When selling a new roof to residential customers I’m often asked what type of roof warranty I would choose for myself. In return I ask the customer what their long term plans will be because that will give them the best answer.
Many times we hear that a roof has a 25-30 year warranty. Is this number for a limited warranty or a non-prorated warranty? There is a big difference between two. As a professional, I don’t even consider the limited warranty that is advertised on the shingle wrapper. I only consider the non-prorated warranty. Let’s say you have a shingle that has a 25 year limited warranty, with a 5 year non-prorated warranty, and in year 7 you discover there is a manufacturing defect. More than likely, the manufacturer will not cover it because it falls out of the non-prorated period. Sounds unfair but it is true.
I like to look at the limited warranty as creative marketing and a grade of product. Tab shingles generally come with a standard 5 year non-prorated warranty, and dimensional or designer shingles generally come with a 10-15 year non-prorated warranty. However, if you were to purchase an extended warranty, then you can lengthen the non-prorated period. An extended warranty must be installed by a certified roofing company and include upgraded roofing accessories to qualify.
If I were planning to live in my home for the next 10+ years, I would purchase either a dimensional or designer shingle with an extended non-prorated warranty. The reason for this is peace of mind. Some of the extended non-prorated warranties can range from 30-50 years against manufacturing defects. Basically, your roof might have a warranty for as long as you own the home.
If I plan on selling my home within the next 10 years, then my needs change. I would install a dimensional or designer shingle (for resale purposes) without a extended warranty period and keep my price down as much as possible.
Most manufacturer’s warranties transfer one time within so many years. It’s definitely worth reading the fine print and reviewing your options before buying!