Warranty worker on roof repairing shingles

Your Roof Warranty Explained: Types, Lengths, and FAQs

Derek Perzylo

April 18, 2024


  • If you’re looking to replace your roof or have roof damage, homeowners should know the different types of roof warranties available to them and what they cover.
  • There are three types of roof warranties: standard manufacturer, workmanship, and extended manufacturer. Each warranty type has a certain level of coverage, length of warranty, and exclusions or limitations.
  • If you need a roof repair or replacement, call the Big 5 Exteriors experts for excellent service and quality care.

Whether you’re looking to replace your roof or need a repair, it’s important to know the different types of roof warranties available to you. A roof warranty is like your safety net and can help cover you when unexpected costs arise like defective shingles or incorrect installation.

There are three types of roof warranties:

  • Standard manufacturer warranty
  • Workmanship warranty
  • Extended manufacturer warranty

Understanding the difference between the three roof warranty options can save you unwanted stress down the line when dealing with roofing problems.

At Big 5 Exteriors, we want you to feel confident that you have all the information you need when replacing or repairing your roof. Our experts break down the different roof warranties, what coverage is provided for each type, and how long the coverage lasts, so that you can make an informed decision on your next roofing project.

See Also: Is Your Roof Saying That It’s Time For a Replacement?

Contractor holding a hammer and nail on a house rooftop

Types of Roof Warranties

Now that you know the three types of roof warranties, let’s go over what each warranty covers, including some exceptions and limitations.

Standard Manufacturer Warranty

A standard manufacturer’s warranty primarily covers defects in the roofing materials themselves. The level of protection varies by manufacturer, but most include one of the following:

  • The cost of defective materials, meaning you’re responsible for any labor charges to remove and dispose of failed shingles and install the replacements. This warranty doesn’t cover shingles that prematurely fail because mistakes were made during installation or issues with any other components your contractor installed.
  • The cost of defective materials for the first few years and then offer prorated coverage from that point on. If any shingles are found to be defective during the initial period, the manufacturer gives you replacement shingles at no cost. This initial coverage also includes labor costs for the installation of the replacement shingles. If a failure happens during the prorated period, you’ll receive just a portion of the cost or a lesser amount of new shingles.

In most cases, this warranty means you’re covered as long as you own your home. Shingles are typically covered for 25-50 years.

Workmanship Warranty

The contractor who installs your roofing, like our roofing experts at Big 5 Exteriors, plays a key role in its performance and longevity. Workmanship warranties typically cover the cost of labor and any materials needed to make necessary repairs. Many workmanship warranties also cover any related damages done to the home’s interior, as well as your furnishings and personal effects.

Here are some of the most common installation errors typically covered by workmanship warranties:

  • Using too few or too many nails, or driving nails too far in during shingle fastening
  • Not using flashing on roof valleys, eaves, rakes, and penetrations
  • Failing to properly install the underlayment or starter shingles

Of course, there are exceptions to workmanship warranties, mainly involving weather damage that isn’t related to their installation workmanship, such as:

  • Storm, high wind, and impact damage
  • Water damage due to ice dams
  • Damages if the roof was altered after installation
  • Harm caused by foot traffic
  • Leaks triggered by falling tree limbs or wind-driven debris

The length of a workmanship warranty varies from contractor to contractor—they can range from 2 to 25 years and some companies offer lifetime warranties.

At Big 5 Exteriors, we offer a 5-year warranty on most of our siding, roofing, and eavestrough services, as well as a balance of the manufacturer’s materials warranty. We also have a limited lifetime warranty on our roof shingles. Since 1984, we’ve taken pride in our work and will be there to support your investment if a defect in our workmanship is found.

Grey rooftop shingles covering a newly constructed home

Extended Manufacturer Warranty

If you’re looking for comprehensive coverage for your roof, an extended manufacturer warranty is simply that — it extends beyond the standard manufacturer and workmanship warranties. With this warranty, the manufacturer will pay to replace your entire roof if just one of their components fails. It’s also designed to give you comprehensive repair coverage for a longer period of time than with a standard manufacturer’s warranty.

To qualify for this warranty, all of your roofing materials must come from the same manufacturer and your roof must be installed by a certified contractor that has met the manufacturer’s installation requirements. These requirements typically include components like:

  • Ice and water barriers
  • Underlayment
  • Hip and ridge cap shingles
  • Soffit and ridge vents
  • Starter and field shingles

Although warranty benefits differ between manufacturers, here are some common benefits you can expect:

  • Long-lasting coverage, including repairs or replacements, for defective material. Some extended warranties may last up to 50 years.
  • Coverage for all roof system components, excluding flashing, wood decking, and fasteners.
  • Coverage against workmanship installation errors with a prorated period that includes labor, tear-off, and disposal costs — this doesn’t come with every extended warranty.

This warranty is the most desirable option when buying or selling a home because you won’t have to bear any unexpected cost regarding roof repair and it can then be extended to the next homeowner.

See Also: Three Common Roof Repairs Your Home Will Eventually Need

Man standing on a ladder and cleaning out the house gutters

How to Make the Most of Your Roof Warranty

Once you decide on the best warranty for your roofing system, follow these steps to make the most out of your warranty:

  • Read the Fine Print: Your contractor must be certified, preferably at a higher certification level, through the shingle manufacturer and be authorized to provide the specified warranty. Without that authorization, your warranty will be voided.
  • Register Your Warranty: Don’t forget to ensure your warranty registration is submitted to the manufacturer. Without it, you may not have coverage at all. The contractor installing the product must be credentialed to install and provide the warranty. Then, they must register the warranty on behalf of the customer.
  • Get Regular Inspections: Getting your roof inspected every one or two years allows your contractor to spot and fix any minor issues with vents, flashing, shingle damage, caulking deterioration, and more. Staying ahead of repairs can prevent major work in the future and will help you maintain your warranty coverage.

Remember, roof warranties are designed to provide homeowners with peace of mind and protection against potential issues that may arise with their roofs. However, it’s important to understand that these warranties often come with certain exclusions and limitations such as damage caused by neglect from the homeowner, improper maintenance, or natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes.

Trust Big 5 Exteriors For All Your Roofing Needs

Choosing the right roof warranty and the right contractor go hand in hand, which is why you can trust the experts at Big 5 Exteriors to get the job done right. Plus, we’ll be there for any hiccups or issues down the line.

As mentioned above, our 5-year warranty on most of our roofing services, along with our limited lifetime warranty on shingles, will give you peace of mind for your next roof project.

To learn more about our roof warranties, contact one of our experts. You can also browse our most frequently asked questions about roof warranties in general.

Closeup of grey shingles on a rooftop with a neighbor's home in the distance

Frequently Asked Questions About Roof Warranties

What Are The Different Types of Roof Warranties?

Simply put, there are three different types of roof warranties that serve different purposes:

  • A standard manufacturer warranty covers the products used
  • A workmanship warranty covers the installation from your contractor
  • An extended manufacturer warranty covers your contractor’s workmanship along with extended coverage for the products

How Long Do Roof Warranties Last?

Depending on what type of roof warranty you choose, warranties can last between 2 to 25 years. Some extended warranties may even last up to 50 years.

What is Big 5 Exteriors’ Roof Warranty?

All our services are warrantied, guaranteeing the quality of our work. Most of our siding, roofing, and eavestrough services are backed by our Big 5-Year Warranty as well as the balance of the manufacturer’s materials warranty. Plus, all our architectural shingles come with a limited lifetime warranty protecting you from defects in the materials and manufacturing. We’ve got your back!

When Should You Have Your Roof Replaced?

Your roof probably needs to be replaced if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Light or dark spots on your shingles (often a sign of missing granules)
  • Shingles that curl up from the roof
  • Widespread and visible mold, moss, or mildew
  • Missing, dented, or broken shingles

The age of your roof should also factor into when you decide to replace it. If you’ve had your roof for more than 20 years, there’s a good chance it needs replacing—even if you don’t notice any of the signs above.

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