Manufacturer’s Warranties – The Legal Stuff

A Roof purchase is protected by 2 types of warranties – a Workmanship Warranty & a Manufacturer’s Warranty.
Workmanship warranties protect consumers from mistakes made by the contractor during the installation process.
If your roof fails because a product was not installed correctly, you would have to rely on the contractor who provided the installation. If however, your roofing or siding material deteriorated prior to the “face value” of your warranty coverage, you would look to the manufacturer of the product for settlement.

Manufacturer’s warranties provide LIMITED coverage against manufacturer’s defects that cause their products to fail pre-maturely. They are not all encompassing warranties as many people perceive them to be. The term “manufacturer’s defect” is perhaps the most confusing detail of understanding your roof's warranty. Manufacturers define a defect as variance from the intended product design. They do not promise that the shingle will look the same over its’ LIFETIME and it is unrealistic to expect a shingle not to experience natural deterioration when exposed to the elements.

In a time where everything from asphalt to slate is considered a “Lifetime” roof, it is important to understand the fine print of your manufacturer’s warranty coverage. Here we aim to decode the legal mumbo jumbo for you and highlight specific details to look out for in your warranty documentation.

Asphalt Roofing Warranties

In 2010, GAF “revolutionized” the roofing industry by introducing the first ever Lifetime asphalt roofing system. As has happened over the history of the industry, all other shingle manufacturers followed suit by creating their own versions of the Lifetime warranty in order to protect their market share.

The word "Lifetime" means as long as the original individual owner(s) of a single family detached residence [or the second owner(s) in certain circumstances] owns the property where the shingles and accessories are installed. For owners/structures not meeting above criteria, Lifetime coverage is not applicable.

Asphalt warranties are typically broken down into non-prorated and prorated periods. The non-prorated period of your warranty covers the reasonable cost for shingles ONLY and labour to install the defective areas. Tear off, metal work, flashing and disposal expenses, and other costs or expenses incurred during such repair or replacement are not covered or reimbursed under standard warranty coverage. During the pro-rated period of your warranty, labour will no longer be covered and the amount of coverage you receive decreases over time.

Standard Warranty Coverage

All shingle warranties have small differences to make their offerings more attractive. Many contractors will provide homeowners marketing documentation highlighting the advantages of their preferred shingle. Documentation created by a manufacturer will obviously be biased towards their product. Here we examine the facts and provide an unbiased analysis of the most popular shingle manufacturers basic lifetime warranties:

At first glance, it may seem as though IKO and BP have an edge in their warranty coverage by offering 5 extra years of non-prorated protection. The likelihood of recognizing a defect within the early stages of your roof's life is minimal. Examining the details of manufacturers long term coverage helps to uncover the true winners.

Both GAF and Cetainteed offer coverage on the “reasonable cost” of a warranty claim. On the other hand, IKO and BP have defined maximum liability clause in the event that “a reasonable shingle match” cannot be provided. IKO and BP will provide settlements of $40 & $45 respectively per 10’ x 10’ area of defective product during these circumstances.

The details show that GAF and Certainteed have superior long term coverage. If you think that your new roof will only last 15 years, IKO and BP are the way to go based on the warranty details. In today’s market however, a well installed roofing system should last you 20-25 years.
To explain even further, let’s take a look at an example.

  • Roof Size
  • Roof Price
  • Labour Total
  • Shingle Install Labour
  • Tear off Cost
  • Disposal Cost
  • Shingle Material
  • Vents & Flashings
  • Underlayments
2500 sq. ft.
$ 7,000.00
$ 3,500.00
$ 1,800.00
$    900.00
$    300.00
$ 2,700.00
$    400.00
$    400.00

The non-prorated period of 10-15 years (depending on the manufacturer) provides you coverage on the labour and shingle material ONLY. Therefore, in our example, the day after your roof is installed your manufacturer's warranty coverage is limited to just $4,500.00 (Shingle material + labour). Everything you spent on tear off & disposal, vents, flashings, underlayment and the labour for those materials goes out the window on day 1 as far as standard warranty coverage is concerned.

At year 25, GAF and Certainteed provide $810 more warranty protection than both BP and IKO in the event a shingle defect is discovered.

This analysis of standard roofing warranties is not meant to discourage you from buying an asphalt roof, but rather stress the importance of understanding your actual coverage. Manufacturers are not unfair with the amount of coverage they provide over the lifetime of a shingle, nor should consumers expect unrealistic life expectancies for their roofing systems.

