Warranties are a topic that comes up frequently during real estate transactions, whether you’re buying or selling a home. Warranties on everything from appliances to floor coverings give the current homeowner and the new home buyer peace of mind.
A transferable warranty on roofing can be one of your home’s most valuable assets.
This article explains what you need, how to transfer a manufacturer’s roofing warranty, and how much time you have after purchasing a home to complete the process.
What Is a Warranty?
Before we get into roofing warranties, let’s talk about warranties in general. A warranty is defined as “a guarantee of the integrity of a product and the maker’s responsibility for the repair or replacement of defective parts,” according to Merriam-Webster.
Defective is one of the keywords here. Most warranties cover faulty products, not problems caused by everyday use and aging.
Who Warrants Your Roof?
The roofing contractor or the roofing product manufacturer may provide roof warranties.
Craft warranties are provided by the roofing contractor and typically cover the installation quality.
Manufacturer warranties typically cover only the roofing materials and are based on the roofing contractor following proper installation procedures.
Contractor craft is sometimes included in extended manufacturer warranties, such as the Owens Corning Roofing Preferred Protection and Platinum Protection Limited Warranties.
Because contractor craft warranties are rarely transferable, this article focuses on how to transfer a manufacturer roofing warranty.
Understanding Your Roof Warranty
When reviewing a roofing warranty document, look for the following information:
Who is covered
Warranties should specify who is covered by the warranty. For example, the original owner of the shingles or roofing products is usually covered; if the contract is transferable, a subsequent owner of the shingles or roofing products is also covered.
What is covered
Details on which specific products are covered and other eligibility information, such as proper installation by approved contractors, can be found here. You’ll also find out what to do if there is a flaw. For example, are labor costs for tear-off and reinstallation covered, or does the warranty only cover the cost of new material?
Coverage periods may differ depending on the component (shingles vs. vents) and feature (algae resistance, wind resistance, etc.), so read the fine print carefully.
What is not covered
Your manufacturer’s warranty will usually specify some common scenarios expressly excluded, such as improper handling, installation and roof preparation errors, and debris impact damage.
If your warranty can be transferred to the next homeowner, the guidelines should be outlined in a separate section, though it’s also sometimes mentioned in the “Who Is Covered” paragraphs.
There should be a section dedicated to how to file a claim, where to send it, and how to handle disputes.
Warranty Terms: Limited, Lifetime, and Limited Lifetime
When discussing warranties, the terms limited and Lifetime are frequently used. These words may have different meanings depending on how they are used and the intentions of the warrantor. They can also be linked together, as in “limited lifetime.”
When you see these words in a document, always pay close attention.
What does a limited warranty mean?
Because all warranties have conditions, all deposits are “limited.” For example, time, the cause of the problem — such as wear and tear — and disallowed costs, such as labor or specific parts, are common warranty restrictions.
Several items specified by the manufacturer can limit a warranty. Always read over and understand the limitations of your contract, whether it covers your roofing materials or any other purchased items.
What does a lifetime warranty mean?
Typically, lifetime warranties for roofing products mean “for as long as the original owner owns the home.” The warranty contract should specify the manufacturer’s definition of “lifetime” is.
Ask your roofing contractor or the roofing manufacturer if you have any questions.
What does a limited lifetime warranty mean?
When you combine the two words, as in a “limited lifetime” warranty, you usually get a contract with some limitations in terms of product and time coverage.
What does an extended warranty mean?
The manufacturer can offer extended warranties, which provide additional or longer coverage than standard warranties. However, extended warranties are typically more expensive and may be available only under certain conditions or for specific products.
Are Roofing Warranties Transferable?
As previously stated, the ability to transfer a roofing warranty to a new owner is contingent on the warranty contract.
Transferable warranties typically have strict guidelines that must be followed to ensure the transfer is completed correctly.
In some cases, there may be a cost associated with transferring the warranty from the original owner to the new owner.
Warranty transfer procedures differ between manufacturers and product lines sold by the same manufacturer. The success of a transfer is also determined by whether it is completed within the timeframe specified after a house is sold.
What Did You Know? Owens Corning provides its customers with a transferable warranty on all shingle products.
Transferring a Roof Warranty
Some important details to remember when making a transfer are:
- Many warranties can only be transferred once. As a result, only the second owner of the roofing product is eligible for the roofing warranty. Subsequent owners will not be able to share the contract again.
- Some manufacturers may charge a fee to transfer the warranty to the new owner.
- Specific components’ warranty coverage may be reduced based on the roof’s age at the transfer’s time.
There are three key things you need to know and do when transferring a warranty:
- Deadlines. You must submit all required paperwork and a transfer request to Owens Corning Roofing within 60 days of the real estate transaction’s closing.
- The history of ownership. Proof of ownership information is usually available on a county website or through building permits. Other acceptable documents are as follows:
- a copy of the deed, or
- closing documents showing the prior owner and the new property owner’s name, along with the date of the property transfer.
- The date of installation and proof of purchase of the Owens Corning product. Because the applicable warranty is based on the installation date, you must know when the shingles were installed.
Hopefully, the seller saved their original manufacturer warranty and contractor agreement. If not, you may need to do some detective work by contacting the contractor who did the installation and requesting a copy of the contract.
The logic behind the preceding requirements is simple. This documentation is required so that Owens Corning can verify that you are the second owner of the shingles or roofing products, not the third, fourth, or fifth, and that their products were used on the roof.
How can homeowners help with a warranty transfer?
As you can see, keeping good records can make the warranty transfer a breeze. When your roofing project is finished, make sure to register your warranty in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, secure all necessary paperwork, including a copy of the warranty. This makes the warranty transfer process easier for the new homeowner.
What if the seller doesn’t have the warranty documents?
If you’re buying a house and the previous owner didn’t keep accurate records, you can still transfer a warranty. To begin, contact the contractor or supplier to obtain proof of purchase. You must also provide the month and year that the shingles were installed.
If all other options have been exhausted, contact Owens Corning at 1-800-ROOFING to discuss other options. As previously stated, this must be completed within 60 days of the real estate transaction’s closing.
Benefits of Transferable Roofing Warranties
Warranties demonstrate to customers that the manufacturer stands behind their products. Roofs are one of the most expensive upkeep expenses for homeowners, and a good roof can last for many years, making it a worthwhile investment.
If your roof is made of long-lasting, dependable Owens Corning Roofing products, remind potential buyers that a manufacturer’s warranty covers the roofing materials. The ability to transfer the roofing warranty could be a selling point.
Pro Tip: When purchasing a home, inquire about the roof and obtain the necessary documentation for a warranty transfer, if applicable.
Learn more: 10 Common Roofing Problems And Solutions