Getting your roof replaced is a task and expense most people only want to do once. Over 5 million roofs are replaced annually. According to manufacturers, a staggering 90-95% will not be covered by warranty. How is this possible? The shingle says its a 35 year warranty. Most companies and installers are not properly trained or certified. Below are 7 signs the warranty you thought you had is no good.
The #1 reason shingle warranties are voided or no good. Roof companies always talk about ridge vents (exhaust vent), but neglect soffit vents (intake vents). Without a balanced ventilation system, your roof cannot breathe properly and will not last. Fresh air from outside needs to constantly be flowing from outside through your soffit (intake vent) and out through your ridge/box vent (exhaust vent). If there is no movement of air through your attic, shingles will bake in the summer from excessive heat, causing curling and premature wearing. In the winter, moisture will build and the underside will frost, then thaw, causing leaking from the inside, sheating to deteriorate, and worse – MOLD! For every inch of exhaust vent, there should be an inch of intake.
Improper Nailing and drip edge installation
Improper nailing locations and or patterns can cause a roof to fail and is also a major reason for roof failure and voided warranties. Shingle manufactures specify exactly where and how many nails shingles should have. If you’re in a high wind area, which we are in Iowa and Illinois, your shingles should have 6 nails. The location of each nail is specific and the reason a lot of roofs fail warranty inspections. The back of the shingle packaging explains exactly where to install a nail on each shingle. (See example) Nailing in the wrong place can cause a shingle to pop, or blow off. Drip edge has to be installed over the paper, on the rakes, and under the paper on the eaves. This is another common mistake. (see pic)
Not enough ice and water
Ice and water barrier is a very sticky base sheet. It is installed along the edge of the roof (rakes and eaves) and in valleys. The common misconception is that you only need one row of it. Ice and water barrier is required to extend 2 feet past the inside of your exterior wall, per manufacturer and city code. If your overhang is only 6-12 inches, depending on the pitch, then 1 layer is okay. If your overhang is greater, then you need at least 2 rows to meet warranty requirement and code. For example, if you have a porch with a 5 foot overhang, you are going to need 3 rows of Ice and Water to meet requirements. Ice and Water barrier keeps ice from building up in the gutters and pushing up under the shingles and eventually causing leaks and damage.
Installing a satellite dish can void a warranty because it punctures the roof. Most manufacturers have a clause stating ANY puncture voids the entire warranty.
Walking on your roof
Have you ever got on your roof to clean your gutters or hired a company that did? Believe it or not, you or them just voided the warranty. Walking on the roof can cause granules to rub off, especially in the summer months when its hot. Although its harder, do yourself a favor, clean gutters from a ladder to ensure your warranty lasts.
Sure, adding a layer over your existing shingles is going to be cheaper and easier. Does that make it okay? Typically, cheaper is not better! Most shingle manufacturers will not warranty a layover. If the shingle fails prematurely, and it will, the company will consider it poor craftsmanship, not a material defect. They will not pay for it. If your roof was bad enough to need re-roofed, by leaving it on and adding over it, you shouldn’t have high expectations. A 30 year shingle can be expected to only last half of that or worse. Not to mention, each layer weighs 250 pounds or more. Most homes are not built to withstand the weight of 2 or more layers of shingles. When you add snow load on top, you can jeopardize the structural integrity of your home.
Materials from different manufacturer
The most common mistake with a roof is: Companies buy shingles from one manufacturer then they buy off brand Ice and water or underlayment. They will not warranty mismatched products. If you buy Certainteed’s shingles, the rest of the products must also be Certainteed. If not, they will not honor the warranty. You will be told that it didn’t perform because it was not designed to with other products besides their own. All shingle manufacturers are this way. You must buy all materials to ensure the warranty. It’s like putting a Ford motor, in a Chevy truck, with a Dodge transmission, and expecting Toyota to warranty it.