Roof Warranties: What Do They Cover?

Are you ready for your roof to be replaced by an Omaha exterior expert but worried about how your investment will be protected in the future? You’re not alone. Customers tend to be concerned about their fallback options when they encounter a problem or leak with their roof. That’s what roof warranties are for! Roofing warranties can seem overwhelmingly complicated, which makes understanding all your coverage options even more important so you can make an informed decision about your roofing material and who installs it.


Contractor roof warranty vs. manufacturer roof warranty

This is pretty straight forward. One comes from the roofing company that installed the roof and the other comes from the manufacturer of the roofing material. Manufacturer warranties can vary and some cover only the material while others cover the entire system. Most manufacturer warranties also require the contractor to perform warranted repairs for the first few years after the installation. Contractor roofing warranties typically do not cover materials and only cover workmanship.


Material-only warranties vs. labor-only warranties vs. roof workmanship warranty vs. system warranty

A roofing material-only warranty usually has a lower cost than a full system warranty but only covers manufacturing defects and premature deterioration for the length of the warranty. This covers only the roof membrane and does not cover other accessories such as flashings, adhesives, metal edge, etc. This type of warranty would only cover the cost of materials to repair or offer a credit towards the purchase of a new membrane. These warranties in no way cover or include any labor coverage for installation errors. Material-only warranties also do not provide coverage for leak repair costs.


A labor-only warranty covers only the labor required to address roof defects and does not cover the costs of materials. These types of warranties are usually offered by the roof installer. This type of warranty is not a roof workmanship warranty and may not cover repairs for installation errors.


Roof workmanship warranties cover the costs associated with the actual installation errors or failures that may not be covered by labor-only warranties. Some system warranties do cover workmanship. If workmanship is not covered in your warranty, you may be able to get this coverage directly from the installer.


Full-system warranty will typically cover not only the material, but also manufacturer approved flashings, accessories, and metal work that is utilized in the original installation. These types of warranties will typically cover full cost. This includes labor for leak repairs within the warranty terms and conditions.


What does a typical roof warranty cover?

Although it depends on the type of warranty you receive, you may be surprised by what you are or aren’t covered for. It is important to know what typical roof warranties will cover before you purchase a new roof. Here are some typical things that will be covered or may require an extra fee:


Roof leak repair

Most full system roof warranties will cover labor and material costs for roof leak repairs as long as the circumstances of the cause of the leak fall under certain requirements. A typical roof warranty will not cover the cost of leak repair if the issue was caused by fire, lightning, high winds, hail, earthquakes, negligent acts, misuse, vandalism or loss of integrity of the structure.


High winds

Damage caused by high winds is another issue that can fall outside of the typical roof warranty coverage. Keep in mind that this upgrade will increase the cost of your warranty and may also require additional enhancements to the roof system such as increased fastening patterns. Those enhancements will also increase the total cost of your new roof system.


Hail damage

Another warranty add-on is hail coverage. Should your building be located in a hail-prone area you may want to consider a system design that will allow for this add-on to protect you from the cost of repairing a hail damaged roof. Of course, this may require enhancements that will increase the total cost of your new roof system.


Roof puncture

If your roof system has high foot traffic you may want to consider adding accidental puncture coverage. There is an extra charge for puncture coverage and you also may need to have a certain roof membrane thickness for your system to qualify for this upgrade.


What is typically not covered?

Ponding/standing water

The definition of ponding water is fuzzy, but at the end of the day what counts is what your roofing manufacturer deems “ponding water.” Most manufacturers define this as water that remains on the roof for a specified amount of time after rain has stopped. Warranties that exclude ponding water also exclude any issues caused by ponding water such as roof leaks or damage to the area in question.


Consequential damages

Most roof warranties do not cover any consequential or interior damages caused by roof leaks or defects such as carpets, walls, ceilings, equipment and merchandise, etc.


Roof warranties2

Circumstances beyond control

These are things such as high winds (sometimes extra wind coverage can be added), hail (same with hail, extra coverage can be added), tornadoes, floods, fires, etc. These items are typically not covered.


Existing moisture

If you or your roofing contractor is planning to install a new roof system over an existing roof system the manufacturer may require an infrared scan prior and after the roof installation to ensure there is no moisture trapped in the existing system. Existing moisture that affects a new roof system is not typically covered.


Improper roof repairs

Contractors using improper repair materials or improper repair methods may void the manufacturer warranty. The manufacturer will also not cover the costs to have those improper repairs fixed by an authorized applicator. It is also worth noting that there may be additional costs for you to have the manufacturer come out to inspect the newly repaired area(s) in order to reinstate the warranty.


Unauthorized alterations or repairs

Should you be planning to install a new rooftop unit, addition or alteration to a warranted roof system make sure you talk with the manufacturer before proceeding. For example if you have an HVAC company install a new unit on your warranted roof but neglect to have a manufacturer authorized roofer flash the unit in you may chance voiding your warranty.



Unfortunately you will never find a roof warranty that will cover the replacement of your roof system. You might even get the material cost covered but never the labor to install a new roof.


There are many variables when it comes to what is covered under a typical roof warranty. Remember to ask questions of your Omaha roof expert, read the fine print and understand what you are buying and what your responsibilities are before you sign off on your next roofing project. It’s your right to understand what you are buying. Also remember that a roof warranty is only as good as the roof installation itself. HomeWise Roofing & Exteriors are experts in roof repairs and replacements. We will communicate with you to ensure that we are giving you all the options that fit your needs. No matter which kind of roof you choose, we guarantee that you will be satisfied with the product and our warranty.

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