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What is a Limited Lifetime Warranty?

Posted September 11, 2015 by Patrick Morin

 I get the ‘limited warranty’ question a lot when sitting down with homeowners who are trying to figure out what kind of roof to put on their home. Does that mean the manufacturer is guaranteeing your roof will last you a lifetime? Not even close. 

First things first: manufacturer warranties are made to be vague. Yes, they are created to help a client when something goes wrong, but it’s not going to cover you in every situation. Manufacturer warranties can be very complicated to a regular, run-of-the-mill homeowner.

There are so many different grades of each material. A standard architectural asphalt roof has five different levels: an eighteen-year, twenty-year, twenty-five year, thirty-year, and a thirty-five year roof. But all the warranties read ‘limited lifetime.’ So what does that mean?

For most all warranties, limited lifetime is going to be a ten-year warranty. If your roof fails in the first ten years due to a manufacturer defect, they will cover the labor and the material to get it replaced. On the eleventh year, some companies get rid of the labor all together. That means that on your eleventh year you have no labor that’s covered if it fails due to manufacturer defect. And the material coverage might go to 50%. Then the warranty starts to prorate to zero coverage over thirty, forty or fifty years.

They get away with saying ‘lifetime’ by decreasing what they’ll cover over a long period of time. But by the time you’re getting to twenty, twenty-five years, it’s really covering hardly anything. You’re going to end up getting a check for ten bucks.

You can’t put a lot of weight into those manufacturer warranties. Focus more on who’s going to put that roof on. Roof Life of Oregon offers excellent workmanship coverage for your peace of mind. Get a hold of us to learn more about how we can go to bat for your roof, deal with the manufacturers ourselves, and make sure you get the coverage you deserve.

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