On the surface, a lifetime roofing warranty sounds like a dream. You’ve invested a significant amount of money replacing an old, tattered roof, and you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your new roof will give you no further issues. If it does, then you have a nice lifetime warranty to cover any damage. However, there may be stipulations to your warranty that could prevent you from successfully filing a future claim. Typically, roofing warranties only cover normal exposure to the elements and not any extreme situations or events. It’s important to determine what your roofing warranty includes before settling on a warranty. The list below will help you understand the types of things that can affect the validity of your roofing warranty.

Poor Workmanship

Even the highest-quality roofing material cannot withstand poor workmanship from an unqualified contractor. Oftentimes, homeowners experience problems with their new roof because of how the contractor installed the product rather than the roofing material itself. If you have a roofing warranty that only provides coverage against manufacturing defects, then any errors made by the contractor will not be covered.

Improperly Ventilated Attic

An improperly ventilated attic could cause a number of problems, but more specifically, it could result in premature aging, warping, and rotting of your roofing system because trapped heat could raise the temperature of the attic to 160 degrees or more. If you experience these types of issues due to an improperly ventilated attic, then the damage will most likely not be covered by your roofing warranty.


Applying new shingles to an existing roof can be a great option if you’re looking to save money on your project, but doing so could negatively affect your ability to carry a warranty on your roof. Some manufacturers will not warrant their product if it’s applied to existing roof shingles. Starting with a clear roof deck will also allow your contractor to examine the condition of it and the sheathing before applying new shingles. If there are any existing issues, they can be repaired before adding the new roofing materials to the decking. If any damage is lurking underneath a layer of shingles and more shingles are placed on top, there’s a good chance you won’t be aware of the issues until costly repairs are required.

Transferring Your Warranty

A lifetime warranty may not last as long as you think. Typically, lifetime warranties cover the life of the roof for the owner of the house during the initial construction of the roof. So, when you’re ready to sell your humble abode and move into another house, it’s possible that your roofing warranty will not cover any repairs that the new owner may need down the line. To that same point, the roofing warranty tied to the house you’re buying may not cover any repairs you’ll need to make down the line. Each manufacturer has its own stipulations when it comes to transferring your warranty over to another owner. Before choosing a roofing warranty, figure in whether you would like to transfer the warranty to another owner when it’s time to sell your home.

Structural Changes, Alterations, or Additions

If you’ve experienced damage from an improperly installed antenna or satellite, then it’s possible that the repairs won’t be covered by your roofing warranty. Even installing an antenna or satellite could completely void your warranty. Check your warranty before making any structural changes to your roof to be sure that your roof will still be covered.

A good roofing warranty ensures that if problems arise down the road, the cost of repairs will be covered by the manufacturer. But as we noted above, some roofing warranties have hidden clauses that could affect your claim. Examine your roofing warranty carefully to determine what is covered and what isn’t.

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Sources: CertainTeed; GAF.

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