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Your Guide

Mastering the Basics of Roof Warranties

Welcome To  Our Roof Warranty  Guide

Your roof stands as a devout guardian, shielding you and your loved ones from the elements year-round; But what if unforeseen events challenge its strength and reliability? Though we can only hope as homeowners that we never see our precious living spaces under destruction, the reality is it happens sometimes, and if it does, being prepared is essential! Enter the world of roof warranties—a crucial defense providing you with the assurance and protection your home deserves.


Now, it’s no secret that warranties are a little tricky. The lines can often blur with so many elements seemingly coming into play to determine what you qualify for. Think of it like this- a roof warranty is like a promise, or a commitment, from the manufacturer or installer that your roof will withstand the tests of time and weather. 


When an unexpected incident happens to your roofing system, it’s only natural to simmer in questions and concerns. If you’ve scoured the web seeking a source for all your roof warranty questions, look no further than RoofCrafters! We’ve helped homeowners like you navigate roof warranties for over 3 decades, and we know how crucial it is to learn everything you can about what to do for your home during times of uncertainty. Your roof is the ultimate protector, and equipping you with the knowledge to be a prepared homeowner is one of our top priorities. 


That being said, In this guide, we embark on an adventure into the world of roof warranties. Whether you're a homeowner, buyer, or curious explorer, this is your go-to resource! We'll uncover the nuances of different types of warranties, simplify industry lingo, and equip you with the knowledge needed to navigate the realm of roofing warranties confidently. By the time you finish, you’ll have the knowledge it takes to confidently handle the basics of your warranty. Let’s get started!

Chapter 1

What is a Roof Warranty?

What Is A Roof Warranty tn

What is a Roof Warranty?

We’re sure you've come across a bunch of warranties from numerous companies over the years. I mean, even your TV from the electronics store probably has a warranty, right? Now, imagine sorting through all the options for your roof—it can get pretty overwhelming! Roof warranties might seem like they're all over the place, but guess what? In the roofing world, there are just three main types to wrap your head around:


Standard Manufacturer's Warranty

Covers the products you purchase.

Example: a standard roofing warranty should include coverage for any defects like wind damage up to 130 mph, algae growth, necessary tear-offs, cracks, or other material defects. 


Workmanship Warranty

Covers the installation.

Example: a workmanship warranty is applied by the contractor to help protect you from careless work that leads to needing repairs or another replacement.


Extended Manufacturer's Warranty

Covers contractor workmanship along with expanded coverage for the products.

Example: some manufacturers partner with contractors to provide you with a warranty that extends your standard selection.

What about RoofCrafters?

When you work with RoofCrafters, you can anticipate GAF's offer of standard manufacturer's warranties from 25-30 years (Royal Sovereign and Marquis WeatherMax) up to a “lifetime” (Timberline and Designer shingles).

A manufacturer's warranty spans 20-50 years, including roofing materials (like shingles or metal) and underlayment. Opting for a material-only warranty means the manufacturer pledges to replace deteriorating shingles or metal within the warranty period. However, be eagle-eyed with the details – most material-only warranties start to prorate after 5 or 10 years, contingent on the materials and brand. A pro-rated material warranty functions on a sliding scale of coverage and works off the age of the roof. As your roof ages, you can claim less money for repairs or replacements. If your roof has a 50-year pro-rated warranty, but you have problems 15 years later, the warranty will cover the prorated period. The first 10 years are non-prorated with most shingles.


On the other hand, a workmanship warranty revolves around the quality of installation. If your roof springs a leak shortly after installation, it often hints at poor workmanship. A labor-only warranty means the roofing company will fix leaks after installation, while the full-system (extended) warranty covers both labor and material issues.


Manufacturers warranties typically include coverage for items such as shingles, underlayments, flashings, and other materials utilized in roof installation. Full-system warranties encompass the entire expense of repairing leaks, covering both labor and materials. Consequently, this warranty type holds a higher price tag compared to either material-only or labor-only warranties. Yet, the peace of mind it provides is truly invaluable!

Lifetime Roof Warranties Debunked

This warranty type can sound confusing if you aren’t familiar with the nuances of shingle manufacturers. A 50-year lifetime warranty on a roof that will only last a fraction of that number doesn’t make sense, does it? 

Shingle manufacturers use this tactic to make the warranty seem more valuable, and appealing to homeowners. More appeal = more business, right? The truth is, your lifetime shingle warranty isn't built to last forever - it only covers your roof during its lifespan. The average shingle roof doesn't last more than 15-20 years, which is why many contractors will offer a 25-year warranty instead. 

