Whether for your home or business, your roof’s ability to function properly is vital to the ongoing safety and security of any structure. Yet, their long life spans of 20, 30 or even 50 years, mean daily and yearly maintenance is often deferred.
Why should an owner think about their roof when it comes with a warranty that seemingly covers everything, materials and workmanship. What else is there to consider in a roof failure? Why should an owner or property manager be concerned?There are several reasons why a roof may fail and the failure may have nothing to do with materials or workmanship. Workmanship is the technical skill and talent of your roofing contractor. The life of your roof is connected to the skill of the roof installers, the quality of roofing materials used, the annual wear and tear the roof experiences, and the ongoing maintenance it receives. A roofing failure can cause extensive damage leading to expensive repairs. The failure of a roof warranty can be equally distressing or worse. It is important for owners and property managers to understand how their actions can impact the validity of the manufacturer’s warranty. Below are some of the most common reasons a roof warranty is void.
A hot roof has spray foam insulation adhered directly to the roof sheathing and removes the traditional need for ventilation in the attic. However, this process raises the average roof temperature by a couple of degrees which increases shingle fading. The additional degrees can also void a roof warranty because most shingle manufacturers require attic ventilation.
A properly vented attic ensures adequate air flow and humidity levels within the attic. Improper ventilation can be caused by bathroom fans or dryer vents without proper exhaust pipes. Inadequate intake vents which do not allow for enough outside air to draw into the attic are also a concern. An attic without proper ventilation can decrease the life span of a roof and thereby void its warranty.
Roofing manufacturers have strict procedures for the proper installation of their roofing systems. Those procedures can include the number of nails needed to adhere each shingle to the roof sheathing, nail length, nail location on each shingle, and depth of nail penetration through the roof sheathing. The installer must adhere to the manufacturer guidelines in order for the warranty to be valid. Installation guidelines may also prevent installing new shingles over old ones. The cost savings of not removing old shingles may be negated if their presence voids the new roof warranty.
Antennas, Satellite Dishes, Skylights, Etc.
Once a roof system is penetrated, it is more susceptible to leaks. The areas surrounding antennas, satellite dishes, skylights or gutter guard system installations may not be covered by warranty if those areas are not kept properly sealed. The lifespan of sealants is substantially shorter than the roof so ongoing maintenance of those areas is required.
Sometimes manufacturer warranties are not transferrable from one owner to the next owner. If the roof warranty is transferrable, there are guidelines to follow which often include re-registering the warranty with the manufacturer. Warranty transfer is definitely a feature to consider when selecting a roofing system. To ensure the validity of your roof warranty, annual roof inspections by a qualified roofing company are suggested. Often roofing failures start small and grow. Annual inspections can ward off potentially large, costly repairs. Additionally, these inspections provide necessary documentation for ongoing issues that may support a later warranty claim. If your contractor thinks a handshake is all the warranty information you need, find a new contractor! The first step to ensuring a valid manufacturer warranty is selecting a skilled and reliable installer. As you move through the process of selecting your roofing contractor and roofing system, always request specific details of the manufacturer’s warranty. Sometimes, contractors will provide their own warranty on top of what is offered by the manufacturer. Reliable roofing contractors will always provide warranty information in writing.Your roof and its warranty are valuable assets. Taking necessary steps to ensure their continued health and safety is smart planning. With proper care, your roof should be worry-free for decades.
In business over 46 years, Phil Eiseman is the owner of Eiseman Construction Co., Inc.. Eiseman Construction is a full-service roofing, remodeling, and renovation company licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The company is engaged in private, commercial, municipal, and federal work projects throughout the Delaware Valley area and into New Jersey. Jenny Danzis has over eight years of experience in renovation and new construction projects and facilities management. Jenny joined EisemanConstruction at the beginning of 2014 to focus on the development of commercial projects. She is a graduate of New York University’s Robert F Wagner School of Public Service with a Master of Urban Planning.