When buying a roof, it is expected that a homeowner will also purchase a warranty with it. Though this is common knowledge, many homeowners don’t know to look for many details and pitfalls when it comes to warranties or why they even need a warranty in the first place. This post focuses on asphalt roofs, specifically why a warranty is necessary and some important things to look for when purchasing a warranty.


Asphalt Shingle Warranties: A Necessity

Asphalt roofs are the most affordable and common of all roof types, which is why this post is focusing on these roofs specifically. Asphalt shingles are better than ever and continue to improve, but won’t last forever. A roof is a large investment of your time and money, so it’s important to protect it with a warranty. Even when purchasing top quality brands like CertainTeed, your roof is susceptible to damage—anything can happen! The shingles are usually not to blame (but should still be covered); rather, poor installation is most commonly at fault for roof problems. This makes it essential to hire a trustworthy roofing contractor with a solid warranty contract.


How to Avoid Five Important Pitfalls When Purchasing a Warranty

Purchasing a warranty is relatively simple, but there are pitfalls to watch for as a homeowner. Though there are many, this post will keep it simple and list five important ones.


1.  Know exactly what your warranty or warranties cover.

 A roof warranty can mean many different things, so as a homeowner you need to know if you are getting the necessary coverage. There are two main warranties for your roof: the manufacturer’s warranty and the contractor’s warranty.

The shingle manufacturer’s warranty is limited to defects in the shingles caused by flaws in the manufacturing process but not flaws in the installation process. These warranties cover the costs of the material but not of labor, removal, disposal, and other additional costs.

In addition to a manufacturer’s warranty, commendable roofing contractors should provide a warranty for their work as well. A contractor’s warranty covers installation and quality workmanship.

When purchasing your roof’s warranty, be sure that your contractor and shingle manufacturer together provide protection against both manufacturing defects and installation issues.


2. Be wary of prorating warranties.

A prorating warranty is when the amount that the warranty covers decreases over time. As the warranty period goes on, prorating warranties prorate down to zero, so a roof that is twenty-five years old with a fifty-year warranty will only get fifty percent of its total replacement cost paid for since it is halfway through the warranty period.


3. Don’t trust “lifetime” guarantees.


Lifetime warranties are simply a marketing ploy. Asphalt shingles only last thirty to fifty years, so a lifetime warranty typically will not cover common shingle damages that come with age. Lifetime warranties are also difficult to transfer, as they usually just apply to the original homeowner from the time the warranty was purchased.


4. Get a contractor who will help you with the claims process.

The claims process can be long and tedious on your own, so it’s helpful to find a contractor who will help you work with the manufacturer throughout this process. If you aren’t the original buyer of your roof and you don’t know the shingle manufacturer, a good contractor should be able to help you find the company.


5. Make sure your contractor clearly states your warranty in writing.


Many roofing contractors are quick to “guarantee” protection for life, but if they do not actually put it on paper, this guarantee is worthless. When shopping around for a roofing contractor, don’t only consider the installation price but also the value and trustworthiness of the warranty. It is worth it to pay a little more for a contractor who can provide a warranty you need and trust.


Big Fish Contracting’s Asphalt Shingle Warranty


Big Fish Contracting is a fully licensed and insured five-star rated company with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. Because we are confident we can install your asphalt roof with the highest quality, we offer a fifty-year warranty with no proration that covers material, labor, tear-off, disposal, and everything else necessary for a job well done. The warranty covers everything except severe weather damage, which no warranties cover.

When making a warranty claim to your shingle manufacturer, we will assess the damage and its cost and be a liaison between you and the manufacturer and/or insurance company to get the required repairs done.

We provide written warranties in our contracts with each client, and we register our warranties with the shingle manufacturers for added security for the duration of the warranty period.


For additional questions or comments, please email erik@bigfishcontracting.com or call 262-470-1114.