White house with wrap around porch and black metal roofing
Real Life Example

GAF offers a 25-year warranty for their Royal Sovereign shingles through RoofCrafters. GAF accessories are also covered under a 25-year warranty as long as you choose a shingle that doesn't come with lifetime coverage.

So while the idea of a lifetime roof warranty sounds fantastic in retrospect, it’s misleading. You'll find that different roofing companies have varying opinions on this one, but as long as you understand the true meaning of a lifetime warranty (only covers the lifespan of the roof itself), you'll know what you're walking into.

Let's say you choose not to opt for the “lifetime” option but still want coverage for decades to come. Manufacturers still offer killer warranties that'll suit your needs. In fact, RoofCrafters only works with brands we truly believe in and know provide the best coverage, like GAF and CertainTeed.

**When it comes to safeguarding your home with reliable shingles, GAF stands out as a trustworthy choice. GAF shingle warranties offer more than just protection; they provide peace of mind. With a legacy spanning decades, GAF ensures that their shingles not only meet high standards but also come backed by solid warranty coverage. It's not just about materials; it's about the confidence that your roof will weather the storm. Explore GAF shingle warranties for a roofing solution that's built to last.**

six types and colors of metal roofing styles
Did you know?

If you purchase shingles with a lifetime warranty and sell your home, you can transfer that warranty to the new owner. It's common for the next owner to live there for about eight years. Surprisingly, the shingles might still be in good condition even after 16 to 24 years! Sharing is caring!

Chapter 2

The Top Three Roof Warranties Explained

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Standard Manufacturers Warranty

Most roofing shingles usually have what's called a basic limited lifetime warranty, which, as we discussed, is a “promise” from the company. But here's the catch: this "lifetime" deal often means you're covered only while you own your home. What you get protected for depends on how they define "limited," and this can change depending on the company:

Usually, the warranty only covers the cost of faulty materials, meaning you'll have to pay for any work needed to take off the bad shingles and put on new ones. During the first few years, the company replaces faulty shingles for free. After that, they’ll offer something called prorated coverage. That means if shingles go bad during this time, the company might just pay part of the cost for new shingles or give you a smaller amount of new ones.

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These warranties only cover factory issues – problems that came about when the shingles were made. They don't cover complications that happen because the shingles were put on the wrong way or any other parts, like underlayment or flashing. Sometimes, these other parts have their own warranties against problems.

So, when it comes down to it, while the warranty might seem like a lot, it won’t cover everything that could go wrong with your roof.

4 different types of asphalt shingles side by side

Workmanship Warranty

The person who puts up your roof – the contractor – is vital in determining how well your roof lasts. Great roofers stand by their work with something called a workmanship warranty. This warranty can last for at least ten years, but will last up to 25 years depending on your roofer. A solid workmanship warranty should protect you if something goes wrong due to contractor error no matter how long the warranty lasts.

To offer an example, RoofCrafters is a GAF Master Elite Contractor. Less than 2% of roofers hold this title because it requires rigorous work and training to prove our “elite” status. Through GAF, we offer a 25-year workmanship warranty (if we install their shingles along with five qualifying GAF products.) Installation errors result in a whopping 80% of roof leaks, so companies who hold this title and offer the accompanying warranty must earn it like we have. However, if mistakes occur during your roof replacement, we're responsible for making it right thanks to the warranty you chose.

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These warranties cover the cost of fixing problems that occur during the installation process like external roof damage. Some even cover damage inside your home or to your belongings. This means that if your roof materials fail because of improper installation, your roofer is responsible for making it right. 

*Note that these warranties don’t cover certain issues, like damage from storms or if someone changed the roof after it was installed. They also don’t cover foot traffic damage, leaks from tree branches, or things like ice dams causing water damage.*

It’s not just about the warranty, though. It’s also about how good the contractor is. Factors like how long they've been around, if they do great work, and if they care about their customers matter a lot more than just what warranty they promise. So, if you're thinking about hiring someone to fix your roof, make sure to check them out really well before you decide! Ensure you choose the right roofer with our RoofCrafters Top 10 Roofer Checklist.

Extended Manufacturer's Warranty

Roof manufacturers understand the way a roof is installed affects how long it lasts. They want homeowners to feel good about their roofs, so they offer extra warranty options if you get your new roof installed by a certified contractor who follows all the rules for setting up the roof.


