HOW TO TRANSFER A ROOF WARRANTY
Whether you’re buying or selling a house, one topic that comes up frequently during real estate transactions is warranties. From appliances to floor coverings, warranties provide peace of mind to both the current homeowner and the new home buyer.
When it comes to roofing, a transferable warranty can be one of your home’s greatest assets.
This article explains what you need and how to transfer a manufacturer roofing warranty, including how much time you have to complete the process after purchasing a house.
What Is a Warranty?
Before diving into roofing warranties, let’s discuss warranties in general. According to Merriam-Webster, a warranty is “a guarantee of the integrity of a product and of the maker’s responsibility for the repair or replacement of defective parts.”
One of the key words here is defective. Most warranties are only concerned with faulty products, not problems due to everyday use and aging.
Who Warrants Your Roof?
Roof warranties may be offered by the roofing contractor or the manufacturer of the roofing products.
Workmanship warranties are warranties from the roofing contractor and typically cover the quality of the installation.
Manufacturer warranties generally protect only the roofing materials and assume the roofing contractor followed proper installation procedures.
Occasionally, with extended manufacturer warranties, such as the Owens Corning Roofing Preferred Protection and Platinum Protection Limited Warranties, contractor workmanship is included in the manufacturer’s warranty.
It’s uncommon for workmanship warranties issued by the contractor to be transferable, so the focus of this article is on how to transfer a manufacturer roofing warranty.
Understanding Your Roof Warranty
When reviewing a roofing warranty document, you should scan for the following details:
Who is covered
Warranties should specify who benefits from the warranty. Typically, the original owner of the shingles or roofing products and – if the warranty is transferable, a subsequent owner of the shingles or roofing products would be covered.
What is covered
Here, you’ll find details on which specific products are covered and other eligibility information, such as proper installation by approved contractors. You’ll also learn what the remedy is should there be a defect. For example, are tear-off and reinstallation labor costs covered or does the warranty only provide for the cost of new material?
Coverage periods may vary by component (shingles vs. vents) and feature (algae resistance, wind resistance, etc.), so pay close attention to the wording.
What is not covered
Your manufacturer’s warranty will usually detail some common scenarios that are expressly not covered, like improper handling, installation and roof preparation errors, and damage from debris impact.
If your warranty can be transferred to the next homeowner, you should find the guidelines outlined in a separate section, although sometimes it’s also mentioned in the “Who Is Covered” paragraphs.
There should be a dedicated portion on how to file a claim, where to send it and how to deal with disputes.
Warranty Terms: Limited, Lifetime, and Limited Lifetime
Two common terms you may hear when discussing warranties are limited and lifetime. These words may have different meanings depending on how they’re used and the warrantor’s intentions. They may also be linked together, as in “limited lifetime”.
Always pay close attention whenever you see these words pop up in a document.
What does a limited warranty mean?
All warranties have conditions, and therefore all warranties are “limited.” Typical warranty restrictions include time, cause of the problem — such as wear and tear — and disallowed costs, like labor or certain parts.
Basically, a warranty can be limited by a number of items the manufacturer outlines. Always take the time to read over and make sure you understand the limits of your warranty, whether it covers your roofing materials or any other purchased items.
What does a lifetime warranty mean?
Lifetime warranties for roofing products typically imply “as long as the original owner owns the home.” The warranty contract should spell out what the exact definition of “lifetime” is per the manufacturer.
If you’re ever in doubt, ask your roofing contractor or the roofing manufacturer to explain it.
What does a limited lifetime warranty mean?
When you put the two words together as in a “limited lifetime” warranty, you’ll usually find a warranty with some limits as to product and time coverage.
What does an extended warranty mean?
The manufacturer can offer extended warranties that provide additional or lengthier coverages than their standard warranties. Extended warranties usually cost extra to obtain and may only be available under certain conditions or for certain products.
For example, Owens Corning extended roofing warranties can only be offered by their network of independent Platinum and Preferred Roofing Contractors, and they only apply to particular products.
