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Every home is unique, even when it is a tract house. Angles, landscaping, and distance to other homes are all factors that separate even the most seemingly identical properties. Therefore, no two roofing systems are the same. As homes age they may get new roofs or repairs, and insulation changes as well as other factors increase the diversity. This helps to explain why severe hail storms, in particular, seem to affect homes in communities at random. When storm disasters strike, a roof may be saved by insurance but for all other issues the roof warranty is of great concern. The following roofing warranty questions and answers will give you some clarity into this fairly tricky subject.

Who should be backing my warranty?

Be sure to get a strong manufacturer’s warranty, not a roofing contractor’s warranty. A manufacturer will have the financial wherewithal and longevity to be around when you need them. Make sure to deal with a quality roofing company that is backed by a manufacturer or two. They should have stamps from the manufacturer that touts them as a Master.

What type of roof warranty coverage do I really want?

The warranties offered by roofers can run the gamut, but the clear split among them is whether a given warranty exclusively covers material, or both labor and materials. Material-only warranties protect homeowners against any manufacturing defects that may cause leaks. However, these do not back the roofing system’s installation. These warranties typically don’t include any on-site inspections, and their remedy provision generally involves the manufacturer sending out replacement material or even a patch kit. These warranties will force a roofing company to give their own warranty for parts and labor. Typically a roofer will offer a 10 year warranty. The biggest problem here is that most roofing companies are only in business for about 5 years.

Labor and materials warranties from the manufacturer are superior. These often require total system installation by a licensed or approved contractor as well as a follow-up inspection by a manufacturer’s technical rep. If you want the most cost-effective, comprehensive warranty solution, be sure to consider only those covering both labor and materials. All-in-one warranties offer longer periods of labor cost coverage and may have other perks such as being transferable.

What is a “no dollar limit” warranty?

A “no dollar limit” warranty assures that a manufacturer will spend whatever it costs to repair a roofing system leak. With an “original cost” warranty, the manufacturer is only obligated to repair leaks costing up to the total of the original roofing purchase. Prorated warranties diminish in value over their lifespan. The best coverage will be one categorized as “no dollar limit.” It will also be a non-prorated warranty. You see these warranties used most often for commercial roofing.

Will I use a warranty or file an insurance claim if the roof leaks?

As previously noted, a manufacturer’s warranty will cover leak repairs. However, it will not cover consequential damages. If water damage to a property’s interior is eminent or existing, the homeowner may be best off filing an insurance claim to cover the repairs or damaged items.

Note: Roofing warranties have exclusions! A common exclusion pertains to leaks caused by storms incurring winds at certain speeds. If the coverage includes damages caused by up to 55 mph wind speeds, but a leak is the result of a Category 1 hurricane—sustained winds of 74 to 95 mph—the roofing manufacturer will not be obligated to fix any leaks.

Which roof warranty is best for lifespan?

This is a touchy question. Roofing systems don’t last a long time because they come with a warranty. Longevity is dependent on quality design, materials, installation practices and routine maintenance. The performance of any building component or system—good or bad—depends on those four things.

Many brands of shingles come with lifetime product warranties and you do want those. Upgrading to a manufacturer’s top tier warranty means using that rare roofing contractor that is certified with the manufacturer so that the installation includes the best warranty possible.

As a GAF Master Elite and Owens Corning Preferred contractor serving the suburbs surrounding Cincinnati and Chicago, Roofing Annex can provide top warranties from two of the nation’s largest manufacturers.


Your roof is the first line of defense for your home yet it is one of the most overlooked parts of the house until it’s too late. Getting a free inspection with a consultation where the technician shares photos of issues is a great place to start!

Roofing Annex provides Winter Prep Services in the greater Cincinnati Area in towns like Dayton, Delhi, Hamilton, Harrison, Indian Hill, Liberty Township, Madeira, Mason, Maineville, Middletown, Montgomery, and West Chester.

Call today to schedule a free roof exam or get a quote for your Winter Prep Servicing. 513.685.9092

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