Warrantied Roofing System vs. Standard Roof Replacement

April 24, 2020

What type of new roof you need might be a foreign concept to you. I know it was for me before I started working with all of this stuff. So, I would like to explain to you what a warrantied roof system is, vs a standard roof replacement.

Warrantied Roofing System

The keyword here is “System.” Each manufacturer has its unique type of roofing system consisting of (x) amount of components that are required to get their full warranty (different manufacturers have different requirements). This is the most comprehensive protection you can get for your roof, according to the manufacturer you, or your roofing contractor, decide to use. Usually, these consist of:

  • Ice and Water Shield
  • Synthetic Underlayment
  • True Starter Shingles
  • Architectural Shingles
  • True Hip and Ridge Shingles
These must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications, and more often than not, the manufacturer requires that the roofer be a certified installer with them.
All of these components give your home the best fighting chance against the elements.
Some manufacturers will warranty their products even if you don’t use their ENTIRE system. But the main point here is that they don’t warranty your entire roof, only THEIR components you used. But for this article, we are going to focus on the FULL ROOFING SYSTEM.

Standard Roof Replacement

A standard roof replacement is the bare essentials. It is the cheaper route to get the job done. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a functional roof. But it will not handle the elements as long, and you WILL find yourself needing repairs or replacing the roof sooner.
The minimal money saved from using this tactic is not worth the trouble it will cause later. Let’s use two components as key examples.
  • Starter Shingles
    A true starter shingle has a critical fast-acting adhesive strip that helps bind the shingle to the eave and rake of your roof to help prevent wind damage. These starter shingles are a key element in wind defense for your roof. To cheat this system, roofers will take a 3-tab shingle, flip it around, and use that. This does not offer the same protection. Without the adhesive strip, the eaves of your roof are vulnerable to excessive wind because they have nothing bonding the edge of the shingle to the eave.


  • Hip and Ridge Shingles
    True hip and ridge shingles are meant to flex. A normal shingle IS NOT. So when a roofer takes a 3-tab shingle, cuts it into three sections, and bends those over your hips and ridges, the shingle loses many of its granules along that crease, which exposes the underlying fiberglass base. Now it is only a matter of time before the sun wears down that shingle, cracking it, and creating a breach in your roof.

Why is this important?

Because a warrantied roofing system is using purposefully designed components to strengthen known weak points of a roof, they are more expensive. This added expense is what motivates some roofers to cut corners and use cheaper tactics to install a roof.

But not all roofers are cynical. There are roofers out there who just don’t know about starter shingles, etc. They may have grown up installing flipped 3-tab all their life. That’s why we want to educate people. It protects the homeowner, and it progresses the trade professional.

From our thousands of installations, we have pulled stats showing that close to 60% of our tear-offs, did not have true hip and ridge shingles, did not have true starter shingles, and only had valley metal instead of ice and water shield. So this is not uncommon.

Be aware of what is being installed on your roof. Ask if it is a full, warranted roofing system and what manufacturer warranty you qualify for from having it. 

And here is an honorable mention for this article.


This is the process of paying new shingles directly over existing shingles. This method is rarely used to redo an entire roof and, at most, is seen more frequently when wanting to recover a portion of the roof.

Either way, we DO NOT recommend doing a re-roof. Here are some reasons why:

  1. You are not tearing off the existing roof and seeing what is underneath. After a roof has been stripped, it gives a lot of insight into the actual condition of your roof decking
  2. It adds unnecessary weight to your roof. While this may not be a catastrophic issue for an uncompromised. structure, it could easily lead to disaster if it sits atop a failing one
  3. If you are only re-roofing a section, then it will be painfully apparent since the shingles will most often not match. New shingles won't match old ones even if they are exact matches, because the old shingles suffer from sun bleaching and other elements that wear on the coloration.
  4. It makes it even more difficult to track leaks. If the shingle-over begins to leak, then that water could travel many directions down the old shingles until it finds a way to leak inside your home. This also traps more moisture between those layers atop your roof.

Friends! I hope you now understand what a warrantied roof system is, vs a standard roof replacement. Now you can make a more educated judgment call on what you would like to replace your roof with. God bless, and good luck in life!

Learn More Here

Ready to take action and find a roofing specialist? Check out this article to help you figure out which one you want.