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Know Your Options Before Replacing Your Roof

Your home is a big investment and your roof is one of its most important and expensive components. After all, it covers your home and protects it from the vagaries of mother nature. You should know what options you have regarding insurance claims. Here are some things you need to know about your roof’s insurance before something happens.

Roofing Warranty Essentials

On the surface, most warranties cover material defects or errors in installation. If either of these occur, the manufacturer and the installation specialists normally are responsible for correcting the mistake. However, warranties can vary depending on what materials the roofers used and the type of installation. The contractor you hire should provide all warranties to perform the work, including those applicable to the materials.

Warranties on Materials

Each type of material installed will have a separate warranty specific to what that piece does. Consider variations in the length of warranties. Shingles made from asphalt tend to have warranty periods from 20 years to lifetime, with the differences stemming from the roof grade. A basic strip shingle likely will carry a lesser warranty than some higher quality shingles, many of which carry lifetime warranties. When deciding on a shingle, make sure you consider this as you decide on the best price.

Roofers also install underlayment made from fiberglass, which manufacturers usually guarantee for up to 50 years. These warranties could impose conditions during the installation for the warranty to be valid, including industry standards for the roof deck or requiring an installer include another manually installed base layer beneath the underlayment. This will increase the cost of the installation, but it’s a necessary step to protect the warranty. Windy regions always require manual installation.

Installation Warranty

These warranties often prove difficult to establish when filing a claim. Each type of material installed will have unique requirements for proper installation, the violation of which voids the warranty. When you are choosing your installer, ask him or her if the installation warranty covers replacing the materials. A roofer you want is one that stands behind his or her work and covers the materials.

Warranty Expiration

All warranties on roofs expire. Expiration depends on which company did the work and what materials you chose to install. Be sure to ask them what lifetime means if you buy that kind of warranty, as their terminology may mean something else. Also, inquire if the warranty includes proration, or significant lowering of value as time passes. This affects the value of your roof as it ages, leaving you with a warranty that only covers a certain percentage of the repair costs. Even in cases where the fault lies with the entity offering the warranty, this proration will still take effect.

Warranty Exceptions

Depending on where you live or who did the work, warranties may carry built-in exceptions. Roofs in tornado country require a specific type of shingle and installation for a warranty to be valid. Installers can explain these exceptions to you.

Following the rules helps keep your roof’s warranty intact for when the unforeseen happens. Understand the terms, interrogate your installer, and research everything before you replace your roof.