How to Stand Out in a Sea of Lifetime Warranties


A serious look inside warranties can protect your company and customers

We’ve heard from many of you in recent weeks about warranties—likes, dislikes and so on. Trust me, your comments are welcome and as I’ve learned in my 20 years working with you guys— you don’t hold back—and I mean that as a compliment!

Take this comment from a contractor when asked what the biggest challenge is that he faces when explaining warranties to prospective customers: “They’re all lifetime! So what’s the difference between lifetime warranties?”

A warranty is a legal document — How are you explaining the legalese written into the typical shingle warranty? An equally important point for you as a contractor is that when a warranty claim situation arises, who do you trust to stand behind their product – and you?

Let’s do take a peek behind that curtain and discover what this great land of Warranty Oz has in store. We want to take the guesswork out of warranties to make it easier for you to get through the clutter and explain it to homeowners in a straightforward way.

Understanding Warranty Coverage: Manufacturing Defects

Understanding roofing warranty language

If CertainTeed shingles have any manufacturing defect, we cover it. Protection for the homeowner and you.

Let’s look at the term “manufacturing defects.” First of all a manufacturing defect means that the shingle was not manufactured to product specifications, resulting in, but not limited to, things like excessive granule loss, deficient sealant, press or color variations.

“They’re all lifetime! So what’s the difference between lifetime warranties?”

All manufacturers tell you that their warranties cover manufacturing defects. ALL but one company states that they only cover the shingles if the manufacturing defect results in the roof leaking or if “performance is adversely affected.” In other words, for example, the roof could look like crap due to color variations, and if it’s not leaking….oh well, technically the property owner may not be covered. This certainly can put you in a bad position with the owner and leave a black mark on your company’s reputation.

Here’s an important exception: There is ONE manufacturer that covers manufacturing defects whether there’s a leak or not—CertainTeed. Yes, a bit of shameless promotion for my company and for good reason! This is a critically important distinction in the warranty world.

With all warranties being lifetime and the coverages appearing similar, if not identical, you’ve asked us over and over…”how can we tell the difference and how do we give the homeowner the best value?” Well, here you go. If CertainTeed shingles have any manufacturing defect, we cover it.

There is your trust and a value-added point for the homeowner. The owner is reassured and your reputation remains untarnished. Protection for the homeowner and you.

We’re just scratching the surface here. More to come next week! Let me know what you think about shingle warranties. Take our brief survey and tell me what you think! Miss my earlier blog? Click here for back issues in our warranty series.

Be Safe, Be Different and Be Profitable,


Jay Butch joined CertainTeed Roofing in 1998 and is responsible for all contractor programs and marketing. By developing the Shingle Master credential, an enhanced SureStart PLUS warranty and Roofers’ Rewards, he strengthened the Contractor’s EDGE offering. Jay adds valuable insight from his extensive interactions with contractors across the country.

Have a warranty question? Leave it in the comments or give us a call.

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Plus, when to offer an extended warranty and the why that will close the deal.

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