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Federal Way Roofing: Article About Roof Warranties

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A big challenge facing Federal Way roofing customers is understanding how warranties protect their purchase of a new roof or partial replacement. There are many misconceptions about roof warranties, and perhaps the biggest cause of that misunderstanding is how some companies choose to market warranties. For instance, some roofing companies offer nothing more than the shingle warranty provided by the manufacturer but use language that may suggest that it applies to every aspect of the job, including installation.

A new roof is a big investment, and homeowners understandably want the roof to last for a long time. When shopping around for a contractor, it is essential to recognize that there are two distinct types of coverage: workmanship errors and manufacturing defects in the materials.

Coverage against manufacturing defects in the materials comes with the purchase of the roofing materials, and it applies whether the homeowner purchased the roofing materials directly or purchased them through the roofing company performing the installation. Common three-tab shingles will usually have a 20- to 30-year warranty, and wood and stone shingles often have much longer periods.

Read the fine print in full. Never make assumptions about manufacturer warranties.

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These warranties often include caveats that the homeowner should be aware of. Additionally, if a defect leads to damage of other components, the homeowner should understand how those components are covered. Generally, that coverage is limited and just enough to meet legal requirements.

Coverage against workmanship errors is usually provided directly by the roofing company. It is crucial that homeowners ensure that their roofing company of choice provides this coverage and that they read the fine print. Keep in mind that most roofing companies last less than five years, at which point a warranty is worthless, so it is also important to choose a business with proven longevity.

Some of the top manufacturers of roofing materials do cover workmanship, particularly if the installing company has gone out of business. This is an added service meant to distinguish them in the marketplace, and generally, the added coverage is valid for only the length of the base warranty.

Note that extended warranties often demand specific installation procedures in order for the additional coverage to apply. Therefore, it is a good idea to get a written agreement from the roofing company that these specifications will be met. Some homeowners hire a third-party inspector to oversee the installation to ensure that the installation is performed to specification.

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