Roof Warranties Explained
Roof warranties can be confusing. There are different warranty structures, terms of the warranty and warranty exclusions. Furthermore, different parties are often responsible for different aspects of the warranty at various times throughout the roof's life. Confused yet? Let us help you clear some of the confusion.
Why Warranties Are Written
Before we examine the various aspects of a commercial roof warranty, let's first examine why roof warranties are written. In the most simple sense, it is important to understand that warranties are written by the manufacturer to protect the manufacturer. The purpose is to define the conditions in which the manufacturer will be obligated to fix a problem which we will review in more detail later. This is the primary purpose warranties exist.
With regard to roof warranty structures they can be broken into three primary categories.
- Prorated Warranties: As implied by the name, the value of the warranty is directly proportional to the amount of the time the roof has been in place. A 10-year roof warranty is worth 50% of its original value in year 5. The warranty obligation decreases over the life of the roof.
- Non-Prorated Warranties: Conversely, a non-prorated warranty retains its value throughout the term of the warranty. With this warranty, using the same example as above, the value of the 10-year warranty in year 5 is still 100% of the installation cost.
- No Dollar Limit Warranties (NDL): Takes the non-prorated warranty a step further and accounts for inflation. The value of a NDL warranty is for the replacement cost of the roof in the current year's value, taking inflation into account, and not limited to the amount of the original cost of the roof.
The term of the warranty can vary in length. These can be from 2 years to 25 years or more. Some warranty terms may be different from a labor and a material perspective. For example a warranty could provide a 2-year labor warranty and a 20-year material warranty. It is important to understand and review the terms of both the labor and material aspects of your warranty.
When it comes to understanding your roof warranty, it is important to recognize that as an end user you do not have a direct relationship with the manufacturer. Your relationship is typically with the contractor who is installing the manufacturer's product. The manufacturer has little if any direct involvement with you. Furthermore, the manufacturer is competing against other manufacturers to sell products to contractors. To do this they want to be sure that they make it easy for the contractor to get a roof under warranty with as little hassle as possible. Conversely, they need to be sure their liability is minimized. The best way to do this is to write exclusions into their warranty. A savvy buyer needs to review these exclusions in detail and clearly understand what is included or excluded. Furthermore, the end user needs to understand the obligations and documentation of these obligations required under the terms of the warranty.
Remember, CentiMark offers a Single Source Warranty which covers both our workmanship and the manufacturer's materials. The benefit to our Single Source Warranty is you just have to make one call and work with one company to get any of your warranty issues resolved. With a manufacturer's warranty you will potentially be working with the manufacturer and a contractor which could complicate and prolong the resolution process.
Hopefully all this warranty information helps you navigate your roof warranty.
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