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Understand roof warranty

Understanding Roof Warranties: What Homeowners Need to Know

November 06, 20233 min read

When investing in a new roof or even a significant roof repair, understanding the warranty that comes with the work is crucial. Roof warranties can be complex, but knowing what to look for can save you from unexpected costs and frustrations down the line. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the essentials of roof warranties.

Types of Roof Warranties

1. Manufacturer’s Warranty

This warranty covers defects in the roofing materials. For instance, if shingles curl or crack prematurely, the manufacturer may be responsible for replacing them. These warranties can range from 20 to 50 years or even lifetime warranties for premium products. However, it’s important to note that these warranties often don’t cover the cost of labor to replace the defective materials.

2. Workmanship Warranty

A workmanship warranty is provided by the roofing contractor and covers installation errors. Even if you have the best materials, poor installation can lead to serious problems. Workmanship warranties typically range from 1 to 10 years, depending on the contractor.

French Roofing offers a standard 5 year workmanship warranty on all roof replacements; 10 year warranties are also available with slight upgrade in material choice.

3. Full System Warranty

Some manufacturers and contractors offer full system warranties that cover both materials and workmanship. These comprehensive warranties provide greater peace of mind but often come at a higher cost.

Key Elements of a Roof Warranty

1. Coverage Period

Understand the length of time your warranty is valid. Manufacturer’s warranties often have pro-rated periods where coverage diminishes over time. Workmanship warranties, on the other hand, usually cover a shorter period but are critical in the first few years after installation when issues due to poor workmanship are most likely to appear.

2. Transferability

If you plan to sell your home, a transferable warranty can be a significant selling point. Some warranties allow the new homeowner to benefit from the remaining warranty period, adding value to your home.

3. Exclusions

Warranties often have exclusions, such as damage caused by severe weather, improper roof maintenance, or modifications made by anyone other than the original contractor. Be sure to read the fine print to understand what is and isn’t covered.

4. Maintenance Requirements

Many warranties require regular maintenance to remain valid. This could include annual inspections, cleaning, and minor repairs. Neglecting maintenance can void your warranty, so it’s crucial to adhere to these stipulations.

Tips for Homeowners

1. Choose a Reputable Contractor

Ensure you hire a reputable roofing contractor, licensed and insured. A reliable contractor will offer a solid workmanship warranty and stand behind their work.

2. Keep Documentation

Keep all receipts, contracts, and warranty documents. This documentation will be necessary if you need to make a warranty claim.

3. Schedule Regular Inspections

Regular roof inspections and maintenance can help identify potential issues before they become major problems. They also ensure that your warranty remains valid.

4. Ask Questions

Don’t hesitate to ask your contractor detailed questions about the warranties provided. Understanding the terms fully will help you avoid any surprises in the future.

5. Consider Upgrades

Sometimes, investing in a higher-quality product or a more comprehensive warranty can save money in the long run by reducing the risk of significant repairs.


Roof warranties are an essential aspect of protecting your investment in your home. By understanding the types of warranties, key elements, and maintaining your roof properly, you can ensure that you are covered in case of defects or installation errors. Always choose a reputable contractor and keep detailed records to make the most of your roof warranty. With the right knowledge and precautions, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your home is well-protected.

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