I recently purchased new tires for one of our trucks, and one of the factors I considered was the warranty included with their purchase. Do I pay a few bucks more for the 100,000 mile warranty, or just stick with the 25,000 mile warranty?
We like to feel safe when we make a big purchase, which is why warranties are so appealing to us. That’s also why many companies prey on customers who are willing to pay extra for a bit of reassurance.
Whichever warranty I choose, I’m likely to face quite a few obstacles if I ever actually need to use that warranty. Usually they ask for an original receipt, an odometer reading, and records proving you kept up with regular maintenance as instructed — all of which is covered in a few pages of fine print. If you missed a tire rotation when it was due, you are out of luck and the warranty may be void.
I’ve learned that what matters most is who I buy the tires from and who I have work on my vehicles. If I work with a reliable dealer that I can trust, I know they are going to do their best to take care of me regardless of what tire I went with, because they value keeping me as a long-term customer more than the cost of replacing a tire or selling unnecessary add-ons.
But we’re here to talk about roofing, not tires.
Warranties can cover several different things. There are warranties that cover the physical materials (via the manufacturer) and materials that cover the work itself (via the installer).
A manufacturer’s warranty covers defects that result from a manufacturing mistake, and generally nothing else. Many of these warranties claim to protect you for 20 years or more, but just as with tires or vehicles, you might have to jump through several hoops in order to get a manufacturer to take care of you should your tiles or other material fail during their years of coverage. If you’re lucky, you might get a few shingles dropped off in your driveway. Additionally, many manufacturer’s warranties are prorated, meaning their value goes down over time.
You need to read the language and fine print carefully. Many “lifetime” warranties are offered by third-party vendors and don’t take effect until the manufacturer’s warranty is up, and certain conditions will void your warranty (like improperly installing a satellite dish).
Happily, when your roofer uses trustworthy suppliers — as we do — manufacturing defects are rare. When it does happen, we usually notice the defective product before we install it on your roof. That means that we’ll take care of it; you won’t have to worry about a thing.
It might be lifetime warranties, no-maintenance guarantees, or magical nanotechnology that makes your shingles 100 percent waterproof, but there are a lot marketing tactics used in the industry to attract buyers (as with any other industry). Customers want to believe things, even if they might be too good to be true.
When something goes wrong with your roof, you don’t want surprises. When something goes wrong with your roof installation, it’s nearly always because of a roofer making a mistake.
Many fly-by-night roofers lure customers in with low pricing. They are able to offer such low prices by using inferior products and inferior roofers to install them. That leaves the customer far more likely to have a problem with their roof, and very few opportunities to get their money back.
While manufacturing warranties on your shingles and tiles shouldn’t be ignored, they shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor when deciding which products and which company you use for your roof.
Whether it’s repairs or a completely new roof, who you do business with is the most important decision you will make for your home. Finding a quality roofing contractor is arguably more important than what type of roof you decide upon, what warranties are included with the roof, and even the pricing.
Your roof is an investment, and backing the wrong horse at the beginning means that you could lose big down the road.
Treasure Valley Exteriors has consistently been shown to be one of the best roofers in the Boise area. The next time you have to choose a roofing contractor in Meridian, we hope you’ll think of us. As a certified roofing firm, our craftsmanship is backed by the manufacturer!
And if you have any questions about roofing we can help with, give us a call! We’re always happy to help out where we can.
By Max Loranger
Treasure Valley Exteriors