At the start of the year, shingles that previously carried a 30-year warranty (which was already pretty impressive) are now backed by a Limited Lifetime warranty. Roofing manufacturers and roofing contractors were caught completely off guard. What was this going to mean to an already competitive roofing installation industry?
Well, it didn’t take long to find out as nearly every other major roofing manufacturer quickly followed suit and increased their warranties on certain products from 20, 25, or 30 years to lifetime. This change primarily affected the architectural laminate shingle product category. This type of shingle has been the most common choice of homeowners for replacement shingles for several years now, largely because of how great they make a house look. The new lifetime warranties that are sweeping the industry should guarantee that this type of asphalt shingle will remain a top choice for many years to come. Great looks and a lifetime warranty are powerful incentives.
Of course, one caveat to any home improvement product warranty, and certainly to any lifetime shingle warranty, is that the installation be done correctly right down to the last nail. You can imagine how angry you’d be if you found out a warranty – lifetime or otherwise – that you believed protected such a major investment was rendered null and void because the installer took shortcuts or didn’t understand how the manufacturer’s installation specifications. It happens more than you might think. So while a lifetime warranty is valuable proposition, it’s imperative that your new asphalt shingles be installed by a qualified roofing company. Otherwise, you may find that the warranty isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
When this happens, many homeowners blame the manufacturer, thinking they are up to something nefarious or underhanded. It’s certainly a reasonable response. But in almost every case, it would make more sense to blame the roofer who installed them in the first place. Think about this – offering a warranty of any length is an act of good faith on the part of the manufacturer. They believe in their product and are willing to stand behind it – as long as the instructions and specifications they provide are followed. That’s only fair. They did the research, the designed and manufactured the product for a specific purpose. They know that in order for the product to perform to its full potential it has to installed and used in accordance with the guidelines that they’ve invested a lot of time and money into creating.
You wouldn’t expect a car company to honor their warranty if you entered your new sedan in a series of drag races and then blow the engine. The product failed, yes – but you weren’t using it the way the manufacturer intended. The same goes for roofing. If it isn’t handled and installed in the way the manufacturer intended, then they can’t really be held responsible when it fails.
So how do you ensure that you’ll have the full protection of a lifetime roofing warranty? Simple – hire a qualified, professional roofing contractor that has a history of installing the product you’re interested in. Check their references and call the manufacturer. A new roof is a big outlay of money for any homeowner. It pays to be diligent when hiring the company you’ll trust to cap your home and protect your rights under a product warranty.