These extended warranties cost more and require you to get a whole set of roofing supplies, like particular barriers, vents, and other parts, installed along with the roof. The best warranties from these big companies cover several features, except for some parts like flashing, wood, and fasteners. They can last for a long time, sometimes up to 50 years, and they usually pay for fixing mistakes made when the roof was set up, which includes work and taking off the old materials.

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What’s a No Dollar Limit Warranty?

This warranty type is only available through the manufacturer and is mainly used for commercial properties, but we thought we'd give it a quick mention. Considered the Cadillac of manufacturer’s warranties, it provides the home or business owner with the satisfaction of having the manufacturer take full responsibility for the repair or replacement of a defective roof, no matter how much damage it endures. An NDL warranty only covers damage caused by defective material or faulty installation - not storm damage or other acts of nature.

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Chapter 3

Understanding the Cost of Roof Warranties

What Factors Affect The Cost of My Roof Warranty tn

While there’s no way to tell you exactly how much a roof warranty would cost without knowing the specifics, there are multiple factors that contribute to the final price of one. What are they?

Overall, the cost of a roof warranty is influenced by the level of protection offered, the duration of coverage, the quality of materials, the contractor's qualifications, and the specific terms and conditions outlined in the warranty agreement. It's essential to thoroughly understand the coverage and its associated costs before purchasing a roof warranty. Consulting with your roofer will help you get down to the nitty-gritty as far as costs are concerned!


Type of Warranty

Different warranties offer varying coverage levels, such as material-only warranties or comprehensive warranties covering both labor and materials. Extended warranties tend to cost more due to their extensive coverage.

We partner with the best manufacturers in roofing, GAF and CertainTeed, to offer you warranties that fit your budget.  


Duration of Coverage

The length of the warranty impacts its cost. Longer-term warranties, especially those that extend beyond the standard coverage, come with a higher price tag.


Roofing Material

The type and quality of roofing material selected affect the warranty cost. Premium or specialized roofing materials have higher warranty costs compared to standard materials.


Contractor's Qualifications

Warranties provided by certified or authorized contractors come at a premium. Contractors with certifications from manufacturers offer extended warranties, which have higher costs but provide more comprehensive coverage.

GAF provides an impressive selection of enhanced warranties that are only available through Master Elite contractors like RoofCrafters, including the Silver and Gold Pledge warranties


Additional Components

Some warranties require the installation of specific roofing system components or accessories, such as underlayment, ventilation, or other coordinating parts. Including these components in the roofing system might increase the warranty cost.


Extent of Coverage

The extent of coverage for repairs, replacements, or damage repairs will impact the cost. More comprehensive warranties that cover a broader range of issues or have fewer limitations tend to be more expensive.



Different manufacturers have varying pricing structures for their warranties based on their reputation, coverage offerings, and market position.

Chapter 4

What's Covered; What Isn't

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This is where it gets just a bit tricky- every warranty is different, and what's covered/not covered is crucial for you to know as a homeowner. What isn’t covered for you may be covered for your friends or neighbors, so learning the warranty you choose and seeking advice from your roofer is key. 

What's (Potentially) Covered

As you’ve probably gathered by now, what’s covered under your warranty is entirely situational and specific to you and the companies/contractors you choose. Some warranties have exclusions and limitations, such as:

  • Not covering damage from natural disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes
  • Damage from improper maintenance
  • Unauthorized repairs, among other specific conditions

Here are some common errors covered by roof warranties:


Material Defects

Warranties often cover defects in roofing materials, such as shingles, tiles, or metal panels. This includes issues like premature cracking, curling, or delamination of the materials.


Workmanship Flaws

 Some warranties cover errors made during the installation process, ensuring that if problems arise due to mistakes made by the roofing contractor, they are covered.


Leaks and Water Damage

Many warranties cover leaks or water damage caused by defects in the roofing system, provided it's not due to issues like storm damage or improper maintenance.


Duration of Coverage

Warranties specify the length of coverage, which can vary. Some may offer coverage for a specific number of years (e.g., 20, 30, or more), while others might provide a lifetime warranty.



Certain warranties are transferable if the house is sold within the warranty period, offering benefits to subsequent homeowners.