Are Roofing Warranties Transferable?
As stated earlier, the ability to transfer a roofing warranty to a new owner is dependent upon the warranty contract.
Warranties that are transferable usually have strict guidelines that must be followed to make sure the transfer takes place correctly.
In some cases, there is a cost associated with moving the warranty from the original owner to the new owner.
Warranty transfer procedures vary among manufacturers and even among the different product lines the manufacturer sells. The success of a transfer also depends on if it is completed within the required timeframe after a house is sold.
Did You Know? Owens Corning offers its customers the benefit of a transferable warranty for all its shingle products.
Transferring a Roof Warranty
Some important details to note concerning a transfer are:
- Many warranties are transferable only one time. So, in that case, only the second owner of the roofing product can take advantage of the roofing warranty. Subsequent owners will not have the option of transferring the warranty again.
- Some manufacturers may charge a small fee to transfer the warranty to the new homeowner.
- The warranty coverage of certain components may be reduced based on the age of the roof at the time of the transfer.
To better understand a warranty transfer, let’s review the process together in an imaginary scenario with Owens Corning shingle products. Remember – every manufacturer is different, so this scenario only explains what you would do in the case of an Owens Corning Roofing warranty.
For this example, let’s start with the sale of a single-family detached home by its original homeowner to you. Congrats! You are now the new owner.
Fortunately for you, the home you just bought had Owens Corning shingle products installed on the roof, all of which came with a Standard Product Limited Warranty.
There are three key things you need to know and do when transferring a warranty:
- Deadlines. With Owens Corning Roofing, you must submit all the required paperwork and transfer request within 60 days of the closing of the real estate transaction.
- Ownership history. You can usually find proof of ownership info on a county website or via building permits. Other acceptable documents include:
- 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.
- Installation date and proof of purchase of the Owens Corning product. You need to know the date the shingles were installed because the applicable warranty is based on the installation date.
Hopefully, the seller kept their original manufacturer warranty documents and/or contractor agreement. If not, you may have to do a little detective work by reaching out to the contractor who did the install and ask for a copy of the agreement.
Once you have this information, you must contact 1-800-ROOFING or go online to https://www.owenscorning.com/en-us/roofing/warranty#manage-warranty and submit within 60 days of the closing of the real estate transaction.
The logic behind the above requirements is straightforward. This documentation is required so that Owens Corning can confirm that you are the second owner of the shingles or roofing products and not the third, fourth, etc. and to confirm that their products were used on the roof.
How can homeowners help with a warranty transfer?
As you can see, proper record-keeping can make the warranty transfer relatively simple. When your roofing project is complete, make sure you register your warranty according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Then, securely store all the necessary paperwork, along with a copy of the warranty. This makes it easier for the new homeowner to complete the warranty transfer.
What if the seller doesn’t have the warranty documents?
If you’re purchasing a home and the previous owner didn’t keep accurate records, it’s still possible for you to transfer a warranty. First, try calling the contractor or supplier to get proof of purchase. You’ll also need to provide the month and year the shingles were installed.
Pro Tip: If attempts to find this information have been exhausted, contact Owens Corning at 1-800-ROOFING to discuss other options. As previously noted, this must be done within 60 days of the closing of the real estate transaction.
Benefits of Transferable Roofing Warranties
Warranties let consumers know that the manufacturer stands behind their products. Roofs are one of the largest upkeep expenditures for homeowners, and a quality roof can last for many years, making it a valuable investment.
If your roof is covered in durable, reliable Owens Corning Roofing products, remind prospective homeowners that the roofing materials are backed by a manufacturer’s warranty. The ability to transfer the roofing warranty could be a motivating factor in the sale.
Pro Tip: If you’re buying a home, be sure to ask about the roof and get the required documentation for a warranty transfer if applicable.
Ask Your Project Specialist About Warranty Options
As an Owens Corning Platinum Contractor member, we can take advantage of extended warranties on select products and workmanship, gaining even more peace of mind on your investment.