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5 Ways to Void Your Roof Warranty

Next to the cost of your home or building, your roof is the most expensive thing you are likely to have to replace or repair. The last thing you want to do is void the manufacturer’s warranty or contractor’s warranty. It’s important to read your particular warranty for specifics, but here are five things that will commonly turn a warranty into useless scraps of paper:

Improper Installation

First, improper installation of the roof can and usually will void the manufacturer’s warranty. Roof manufacturer’s usually have very specific directions about installation, and if not followed, their products will not perform as advertised. If you’ve picked a less-than-responsible roofer, it’s likely that they will not be following the manufacturer’s instructions. Worse, they probably won’t be around when you ask them to fix the problem. It’s critical to choose your roofer carefully. Look for a company that has been in business for years, that is licensed, bonded and insured, and whose references you can check.

Roof Perforations

Once you start punching holes in your roof, whether you are installing antennas, satellite dishes, skylights, solar panels, or even HVAC units, your warranty may no longer be valid.

Does this mean you can’t install ANYTHING on your roof? No. It simply means you should work with your roofing contractor to coordinate any roofing projects that you might want to undertake. This way, your roofer can ensure your roof and your warranties (both with his company and with the manufacturer) remain intact.

Do keep in mind that some skylight or solar panel contractors might offer a warranty that covers at least part of your roof, but it is still better to consult your roofer to ensure you are following whatever specific measures may be required to keep your warranty.

Pressure Washing

Many home and business owners make the mistake of taking a pressure washer to their roof to clean off debris, grease or moss buildup. Depending on the roof type, the strong force of the water jet can severely damage roofing and even destroy the membrane, substrate or structure. When that happens, you might as well tear up your warranty, because neither the roofer nor the materials manufacturer will make up for your mistake. If you must have your roof cleaned, contact your professional roofer to do the job right.

Poor Ventilation

Any professional roofer worth his license knows that proper attic ventilation is critical. If your roofer isn’t talking to you about it, then you’ve got the wrong roofer. Improper ventilation can cause all kinds of roof damage both inside the attic space and outside. It can also nullify your roofing warranty.


Manufacturers design roofing materials to work a certain way. While many manufacturer’s and products allow for installing a new roof on top of an old one, in many cases, it is actually a great way to void or shorten your warranty. The reasons are many, but design, performance and weight can all be factors. If your roofing contractor is suggesting that you can skip a tear-off and just install a new roof over the old, please have them review the manufacturer’s installation and warranty documents to ensure it is indeed permitted by the manufacturer.

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