There are many manufacturers of asphalt roofing materials in business today, such as GAF and CertainTeed, and they offer many different types of shingles, from 3-tab to architectural, from designer to luxury shingles. The most popular type of shingle being used today is the 30-year architectural. Most people have the misconception that “30-year” means “I am covered by the warranty on my shingles for 30 years”. Unfortunately that is far from true. The term “30-year” has nothing to do with the performance of the shingles and most roofing companies are only able to offer their customers a 30-year limited material warranty through the manufacturer.
If during the 30 year period the shingles fail, the limited warranty offered by the manufacturer only covers the homeowner if the manufacturer determines such failure was caused by material defect. The manufacturer would then pay the homeowner a certain pre-determined amount generally not exceeding $.40 per square foot on day one of the warranty, and then prorating equally from that time. However, if it is determined by the manufacturer that the problem is not from defective shingles, then the warranty is void. There are many other limitations which void the warranty such as an improperly vented roof deck, improper nailing, and failure of the surface to which the roof is applied. Even if one is successful in claiming this type of warranty, the homeowner still has the burden of hiring a roofer, pulling a permit, disposing of the shingles, and purchasing any other miscellaneous materials needed for the repair or replacement.
But there is some good news! Some manufacturers make it possible for certain roofing contractors to achieve a level of certification allowing them to offer more inclusive warranties. For example, CertainTeed offers the “ShingleMaster Company” and the “SELECT Shingle Roofer” certifications. There are very strict requirements for a company to be awarded any of these statuses. A CertainTeed “SELECT Shingle Roofer” company, CertainTeed’s highest level of certification, for example, is able to offer homeowners 100% of the costs of the repair for 20 years, including tear-off and disposal of the old shingles, new materials, labor and workmanship. So fellow homeowners, when hiring a roofer, do your homework. Find out the exact details of the warranty being offered to you. You don’t want to invest thousands of dollars in your new roof, just to find out the hard way that your investment went kapoof!