Asking yourself the following questions will help you to identify the warranty priorities on your next roofing system project.
What kind of roofing system coverage do we truly need?
There are a wide range of offered warranties—some that only cover materials and others covering both labor and materials. Just as their name implies, material-only warranties back the materials supplied by the manufacturer, protecting facility managers and owners against manufacturing defects that may cause leaks. However, material-only warranties don’t cover the roofing system’s installation, nor do they include any on-site inspections. In fact, when it comes to remedy provisions, these types of warranties generally send out a patch kit or replacement material.
With labor and materials warranties, the roofing system has coverage for both the products and their installation. These warranties require total system installation by licensed or approved contractors as well as inspection by the manufacturer’s technical representative. Remedies vary, but in general the warranty includes repairs for defective workmanship and replacing leak-causing materials. For the most cost-effective, comprehensive warranty solutions, consider those that cover both labor and materials.
Should we get a no dollar limit, original cost, or prorated warranty?
When you have a “no dollar limit” warranty, manufacturers will spend whatever it costs to repair a roofing system leak. An “original cost” warranty has manufacturers obligated to repair leaks costing up to the total of the “original cost” of the roofing purchase. Same as with your car’s tires, prorated warranties diminish in value over their lifespan. For the best warranty coverage, go for “no dollar limit” and “non-prorated” warranties.
If our roof leaks, would we use the warranty or file an insurance claim?
While a manufacturer’s warranty covers leak repairs, it won’t cover consequential damages. If your roof leaks and damages property interiors, this is when your facility might file an insurance claim to cover these items. However, roofing warranties have exclusions. In general, they are limited to leaks caused by storms incurring certain wind speeds. Damages incurred during a Category 5 hurricane, for example, are not going to be covered by a roofing warranty. While a warranty might include damages caused by 55 mph winds, roofing manufacturers aren’t obligated to fix a leak resulting from a Category 1 hurricane with 74 to 95 mph winds. In the event of a hurricane, or reasons excluded from a roofing warranty, facility professionals may be filing an insurance claim.
Who backs the warranty, the manufacturer or the contractor?
Facility professionals will want a manufacturer’s warranty. Proper installation is critical with the best roofing warranties awarded for the best roofing installation. So how do you ensure your roof is installed properly for the best warranty coverage? Manufacturers recognize contractors who continually install their products with the utmost quality. From Versico’s Gold Medal Award (for providing high-quality installations on a consistent basis) to Firestone’s Inner Circle of Quality Award (one of the most prestigious honors in the commercial roofing industry), and Carlisle’s Hall of Fame (for completing at least 250 "Perfect 10" roofing installations, a category that recognizes superior workmanship, consistency and continued dedication to perfection), Bade Roofing has earned these awards year after year.
Which warranty will make our roofing system last the longest?
Warranties aren’t the reason why a roofing system lasts a long time. A roofing system’s longevity depends on its quality, design, materials, installation, and roofing maintenance. When developing your warranty plan, be sure routine maintenance complements it. Monitor who has access to your roof to prevent damage, allowing only certain staff to walk the roof after a storm to remove debris and unclog drains.
When you approach a roofing project and its warranty with realistic expectations, work with trusted manufacturers and contractors, and implement a preventative maintenance plan, you are taking the best steps to protect the investment you’ve made in your roof.