A new roof is a big investment, typically involving thousands of your hard-earned dollars and lasting 25, 30, 40 years, or more. As with any big investment, knowing in advance what your warranty covers could save you thousands in the event that problems arise with your roof.

Based on our state-of-the-art manufacturing process, the odds of having a problem with a new GAF roof are minuscule. On the other hand, while serious problems with GAF roofing materials are rare, if you were to have a problem, it can be as expensive to fix as your roof originally cost. So while the risk of having a problem is low, the cost if you do have a serious problem can be high.

There are two types of coverage that you should ask your contractor about: coverage against manufacturing defects in the materials and coverage against workmanship errors.

As far as we know, all manufacturers provide a warranty against manufacturing defects for their roofing products, although your exact coverage will vary depending on the brand. For example, most architectural shingles carry a Lifetime* limited warranty against manufacturing defects, while most 3-tab shingles carry a 20, 25, or 30 year limited warranty against manufacturing defects. Each warranty has its own specific terms and conditions, so it’s important to read each warranty carefully. Keep in mind that, if you are not the original owner of the shingles on your roof, you may not have coverage under the manufacturer’s warranty; most manufacturers, including GAF, limit coverage to the original owner and the first subsequent owner as long as the new owner notifies the manufacturer of the change in ownership as set out in the limited warranty.

The warranty on the other components that make up your roofing system can vary from as little as a few months to Lifetime. While the shingle you choose may have a warranty that lasts for 30 years or even Lifetime, some (or all) of the other components that make up your roof may not—so if they cause a problem with your roof, you may not have the coverage you need. That’s why GAF offers three different warranties (see warranty comparison chart) that include coverage for your entire GAF roofing system.

GAF’s warranties come with a special provision called the Smart Choice® Protection Period that provides extra coverage against manufacturing defects during the critical early years of your new roof. During this period, in the event that you experience a manufacturing defect on covered components, GAF will provide you with 100% replacement materials and the reasonable cost of labor to install them. This is important because some roofing warranties may only provide replacement materials, but not the labor to install them.

The GAF Weather Stopper® System Plus Ltd. Warranty provides coverage against manufacturing defects for all major GAF components on your roof (not just your shingles) — so you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that, if any covered roofing component fails, it will be covered by the warranty (see ltd. warranty for complete coverage and restrictions). The warranty is available through GAF’s factory-certified contractors, and is a low-cost way to get up to 50 years of non-prorated coverage (against manufacturing defects) on your new roofing system.  For the small additional cost of the System Plus ltd. warranty, this is probably the best value you can get for your investment.

GAF’s Golden Pledge® Ltd. Warranty was the first manufacturer’s warranty to cover both manufacturing defects and the contractor’s workmanship (see Golden Pledge® Ltd. Warranty for complete coverage and restrictions). Whether or not your contractor remains in business, GAF will stand behind his workmanship for 25 years! The Golden Pledge® Ltd. Warranty is available only through GAF Master Elite™ Contractors, who are factory-certified by GAF. It is our strongest warranty available. Your Master Elite™ Contractor can provide a price for the warranty when he gives you a quote for your new roof.

If you do have to file a claim, you should locate a copy of your GAF warranty and a copy of the contractor’s invoice, contract, or original estimate. You will also need to provide the date applied, proof that you were the owner when the shingles were installed (or that the warranty was properly transferred to you), and the number of squares applied (1 square = 100 square feet). Then call our Warranty Service Department at their toll-free number and let GAF know the nature of your complaint.

* The word “Lifetime” means as long as the original individual owner of a single family detached residence (or the second owner in certain circumstances) owns the property where the shingles and accessories are installed. For owners/structures not meeting above criteria, Lifetime coverage is not applicable.

GAF Ltd. Warranty Comparison Guide*

BASE System Warranty BETTER System Warranty  BEST System Warranty
Material Defect Coverage
100% Coverage Period
10 yrs. (3 or 5 yrs. on 3-tab shingles) 50 yr. (20 yrs. on 3-tab shingles) 50 yrs. (20 yrs. on 3-tab shingles)
Covers roofing system?
Yes, system coverage is available Yes, covers entire system Yes, covers entire system
Cost of installation labor included?
10 yrs. (3 or 5 yrs. on 3-tab shingles) Lifetime (25 or 30 yrs. on 3-tab shingles) Lifetime (25 or 30 yrs. on 3-tab shingles)
Workmanship Coverage*
100% Coverage Period
None 2 yrs. (Typical coverage offered by contractor) 25 yrs. (20 yrs. on 3-tab shingles) (Coverage provided and backed by GAF)
Misapplication of certain flashings covered?
No 2 yrs. (Typical coverage offered by contractor 25 yrs. (20 yrs. on 3-tab shingles) (Coverage provided and backed by GAF)
Installer certified?
No (Anyone can install) Yes Yes
Tear-off costs included? (when necessary)
No Yes (For material defects only) Yes (For material defects or workmanship)
Disposal costs included? (when necessary)
No No Yes (For material defects or workmanship)
Peace of Mind*
“Maximum” wind coverage up to 130 mph Category 3 hurricane wind speed available?
Yes (Not available for 3-tab shingles) Yes (Not available for 3-tab shingles) Yes (Not available for 3-tab shingles)
Warranty transferable?
Yes Yes Yes
Free transfer?
Yes Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes

 

* Check ltd. warranties for complete coverage and restrictions. Also note:

The word “Lifetime” means as long as the original individual owner of a single family detached residence (or the second owner in certain circumstances) owns the property where the shingles are installed. For owners/structures (e.g., a church) not meeting above criteria, Lifetime coverage is not applicable. See limited warranty for complete coverage and restrictions.

Installer certification is only for installations covered by GAF system warranties.

Maximum wind coverage requires special installation. See limited warranty for complete coverage and restrictions.