The Roofing Experts in the Seattle & Eastside Areas
How To Understand Roofing Warranties

How To Understand Roofing Warranties

Roof warranties are one of the most misunderstood aspects of roofing. Most of the time, when you purchase something that’s very expensive, you know exactly what coverage rights you will have – as in your warranty. If you’re spending a lot of money, you want to know you’re going to be protected should something go wrong.

However, with roofing, it’s very common for people to spend a lot without truly understanding the warranty they may or may not be getting. The interesting thing is most people think they understand the warranties they are buying, but in most cases, they don’t completely understand them.

Roof Warranty Basics

Every customer has two warranties (one of which comes with a twist):

  • Roofing company’s warranty.
  • Manufacturer’s warranty.

What You Need to Know About the Roofing Company's Warranty

Overall, the company’s warranty appears pretty straight forward but often omits important information. This warranty will depend on each company. There are two layers to this. The first is “how long” and the second is “what” does it cover within that time frame? Most contracts have one simple line stating something like, “10-year workmanship warranty”.

Other roofing contracts might say things like, “5-year labor guarantee”, or “10 years written warranty”. That’s great, so now we know the time frame and when the consumer’s coverage runs out, but what these fail to address is the “what”!

What is covered in that period of time? The funny thing is that probably 90%-95% of all warranties read something like this. What if it leaks and the drywall is ruined? Who covers exterior siding? Who is taking care of the damages caused by the leak?

If the “what” isn’t addressed then the answer is left to the homeowner and his or her insurance! Not the roofer. Not a fun place to be in. Generally speaking, what these so-called “15-year warranties” cover is stopping the leak, not repairing the damages caused by the leak. Be very careful!

The Pro Roofing NW Difference

At Pro Roofing NW we email every potential customer our written lifetime warranty which covers all damages caused by a roof leak. We are also one of the few who allows our warranty to transfer every time, and we are the only company who allows our roof coverage to be transferred as many times as the house sells. That’s huge! We are unique in the sense that we cover the house and not who owns the home. Pro Roofing is the only roofing company who actually has a truly transferable warranty because it transfers an infinite number of times.

One thing to remember is that if it’s not written, they don’t have to do it!

What You Need to Know About the Manufacturer's Warranty

Now let’s talk about the manufacturer’s warranty or material warranty. It’s usually very confusing with multiple loopholes. This warranty, usually a composition warranty, will say something like, “Limited Lifetime Warranty”, or “30-year manufacturer’s warranty”, or “40-year warranty”. It will greatly depend on the manufacturer.

  • Leaks only warranty - Certain companies such as Pabco Roofing Products or Iko Roofing Products have what is called a leaks only warranty. Put simply, the homeowner is only covered if the roof leaks. That could mean the damage is already done by the time a leak is noticed.
  • Performance warranty - Other roofing companies such as CertainTeed, Owens Corning, or GAF/ELK have a performance warranty. This is much better because any performance issue is under warranty such as shingle discoloration, shingle colors not matching, granular loss, premature cracks, exposed fiberglass, etc. It’s much more comprehensive.

Both of these come with a twist, however. The full roof is not covered! Neither are the flashings, felt, venting, hips and ridge caps. It doesn’t stop there because the labor to remove and the labor to install is NOT included either. The dump, insurance, and overhead will not be included in the warranty either. So what are you, the homeowner actually getting back? Not much. You get a pro-rated portion of the field materials. In other words when your new roof is installed the value begins to drop and the main component part is partly covered.

At face value, this warranty looks as though you are covered for 30, 40, or even 50 years. But, you don’t get the full warranty so you’re really not covered. There is a catch, however. Each company will rate and test local roofers and allow them, based on their credentials, to offer the full version of the warranty.

What's Different About ProRoofing's Warranty

At Pro Roofing we offer full roof warranties with each roof installation. That way you get the all the labor (removal and install), disposal (dump fee) and ALL the materials! Not just the composition, but all the materials on your roof. Another way to say the same thing is your entire roof is covered! That’s a big difference.

It’s interesting because you can look at a couple of bids and think they are exactly the same, but they are really couldn’t be more different. The difference all lies in the warranty.


Learning about getting a new roof and everything that’s involved in a warranty can be an overwhelming task. We make it simple. If you have further questions, give us a call at (425) 598-0998 or contact us online. At Pro Roofing, “we’ve got you covered!”


Categories: