Why do you need 2 metal roof warranties?

December 13, 2021 | Filed under: Buying a New Roof,Newsletter Articles,Research


When you purchase a new roof, you should receive 2 warranties in writing. 

The 1st: from the manufacturer covering the integrity of their product.

The 2nd:  from the contractor covering the integrity of their workmanship. 

Too often, contractors take advantage of homeowners and shift the focus to the manufacturer’s warranty. The manufacturer covers what they have control over – the product, and the contractor covers what they have control over – the workmanship. This makes it vital to choose a high-quality manufacturer and a high-quality installer.

A Roof Warranty is Unique

As you investigate warranties, keep in mind how different roofing warranties are. For example, when you buy a TV, you expect it to last much longer than its 1-year warranty—just like the 3-year warranty on your new car. However, with roofing, products usually fail well before the warranty is up. The difference is all in the fine print. 

Traditional shingle manufacturers rely on their products to fail before the warranty is up. They want recurring customers and frequently include a coupon for another roof with the first one. 

Product Warranties

As you browse product warranties, beware of ones from suppliers who are not manufacturers. These warranties are limited in scope, covering the value of the raw materials and not the finished product. For metal roofing, they only consider the performance of the material, not the entire roof system. They ignore weather conditions, like wind or hail damage, and are difficult to collect on.

However, with quality products, the manufacturer’s product warranty is what matters. It protects your investment, and in turn, is usually covered by the supplier’s warranty.

When you research manufacturers, find answers to these questions:

  1. What exactly does or doesn’t the warranty cover?
  2. Are there provisions for wind, hail, fade, and chalk?
  3. What is the company’s history? Are they easy to contact, or is it always a pain? 
  4. Is the warranty prorated and, if so, what is the proration schedule?
  5. Can the warranty be transferred to future owners? If so, how many times, and what are the requirements?

Here are the details of our Classic Metal Roofing Systems warranty. See if you can answer the questions above.

The product warranty from your manufacturer will have several key areas:

  1. Manufacturer’s Defects. Pay close attention to product warranties that cover only manufacturer’s defects and not problems due to age. Unfortunately, many manufacturers avoid these, and if the product degrades and fails due to “normal weathering conditions,” they escape liability. Instead, look for warranties covering cracking, splitting, fade, granule loss, etc. 
  2. Proration. Roof warranties are typically prorated, meaning that you receive less compensation as your roof ages and failure occurs. This makes sense – you pay for the portion of time that the roof provided service. Typically, a short non-prorated period is then reduced by a constant percentage yearly. However, we have seen many companies begin to offer warranties with widely varying proration schedules. 
  3. Transferability. Some warranties never transfer, some do once or twice, and others transfer as many times as the home is sold during the warranty period. Limiting transferability allows manufacturers to capitalize on the average home selling every eight years (according to the National Association of REALTORS 2021 report). A warranty with one transfer shortens the liability to 16 years while advertising a much longer period. 
  4. Limitations and Exclusions. Here are things to watch:
  • Does the warranty cover materials and labor if necessary, or just materials?
  • Is there a maximum payout?
  • Does the warranty require installation over an approved substrate? If so, what is the approved substrate? 
  • Are there ventilation requirements? 
  • Does it offer specific wind coverage but have exclusions for hurricanes and tornadoes?
  • Is there a “normal weathering” exclusion? If so, what counts as “normal weathering”?

Workmanship Warranties

When you purchase a roof, you will receive a warranty covering the workmanship from your contractor. You should request this in writing with exactly what is covered, for how long, and under what terms. It should be for a minimum of two years, and we’d suggest longer for high-end products. 

It should also specify if it is transferable to future owners of your home. (This is rare, but if you intend to sell your home soon, you may be able to negotiate one transfer.)

Pay attention to anything that voids the warranty, like storm damage. Sometimes, storm resistance warranties fall under the manufacturer’s product warranty.

Find answers to these questions:

  1. Are you receiving a written, legal warranty or a verbal promise?
  2. What does or doesn’t the warranty cover? What about Acts of God?
  3. How long is the warranty? Does it transfer to future owners or a surviving spouse?
  4. What is this contractor’s track record, and how long have they been in business?
  5. How seriously do they take their warranty?

Need Help with Your Analysis?

If you’re considering a roofing product, send over the warranty to info@classicroof.com. We are happy to take a look and determine the value it offers you and future owners of your home. 

Of course, you can call or contact us anytime. We’re here to help you find the very best roof for your home and situation.