How To Make Sure Your Roof Warranty Has Teeth

Roofing, Warranty   December 3, 2010

Today's topic is understanding how roof warranties can protect facility managers from unforeseen expenses. But it's important to understand the exclusions and technicalities, and not expect that a roof warranty is a free ticket for a new roof should something go wrong.

Many facility managers only look to see the length of a warranty and assume they're good no matter what. That's a mistake. Don't forget to read the fine print. The most important thing sounds simple, but is often overlooked: Who is issuing the warranty? Is it the manufacturer or is it the contractor? If it’s the manufacturer, does it cover workmanship? The only way that usual is the case is if the manufacturer and the contractor have some sort of agreement. If the warranty’s issued by the contractor, does it cover material defects? In many cases, facility managers get two separate warranties - one from the manufacturer to cover material defects and one from the contractor, which is usually much, much shorter, to cover workmanship. So, a key question to ask is if the roof needs to be replaced for a material defect, would the manufacturer cover the cost of labor, too?

One of the most overlooked parts of a warranty is the owner's obligations regarding maintenance and upkeep. If a warranty specifies a particular frequency for inspections or preventive maintenance, twice yearly, for examples, and the owner doesn’t complete and document these procedures, the warranty could be voided.

Finally, it's critical to understand what is NOT covered under the warranty. Most warranties exclude acts of God and some exclude hurricanes. Most warranties also exclude additions or alterations to the roof, unless the manufacturer is notified and grants approval. Damage caused by roof traffic is usually excluded as well.


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