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Thermal splitting of fiberglass-based asphalt roof shingles was particularly common for product manufactured in the early 1990's. Asphalt Roof Shingle Warranties, Shingle Failure Claims
Roof Shingle Class Actions, Claim Forms, Warranty Claims Assistance

  • WARRANTIES for ROOF SHINGLES - CONTENTS: How to evaluate roofing shingle warranties, how to make a shingle warranty claim, issues concerning roof shingle warranties. Contact information for roof warranties, roofing manufacturers, shingle failure claims & class action lawsuit. Roof warranty claim advice and assistance
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about roof shingle warranties: coverages, how to file a claim, roof inspections
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Roof warranties & roof covering or roof shingle warranties:

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.



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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.

Roofing Warranties - Valuable or Sales Tool?

[Click to enlarge any image]

Above is a worn-out asphalt shingle roof. This roof is shot, but has actually worn normally and is more than 20 years old. But if a roof wears out, or suffers damage that is likely to reduce its remaining life to less than the anticipated life or warranty period, a warranty claim might be in order.

Don't have high hopes: if the roof was not properly installed the shingle warranty may be void. Other roofing products that have known premature failure problems are also discussed here.

Article contents

As stated in Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction:

Shingle warranties run from 20 to over 50 years. Although products with longer warranties are usually of higher quality, in some cases, the longer warranties are more of a marketing strategy than an accurate predictor of shingle life.

While the specific terms of the warranty are important, more important is the manufacturer’s reputation for warranty service in the local area. All manufacturers retain the right to void the warranty if installation instructions are not closely followed, and they can often find a way to avoid honoring a claim if so inclined.

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.

Question: roof manufacturer offers very limited settlement on asphalt shingles with granule loss

2016/09/08 Spencer Rafferty said:

I have a roof of 12yrs with 25yr shingles on it, I noticed significant granule loss on 90% of whole roof on the single layer part of arc. shingles. I contacted manufacturer and they only offered 384.00, then I contacted local representative and he's only offering about 1,700.

Now I am a Home Inspector and know from experience this is a manufacturers defect because its on 90% of roof and certain parts of each shingle. Problem is I feel they should honor their warranty of full replacement, so how do I go about getting independent testing of shingles to determine if it was manufacturers defect to go after company ?? Any help would be appreciated !

This question and reply were posted originally at GRANULE LOSS from SHINGLES

Reply:

Thanks for the important roof shingle warranty question, Spencer. Now it's time for a dose of painful reality. What follows is my OPINION.

Roof shingle warranties vary, and you don't mention the brand and model of your roof shingles so we don't know what your warranty promised. Usually shingle warranties, even "lifetime" ones, are actually quite limited.

IF the manufacturer agrees at all that the product is defective, you'd expect recover a portion of the shingle material cost, pro-rated based on the percent of roof life promised vs. delivered.When the roof has lost granules such that its remaining life is likely to be reduced and when we are now at 1/2 of the roof's rated life, but the roof is not yet leaking, the manufacturer is going to argue that the roof has not yet "failed" - it's not leaking. So they are re-adjusting the 50% of shingle material cost to a smaller sum which is the manufacturer's own opinion of the amount of reduction from the 25-year life that has been caused by the roof's deterioration. They may not enjoy explaining that to you but that's probably the rationale behind the pathetic warranty offering.

The manufacturer will also adjust the warranty coverage for a roof based on their own observation of installation defects including virtually anything that did not completely follow the manufacturer's installation instructions regarding product selection, underlayment, nailing schedule, condition of the roof deck, flashing details, roof ventilation details and perhaps other conditions (such as mechanical damage from ice dams).

The cost of a roof leak in damaged building insulation, wiring, finish materials, drywall, and potentially mold clean-up can also be a significant cost that won't be covered by roof warranty even if the roof is actually leaking.

The labor to install roof shingles is normally a much greater cost than the materials, a third fact that makes roof shingle warranties of only very limited value.

What we learn from this is that product warranties are more of a marketing feature than something intended to actually protect the consumer. Roof shingle warranties may tell us something about the comparable expected life of different roof products but they're not particularly valuable as insurance against early roof leaks.
See WARRANTIES for ROOF SHINGLES - at inspectapedia.com/roof/Roof_Warranties.php for a series of articles about roof warranties and collecting on them.

In corresponding with readers about this topic for decades now I've seen that just what the roof manufacturer or roof installer offer in settlement varies considerably depending in part on how much trouble the consumer is making and how persistent is the consumer in pressing a claim as well as on the difference between large commercial jobs and residential roof jobs.

Asphalt shingle test labs offer product testing services that can explain why a shingle product is failing or appears defective, such as loss of volatiles, over-heating during manufacture, or other manufacturing or service life defects. You could try asking one of these labs to test representative samples of your roof; you'd need to photo-document the whole roof, document the product, its installation details, and other information, then cut samples, patch the cut area, and send your samples to a test lab.

I would of course be interested in what the lab tells you - we'd all benefit from that if your case were adequately documented. But I warn that YOU are not an important customer to the roof shingle test lab. The roofing manufacturers may use independent asphalt shingle test labs to monitor and assess their own manufacturing process. They, the manufacturers, are far more important customers to the lab than you. Therefore you might find some reluctance on the part of test labs to help you prepare material that will in turn be used to annoy their main client.

We discuss asphalt shingle test lab services at ROOFING MATERIALS TEST LABS inspectapedia.com/roof/Roof_Shingle_Test_Labs.php

Do keep me posted, and do use the page top or bottom CONTACT link to send me sharp photos of the whole roof, varying conditions by roof slope, and close-ups of granule loss on shingle surfaces as well as of the lost -granules that you probably see in your gutters or on the ground.

Roofing Manufacturer Contact Information


A CertainTeed Roofing Product warranty claim form in .pdf form can be found below and also at http://www.certainteed.com/NR/rdonlyres/93C5F27C-E0CC-4284-84CB-89DDCF39457E/0/internetclaimform71504.pdf and a second .pdf document is a FAQ or question and answer sheet about how to make a shingle or roofing product warranty claim to the CertainTeed Corporation - see http://www.certainteed.com/NR/rdonlyres/3564FD08-0533-4BA6-9B75-6AFE5832A145/0/WarrantyFAQs_2_.pdf .
[Original CertainTeed Roofing address we had on file was: 750 E. Swedesford Rd., Box 860, Valley Forge PA 19482 610-341-7000]

How & Where to Report a Failing Asphalt Shingle Roof

Now at HOW TO REPORT SHINGLE FAILURES

List of Fiberboard & Fiber Cement Roof Shingle Warranty Claims Companies & Websites

Now at FIBERBOARD FIBER CEMENT SHINGLE CLAIMS SITES

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Continue reading at HOW TO REPORT SHINGLE FAILURES or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see ASPHALT SHINGLE FAILURE TYPES

Or see ROOF WARRANTY INSPECTION REPORT

Or see ROOFING MATERIALS TEST LABS

Or see WIND DAMAGE to ROOFS

Suggested citation for this web page

WARRANTIES for ROOF SHINGLES at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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