A roof is more than a slab covering on top of your home; it is a system that requires many parts to be working properly to provide you safety and comfort.
If you are looking to purchase a new home or are investing in a roof replacement, it is important to have a basic understanding of what composes a roofing system and what you may see in the warranty.
Roof Truss: The triangular framework that supports the roof.
Rafters: An internal beam in the roofing framework that extends from the eaves to the peak. These provide more space than trusses, but do not provide the same support.
Roof Decking: The layer between the framing and weatherproofing, generally made from plywood.
Roof Shingles: Flat, rectangular pieces that overlap to create the roof covering.
Fascia: The edge of the roof that runs horizontally to protect the interior of the home from weather damage. Gutter systems are often attached to the fascia.
When you sign with a contractor to build your roof, you should be given a written guarantee that assures to repair or replace the roof if necessary within a certain period of time. This should be in writing, and you will typically see the following terms inside:
Requirements to Enforce: A typical warranty consists of two warranties; one from the manufacturer of the shingles, and one from the contractor that installed the roof. If a problem occurs with the roof, the homeowner should notify both parties.
Transferability: If you purchase a long-term warranty, you want to be able to transfer the benefits should you decide to put the home up for sale. A good warranty will be transferable, but you should be sure to follow the requirements for transferring it.
Waiver: A waiver situation occurs when a homeowner chooses to make repairs on his or her own. Unless an emergency takes place, the homeowner should not hire another roofing company to do any work without notifying the initial installation company and giving them the opportunity to do the required work. Notices must be given in writing.
Coverage: Typical warranties will leave out some parts of the roofing system. Certain warranties will not cover roof decking or consequential damage inside the home from leaks. Read the warranty carefully so you completely understand what is covered and what is not.
Educating yourself on your roof will give you an advantage when the time comes for a repair, replacement or an installation. Be sure to ask plenty of questions if something is still not clear.