Aside from the sales pitches and marketing materials, have you gotten your hands on an actual warranty to read it for yourself? No? We did not think so. You usually receive your warranty long after paying the contractor. Why? Well, that is a good question. Read on....
Asphalt shingles continue to change as the industry demands cheaper and longer lasting products. We have detailed the asphalt shingle history up to the late 1900's, but the warranties are an issue for discussion that has been left to the supply houses and back offices of roofing companies for too long.
An unbelievable move by the asphalt, fiberglass based roofing shingle manufacturers has taken place on or about the start of year 2009. Warranty wars between the major manufacturers had been an enigma that drove marginal warranty upgrades of the past, but now all caution has been thrown to the wind by an industry that has threatened its own integrity in the marketplace.
It is for the individual roofing company management as to how to handle the new ?Lifetime Warranties? that have been placed on virtually every major asphalt roofing shingle manufacturer's product. Without major improvements to the fundamental products, roofing shingles that once held 25 year warranties are now labeled as ?Lifetime? and sent to the marketplace for sales.
Back rooms and roofer's offices are abuzz with just how to handle this enigma. Some roofing companies have taken the new warranties and used them as a tool toward increased sales. Unknowing consumers actually compare a lightweight architectural (prior 25 yr.) shingle to a super heavyweight tri-layer (always lifetime) and they often go with the cheaper contractor. The cheaper contractor does not divulge the entire story to the client and the ?Lifetime? story gets resold down the line to the next homeowner, etc. Note: Always read the warranty carefully ? BEFORE YOU BUY!
Even though the cover story may read ?Lifetime,? always remember a ?Warranty? is just a list of limitations of coverage. A contractor that relies solely upon manufacturer ?Enhanced? warranties while offering no warranty (or only that of the mandatory state regulated workmanship warranty), is just a charlatan of sales. Please read all small print (front and back) on all documents. When you are ?Sold? a new roof, at least be informed.
Don't fall for the hype and the puffy sales gimmicks. Manufacturers certify volume oriented contractors while selling warranties that are questionable.