When Alpha, New Jersey residents are looking to invest in a new roof, a great selling point is the roof’s warranty. However, if a homeowner has to file a claim, they need to ensure that neither they nor their roofing contractor has done anything to void the warranty. The terms and conditions of the warranty will vary based on the type of warranty the roof has.
Understanding Roof Warranties
Roof warranties can seem complicated, but the reality is there are just two main categories: manufacturer and contractor warranties. Each warranty has its own nuances. It’s critical to understand what each warranty offers and what you need to do to maintain coverage.
Most roof warranties come from the company that manufactures your shingles. With traditional asphalt shingles, you can expect a warranty of between 25 to 30 years. Manufacturers offer longer coverage based on the material used for their shingles.
As the name implies, manufacturer warranties cover roofing materials. However, when a claim is submitted, the prices are prorated. Additionally, the cost of disposing of old or damaged roofing shingles isn’t included.
The key thing to remember is that a manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t cover the work done by the contractor. For that, you’ll need an enhanced warranty. While the warranty details vary by manufacturer, enhanced warranties typically cover the full replacement value of the roof and the work done by the contractor for a set amount of time.
Contractor warranties may cover the workmanship. The issue is that warranties vary from one contractor to another. For this reason, it’s recommended that you get a written explanation of what’s covered and what’s not covered. Any reputable contractor should be able to provide this information in a clear manner.
Ask if the warranty covers materials, workmanship, or both. In most cases, a contractor’s warranty focuses on the workmanship. Homeowners will want to do their due diligence by researching the credibility of the warranty and checking the contractor’s history and track record.
Ways to Avoid Voiding Your Manufacturer’s Warranty
There are many ways in which a manufacturer’s warranty can be voided. While each warranty will have its specifications, the following things will likely void any roofing manufacturer’s warranty.
1. Improper Installation
The number one way a manufacturer’s warranty is voided is through improper installation. Most warranties are particular about how the roofing material should be installed. One example of poor roof installation includes obvious gaps between shingles on the roof. It’s likely that the roofer did attempt to put the shingles on correctly, but because of improper nailing or improper sealing, they blew off due to high winds.
Poorly nailed shingles will not lay flat on the roof but instead stick up. The opposite problem is when the nails are driven in too deeply. This isn’t something that you can see by standing on the ground. However, you may be faced with leaks and other noticeable problems.
Most manufacturers require roofing nails to be of a particular material and size. They give instructions as to where to place the nails on the shingles. Problems often arise when people try to do their own roofing jobs or work with an untested, less-than-reputable contractor.
2. Incorrect Ventilation
Your roof is a complete system that works with ventilation and insulation to protect your house from precipitation and maintain a constant temperature. If you look at your roof, you’ll see a collection of vents. These intake and exhaust vents regulate airflow in your attic and below your roof to protect your structure. Proper ventilation increases roof longevity. Poor installation, especially in areas that have cold winters like New Jersey, can lead to ice dams forming on your roof, thereby damaging it.
Although cold outside your roof, your roof and attic are warmer than the ambient temperature. With poor ventilation, the air trapped in the attic will cause the snow to melt at the tip of your roof and freeze once it reaches the edges of your roof. This can lead to widespread damage. Improper ventilation can throw off the equilibrium below your roof, causing your roofing materials to not last as long as they should. If you experience issues with your roofing product, but the actual problem is from your ventilation, your roofing product warranty will likely not cover it.
3. Layering Roofing Material
Layering new shingles over the existing shingle might seem like an inexpensive way to repair your roof. One of the main reasons to avoid putting new shingles over old shingles is warranty concerns. Most asphalt shingle manufacturers will void the warranty on their product if it’s placed over old shingles. This is because the existing shingles can create several issues that can impact the lifespan and the performance of new shingles.
It’s always a good idea to work with a contractor who understands the manufacturer’s requirements when it comes to placing new shingles over old shingles. It’s also important to find someone who’s willing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions by taking the time to adequately prepare the roof for new shingles. Preparing the roof for new shingles ensures that it’s installed correctly and will protect your home in the long run.
4. Pressure Washing
As your roof gets older, you might notice algae streaks growing on your roof. Some homeowners are okay with this. Others might be bothered by it and may want to make their roof look like it was when it was newly installed.
The only way to remove algae streaks is to clean your roof. Unfortunately, some mistakenly think the best way to do so is to pressure wash the roof. The reality is that the high pressure of the water used in pressure washing may remove the protective granules off the shingles of your roof and void your warranty. This is true of both the manufacturer’s and contractor’s warranties. When protective granules are removed from your shingles, the lifespan of your roof is decreased. Talk to a roofing professional about the proper way to wash your roof if you’re concerned about keeping it looking its best.
5. Not Reading the Fine Print
Regarding your manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll want to read the fine print. Like all other businesses, roofing materials manufacturers will want to limit their liability. They’ll include many details in their warranty, including limitations, exceptions, and particular factors that will completely void the warranty.
6. Using Multiple Brands
Your roof is made up of several layers. Manufacturers will create starter shingles, shingles, underlayment, and other components that work best together. If a contractor uses multiple brands, this could void the manufacturer’s warranty because the roof’s overall integrity is compromised. Your contractor should clarify in the contract if they’ll be using materials from different manufacturers.
Work With Roofing Professionals in Alpha
Since 1973, Warren Thompson & Son Roofing & Siding has been a leader in the field of commercial and residential roofing. We’re proud to offer high-quality roofing services. Our roofers are committed to excellence, so you can trust us to protect and enhance your home or business. Looking for some frequently asked roofing questions? Read here!
Our services include roofing repair, roof replacement, storm damage repair, commercial roofing, siding, gutters, and more. Contact Warren Thompson & Son Roofing & Siding today, and see what it’s like to work with a company that provides you with expert roofing services that will protect and enhance your home or business.