What Isn't Covered

Like homeowner's insurance, roof warranties also have rules about what they won’t cover or issues that can cancel the warranty for roof shingles. Here's a short list:


1. Damage to your house or items inside it

2. Damage from water that doesn’t move

3. Big natural events like earthquakes, storms, or lightning

4. Damage from fires

5. Fixing damages without permission

6. Not taking care of your roof properly

7. Not setting up the attic correctly

8. Cleaning the roof the wrong way

9. Putting up solar panels or satellite dishes wrong

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A Note on Hail Damage

A common concern is whether or not roof warranties cover hail damage. Unless the manufacturer's materials warranty says so, it won't cover hail damage. But your homeowner's insurance might help cover the cost if hail causes damage. However, some insurance companies won’t cover it on purpose to lessen what they have to pay.

Chapter 5

Can You Transfer a Roof Warranty?

Can My Roof Warranty Be Transferred TN

Your eligibility for transferring a roof warranty is dependent on several factors. Before anything else, the warranty from the company that made your roof needs to say it can be transferred to a new owner. That means if you sell your house while the warranty is still valid, the next owner can have it. But, there will be rules for how long you can do this. For example, it may be free to transfer for the first 10 years, but after that, the coverage will be less for the next owner. Also, you or the new owner should expect to pay a small fee, usually around $200.00 or less, to transfer the warranty.

RoofCrafters roofer doing a roof installation along a rake edge
Chapter 6

How Long Does a Roof Material Warranty Last?

How Long Will MY Roof Warranty Last TN

As we touched on above, the length of your roof warranty depends on which one you’ve chosen- they’re all different. For example, your basic asphalt shingle roof lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 years, so the material warranty for those usually ranges between 15 and 25 years of coverage. A manufacturer who poses a longer warranty for their materials shows they really believe in their product and expect it to last as long as it is intended.

Hickory-colored architectural asphalt shingles on a rake and gutter edge corner
for example

GAF offers a lifetime warranty for its designer shingles installed by RoofCrafters, accompanied with a 10 to 50-year Smart Choice protection period and a 15-year wind warranty term. 

Your Contract Matters

How your contract is worded is essential. While the bold print may read “30 years” or “lifetime”, the fine print could indicate that the actual warranted value of the roof is reduced by 80% and drops 2% every year. Other exclusions include problems like deterioration of underlayment, caulking, and/or flashing. A huge issue commonly overlooked is misapplication. If your contractor installs the roof incorrectly, some manufacturers will void the material warranty altogether.

RoofCrafters supervisor inspecting crews work
what do i do?

You can avoid this all together by choosing a reputable contractor, like RoofCrafters, from the beginning. Always do your research when vetting roofing companies - the fate of your warranty contract (and your roof!) depends on it. 

Chapter 7

Are Roof Warranties Worth it?

Should I Get A Roof Warranty

So, will a roof warranty benefit you and your home? Absolutely, but keep this in mind- no matter how the warranty is worded, it isn’t worth a dime if the roofing company goes bankrupt. You should thoroughly research any roofing company before you sign that dotted line! 

What are some things you can do to make sure you're choosing the right company? 

1. Check their reputation and how long they’ve been in business. 

2. Never hesitate to also ask for references and speak with customers who have had their roofs replaced by them. 

3. Digging deep into negative reviews and experiences will help you weed out bad fits for your roofing project.

RoofCrafters of Florida team of estimators

You want to know how your contractor will handle problems if they arise because it’s a great indicator of how trustworthy they are. The last thing you need is someone taking advantage of you, so do as much digging as possible and carefully review those terms and conditions before making any commitments. Pay attention to what’s covered, the duration of coverage, exclusions or limitations, and the process for making warranty claims. Don’t be afraid to get comfortable. Remember, your roof is a huge investment all on its own. The choices you make (big and small) matter!

Do You Understand Your Roof Warranty?

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Whew, that was a lot of reading, but you made it! Now that you’ve journeyed through this guide, you’re armed with valuable knowledge about roof warranties. By understanding the ins and outs of them, you're equipped to make informed decisions about your home. Remember to ask questions, seek advice, and don't hesitate to consult a professional. Your home's protection matters and roof warranties play a crucial role in ensuring peace of mind!

Be sure to keep this resource handy to reference when you need it, and remember that RoofCrafters has been a trusted name in roofing for nearly thirty years! Along with having extensive industry experience, we're also a GAF certified contractor and BBB accredited. If you're ready to begin your roofing project, click the "Schedule My Inspection" button below!

Schedule My Inspection

Take the Guide Home with You

Congratulations on making it through the Warranty Guide! As you know by now, a roofing project is no small task, which is why RoofCrafters has created this comprehensive guide to help you understand each step of the process and answer each of your questions. 

Have all the answers at your fingertips when you access the Warranty Guide! Complete the form to download the guide before your inspection takes place.