When it comes time to have your roof replaced, one of the most important things to understand and consider about your options, are the possible roofing warranties. Having your roof replaced can be a stressful process, and there can be a lot of moving parts depending on the complexity of your roof or any storm damage. Replacing your roof can be an expensive investment into your home, so you want to be sure that you are not only using quality products, but that you fully understand your warranty, and what it covers!

In this article today, we will be discussing what roofing warranties are, and what you need to discuss before hiring any roofing contractor.

What is a roofing warranty?

When purchasing a new roof, you’ve likely heard the term “roofing warranty”, but you may not fully understand what it means. Some companies will advertise a “lifetime roof”, others will advertise a 15 year labor and material” warranty. Unfortunately, they don’t always mean what they sound like, and it is important to spend a few minutes to discuss this with the contractor, and fully understand the scope and protection of those warranties. A warranty is to protect your home or investment in case something goes wrong. There are both manufacturer’s warranties, as well shingle warranties and labor and material warranties.

What is a labor & material roofing warranty?

Typically, your roof’s warranty will come from the manufacturer and it is the most publicly advertised. A manufacturer’s warranty is strong, but some homeowners have a misconception that it is a catch-all policy and covers anything and everything. Should something go wrong, they’re covered. Unfortunately, this is not true. It is important to fully understand what is covered.

Generally, it covers the actual roofing materials or asphalt shingles being installed on your home and ensures against any defective material. This can certainly happen, and a defect may not be seen or noticeable until some time after install.

This is important to understand because if your roof leaks from a defect in the shingle, the manufacturer will likely cover and honor that to be fixed. However, if a leak is not from a manufacturer’s defect, the homeowner could be forced to eat the cost of repairs, or replacement.

Many homeowners also think that if they have a new roof, and their roof is already leaking, it surely must be a manufacturer defect, and eligible for coverage. Again, the unfortunate reality is that in many cases it is from improper installation, or from the workmanship of the roofer (which is why we always say “you get what you pay for” and “cheapest option can be the most expensive”).

What is a workmanship roofing warranty?

While a manufacturer’s warranty is important, a roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty is EXTREMELY important. This coverage is critical because this is precisely what covers what happens if anything is installed improperly during your roof replacement. Should there be shingles installed incorrectly, flashing wrong, etc. this covers those mistakes.

A workmanship warranty is what will protect your home from leaks that are not a cause of manufacturer’s defect. In most cases, it is a workmanship error, and not a manufacturer defect.

Be sure to discuss with your contractor the length of period that their workmanship warranty extends to (i.e. is it one year, five years, ten years, or more).

Keep in mind that a workmanship warranty is only as good as the reputation and foundation of the roofing company. If the roofing company is out of business in 5 years, how can they honor their 10 year warranty?

What is manufacturer underwriting?

In some cases, your workmanship warranty can be written by the manufacturer themselves, which will extend the coverage you have for your roof. If your contractor uses a brand such as CertainTeed (as we do), most manufacturers offer extended coverage to SELECT contractors! Not every roofing company will be able to provide the same warranties, and is a reflection to their quality, craftsmanship and standing with the manufacturer. Your contractor may be able to provide a BETTER warranty than any other contractor can offer.

What does it cost?

Some underwritten warranties can cost a little bit extra, but it is certainly worth it if it will extend your coverage by years. However, you ultimately have to be the one to make that decision. A roof is an expensive purchase, and peace of mind can be worth it.

You’ll want to contact the manufacturer directly as well, and get their honest opinion on the contractor. They will tell you their standing with the manufacturer.

Questions to ask

Be sure to ask your contractor what types of certifications they have, what type of warranties they provide, what the extent of their labor and material coverage is, what is the workmanship coverage, is the policy underwritten by the manufacturer themselves, what is the length of coverage, and WHO is responsible for registering the warranties?

An Annapolis Roofing Company Who Stands Behind Their Warranties

If you’re looking for a reliable Annapolis roofing company who stands behind their work, and can offer premium manufacturer and labor warranties, give us a call today. We strive to provide premium craftsmanship, warranties and materials. If you have a roof leak, or are looking to replace your aging roof, we would love the opportunity to help – just as we have helped many of your neighbors! For more information to schedule an appointment, visit