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ROOFING INSPECTION & REPAIR
AMERICAN CEMWOOD ROOFING
BEST ROOFING PRACTICES
BUILT UP ROOFS
CATHEDRAL CEILING VENTILATION
CERTIFICATIONS for ROOFING CONTRACTORS
CHIMNEY FLASHING Mistakes & Leaks
COLD WEATHER ROOF TROUBLE
DECKS, ROOFTOP CONSTRUCTION
EPDM, RUBBER, PVC ROOFING
EXTRACTIVE BLEEDING on SHINGLES
FIRE RETARDANT PLYWOOD
FLASHING on BUILDINGS
FLAT ROOF MOISTURE & CONDENSATION
Green House or Solarium Roof Leaks
HEAT TAPES & CABLES on Roofs for Ice Dams
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
MASONITE WOODRUF FIBERBOARD ROOFING
NOISE CONTROL for ROOFS
PLASTIC ROOFING TYPES
PVC, EPDM, RUBBER ROOFING
ROOF ARCHITECTURAL STYLES - PHOTO GUIDE
ROOF CLEANING RECOMMENDATIONS
ROOF COLOR RECOMMENDATIONS
ROOF DORMER TYPES - PHOTO GUIDE
ROOF INSPECTION SAFETY & LIMITS
ROOF JOB PROBLEMS, RESOLVING
ROOF LEAK DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
ROOF NOISE TRANSMISSION
ROOF REPLACEMENT SNAFUs
ROOFING FELT UNDERLAYMENT REQUIREMENTS
ROOFING MATERIALS, Age, Types
ROOFING TILE SHAPES & PROFILES
ROOFING UNDERLAYMENT BEST PRACTICES
SADDLE CONSTRUCTION at CHIMNEYS
SNOW GUARDS & SNOW BRAKES
STANDARDS for ROOFING
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
TEST LABS - ROOF SHINGLE
TREES & SHRUBS, TRIM OFF BUILDING
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
UNDERLAYMENT REQUIREMENTS on ROOFS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WALK-ON ROOF SURFACES
WARRANTIES for ROOF SHINGLES
WORKMANSHIP & ROOF DAMAGE
ZINC METAL ROOFING
This document assists readers who have had an asphalt shingle roof failure or defect and who need to know how to obtain asphalt roofing shingle failure warranty claims assistance.
We include articles on how to identify common asphalt roof shingle failures, manufacturing defects, and other damage. Readers are also invited contribute roof failure information to the web author for research purposes.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
As stated in Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction:
Background about roof warranties: Asphalt roof shingles are the most common covering used on residential properties in North America. Early shingles were made by saturating rag-felts with asphalt and by coating each side of the saturated felt with an asphalt-mineral filler-coat, covering the top surface of the shingle with mineral granules (sunlight and weather resistance) and coating the bottom surface with a material to prevent shingles from sticking together in storage or shipment.
Beginning in the 1940's the felt mat was changed to a zero rag-content using wood fibers and cellulose (newspaper). More recently many manufacturers began producing shingles using a fiberglass mat to replace the felt. The fiberglass mat was thought to have good tear resistance, possibly slightly better fire resistance, and as the mat was generally thinner than the felt mat, we believe that there were also economic advantages for both the manufacturer (less asphalt used in the mat) and the roofing installer (lighter material, easier to install).
In certain instances specific roofing products have shown common early failure, failing in a characteristic pattern which is easily identified (such as the thermal splitting defect. Some manufacturers offer limited warranty coverage of their product. Many roofers also guarantee their work to be free from leaks, but usually for a time period substantially shorter than the manufacturer's rated life of the roof material.
In cases which we've handled in the 1990's to about 2004 and involving thermal splitting or tearing of fiberglass-based asphalt shingles, some manufacturers (such as GAF) offer a limited product warranty.
Following a fairly involved claims procedure requiring documentation, photographs, and a sample of damaged material the manufacturer may elect to warrant the roofing material on a pro-rated basis depending on the age of the roof and its warranted life. Sometimes the manufacturer's warranty covers only material cost, not installation cost (labor, demolition, removal of old materials) unless the roofing contractor chooses to extend such coverage.
The cost of roofing material is not the main ingredient in roofing cost. Labor and possibly disposal of old roofing material are significant costs. Out of concern for future roof life, some roofers are reluctant to install new roofing atop failed material even where additional layers of roofing are permitted by local codes.
Some homeowners are reluctant to install as new roofing the same product which failed early in the first place. Manufacturers might have changed the formulation of the product to improve durability, but they are understandably reluctant to say so, out of concern for increasing product liability.
Without assurance from the manufacturer that a product which failed early has been modified to correct the problem, we advise our clients to consider using alternative products with design and performance expectations having a better track record.
Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction lists several key issues to consider in evaluating a roof shingle warranty:
-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.
Using first a 2001 vintage Owens Corning Roof Shingle Warranty as an example, note that [quoting]
A later 2008 Owens Corning Roof Warranty provided to us by a client whose Owens Corning algae-resistant shingle roof was just two years old when an extensive green algae growth was observed, provides similar constraints as the 2001 warranty above, but extends the warranty period to ten (10) years.
Regarding roof shingle discoloration by algal, fungal, lichen, or cyanobacterial growth, the 2008 warranty provides:
Watch out: the shingle manufacturer's warranty also requires that you make your claim within 30 days of discovery of the problem. Also, we are not sure how widespread this position will be found to be taken, but an Owens Corning representative informed us (by telephone O.C. to DF, 04/2010) that the algae-resistant portion of an Owens Corning roof shingle warranty is limited to one genera/species of roof algae. It appears that she was describing a more narrow interpretation than the language of the 2008 roof warranties above, as she was excluding green algae staining.
