What Is a Roof Warranty?

Any homeowner who has had to repair their roof knows that this type of repair is costly. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to repair a roof is $890, and the cost of installing or replacing one ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. Therefore, many homeowners look to offset these costs with a roof warranty. 

Although there is no warranty that will completely cover the cost of a full replacement, some companies do offer contracts that will cover certain types of damage and repairs***. In this guide, you’ll find answers to the following questions:

  • What types of roof warranties are available to homeowners?
  • What do these warranties cover?
  • Does a home warranty cover roof repairs?
  • Which is the best roof warranty for my home?

For a home warranty* that includes limited roof leak coverage, call 732-907-4902 or fill out this form to get a quote from Choice Home Warranty.

Types of Roofing Warranties

The phrase “roof warranty” may actually refer to several different types of warranties issued by different providers. They cover various components of the roof and come with different guarantees.

Manufacturers Material Warranty

This type of warranty is similar to one you’d get with other manufactured products. It comes from the company that makes the shingles or tiles and applies to any defects in these roofing materials. For example, a metal roof warranty will cover only the metal panels that make up the roof. It’s the most common form of roof warranty but also the most narrow in scope. Only damage that can be traced back to problems with the manufacturing of the product will fall under this warranty. 

Since most leaks actually stem from joins where the roof meets the walls or chimney, manufacturers warranties don’t cover much in the way of leak damage. Generally, these last between 10 and 30 years and may be prorated against the lifetime of the materials.

Workmanship Warranty

This type of warranty is offered by the contractor who installs or repairs your roof. Essentially, the technician is offering a guarantee on their own work. This warranty typically only applies to damage that results from improper installation and modification and covers additional labor, not new materials. 

These warranties are shorter, usually in the realm of one to five years. Often, you will need to hire back the same roofing contractor who did the original work in order to make use of this guarantee. Hiring a different company will usually void the warranty.

Full System Warranty

A full system warranty applies to both materials and labor. It is offered by the roofing manufacturer and often extends to parts beyond shingles, including edge metal, flashing, and more. Unlike a regular manufacturers warranty, however, this guarantee also covers improper installation and poor workmanship. 

Additionally, this type of warranty lasts longer than a typical workmanship warranty—usually between 10 and 30 years—but possibly as high as 50 years. However, keep in mind that a “lifetime” warranty in this sense applies to the lifetime of the materials themselves, not the homeowner. Additionally, contractor liability under these guarantees may last only a few years rather than the full length of the warranty.

Home Warranty

The above types of warranties are usually offered by the companies you’re already buying from, whether manufacturers or contractors, so you don’t have to seek them out separately. However, a home warranty is a little different. While not all home warranties cover roof damage—in fact, most don’t—some providers will offer limited leak coverage. 

What differentiates home warranties is that they cover wear and tear damage, not simply manufacturing defects or shoddy workmanship. As long as you’ve done a reasonably good job maintaining your roof, covered repairs for small leaks will fall under the terms of the warranty. Usually, home warranty coverage lasts for a year at a time but can be renewed indefinitely.

What Roof Warranties Cover

Unfortunately, it’s essentially impossible to find a warranty that will completely cover the cost of a full roof replacement. Roofs are expensive to repair and replace, and companies are not prepared to take on that cost on behalf of homeowners. However, that doesn’t mean roof warranties won’t significantly reduce repair costs. Here’s a quick recap of the types of warranties and what they cover.

What’s Covered Types of Damage Who Offers It Length
Manufacturer’s warranty Shingles, tiles, panels, etc. Defects in the materials Shingle manufacturer 10-30 years
Workmanship warranty Labor Improper installation or repair Contractor 1-5 years
Full system warranty Materials and labor Defects, poor workmanship, and related materials Shingle manufacturer 10-30 years
Home warranty Covered repair costs Wear and tear Home warranty company 1 year (renewable)

Do I Need a Roof Warranty?

Since manufacturer and workmanship warranties often come automatically with the purchase and installation of a new roof, they’re worth having and might not cost you anything extra. Full system warranties are optional and often cost between 8-20 cents per square foot. Additionally, they may require annual inspection to ensure that you’re keeping up with maintenance.

Home warranties, on the other hand, typically cost between $30 and $60 a month and cover far more than just your roof. They also cover wear and tear damage on your home’s most important systems and appliances. While you will also need to perform basic maintenance on covered items in order to use this warranty, it will not require an inspection or go up in price as your home ages.

What Is the Best Roof Warranty?

The best roof warranty is the one that covers what you need it to cover. That said, you’re unlikely to know what problem needs coverage until you have it. If you’re in the market for home warranty roof coverage, Choice Home Warranty offers that option. While Choice’s two plans don’t cover roofs, you can easily add on roof leak coverage for an additional fee of approximately $70 more per year.

As can be found in the Choice Home Warranty user agreement, roof coverage applies to “repair of shake, shingle and composition roof leaks over the occupied living area.” While this doesn’t cover all possible problems—such as leaks over patios or problems with chimneys—it does cover roofs of any age. As long as you’ve kept up with maintenance on your home’s roof, Choice Home Warranty will perform repairs*** to problems resulting from normal wear and tear damage.

To get a free, personalized quote from Choice Home Warranty, fill out this easy form or call 732-907-4902 to speak to a customer service representative.

Frequently Asked Questions

What voids a roof warranty?

This depends on the type of roof warranty you have. Always check the fine print on your warranty before making any changes to your roof. However, here are some activities that will void a typical roof warranty.

  • Failing to perform routine maintenance
  • Improper installation of roofing materials
  • Installing new shingles over old shingles
  • Installing an antenna or satellite dish
  • Installing major fixtures like skylights or solar panels
  • Failing to properly ventilate the attic
  • Pressure washing the roof on a high setting
  • Using roofing components from different manufacturers
  • Hiring different contractors for installation and repairs

Will a home warranty cover a new roof?

Some home warranties will indeed include roof leak coverage. However, because these contracts only cover problems resulting from wear and tear, they may not apply to problems with relatively new roofs. A home warranty will not cover partial or full replacement costs for a new roof.

What does a shingle warranty cover?

A shingle warranty applies only to the materials themselves and any defects in manufacturing. If the shingles are faulty because of a manufacturing problem, the maker may replace them or offer you a refund. However, this type of warranty will not cover the labor to replace them or any problems resulting from non-shingle roofing materials (flashing, gutters, etc.) made by a different manufacturer.

*Click here to view complete limits of liability and any exclusions. CHW offers service contracts, which are not warranties.

***CHW reserves the right to offer cash back in lieu of repair or replacement in the amount of CHW’s actual cost (which at times may be less than retail) to repair or replace any covered system, component or appliance.