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09 Jul. 20

Roofing Warranties and Liability Coverage

A roofing company that offers a warranty and stands behind it is a reputable company. Many roofing companies only offer the shingle manufacturer’s standard warranty, but no labor warranty. A shingle manufacturer warranty only covers defects in the roofing materials. Shingle warranties range from 20 to 50 years depending on the manufacturer and type of shingle you purchase.

A labor warranty is different. It covers leaks as the result of improper installation of the roof. This is about defects or damage from workmanship, not a materials failure. Roofing companies that offer this kind of protection know the quality of their people and work. They are in essence prepared to stand behind their people based on the scope of their work history and track record.

Typically, these reputable companies will place warranty work on previously completed jobs ahead of new jobs because they care about their reputation and expect the job to be done right. They want their customers to be satisfied with their work.

All warranties have certain conditions and it is no exception with roofing warranties. Typically the roofing company will not be responsible for:

  1. Extreme weather events. For example, damaging storm winds that exceed the shingle rating. Hail, ice storms, ice dams, tree damage, tornadoes, etc. No roofing company can be held responsible for extreme weather events. These events fall under your homeowner’s or business insurance policies.
  2. Failure of other roofing systems. This can include clogged and full gutters that back up and cause flooding and roof damage. Skylights, insect wood infestation on rafters, etc.
  3. Work by other contractors. This can include damage caused by HVAC companies in the attic or on the roof while performing other work. Carpentry work like a new roof gable for a sunroom, or screened-in porch that was not present when the roof was installed. Satellite dish installation causing roof damage, or improperly installed gutter covers, or protection. The roofing company cannot be held responsible for the damage caused by other contractors.
  4. Material defects. These claims would be for the shingle or material manufacturer.
  5. Neglect. Damage caused as the result of failure to report a leak, interior damage, etc. for an unreasonable period of time.

Liability coverage is essential for any contractor. Your brother’s, friend’s first cousin might be willing to do your roofing job and do it well without coverage, but if there is an accident, etc., you are going to be potentially liable for any damage, injuries, medical care, etc. Make sure your roofing company carries enough liability insurance and that it is up to date. Ask to see a certificate of coverage. Reputable roofing companies will not hesitate to provide this information. $1M in coverage with up to $4M for each occurrence in commercial liability and an umbrella policy.

Ask to see a copy of their workman’s compensation coverage and their rating. Construction work is inherently dangerous simply due to the nature of heights, ladders, saws, and other power tools. Any company worth the name on their business card should carry the appropriate amount of insurance for their company that complies with federal, state, and local regulations/laws.

Gilstrap Roofing has been covering the roofing needs of the Upstate since 1935. We are a family-owned, local business. Proud of our BBB and Angie’s List ratings. Contact us today for all your roofing questions and needs.

Brian Gilstrap, President
Gilstrap Roofing
Greenville, SC 29611