Mary Jo Tessler's home was brand new in 1997 and to be exact, the roof was 10 years old this August. They had a roof leak and an estimator told them the shingles were defective. But how could that be? CertainTeed shingles were installed and the roof was supposed to last 25 years.
"I found a shingle in our yard and thought it must have caused the leak," says Mary Jo. "We called a few roofers and they said the leak wasn't due to the shingle blowing off—it must have come from the neighbor's roof. Instead, my problem was 'severe pitting and marring'.
"This is what I found out from the roofers and an estimator: when you purchase a home with these shingles, no inspections from the county are necessary and homeowners typically don't get up on their roof to look at the shingles. It isn't until you have a water leak that you realize there is a problem-- that is what happened to us. Now we have a slow decomposition of the roofing shingle. That is very hard to prove at this point because of the length of time the shingles have been up there and weathered. There is no way to show when they started to decompose, but a 25-year old roof shouldn't need to be replaced in 10 years.
The roofers took a few pictures and Mary Jo filed a claim with her insurance company, but it wasn't that easy. Although the Tesslers had a warranty from CertainTeed that was supposed to last up until the end of the 10th year (the roof should have been covered until December, 2007) their warranty just added insult to injury—it didn't even cover a defective product.
"CertainTeed pro-rates the damages after a certain number of years and you only get back a percentage of replacement," explains Mary Jo, "and only when they receive the shingles back and if they examine them and determine it is due to their defect.
"They send you a packet - which you have to request—and you have to mail them the defective shingles. First of course, you have to get the shingles off the roof. This can be difficult. In my case I just had my roof replaced and our roofer took the shingles that were marred and set them aside. Now I have to request my packet from CertainTeed.
If CertainTeed is at fault and I have to get a new roof, I won't get any coverage for labor. The estimate to replace the entire shingles on the roof is upwards of $12,000 so for now I just had part of it replaced. It is doubtful that CertainTeed will give me anything at all because the warranty is only good for 10 years and you have to prove the manufacturer defect. So half of my roof was replaced and the insurance company wouldn't pay for it.
READ MORE LEGAL NEWSMost of the roofs in this community are damaged—I'm not the only one. The man who came out to repair my roof forwarded [your website] to his customers because he has replaced a number of CertainTeed roofs that were the same age or younger than mine.
CertainTeedwon't discuss this on the phone. They show you online the life cycle of a roof so it is difficult to understand, with 25 year shingles, why they are damaged. This housing development where we live mainly comprises10 year homes or newer. The building engineer told me that this problem with CertainTeed has reached epidemic proportions - the amount of people who need replacements is staggering. When was the last time you sat on your roof at looked at your shingles?
I read online that CertainTeed has so many lawsuits against them -so many people are in my same situation. We have to get lemon laws on new homes because homeowners are not protected from defective products and shoddy companies like CertainTeed - even.