Watch out: don't try cleaning asphalt shingle roofs without checking with the manufacturer about their recommended methods. For example using power washers (not recommended), and some chemicals may damage the shingles and reduce the roof life. Other chemicals such as bleach may also cause staining on other building areas and can be unsafe if not handled properly. To remove and prevent black algae stains on roofs, see BLACK STAIN REMOVAL & PREVENTION.
OPINION: algal growth on asphalt roof shingles, unlike moss and lichens growth (MOSS & LICHENS on SHINGLES), is a cosmetic concern and is not likely to affect roof shingle life. But as the warranty above includes lichens, you should keep an eye on your roof for that more destructive growth.
For research purposes we would also like to receive your reports of roofing product failures as we are actively researching roof failures, repair alternatives, and warranty claims procedures. We welcome photographs and history reports of examples of failures on asphalt shingle roofs and claims experience in New York Pennsylvania Connecticut New Jersey NY PA CT NJ and in California, Oregon, Washington State CA OR WA, (both fiberglass and or non-fiberglass based shingles, GAF and all other brands).
You can help by providing information. Contact Us to email a description of your roof shingle failure experience as outlined below or if necessary, to arrange for consulting in the NY metropolitan area. Regrettably the volume of web traffic precludes free email, telephone, or other consulting except for the elderly, disabled, and people of limited means.
List of Fiberboard & Fiber Cement Roof Shingle Warranty Claims Companies & Websites
George Podrug provided Masonite Woodruf™ roofing information for home inspectors in 1999.
Defective Hardboard Siding (similar products): see the detailed articles at
And see Asbestos in Carpet Padding? at CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY for other asbestos materials from Hardie.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Roof Shingle Warranty Claims & How to File a Claiim
Question: Our Globe Roof Shingles (1997) are Leaking
We purchased 20 year warranty Globe shingles for our roof in 1997 and are now having problems in fall 2011 with leaking roof in several places. Shingles have not worn well. I have their address and have sent them a letter, but anything else that I can do to get my warranty? - D.M.
Please take a look at the information about Globe shingles in the article above - you'll see that we have not heard of much success with Globe since 2005 but we do offer some advice about pursuing the matter through your roofer.
Reader comment: importance of roof ventilation in roof life
(Dec 7, 2011) Jon Wright said:
Very good info. Most manufacturers now offer non-prorated material and labor warranties up to fifty years through their certified contractors. You have GAF Master Elite and Certainteed Master Roofers which have been vetted by the manufacturer. But no matter what warranty you get, you have none if you do not follow the minimum 'Three Hundred Rule of Balanced Ventilation."
Reader comment: experience with Atlas Chalet Shingles - leaks
(Dec 20, 2012) memphis10uhsee said:
I have Atlas Chalet Shingles on my roof and now have leaks, when the roofing company put the shingles on, i was never given a warranty, I was told I would be able to get the rest of the shingles and it's been since 2010 and I still don't have them. What do I need to do?
Reader comment: experience with GAF/ELK roof shingles
(Nov 29, 2012) DollieDee said:
Im a homeowner in central texas. After many leaks and repairs since completion of our house in 2006, we are looking into the warranty included with the GAF/ELK grande shingles ordered for our home. Its brought to our attention the complexity of the situation... Many homes in our subdivision (built by same builder) are experiencing the same issues (all have same type of shingles). We contacted said builder and were referred to a roofing company that builder subcontracted to order and install the roof. Contacted the Roofing Company to be informed that this particular shingle is defective and the manufacturer is held responsible. ELK is no longer in business, being bought out by GAF, and GAF will not honor any warranty originated with ELK products. HELP! i dont know who to hold responsible for this. i appreciate any insight.
Question: does installation of shingles by a non-certified contractor void the shingle warranty?
(Oct 14, 2012) Cheryl said:
I was told that some manufacturers warranties of roof shingles installed by a contractor that is not certified to install voids the warranty. Is this true? Which manufacturers is this true for if so?
Reply: No, and yes sort-of: explanation of example roofing shingle warranty terms: product warranty vs. workmanship warranty
As far as I know the shingle warranty is not dependent on contractor certification but rather on correct installation.
If my research learns something different I'll post it here.
There are certification programs for roofers, see our article with that title in the links at page left. As some roofing manufacturers offer special warranties for work performed by a certified contractor, the terms of that special warranty will not apply if you use a different, non-certified roofing contractor.
But just about every roofing product includes a warranty statement on the package and in the product literature. Here is some partial roofing warranty text excerpted from GAF's roof shingle warranty documentation. You will read in these excerpts that the warranty against manufacturing defects varies by product and in my OPINION you can infer that "manufacturing defects" will (and should) exclude roof failures that are due to installation errors or other building defects that may affect the roof life.
The GAF company provides a (perhaps confusing to some) panoply of warranties including the "Smart Choice" refered to in the txt above. What's the GAF Smart Choice Warranty?
Watch out: generally roofing manufacturer warranties pertain to the product itself and warrant against manufacturing defects, not against workmanship errors that may occur during the roof installation (and that could void some product warranties). Be sure to discuss the workmanship warranty terms with your roofing contractor. Some roofing manufacturers offer a warranty program such as GAF's Golden Pledge Limited Warranty ® that will include both product warranty and workmanship warranty. This warranty is linked with the company's Master Elite roofing contractor program.
Questions & answers or comments about roof shingle warranties: coverages, how to file a claim, roof inspections.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
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