A roof is just a roof unless it is a roof system. To become a system it must have components that work together in order to enhance it's usefulness, longevity, and, possibly, energy efficiency.
Some of the first things put down on the deck are the felt and starter. Metal edge requirements may exceed those of normal supply distribution but I know of no roof manufacturers that also make metal edge. The special starter, as opposed to a 20 year three tab turned around backwards and upside down, helps with "blow off" and ladder damage to the first course. Special felts can also help with "blow off" as a flatter roof gives the wind less to grab.
Because a felt is thicker does not make it better. In fact 30lb. felt is worse in terms of wind resistance. It is prone to wrinkling, one of wind's best friends in the roofing destruction business. Hybrid no wrinkle felts are superior, thinner, but equal in cost to the clumsy 30lb. Besides organic felts not covered the same day they are applied are supposed to be replaced but synthetics can remain exposed upward of six months.
If the roofer adds more nails per shingle most manufacturers will enhance their wind warranty about 30 miles per hour at no cost, as long as the nails are applied properly. That means not too high on the shingle and flush, not over or under driven. These wind warranties are separate from warranty extension upgrades.
Intake and exhaust vents also add to the longevity of the roof as long as they are installed properly. Random holes do not do the trick. Ventilation is a science. In order to reach the highest of warranty upgrades with a leak guarantee included most manufacturers require a professional installation of vents meeting the 300 Rule but vents may be added to a lesser degree for a better warranty without leak protection.
Extra waterproofing around roof penetrations with leak barriers will help toward the extended warranty programs but in order to get the waterproof guarantee more leak barrier is required.
Distinctive ridge options, which add to beauty and wind resistance, can help in the conversion process from common roof to roof system.
Most roof manufacturers require some sort of certification for the contractor to offer the better warranty. The roof company is usually required to carry insurance, have a good local reputation, and have been a business a certain number of years. Behind the contractor's back the manufacturer usually checks to see whose products the roofer uses and whether or not the company pays their bills on time.
The better warranty usually takes the product installed on the roof from a nontransferable prorated material only warranty to a transferable material and labor warranty with a large non prorated time frame.This adds protection from premature product failure and assists in the selling of the home in tight market conditions. Often the new mortgage company wants a new client's roof that is less than ten or eleven years old so these warranties make help the seller from being forced to replace his roof before its time so the transfer of home ownership can take place. I'm currently asking roof manufacturers to look into this new phenomena. This year most insurance companies are giving discounts for new roofs on a prorate basis. We're not sure if the warranties will help with that or not but in all other aspects the savings can be great.
When these upgraded warranties are applied to lifetime roofing the enhancements are tremendous. For example, with most GAF products the warranty upgrade is non prorated for twenty years but fifty years on lifetime. Therefore if the new mortgage and insurance companies want a new roof on the home in question with a ten or fifteen year old lifetime roof, the seller can point out that there is 35 to 40 years left on the 100% material and labor product defect warranty. And it's transferable!
We'll wait for this fight to take place but with a reputable manufacturer with the Good Housekeeping reinsurance seal behind it, people selling their homes should be able to move on without additional roof costs deducted from their budget.
Besides, the added ventilation keeps the attic cooler, extends the life of the roof, keeps the decking and insulation intact, reduces wear and tear on the HVAC, and makes the home more comfortable.
For the small cost of the roof system warranty only the recklessly greedy will not consider it. For the frugalistas out there, the added investment can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in savings over a ten to fifteen year period. So be careful to pick a great roofing contractor from the thousands in Dallas and Fort Worth, many of whom do not comprehend "roof system."
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