Roofing warranties are a very interesting subject. They are given great consideration whenever someone buys a roof yet as a contractor, we rarely see shingles last the length of their warranty, and we also very rarely see homeowners collect on warranties for their failed shingles. Increasingly, we hear from homeowners with “30-year shingles” that they need to replace after just ten years or sometimes even sooner.
With most items we purchase, we expect them to last longer than the warranty. If you buy a car with a five-year warranty, you do not expect to have to take it to the junkyard at year six. If you buy a toaster with a two-year warranty, you still expect nicely toasted bagels in five years or even ten.
Contrary to what we’d all like to believe, warranties on products are not guarantees of life expectancy or usefulness. They are contracts between the supplier and the purchaser. They state that if one thing happens (usually a certain type of failure within narrowly prescribed parameters), then something else will happen (usually some kind of pro-rated compensation). That is all they are. Again, a warranty is not a promise of expected life. And, based upon the way the warranty is written, the ability to actually collect on a warranty may be very limited at best.
If you’re thinking of a new roof, don’t be misled into thinking that the warranty lengths on standard shingles are life expectancies. They are not. We recently watched in shock as the shingle industry began re-labeling product previously called 30 or 40 year shingles as “lifetime” shingles – same product, just a different label!
The metal roofing industry is different, though. We are seeing metal products last the length of their warranties and beyond. Also, when we read their warranties, we do not see the exclusions we see in shingle warranties. If you want to buy a roof that outlasts its warranty, we have found that metal is the way to go. Give us a call if you’d like to discuss metal roofing, warranties, and our experiences. We’re here to help you make your home more valuable, beautiful, and comfortable.