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Atlanta Roofing: Article About Roofing Warranties

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Installing a new roof presents a homeowner with many questions that often cause serious frustration. Not only does a wary consumer have to be knowledgeable about the different types of roofing materials and installation costs, but they must also understand how roofing warranties work so that they can get the most value for their money.

Because a new roof is a significant investment in a home, roofing manufacturers and installers often offer warranties to assure their customers that they will stand behind their work. However, not all warranties are the same. Savvy consumers will take a few moments to learn about roofing warranties, so they can ask the right questions of their contractors. A reputable Atlanta roofing contractor will be able to answer any questions fully and candidly to ensure the homeowner's investment yields a good return in longevity.

Roofing warranties come in three primary types: materials only warranties, materials and labor warranties, and no dollar limit warranties. Materials only warranties, issued by the shingle manufacturer, are the least desirable for most property owners because most leakage stems from improper installation or problems with the design rather than material defects. Most materials warranties extend from 10 to 30 years and are often pro-rated as the years pass. A 20-year-old roof that fails under a 30-year warranty will only be covered at a fraction of the actual cost. This can leave the homeowner liable for the difference.

Materials and labor warranties are more desirable but still have their limitations.

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This type of warranty is also covered by the shingle manufacturer and will cover installation and design problems, but they only cover the full cost of roof replacement for a specified amount of time. These warranties may also be pro-rated, so as the roof ages, the owner's liability increases.

No dollar limit warranties are the most desirable types of warranties to have with a new roof installation and usually extend from 15 to 20 years. The warranty will cover material defects as well as installation or design errors for the full replacement cost of the roof at any time during the warranty period, which can be for up to 50 years for some types of roofing materials. This type of warranty is generally only offered through contractors who have undergone certification and training that manufacturers provide on an ongoing basis, such as GAF Mater Elite certification. Even with a no dollar limit warranty, there are still situations that can nullify the warranty.

Maintenance or repair completed by anyone other than the original contractor may void a warranty. Lack of a proper maintenance contract that documents regular inspection and maintenance is another. Transfer of ownership, changes in the use of the premises or a lack of an inspection sign-off can also be problematic.

The best way to avoid common problems with warranties is to discuss the available options with a reputable, trained roofing contractor.

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