A roof warranty is a valuable thing, though many homeowners have no idea where the warranty is. Your roof warranty should reside where other insurance papers are filed; a roof warranty is a form of insurance. Just as with other insurance policies, though, you can void your roof’s warranty through costly mistakes. Try to avoid these seven roofing sins.
1. Improper Installation
Prevent a warranty problem at installation by working with a qualified roofer whose crew will install the roof correctly. A storm chaser will not install the roof according to manufacturer’s guidelines, so you may start off with a voided warranty!
Manufacturers warrant their materials against defects. Many roofing materials manufacturers also offer stronger warranties which cover installation by superior contractors. Only the very best roofers are permitted to offer those warranties (ahem … cough cough).
2. Improper Ventilation
If your Birmingham-area home was built 40 or more years ago, you may not have adequate ventilation. Soffit vents, ridge vents, and gable vents are necessary to keep air flowing through your attic.
Your attic’s humidity and temperature should match the outside air. Air convects, or naturally rises, from your soffit vents and moves out of your ridge vents.
High attic humidity levels destroy the insulation value of whatever your attic insulating material is. An improperly ventilated attic will void most manufacturers’ and roofers’ warranties.
3. Improper Insulation
Some homeowners, in a zeal to lower cooling costs, stuff too much insulation into their attics. An over-insulated, under-ventilated attic will get broiling hot. A hot attic means a hot roof. The hot roof can literally be cooked from underneath, in addition to having the southern sun beat down on it from above.
That one-two punch will void most manufacturers’ warranties, due to owner neglect. The remedy? Have a trusted insulation contractor examine your attic space and adjust insulation as needed.
4. Installing a new roof over an old one
It’s done all the time, just not by reputable roofers: installing a new roof over an old one saves time, money, and carting costs (no debris to cart away).
Most manufacturers of quality roofing materials expect their products to be applied to cleared sheathing. Underlayment goes down; water and ice shield is rolled out, and then your new shingles or metal roofing is applied. It lies flat, it stays put, it looks beautiful.
On the other hand, the same metal roofing panel or shingle applied over a rough, irregular surface (shingle, tile, or metal roof) will telegraph all the bumps and bruises over time. Within a few years, your architectural shingles will look like the beat up old roof of a worn-out farm building. Your pristine metal roofing will look like someone played Whack-a-Mole on it.
No, you will save nothing by agreeing to get your new roof put down on top of your old roof. You will also void any warranty attached to the new roof.
5. Pressure Washing
See the black discoloration on your shingles? See the bit of moss growing on the flashing between your metal roof and chimney? Boy, they are tempting targets for your trusty ol’ pressure washer, aren’t they?
No. No, they are not. Because a pressure washer forces water into every nook, cranny, and hidey-hole, you will void manufacturers’ warranties by cleaning your roof with a pressure washer. The blast from a fine tip on the washer can scour or cut shingles. It can peel paint off metal roofing.
All homeowners love playing with their pressure washers. Just keep yours away from your roof. Besides, a roof is not a safe place for you, anyway. You can slip and fall, and a fall even from a one-story house could be painful, medically and financially.
6. Antennas and Satellite Dishes
Poorly installed radio masts, television antennas, and satellite dishes on the roof can quickly wipe out the protection of a roofing manufacturer’s warranty.
Read your roof warranty carefully. Be the annoying homeowner who insists the dish installer respect the warranty and comply with installation requirements (flashing, caulking, mechanical fasteners).
If you already have attachments to your roof, ask your reliable roofer to inspect your roof and make whatever roof repairs are needed to keep your warranty in force.
7. Rooftop Additions
Besides satellite dishes and the ham radio mast, other rooftop additions can void manufacturers’ warranties:
- Rectangular skylights
- Solar panels
- Tubular skylights
- Rooftop terrace (on low-slope or flat roofs, like above a porch)
Work with your trusted residential roofer when adding anything to your roof. The roofer can make sure any add-on will keep your warranty intact. When you contact us at Yellowhammer Roofing, you reach trained professionals who respect warranties and respect your time. We will be happy to discuss actions to support your Birmingham-area home’s roof warranty, including annual inspection and prompt repairs.