranties do not guarantee the lifespan of a roof. A non-prorated warranty merely guarantees that the products will be free of manufacturer’s defects throughout the warranty period or that any workmanship errors discovered during the warranty period will be covered.

Nearly every warranty has exclusions and limitations of some kind, so it’s critical to request a copy of your warranty and review it carefully before signing a contract for roofing work. For best results, hire roofers who are trusted in your local area and offer straightforward contracts with easy-to-understand language.

Understanding Warranties Helps Keep a Strong Roof Over Your Head

As the saying goes, you don’t really buy a roof—you buy the warranty for one. Two rooftops made from the same materials can end up costing vastly different amounts, depending on what their warranties cover and whether their respective contractors honor them. Need help finding warranties and workmanship you can trust? Contact us today and let someone on our team answer your questions.

Written by Eric Vezina

Eric is an industry expert with formal education in carpentry and history as a general contractor. He knows his stuff and makes sure everyone on the team has the skills and determination to meet his exceptionally strong standards.
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