Frequently Asked Roofing Questions
“Why are roof warranties important?”
A new roof is a big investment, typically involving thousands of your hard-earned dollars and lasting 30, 40 and 50 years, or more. As with any big investment, knowing in advance what your warranty covers could save you thousands in the event that problems arise with your roof. Understanding what is ,or NOT covered, by a warranty is the most important part of understanding the value of a particular warranty.
“What Are The Chances Of Having A Problem With My New Roof?”
Based on state-of-the-art manufacturing process, the odds of having a problem with the materials of a new roof are minuscule. On the other hand, while serious problems with roofing materials are rare the chances that they are installed improperly is high. Installation issues account for more than two-thirds of the problems that people experience with their new roofs. This is a very important distinction to keep in mind when deciding on warranty coverage. What is the workmanship coverage included with your roof warranty?
“What Should I Look For In A Roofing Warranty?”
Basically, there are two types of coverage that you should ask your contractor about: coverage against manufacturing defects in the materials and coverage against workmanship errors.
“Tell Me About Coverage Against Manufacturing Defects…”
As far as we know, all manufacturers provide a warranty against manufacturing defects for their roofing products, although your exact coverage will vary depending on the brand. For example, most architectural shingles carry a 50 year Lifetime* limited warranty against manufacturing defects, while most 3-tab shingles carry a 20, 25, or 30 year limited warranty against manufacturing defects. Each warranty has its own specific terms and conditions, so it’s important to read each warranty carefully.
The warranty on the other components that make up your roofing system can vary from as little as a few months to Lifetime. While the shingle you choose may have a warranty that lasts for 30 years or even Lifetime, some (or all) of the other components that make up your roof may not—so if they cause a problem with your roof, you may not have the coverage you need. That’s why we promote warranties that include coverage for your entire roofing system.
“How Can I Also Get Coverage Against Workmanship Errors?”
Many roofing contractors provide their own warranty against errors in workmanship, sometimes for as long as ten years or more. Obviously, that coverage is only good for as long as the contractor remains in business. Since roofing is a “high-turnover” business, the majority of roofing contractors are out of business within five years — far less than the life of your new roof — making their warranty worthless and leaving you with nowhere to turn in the event that you have a workmanship problem.
“Are There Any Manufacturers Who Will Cover The Contractor’s Workmanship?”
GAF’s Golden Pledge® Ltd. Warranty was the first manufacturer’s warranty to cover both manufacturing defects and the contractor’s workmanship (see Golden Pledge® Ltd. Warranty for complete coverage and restrictions). Whether or not your contractor remains in business, GAF will stand behind his workmanship for 25 years! The Golden Pledge® Ltd. Warranty is available only through GAF Master Elite™ Contractors, who are factory-certified by GAF. The warranty even includes an inspection by GAF’s factory-trained inspectors after your new roof has been completed to ensure proper installation.** It is the strongest, safest warranty available in roofing today. Your Master Elite™ Contractor can provide a price for the warranty when he gives you a quote for your new roof.
* The word “Lifetime” means as long as the original individual owner of a single family detached residence (or the second owner 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.
** Inspection is limited to the GAF covered components on your roof, and excludes incidental components such as gutters, skylights, etc.
“How Do I File A Claim If I Have A Manufacturing Defect On My Shingles?”
Before you proceed, if possible you should locate a copy of your warranty and a copy of the contractor’s invoice, contract, or original estimate. You will also need to provide the date applied, proof that you were the owner when the shingles were installed (or that the warranty was properly transferred to you), and the number of squares applied (1 square = 100 square feet). Then call the company’s Warranty Service Department, and let them know the nature of your complaint.
“How long does it take to install a new roof?”
A properly installed roof can take as little as a day or as much as several weeks depending on the complexity of the project and the specified materials. Your Revere representative can help you understand a basic timeline for your particular project.
“Can I new put shingles directly on top of my old shingles?”
The practice of an “overlay”, while acceptable to the manufacturer, is not a preferred method of roof replacement. Removing the old layer of shingles allows the installer to check for any issues with the roof decking and resolve them prior to new shingles being installed. An overlay is simply hoping that the original roof and underlayments are intact enough to perform over the life of the new shingle. This is typically not the case. The old shingles tend to deteriorate over time and the newer roof system looses its seal.
“My neighbor has a metal roof, is that right for me?”
Metal roofing is a long term solution for many applications. Most modern metals are coated and warrantied for a significant number of years. The installation method is what separates a quality metal roof from one that may not last in a residential or commercial application. Agricultural panels are now being installed on many roofs with little regard for the long term maintenance expense. These “Ag panel” systems were designed for barns and other storage areas where a few drips is not problematic. We DO NOT recommend installation on residential buildings. The risks are to high!
“Can metal roofs go right over top of the shingles?”
The short answer is yes. Manufacturers typically recommend installation of a wood spacers (perlins) and then the panels. However,the problem with this method is that by not removing the old shingles and checking the roof decking, and installing a new vapor barrier, there is not way to guarantee that the system will be water tight.
“What does a “Lifetime” roofing system mean?”
“Lifetime” refers to the original or secondary owner of a residential property. A “lifetime” roof may vary by manufacturer (ie. 50-years). For example: if at year 51 your shingle roof fails GAF will still give 10% of the current fair market value, which will include the labor for that prorated amount.
“Do you have to be licensed to install a roof?”
NO…in general it is not required that you be a licensed roofing contractor to install a roof. However, many municipalities require proper licensure to work in their jurisdiction. We only recommend the the use a properly licensed contractor to do any roofing repair or replacement.
“Can Shingle roofs be repaired?”
Absolutely…most shingle roofs can be repaired. There does come a time when the shingles have lost there ability to seal properly and repairs can become quite difficult. We offer 24/7 Emergency repairs for storm damage. Our service department is equipped to handle almost any repair required on most roof systems.
“Is there a best time to install roofing?”
Roofs are replaced every day all year long. For obvious reasons, large amounts of rain or snow are not condusive to proper installation. Technology has produced synthetic leak barrier underlayments which are not effected by extreme temperatures. Safety is a big concern with any roofing installation, so if conditions are not safe to install a roof then that time becomes a “not the best” time to install roofing.
“What happens if you find something wrong with my roof decking?”
Leaking roofs even if undetected from the interior of the house may have some roof deck damage. Mold from unvented bathrooms is also another common issue we find and resolve. It is our obligation as professional contractors to resolve these issues as they are discovered. Most often these costs are above and beyond the original cost of the contract. If the damage is extensive we often write a seperate contract for the repairs to clarify how we will handle the issues and what the costs are estimated to be. Any roof decking repair over $300 must be approved by the homeower. We document the damage with pictures before, during and after the replacement.
“Do I need a new roof?”
There are many signs of a failing roof system. The most signs are: 1)Water spots on your ceilings. 2)Missing, cracked or curling shingles. 3)Dark spots on the the roof, mold and decay. 4)Excessive energy loss. 5)Blistering or pealing paint on the exterior fascia and siding.
“What happens if something gets broken at my home during an installation?”
It is our responsibility as a contractor to care for your property. If an item is damaged please let us know and we will replace it.
“Do roofing companies have to be insured?”
NO…being insured is not a requirement to install a roof system. However…if you do have an uninsured installer on your property the liability risk is not on them but rather on you as the property owner. If someone is hurt while working on your home or business, you may be liable. Please ask to see all prospective contractors Liability Insurance and BWC certificate with information that you can verify the coverage.
If you have a question you feel would be a good addition to our FAQ page please let us know. Call our office at 740-392-9450