Do New Roofs Come with a Warranty? Understanding Your Coverage

When considering a roof replacement, it’s important to understand the protection that comes with it. Given the significant investment involved—often around $20,000—knowing that warranties can safeguard your new roof is reassuring. However, warranties can be complex, and understanding the details is crucial to ensure you get the coverage you need. This article will guide you through the ins and outs of roof warranties, helping you make informed decisions and protect your investment.

Types of Roof Warranties

When investing in a new roof, you typically receive two types of warranties: manufacturer and contractor. Each serves a different purpose and offers varying levels of coverage.

Manufacturer Warranties

Manufacturer warranties are provided by the company that produces the roofing materials. These warranties generally cover defects in the materials, such as shingles or tiles. For common asphalt shingles, manufacturer warranties usually range from 25 to 30 years, though some offer extended coverage for 50 years or even a lifetime. It’s important to note that basic manufacturer warranties often cover only the materials, not the labor costs associated with replacing defective products. Additionally, claims are usually prorated over time, meaning the coverage decreases as the roof ages. Disposal costs are typically not included either.

Contractor Warranties

In addition to manufacturer warranties, contractors may offer their warranties on workmanship. These warranties cover issues related to the installation process. The length and terms of contractor warranties can vary significantly. Some might offer a few years of coverage, while others provide longer periods. It’s essential to get a written explanation of the contractor warranty and verify whether it includes workmanship and materials. Researching the contractor’s history and track record can also help ensure you’re getting a reliable warranty.

Key Elements of Roof Warranties

Understanding the specific details of your roof warranty is crucial to ensure you are fully protected.

Coverage Details

Manufacturer warranties typically cover defects in roofing materials. Enhanced warranties, available for an additional cost, may include workmanship and offer full replacement value for a specified period. On the other hand, contractor warranties primarily cover the installation work. It’s vital to know exactly what each warranty covers to avoid surprises if you need to make a claim.

Duration and Terms

The duration of roof warranties can vary widely. Manufacturer warranties for materials often last between 25 and 30 years, with some extending to 50 years or lifetime coverage. Contractor warranties, however, can range from a few years to longer terms, depending on the contractor. Understanding the terms and conditions, including any maintenance requirements, is essential to keep the warranty valid. Always keep records and documentation of your warranty and any maintenance performed.

Common Misunderstandings About Roof Warranties

Several common misconceptions about roof warranties can lead to confusion and frustration.

Misconception: All Warranties Cover the Same Things

One of the biggest misunderstandings is assuming that all warranties provide the same coverage. In reality, warranties can vary significantly between manufacturers and contractors. It’s essential to read the fine print and understand what each warranty covers and excludes.

Misconception: A Long Warranty Means Full Coverage

A long-term warranty does not necessarily mean comprehensive coverage. Many warranties are prorated, meaning the coverage decreases over time. Additionally, some warranties may exclude certain types of damage or require specific maintenance to remain valid.

Steps to Protect Your Warranty

To ensure your roof warranty remains valid, it’s important to take proactive steps and follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer and contractor.

Regular Inspections

Regular inspections are crucial to maintaining your roof warranty. Scheduling inspections every one to two years allows your contractor to identify and address minor issues before they become major problems. This preventive maintenance helps keep your roof in good condition and ensures that warranty coverage is not voided due to neglect.

Sticking with the Original Contractor

Continuity with your original contractor can protect your warranty. Many contractor warranties include clauses that void the warranty if another company performs work on the roof. Sticking with the same contractor allows them to correct any issues, ensuring the warranty remains intact.

Registering Your Warranty

Submitting your warranty registration to the manufacturer is essential. Without this step, you may not have coverage at all. For enhanced warranties, the registration process often requires the contractor to be credentialed and to register the warranty on your behalf. Make sure this step is completed to avoid any lapses in coverage.

Reading the Fine Print

Understanding the fine print of your warranty is crucial. Ensure your contractor is certified through the shingle manufacturer and authorized to provide the specified warranty. Knowing the exact level of certification and what it entails can help you maintain your coverage.

What to Do If You Need to Make a Claim

If you suspect a problem with your roof, it’s important to know the steps to take to make a warranty claim effectively.

Documenting the Issue

Start by documenting the issue thoroughly. Take clear photos of the damage and keep detailed inspections and maintenance records. This documentation will be essential when submitting your claim.

Contacting Your Contractor and Manufacturer

Reach out to your contractor and the manufacturer to report the issue. Provide all necessary documentation and be clear about the problem. Effective communication can help expedite the claims process.

Navigating the Claims Process

Understanding what to expect during the claims process can help reduce stress. Follow up regularly and ensure all paperwork is completed accurately. Be patient; the process can take some time, but persistence will help ensure your claim is processed correctly.


A roof replacement is a significant investment, and understanding the warranties that come with it is crucial for protecting that investment. By familiarizing yourself with the types of warranties available, the key elements of coverage, and the steps to protect your warranty, you can ensure your new roof is covered for years.


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