The short answer is yes! Warranties for shingles have come long way in the past 7 years compared to what they once were. This is mainly because manufacturers have stopped making and selling the organic asphalt shingles. It is important to know and understand the warranty that comes with your roof installation both with the installer and manufacturer and that your installation meets the manufacturers requirements to satisfy the terms of a valid warranty. We will discuss the importance of meeting the warranty requirements, the warranties that come with the shingle brands we are certified to install and what you should be aware of with your warranty.
Every day we hear from customers that their shingles are only 10-12 years old and they already need a new roof after purchasing 25 year or longer shingles. Up until 7 years ago there were both organic asphalt shingles and fibreglass composite shingles available. The fibreglass composite shingles were usually about 25% more expensive so the majority of shingle installations were the organic asphalt. Pretty much every brand, every profile of the organic asphalt shingles have failed to last their original intended life expectancy and if you do your research you will find that there are class action lawsuits in existence with almost all manufacturers with these shingles. So the asphalt shingle lines were phased out and processes were put in place to manufacture fibreglass composite shingles at a more reasonable price.
How are fibreglass shingles different? They do still have petroleum based products but they also have fibreglass fibers interwoven into the the laminating process which significantly reduces shingle shrinkage. Shingle shrinkage happens when your shingles start to dry out and lose their flexibility and it usually is the first stage of shingle deterioration. The next steps are discolouring, curling, cracking and then complete failure with breakage occurring. The fibreglass composition does not allow the breakdown process to happen as early or extensively as it did with the organic asphalt. Also the fibreglass shingles have some zinc properties built in and that coupled with the less organic properties helps to prohibit moss growth more so than with the organic asphalt shingles. But nothing lasts forever! So you need to have a good sound WARRANTY.
The two shingle products we are certified to install are from manufacturers IKO and BP so we will discuss their specific warranties in detail and refer in general to other manufacturer warranties. Each manufacturer has particular requirements that they insist upon in order to provide you with their product warranty....if these requirements are not met you will not have a valid warranty.
First of all you need to choose a reputable installation company who is actually CERTIFIED to install the products they carry. Certification is very important because without it there will be no guaranteed extended warranty. Also as a certified installer we are required to carry current WSIB insurance and general liability insurance which are important to ensure you are protected against a possible law suit should an accident happen. In order to obtain certification we must not only complete the manufacturers training on installation of their products but also meet other stringent criteria with insurance, legalities, minimum years in business and background checks. The status of a certified installer can be verified with the manufacturer at any time and can usually be found on the manufacturer website. Please ensure that your installer is indeed certified....this is a very important step.
The next requirement for a valid warranty is to ensure proper components are installed on your roof to satisfy what the manufacturer specifies. All manufacturers offer a basic warranty which means that as long as the shingles are installed correctly, you have proper ventilation, you have sufficient insulation and you have installed the specified components you will have a base warranty of some sort even if your brother in law the plumber installed your roof. These base warranties vary in length from 5-10 years depending on manufacturer and type of shingle installed. Most warranties now cover both product AND labour costs as opposed to just product costs with the previous asphalt shingle warranties. Also most of the new warranties are not pro-rated. In order to have a valid extended warranty with any manufacturer you will also be required to have their brands of not only shingles but possibly starter shingles, capping shingles and underlayments used in your installation. Usually not ALL components must be brand specific but the majority must be. As with any product there are no name or generic brands of everything and for the most part they are cheaper in cost and do not satisfy the warranty requirements. And one final note that is important to ensure....that your warranty is transferable to a new owner and is not pro-rated...this can be a great selling feature should you sell your home.
About the products we install.....
IKO - comes with a base warranty of 15 years covering both labour and material costs 100% against product defects for their architectural or designer shingles. The extended warranty covers the first 20 years. This warranty is not pro-rated and is transferable to new owners in the first 15 years and you receive a hard copy written warranty from IKO called the Iron Clad warranty. You must use IKO brand specific components, have proper ventilation and sufficient insulation and the roof must be stripped at time of installation (no going over existing shingles). The installer must also register your warranty with the manufacturer which becomes especially important if you misplace your warranty papers...there will be a record of it somewhere. The three tab shingle line comes with a 5 year warranty covering both labour and material costs 100% against product defects and must have same requirements met as with architectural or designer shingles. We also offer our own 5 and 10 year warranty on labour.
BP - comes with a base warranty of 15 years covering labour, material and disposal costs 100% against product defects for their architectural or designer shingles. The extended warranty covers the first 50 years. This warranty is not pro-rated and is transferable to new owners in the first 15 years and you receive a hard copy written warranty from BP called the Weather-tite warranty. You must use BP brand specific components, have proper ventilation and sufficient insulation and the roof must be stripped at time of installation (no going over existing shingles). The installer must also register your warranty with the manufacturer which becomes especially important if your misplace your warranty papers...there will be a record of it somewhere. The three tab shingle line comes with a 5 year warranty covering labour, material and disposal costs 100% against product defects and must have same requirements met as with architectural or designer shingles. We also offer our own 5 and 10 year warranty on labour.
In summary....it is important to choose a certified contractor and verify they are indeed certified, know what your warranty requirements are and make sure those components are being installed on your roof and that you as a customer make sure maintenance of things like proper insulation and general roof maintenance are taken care of. A reputable and certified installer will discuss all these things with you and inform you of things like inadequate ventilation. The new shingle warranties are quite comprehensive and have definitely come a long way in the last seven years.
Stay tuned as we discuss in further blogs.....each component individually, their function and importance on your roof.