Roof Shingles Warranties - Are Consumers Fully Protected?

 

 

Roofing shingles manufacturers provision their shingles products by offering innumerable but ambiguous shingles warranties to their consumers. With voluminous manufacturer companies, the warranty information as printed in the brochures, needless to say, is misconceiving and unclear to consumers. In an attempt to clarify ambiguity and raise consumer awareness, two roofing shingles competitors’ warranties, CertainTeed and IKO, are paralleled.

 

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CertainTeed’s product warranty brochure begins their first paragraph with promises to pay for, clean, or replace the purchased shingles within the warranty period; it also quotes “strongest warranty available”. Their competitor, IKO, begins their warranty pamphlet with embedded clauses and legalese, providing an impression of a legal disclosure rather than a roofing shingle warranty information package. Some similarities do occur in these brochures, for the consumer however, it is significant to realize that there are countless differences which should be recognized before making their purchase for adequate protection and liability coverage.

 

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Both roofing shingles competitors offer distinctive protection periods. Classically these periods begin after the initial or final installation date and extend to the end of the warranty cycle as specified. CertainTeed, for example, offers their consumers “SureStart Protection Period” which elongates a standard non-prorated 10 year term; while IKO’s “IRON Clad Protection Period” is embedded with variable protection terms and cycles depending on the product purchased. A table in the warranty brochure describes the variable terms as per shingle product per manufacturer. Both, CertainTeed and IKO, similarly promise their consumers to pay for and/or replace damaged shingles during the specified protection period. IKO, however, embeds another clause, “if all warranty conditions are met”; therefore, ambiguity exists in the “conditions” and implies that the end consumer is responsible for full awareness of all installation specifications and processes as per IKO’s requirements. Both shingle roofing manufacturing companies include labour costs in their coverage during these periods; more ambiguity however, begins when “SureStart” promises maximum liability coverage on “replacement of shingles” while “IRON Clad” promises “placement of shingles. When the terms are dissected, “placement” perhaps refers to the actual act of placing the roofing shingles on the roof deck; while “replacement” encompasses further ambiguity to the  extent of the liability coverage of the roofing shingles on the roof deck. Both companies reject other affiliated costs and inform consumers of further applicable conditions for roofing shingle liability coverage.

 

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“Limited Warranty” is offered by both manufacturers; however, a 50 year protection is promised from CertainTeed, while IKO’s term cycles vary per product and are defined by “manufacturer defects causing leaks only”; basically, no matter what state the roofing shingle may be in, if there are no leaks, there is no shingle defect coverage. IKO also has strict rules against roofing shingles warranty ownership transfers; essentially, the warranty is non-transferable; including, in death, which suggests, while purchasing roofing shingles, it just may be advisable to talk to your spouse of their health concerns – just in case. IKO, however, does offer a “Limited Transferability of Limited (restricted) Warranty”, where a precise 30day shingle warranty transfer window exists after property transfer, with a nominal $100.00 transfer fee. CertainTeed’s Limited Warranty guidelines seem more lucid, but limited to their 50 year warranty. The company permits a single warranty transfer within 60 day of property transfer period, nonetheless, further restrictions apply. Both roofing shingles manufacturers have further restrictions on shingle warranty transfers while in the protection periods.

 

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Both roofing shingle manufacturer companies indicate in their shingle warranty brochures the option of “Lifetime Warranties” on their product. Of the two, CertainTeed however provides a full description of the coverage and their liability. IKO, on the other hand, briefly mentions the warranty as a “Limited Lifetime Warranty” and its terms and conditions vary from one product line to another. CertainTeed explicitly states that the “Lifetime Warranty” offered, applies to individual home owners only. For other institutions, the “Lifetime Warranty” warrants the product conditionally for 40 or 50 years. The company does however permit warranty transfer for private sector property ownerships and expresses with ambiguity that for ‘some’ lifetime warranty products, tear off and disposal of roofing shingles will be covered.

 

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“Wind Warranties” are offered by both manufacturer companies; both, with numerous differentiations and resemblances, between the coverage and liabilities.  CertainTeed offers their wind warranty as an ‘upgrade’ from the “Limited Warranty”. The manufacturer promises to be liable for blow-off shingles for the initial 15 years after shingle installation, and with wind speeds of up to 130kn/h; conditions do apply. Additionally, the company offers a separate “Limited Wind Warranty”; and “Limited Wind Resistance Warranty” is offered by IKO. The roofing shingle manufacturer (IKO) offers 15 year coverage applicable only to ‘certain’ shingles within their product line, with variable wind velocity maximums; and 5 year coverage for remaining shingle products. “High Wind Limited Warranty” is offered by IKO following specific installation guidelines as described in their “High Wind Application Process”. This warranty warrants the consumer for shingle blow-offs with wind velocities of up to 130mph (210km/h). Additionally, CertainTeed has specific requirements for the installation process, specifying that the seals need to be active upon installation for warranty to be validated. IKO goes into further specifics, describing in which months the shingles should and shouldn’t occur, due to seal activation, for both Canada and the US.

 

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Both IKO and CertainTeed offer “Limited Algae Warranty”. This may possibly be the only warranty section in both warranty brochures with greatest similarities. Both companies agree on the terms, conditions, and coverage, claiming liability for shingle discolouration due to “blue-green” algae, strictly excluding any other biological growths. Both manufacturers reject any affiliated costs and IKO promises to provide the consumer with a payment certificate of up to $15.00 per square for cleaning of shingles, providing all warranty conditions are met. Additionally, CertainTeed warns consumers of gutter corrosion due to the algae resistant product and makes recommendations of installations of gutters with specific material compositions, thus, excluding themselves from gutter corrosion liability. Both roofing shingles manufacturers warranties have limitations and exclusions with similar damages, IKO’s list however is further specific where distortions, discolorations, natural disasters, structure and equipment installations, improper shingles handling, and among others, most importantly, damages due to improper shingles installation processes not following to manufacturer’s guidelines.

 

 

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In conclusion, it is important for consumers to be aware of the variable roofing shingle warranty coverage and their terms and conditions for their purchase. It is of equal or greater importance to work with experienced and knowledgeable roofing installation contractor companies who  are confident in the product knowledge and strictly abide to all installation specifications, for the consumer warranty to be validated.

 

http://www.iko.com/shared/residential/warranties/IKOUNIIndWarranty.pdf
http://www.certainteed.com/resources/GeneralAsphaltShinglesWarrantyEnglish.pdf

 

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