All roofs are not created equal and all manufacturer roofing warranties are not created equal either. In fact, as the quality of asphalt roofing material has declined over the years, manufactures have reduced the quality of their warranties as well.


Many roofing manufacturer warranties are filled with language and loopholes that truly do limit the value of the warranty. They provide protection all right, but not protection for the consumer.  They are written to protect the manufacturer.

The sad part is that these warranties are marketed aggressively to trusting consumers and positioned as assurances that their products will stand the test of time and will protect a buyer's investment in home improvement. The salespeople use these warranties to assure prospective roof buyers that the manufacturer will stand behind their products.

Over the last few years, the combination of inferior asphalt roofing and weak warranties, have given rise to unprecedented claims and class action litigation against roofing manufacturers - visit for media reports and information about these lawsuits.

In this three-part series, I will present to you a case where customer perception and expectations are shattered when their roof fails prematurely and the manufacturer uses their “fine print” to weasel out of taking care of their responsibility to their customer.


The following is a letter received by American Metal Roofs from an asphalt roof buyer who fell victim to a prematurely failed asphalt roof.  Mr. Carl Ball expended $5,500 in 2001. The roof failed 23 years prior to expected life of the manufacturer’s warranty, yet he was offered a mere $650 in restitution.  Here Mr Ball picks up the story:

Approximately seven years ago,we needed to have our roof repaired.  After doing our research and getting several quotes, we chose Werth Roofing. Based on our needs and the recommendation of the company, we chose a shingle that was guaranteed for 30 years.  We thought we were good to go for a long time.  But we were wrong! The shingles on the back (south) side of our home began to curl up and we were finding the gravel from the shingles in the landscaping and on the concrete around our home.  We weren’t very concerned as we knew that 30 years had not yet passed and assumed that we were covered by the warranty. We contacted Werth Roofing and they came out and collected a sample of shingle to send in to the supplier for examination.  They agreed that the damaged shingles would need to be replaced and made us an offer of approximately $650 in restitution.  We were told that no one was going to cover any labor to do the repair - that it would cost us $3,000 to have the job done. We decided to contact a lawyer.  We were advised to take the offer as the warranty covered only the material and not any labor to have the roof fixed. We decided to look into something more permanent and that lead us to American Metal Roofs. Mr. Carl Ball Flint, Michigan 9-20-08

Next Week:  Response from CertainTeed Roofing - Case Study / Part II

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