Understanding Limited Lifetime Warranties On Roofing Shingles

Posted on May 31, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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lifetime warranty roof shingles

Homeowners often misunderstand roofing warranties. While they often serve to protect shingles from defects and damage, there is still confusion around them, especially since different manufacturers have different versions. As one of the great features you can receive with a quality roofing system, understanding what warranties like the limited lifetime warranty can offer is essential.

One often misunderstood roof warranty is the limited lifetime warranty on shingles. So, today, we aim to explain this complex yet homeowner-friendly warranty to you. 

Understanding Roofing Warranties in General

Whenever you invest in new roofing shingles, you get access to specific warranties from the manufacturer and the roofers installing your system. Manufacturers and roofers provide warranties on shingles and installation so as to protect your roof from damage and defects. As long as your roof is covered under these warranties, your roof is secured, and you can make claims whenever you need to in order to receive the associated benefits. However, you should keep in mind that warranties often have specific requirements and conditions that need to be met in order to maintain their validity. 

Traditionally, roof shingle warranties can be broken down into two categories.

1. Standard manufacturer warranties

2. Workmanship or installation warranties

Both warranties serve to protect one of your largest investments: the roof. 

Standard manufacturer warranties apply to any manufacturing defect or discontinued shingles under the given timeframe and type of warranty. On the other hand, as the name suggests, workmanship warranties or installation warranties apply to any form of roof damage that was caused by installation and workmanship. Each warranty also has different forms of coverage and timelines for coverage.

For example, manufacturer warranties cover manufacturing defects or provide the full cost of replacement if shingles are found to be defective after installation. On the other hand, workmanship warranties are provided by the roofing contractor who installs your roof. If the roof experiences any sort of damage due to poor installation, the workmanship warranty should cover the cost of repairs or replacement. However, keep in mind that this may not be a warranty offered by all contractors.  

In short, shingle warranties give you confidence that your roof will be secure over time. 

What Are Limited Lifetime Warranty Roof Shingles

lifetime warranty roof shingles
lifetime warranty roof shingles

So what does having a limited lifetime warranty mean? To comprehensively understand a limited lifetime warranty on roof shingles, you must understand the two terms that make up this warranty – limited and lifetime. We believe these two essential terms are the root cause of confusion among homeowners. Therefore, each term must be specifically defined. 

Lifetime – Homeowners often think a lifetime warranty means the shingles themselves will last a lifetime. While the warranty may cover defects and premature aging, it doesn’t mean the shingles are immune to normal wear and tear over time. 

Lifetime also doesn’t mean forever either. These warranties only cover your shingles for an extended period of time, generally as long as you own the property,  and sometimes it’s even transferable to the next owners, though this varies by manufacturer.

Limited –  The other misconception, and the most common, around warranties with this name is that the warranty will cover any and all damage to a roof, no matter the cause. This simply isn’t true. 

For example, shingles with a limited lifetime warranty are only protected from manufacturing defects on the shingle materials themselves, such as delamination, thermal cracking, or granule loss due to a factory flaw. They do not cover issues caused by external factors like weather, installation errors, or lack of maintenance.

In addition, while full replacement costs may be covered for an initial period of time such as 10 to 15 years, many warranties reduce the coverage amount year by year. So, as the shingles grow older, the amount of financial coverage decreases. 

So, in short, a limited lifetime warranty on roof shingles is a type of manufacturer warranty that offers coverage against manufacturing defects on the shingle materials for as long as the original homeowner owns the property. However, it comes with several key limitations, which is why it’s called a limited lifetime warranty.

What Do Limited Lifetime Warranties Cover on Shingles?

Now that you know that limited lifetime warranties are limited, and don’t cover everything, here is what they do they cover. 

A lifetime limited warranty on roof shingles generally covers the following:

1. Manufacturing Defects

The primary coverage is for defects that occurred during the manufacturing process of the shingles themselves. This can include issues like:

  • Delamination or separation of the shingle layers
  • Cracking or thermal splitting
  • Loss of granules due to a factory flaw
  • Cupping, curling, or buckling of the shingle materials

Essentially, the warranty covers any defect or premature deterioration directly caused by an error in the shingle manufacturing.

2. Prorated Replacement Costs

For an initial period, often 10 to 15 years, the warranty will cover 100% of the cost to replace any defective shingles. After that, most warranties go to a prorated system where, as a homeowner, you are responsible for a portion of the replacement costs. 

The Benefits of a Limited Lifetime Warranty

Despite the limitations and exclusions, a warranty on shingles can still offer significant advantages. 

It provides peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong with your shingles due to a manufacturing defect, you’re covered, at least to some extent. This can help protect your investment and potentially save you thousands of dollars in replacement costs.

Additionally, these warranties can add value to your home if you ever decide to sell. Prospective buyers will appreciate the added protection, especially if the warranty is transferable to the new owner.

Many homeowners even find that a warranty can provide a sense of confidence and reassurance in the quality of the roofing materials being used. After all, reputable manufacturers are more likely to stand behind their products with comprehensive warranties.

How You Can Claim Your Warranty Coverage

When a roofing issue arises, and you believe it should be covered under your limited lifetime warranty, follow the clear and precise process outlined below. 

1. Review Your Warranty Documentation

  • Gather all documentation related to your roofing shingles, including the original warranty certificate, proof of purchase, and installation records.
  • Carefully read through the warranty to understand what is covered, any exclusions, and the timeframes involved. Make a note of any specific conditions or maintenance requirements that must be met.

2. Document the Issue

  • Capture clear, detailed photos of the damage or defect from multiple angles. Include wide shots for context and close-ups to show specifics.
  • Write a detailed description of the issue, noting when you first noticed it and any relevant weather events or conditions that may have contributed to the problem.

3. Contact the Manufacturer or Installer

  • Contact the manufacturer, usually found on the warranty document or the manufacturer’s website.
  • If your warranty is also tied to the installation quality, contact the contractor who did the work, as they may need to be involved in the claim process.

Final Thoughts

Don’t fall for the misconception that a lifetime limited warranty means your roof is covered for life. Instead, approach these warranties with a realistic mindset and make sure you understand precisely what is and isn’t covered.

Trust The Expert Roofers In Claremore, OK

Understanding your warranty beforehand is crucial if you are considering a new roofing project for your home or business. If you want the best return on your investment and feel confident that your roof is secure, install your roof with a professional team of roofers. 
Since the weather in Claremore, OK is unpredictable and can take a toll on your roof anytime, contact the expert roofers at Capital Roofing. Our professionals will proficiently install or replace your roof. As an Owens Corning Preferred contractor, we can provide info on their warranty options along with a quality roof installation. In your time of need, we will work closely with you so you get the complete coverage and full benefits of your manufacturing warranties. Contact us today at (918) 260-4075 and consult with one of our roofing professionals.

lifetime warranty roof shingles
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