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The TRUTH about Warranties

I hear people making comments about how they got a warranty for their roof that is a total replacement if anything goes wrong. In most cases, this is incorrect. Most roofing companies over promise and under deliver. Then there is the “lifetime” roof. Is this a realistic expectation? The lifetime roof warranty pays for a new roof, right?

Let me explain what most roofing warranties cover. Most shingle manufacturers have the same types of warranties. Why, because they are in business to stay in business. They have found that sweet spot where customers are protected from the gross negligence of a company but defers the cost of an aging roof to the customer. My response is, that’s fair. People today are looking for a freebie. This has fueled how salespeople talk to them. Most companies will tell you “If your roof goes bad in 25 years they will replace it.” Is this totally true? In most cases they will replace some of the roof, the question is, how much?

You have probably heard the old saying, “the big wording giveth and the small wording taketh away.” All warranties come with the both. Most of us see the big print and don’t read the rest. The rest is the real warranty. Most companies have a base warranty, 5-15 years where they will replace a bad roof due to their quality of manufacturing. After that, IT is prorated to the time specified. Now, what is IT? IT is the shingles. A roof is made up of more than just shingles. There are metal eaves, air vents, pipe boots, underlayment, labor, insurance, and dump fees. Most, if not all, are not covered under their warranties. The better companies have a portion of the labor included in the base warranty, but it drops after time. As for “lifetime shingles,” it is the same. But at a given date, there is a small monetary shingle allowance. This allowance usually consists of only a few hundred dollars.

In a roofing contract, leaks are also referred to as workmanship. So how long does the warranty protect from leaks/workmanship? It doesn’t. I can see your face now! “What?” Well, the only leak warranty you will receive comes from the roofing company, not the manufacturer. This is why a reputable roofing company is so important! Again, anyone can promise a 10 year or longer workmanship warranty but who’s is actually going to stand behind it? By the way, most companies only give a 3-5 year warranty. How do you get roof protection that covers the real cost of replacement? You have to pay for it.

There a many plans out there, but I prefer GAF protection warranties. There are a few warranties that GAF offers. The first is the “Systems Plus Warranty” which any certified roofing company is able to give. This system makes the prorated portion of your warranty non-prorated. It also pays for the replacement of other GAF materials not covered in base warranty. It doesn’t pay for the disposal and some other processes, but for under a hundred dollars you can get a faulty roof replaced at a fraction of the cost. As I see it, the only big shortfall is that there is no leak warranty included.

The best protection for your roof is the “Golden Pledge Warranty”. Only the best of the best can offer this warranty. When I say the best, GAF has chosen the top two percent of roofing companies in the United States to represent them and they are called, “MasterElite.” For residential properties, this warranty, will replace the roof at no cost due to the fault of the manufacturer for 50 years. Wow! In all “Act of God” situations, the homeowners insurance covers catastrophic damages. Occurrences such as hail damage, wind damage (above 130 mph) and objects falling from the sky, like meteors or tree limbs, are not covered by the manufacturer.

Unlike almost all warranties, the “Golden Pledge Warranty” covers workmanship (leak) issues. Not for one or two years, but for an oustanding 25 years. If you haven’t checked the cost of a quality repair lately, this is a huge plus. The price is based on the size of your roof and did I mention that the contractor has to be a MasterEllite? Well, they do. GAF can’t afford, nor can you, to stand behind the average roofing company. They need the best they can find to do the work and with confidence that is being done right. This warranty will give the homeowners piece of mind and one day, could prove to be one of the best decisions they’ve ever made.

A roof replacement is expensive and eventually, a necessity. Shouldn’t it be done right the first time? For a few hundred dollars, you can save tens of thousands of dollars and protect yourself from the unexpected roof events. Stay dry, my friends!

Michael Nobles
Roofing Professional

Posted in Our Blog