Roofing Warranty Explained: Understanding Your Coverage

A Breakdown of Roofing Warranty Terminology

Understanding the warranty coverage for your roofing system is crucial for protecting your investment and ensuring peace of mind. Here’s an explanation of common terms and aspects of roofing warranties:

  • Manufacturer’s Warranty:
    • The manufacturer’s warranty covers defects in materials used to manufacture the roofing product. It typically ranges from 10 to 50 years, depending on the type and quality of the roofing material. Some warranties may be prorated, meaning that coverage decreases over time.
  • Workmanship Warranty:
    • The workmanship warranty, also known as the contractor’s warranty, covers installation errors or defects caused by improper workmanship. This warranty is provided by the roofing contractor and may vary in duration and coverage. It’s essential to choose a reputable contractor who offers a strong workmanship warranty.
  • Transferability:
    • Some roofing warranties are transferable, meaning that they can be transferred to a new homeowner if you sell your property. Transferable warranties can increase the resale value of your home and provide added reassurance to potential buyers.
  • Prorated vs. Non-Prorated Coverage:
    • Prorated warranties decrease in coverage over time, typically based on the age of the roof. For example, a 20-year prorated warranty may offer full coverage for the first ten years, then decrease in coverage thereafter. Non-prorated warranties provide full coverage for the entire duration of the warranty period.
  • Exclusions:
    • Roofing warranties often contain exclusions that limit coverage for certain types of damage or conditions. Common exclusions may include damage caused by natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes), acts of God, improper maintenance, or installation on non-residential buildings.
  • Transferability Requirements:
    • If the warranty is transferable, there may be specific requirements or conditions that must be met to transfer the warranty to a new homeowner. These requirements may include notifying the manufacturer or paying a transfer fee. Make sure to understand and follow the transfer process outlined in the warranty documentation.

Other Things to Consider

Limitations of Liability:

Warranties typically include limitations of liability that specify the extent of the manufacturer’s or contractor’s responsibility for damages covered under the warranty. Understanding these limitations can help manage expectations regarding warranty claims.

Registration Requirements:

Some warranties require registration of the roofing product or installation with the manufacturer to activate the warranty coverage. Failure to register the warranty within the specified timeframe may result in the loss of coverage.


Keep thorough documentation of your roofing warranty, including the warranty certificate, installation receipts, and any correspondence with the manufacturer or contractor. This documentation will be essential if you need to file a warranty claim in the future.

Maintenance Obligations:

Many warranties require regular maintenance of the roof to remain valid. This may include periodic inspections, cleaning gutters, and addressing minor repairs promptly. Failure to fulfill maintenance obligations could void the warranty coverage.

Before purchasing a roofing system, carefully review the warranty terms and ask your contractor or manufacturer for clarification on any points you don’t understand. A clear understanding of your roofing warranty coverage will help you protect your investment and address any issues that may arise during the warranty period.

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