What Voids a Roof Warranty: Common Mistakes to Avoid

A roof warranty is a significant selling point when investing in a new roof. Knowing that you are protected against unexpected issues offers peace of mind. However, if you ever need to file a claim, you must ensure that neither you nor your roofing contractor has done anything to void the warranty. It can be crucial to avoid costly roof repairs. In this article, we’ll explore common mistakes that can void your roof warranty and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Types of Roof Warranties

Before diving into what can void a roof warranty, it’s essential to understand the two main types: workmanship warranties and manufacturer’s warranties.

Workmanship Warranties

The roofing contractor provides workmanship warranties and covers the installation work’s quality. These warranties protect you if the roof fails due to improper installation.

Manufacturer’s Warranties

Manufacturer’s warranties cover the roofing materials themselves. They ensure the products are defects-free and perform as expected under normal conditions. This article focuses on manufacturer’s warranties, as common mistakes often void them.

Improper Installation

Improper installation is one of the most common reasons a roof warranty is voided. The way your roof is installed is critical to its performance and longevity.

Why Proper Installation Matters

Improper installation can lead to numerous issues, including leaks, poor insulation, and premature roof failure. Most manufacturer’s warranties specify strict installation guidelines. If these guidelines are not followed, the warranty can be voided.

Hiring Experienced Contractors

To avoid this pitfall, always hire experienced and certified contractors who specialize in the roofing material you use. Check their credentials, read reviews, and ask for references to ensure they have a proven track record of quality work.

Layering New Materials Over Old

Losing new shingles over old ones might seem like an easy fix, but this can void your roof warranty.

The Risks of Layering Shingles

Layering new shingles over old ones can prevent the new shingles from lying flat, leading to poor performance and faster wear. Additionally, the extra weight can strain your roof’s decking and structure.

Proper Shingle Replacement

Remove old shingles before installing new ones for a long-lasting roof and keep your warranty intact. It ensures a proper fit and adherence to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Incorrect Ventilation

Your roof works as a system with insulation and ventilation to keep your home at a consistent temperature. Poor ventilation can lead to significant problems.

Why Ventilation is Crucial

Incorrect ventilation can trap moisture under the roof, creating a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This moisture can damage the roofing materials and reduce lifespan, voiding the warranty.

Ensuring Proper Ventilation

Make sure your roofing system includes adequate ventilation. It may involve installing ridge vents, soffit vents, or other ventilation solutions recommended by the manufacturer.

Pressure Washing

Maintaining your roof is essential, but using a pressure washer can do more harm than good.

Risks of Pressure Washing

Pressure washing can remove the protective granules on shingles, push water under the shingles, and create damp spots that lead to mold and rot. Many manufacturers explicitly state that pressure washing will void the warranty.

Safe Cleaning Methods

Instead of pressure washing, use a gentle roof cleaner and a soft brush to remove dirt and debris. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for roof maintenance.

Installing New Hardware

Anytime you drill holes into your roof, you risk voiding the warranty.

Issues with New Hardware

Drilling holes for hardware such as satellite dishes, antennas, skylights, or solar panels creates new entry points for water, leading to potential leaks.

Consulting Warranty Terms

Before installing any new hardware, read your roof warranty’s fine print. Some warranties may have specific guidelines or require professional installation to maintain coverage.

Using Different Brands

Your roofing system is designed to work together as a cohesive unit, and mixing brands can compromise its integrity.

The Importance of Consistency

Manufacturers design their products to work best together. Using different brands for shingles, underlayment, and other components can void the warranty because it disrupts this synergy.

Ensuring Brand Consistency

Ensure that your contractor uses materials from the same manufacturer for your roofing system. If mixing brands is unavoidable, get approval from the manufacturer to maintain warranty coverage.

Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Preventive measures are crucial to maintaining your roof warranty.

The Role of Regular Inspections

Regular inspections help catch potential issues early, preventing significant damage and maintaining warranty coverage. Document all maintenance and inspections to support any future warranty claims.

Professional Maintenance

Hire professionals for regular roof inspections and maintenance. They can identify and fix problems according to the manufacturer’s specifications, ensuring your warranty remains valid.

Working with Professional Contractors

Professional contractors are key to maintaining your roof warranty.

Benefits of Professional Contractors

Experienced contractors understand warranty terms and installation guidelines. They ensure that all work complies with manufacturer specifications, protecting your warranty.

Verifying Contractor Credentials

Check the credentials and experience of any contractor you hire. Ensure they are licensed, insured, and have a solid reputation for quality workmanship.

Reading and Understanding Your Warranty

Thoroughly understanding your warranty is crucial for maintaining its validity.

Key Terms and Conditions

Read your warranty carefully, paying attention to key terms and conditions. Know what actions can void your warranty and what maintenance is required to keep it valid.

Keeping Documentation Accessible

Keep your warranty documentation accessible. It ensures you can quickly reference it and provide the necessary information when filing a claim.


Maintaining your roof warranty is essential for protecting your investment. You can ensure your warranty remains valid by avoiding common mistakes such as improper installation, poor ventilation, and using different brands. Regular inspections, professional maintenance, and a clear understanding of your warranty terms are key to a long-lasting roof.

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