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Question DetailsAsked on 6/24/2015

Roofer is asking $375 for a "one-year service check" after installing roof. Is this a ripoff?

One year ago, the company installed an all-new GAF modified bitumen white rubber roof with roof vents onto my 2-story row home. They said that the roof would require a one-year service check in order to retain the warranty, but they're asking $375 for a "service check". That seems expensive and unnecessary to me. What are they doing, and why will it cost so much? Should I decline the service or have a different roofer do the check?

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2 Answers


ask gaf

Answered 5 years ago by the new window man


I would say the price is out of line totally for normal residential sized roof - by a factor of about two assuming this is normal access - not ultra steep or over 2 stories ladder work. Unless the written warranty REQUIRES this inspection for it to be valid, then it does not have to be done and to me is a scam. If this inspection is for THEIR (the installer's) warranty to have effect, then definitely sounds like a pocket-lining scheme at best to me. I guess you would have to decide if it is worth paying the "maintenance fee" to keep the warranty in effect. Generally, after the first year roofear warranties are not worth much because they can blame pretty much any damage on weather or external damage - manufacturer warranties generally only cover materials defects, so again generally not used after the first year or so shows the product is OK.

This could be the GAF "System Plus" or "Golden Pledge" Lifetime Warranty you are talking about, at least the top end one of which DOES require an annual inspection by a GAF certified roofer to stay in effect - part of the price you pay (in addition to the additional up-front charge on the materials purchase and required GAF accessories purchases) for an extended or lifetime materials AND labor warranty. I have never heard of anyone actually making a successful claim under the GAF lifetime warranty, so can't say how useful it is - but the higher end warranty does cover both materials and labor for quite a few years (typically about 25 as I recall). Some manufacturers are pretty reasonable about materials defect claims (especially if their product is starting to show many claims of the same type), other play ostrich and deny every claim and fight them tooth and nail, making their warranties pretty much useless. Google by manufacturer name for roofing warranty claim complaints to find out pretty quickly which are which - and it is not as you would expect, divided between higher-end or brandname manufacturers and the lesser brands as you might expect. Some of each type in each class or price range, from top to bottom.

And of course, consider if prorated or full replacement warranty - if a prorated warranty, as the roof ages the warranty covers a smaller and smaller pearcentage of the replacement cost each year, so even if you start with the inspection to maintain the warranty, you might later drop it as the roof ages.

That being said, with a membrane roof I do recommend having it inspected after about one year to be sure you do not have warranty claim issues right off the bat, then annually in severe weather areas or if overhung with trees and at least every 3 years for maybe first 9-10 years of life, then annual thereafter so you can catch any weathering, punctures, delamination, etc before it gets out of hand and rots the roof and results in a tearoff. On larger commercial roofs, especially ALL flat roofs, I recommend an annual washing down and close inspection, because minor damage that could normally be easily repaired can quickly become a full tearoff situation if let go on membrane or built-up roofs, and accumulation of dust and organic materials on the roof greatly accelerate its deterioration - commonly taking half or more off its life in areas where the debris accumulates and hold moisture and rots in place. Even more dramatic on built-up tar roofing, where a low spot with a lot of organic debris accumulation and seed/tree sapling root penetration can result in water breakthrough in just a couple of years in many cases.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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