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How To Evaluate Roofing Contractor Warranties

Not all roofers work with your best interests in mind when it comes to installing products according to manufacturers' specifications. If you're buying a new roofing system, remember that your warranty can be voided by improper installation or modifications to original specifications. And, when collecting bids from roofers, you may want to pay a little more to get the most extensive warranty that's available.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends that you examine all warranties from your roofing contractor before settling on your materials. There are typically provisions establishing warrantor's liability and consumer's remedies--with limitations. Most, says the NRCA, do not guarantee against leaking. And some warrantees have terms that prevent transferring the warranty upon sale of your property.

Evaluate Your Roofing Contractor

Your roofing is an investment. Even if your new roof has a predicted lifespan between 15 and 20 years, its durability may depend on the quality of installation as much as the materials themselves. The NRCA further recommends that you pay attention to the small print on a roofer's written proposal for the length of warranty and the precise terms of coverage. Under no circumstances accept a verbal proposal.

Ask your roofing contractor if the warranty includes coverage of the roof, fascia, boxed eaves, cornices, and rakes. Does the manufacturer have different warranty stipulations based on the type of roof you're replacing: low slope, normal slope, or steep slope?

Also work with your roofing contractors in researching the track record of the manufacturer--and not just by evaluating marketing claims. Some roofing companies that extend long warranties solely as a sales tool can overextend their liability. Homeowners end up holding the ball when trying to collect on damage from a company that has gone out of business.

You should receive written instructions from your roofing contractor on the terms for periodic, routine maintenance on the system or roof membrane in order to uphold provisions in your warranty. Knowing how much to do and how often may influence your decision on the product itself.

Before settling on a roofer, check that the company:


  • Has a permanent place of business, tax i.d., and business license
  • Has insurance covering worker's compensation and liability and is bonded
  • Has a clean, no-complaint record with the Better Business Bureau.

Above all else, when it comes to warranties, ask all the questions you want and avoid working with roofing contractors that don't have answers or are unwilling to find them.

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Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in North America mainly because they are economical and versatile, work well on steep-sloped roofs, are sunlight and weather resistant, require little-to-no maintenance and are reasonably priced. In addition, asphalt shingles are also easy to cut, fasten, and fit, as well as being compatible with many different kinds of flashing and edging products.

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