All of the roofers I’d called over the holiday have returned my calls, and I had the one who called back first examine the roof. The good news is that the old shingles and the ridge cap came off cleanly, not ripping holes in the plywood, and so he thinks we aren’t in immediate danger of leaks, and repairs for the damage over the weekend won’t cost too much. The bad news is that many of the shingles seem to be brittle, and all of the ridge caps probably need replacement in any event, so we’re probably looking at a reroofing job sooner rather than later.
I don’t have the warranty which applied to the shingles on the roof, but I looked at the warranty for current purchasers, and came away unhappy. The warranty has clauses which make it very difficult to fix the roof in a timely manner and still collect on the warranty:
HOW CLAIM WILL BE HANDLED: Within a reasonable period of time from receipt of the claim, copy of warranty card and proof of purchase of the Shingles, ELK will review your letter and may ask for samples of the Shingles, such other shingles, and photographs showing the extent of the problem. You are responsible for providing these items, and any other materials reasonably requested, at your expense. You must allow reasonable time for investigation, including roof top inspection by an ELK employee and laboratory testing of the suspect Shingles.
ANY CLAIM FOR SHINGLES WHICH HAVE BEEN REPLACED PRIOR TO ELK’S RECEIPT OF WRITTEN NOTICE, SAMPLES, AND ON-SITE INSPECTION CONSTITUTES SPOLIATION AND WILL BE DENIED. If the investigation reveals manufacturing defects covered by this Limited Warranty, ELK will provide, within a reasonable period of time, a settlement in accordance with the conditions of the Limited Warranty.
I don’t know, of course, whether the warranty had similar clauses in 1988, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t. Still, it’s worth a toll-free call to see what they’ll do for me.