Extended Warranty Coverage

With the development of the Lifetime warranty, manufacturers are providing established, quality roofing contractors the ability to offer extended warranty options. Dayus Roofing is a GAF Certified Master Elite Roofing contractor, which is arguably the most difficult certification to achieve because of the strict guidelines that must be followed.

Both GAF and Certainteed offer extended non-prorated warranty options through certified roofing contractors. Similar to the basic warranty coverage provided by these manufacturers, their extended warranties are almost identical. Small differences include disposal fees and 3rd part inspections. Here we examine the main differences between extended and basic warranty protection.


To provide a visual that can be easily understood we have added another line representing extended warranties to the graph from our previous example.
 

At year 25, extended warranties provide as much as $6,060 more coverage in the event a defect is discovered.

Extended warranties provide Dayus Customers the peace of mind that they will have significant protection as long as they live at their home.
The mistake made by manufacturers is labeling the most basic asphalt shingle a LIFETIME shingle. This gives consumers inflated expectations of shingle performance.  Regardless, the above information outlines the actual coverage provided by shingle manufacturers. In a perfect world, asphalt shingles would have a more realistic 20 year label and products that outperform this life expectancy would be applauded. But in a time where premium roofing systems are growing in popularity, asphalt shingle manufacturers are looking for an edge to protect their market share.

Even premium roofing systems warranties have limitations you need to be aware of. We explore some of these details below.
 

Metal Roofing Warranties

Metal Roofing systems should outlast the majority of asphalt roofing systems, but there are a number of limitations that are often overlooked.
The majority of metal roofing warranties read as follows:

Metal Roofs warrant against the product containing manufacturing defects which result in cracking, chipping, flaking, peeling, as well as, manufacturing defects which cause perforation or deterioration of the steel substrate due to rust or hail. The product will also not burn or support combustion. Additionally, metal roofs further warrants the product, after the removal of foreign surface deposits, will not fade or change colour in excess of 5 NBS (Hunter) units as a result of natural weathering or ultraviolet exposure for a period of 30 years from the date of installation. Additionally, metal manufacturers warrant that their product will not chalk in excess of a number 8 rating when measured per ASTM D-4214, Method A, for a period of 30 years.

Limitations

  • Metal warranties are product specific, nowhere is there mention of a leaks guarantee.
  • Metal Warranties provide coverage on the Metal roofing material installed on your home and the labour to install the metal material ONLY. Flashings and underlayment that are not produced by the manufacturer of your metal roof are not covered under warranty.
  • Warranty coverage only applies for product installed on 4 in 12 slopes or greater
  • $100 service payment is required to make a warranty claim
  • Paint fade and chalk protection is limited to 30 years after the removal of foreign surface deposits. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure no foreign surface deposits accumulate over time.
  • Metal roofs are not immune to normal maintenance. Maintenance instructions are provided by manufacturers. In areas such as Lakeshore, where smoke from Hiram Walkers is known to stain roofs, a “simple cleaning procedure” should be scheduled annually or more often if conditions demand.
  • Warranty protects you from perforations caused by hail, but does NOT cover indentations or other damages
  • Metal warranties are transferable, but the transferred coverage is drastically prorated
    • During the 11th year after install manufacturers coverage is limited to 50%
    • During the 12th-20th year the homeowner is responsible for an additional 5%/year
    • During the 21st-50th year the manufacturers’ liability is limited to just 5%!
 

Rubber Roofing Warranties

Our G.E.M manufactured EuroShield rubber roofing warranty reads as follows:

G.E.M. Inc. (“GEM”) warrants to the original purchaser (“Customer”), its Euroshield® roofing panels (“Product”) installed at the property owned by the Customer with the address indicated hereinafter (“the Property”), will be free from manufacturing defects which results in leaks to the interior of the Property under the terms of this Limited Lifetime Warranty. G.E.M. Inc. further warrants against non-uniform color change to the Product arising due to normal weathering.

Limitations
  • 100% transfer period is limited to 10 years
  • After the “ten year transfer period”, the second owner shall have the balance remaining of a 50 year non-prorated warranty, reduced by the length of time elapsed from the date the warranty was first registered to the original purchaser.
  • Rubber Roofs are not free of normal roofing maintenance
  • During the first 5 years the warranty encompasses all materials installed and labour. After the first 5 years, the warranty provides coverage on the rubber roofing material installed on your home and the labour to install the rubber material ONLY. Flashings and underlayment that are not produced by the manufacturer of your rubber roof are not covered under warranty.
  • There is no defined measurement of colour fade protection. A natural colour fade will occur over the life expectancy of a rubber roof. Non-uniform colour fade is covered under warranty.


 


 
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