When you need to replace your roof, many questions come to mind. Although most of the conversation with your contractor might focus on things like cost, materials and timing, it’s important to talk through warranties as well. Once you understand what’s covered and for how long, you’ll be able to make a truly informed decision about this critical purchase.
Understand Your Shingle Type
If you’re considering a roof warranty, you’re naturally concerned about the quality and longevity of your new roof – you might as well think about your shingle type while you’re at it.
There are two main types of shingles used on a roof: Oxidized asphalt shingles and polymer modified shingles. Asphalt shingles are the most common shingle used, as they’ve been around since 1903. At Indy Roof Company, we recommend that, if choosing asphalt shingles, you make sure your contractor is using dimensional shingles rather than the older style 3-tab shingles. Asphalt dimensional shingles are typically wind rated from 110 to 130 miles per hour, and last for 30 to 50 years, depending on climate and thickness. Older style 3-tab shingles are typically 20 to 25-year shingles and only wind rated at about 60 miles per hour. Because the price difference between these two shingle types is minimal, anyone trying to install 3-tab shingles is more than likely a low-quality installer who is cutting corners just to save a trivial amount of money.
Polymer modified shingles are another type of roofing material we encourage you to consider. Although they look identical to asphalt shingles, they’re made from a rubber compound on the interior of the shingle, which makes them more flexible and typically rated as impact-resistant shingles to protect against things such as hail and falling debris.
Most of the major shingle manufacturers have added these polymer modified shingles to their line, although they are typically a substantial cost upgrade from what your insurance will cover. Is the upgrade cost for polymer modified shingles worth it? We argue yes, for a couple of reasons:
1. If you don’t have impact-resistant shingles and your roof sustains hail or other damage, you’ll be stuck dealing with repairs, on top of paying a deductible.
2. Most insurance carriers offer an additional discount of up to 20% on your homeowners’ insurance for installing these shingles. Ask your contractor for the impact ratings on the shingles you plan to install and then take that information to your insurance agent to ask them about what discounts they offer before you commit to any additional upgrades.
Understand Manufacturer vs Workmanship Warranties
There are two types of warranties that are typically available when making a roof purchase: a materials or manufacturer warranty, and a workmanship warranty.
The materials warranty will be presented to you by your contractor, but it comes directly from the manufacturer. Each materials manufacturer has its own guidelines outlining when it will honor the warranty, as well as any conditions that would void the warranty. Your contractor must follow all instructions from the manufacturer, including how to install the roofing shingles or other material, in order for the warranty to remain valid. You have the right to see the manufacturer’s warranty and should ask to do so if the contractor doesn’t offer it first. We also recommend that your chosen contractor has received certification for the type of shingle installed, as it allows for upgraded warranties. These contractors are also more likely to follow the manufacturer’s installation requirements.
The workmanship warranty is for the quality of the contractor’s – you guessed it – workmanship. Just to give you an idea of the coverage period to expect, Indy Roof Company routinely offers five-year warranties on any work completed. In most cases, any problems that might arise happen within the first one to two years after repairs or new installation. We choose to offer a five-year warranty to give clients a chance to notice problems that they might not have seen at first.
Be sure to chat with your contractor about both of these warranties and only proceed if you’re comfortable with the conditions for both, not to mention your contractor’s ability and willingness to install everything to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Select the Right Contractor
Your manufacturer warranty purchase might be for naught if your roof isn’t installed properly, so it’s critical that you select a reputable contractor for the job. You also need the assurance that the company will still be around should you need to take advantage of their workmanship warranty in the future. Take the time to choose a qualified contractor with a stable footprint in your community, and you’ll be glad you did down the line!
At Indy Roof Company, we only use the highest quality roofing materials, and all of our work comes with a 50-year material warranty. We’re an established roofing contractor with experience helping countless Indianapolis homeowners.
Standard vs Upgraded Manufacturer Warranties
New roofs typically come with standard warranties, but they don’t always include the level of coverage some homeowners are looking for. Depending on the manufacturer, you might receive 100% coverage initially, followed by continuously decreasing coverage as the years go on. For those who want that extra peace of mind, manufacturers usually offer upgraded warranties on roofs installed by certified contractors (once again, your choice of contractor matters!). With an upgraded warranty, you might receive 100% coverage for the full life of the warranty, the ability to transfer the warranty to a new homeowner, plus coverage for the entire roof system, not just the shingles.
Before moving forward with roof installation, you’ll want to talk to your contractor about your options when it comes to standard and upgraded warranties.
Roof Experts in Indianapolis
Our team offers friendly, knowledgeable service and a variety of quality roofing products. We pride ourselves on our honest appraisals and our ability to walk you through your repair or installation every step of the way.
Whether you’re considering installing a new roof or you have questions about warranties specifically, call Indy Roof Company today!