To the average consumer, the commercial roofing industry can appear to be very convoluted and confusing at times. With countless products on the market and various repair solutions available, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the vastness of the business. While choosing a quality and proven roofing contractor is the most effective way for a consumer to avoid the stressful nature of the business, there are still responsibilities that fall on the customer to ensure they are knowledgeable and protected. One of the best ways to ensure you are protected when having your commercial roof repaired or replaced is to understand the type of warranty you are being issued based on your situation.Commercial roof warranties vary significantly regarding what they cover and why. Here are the most common types of warranties and the not so clear details behind them.
Material Warranties From the Manufacturer
These types of warranties are usually boldly labeled as 20 or 30 years long. These warranties can be deceptive to consumers because the consumer thinks that it covers them against leaks. In actuality, a material warranty only covers defects in the material. What manufacturers consider to be a defect must be an abnormal instance of flaking, chipping or premature degradation. The keyword being abnormal. If the material wears out over time and isn’t deemed abnormal wear for the life of the roof, it is not covered under warranty. These types of coverage are extremely limited and rarely pay out.
Labor warranties cover the cost of materials and labor to fix leaks after a repair has been made. They are what is valuable to the consumer because the consumer doesn’t want to be responsible for a roof that is leaking after they have paid to fix it! These types of warranties can vary from covering the entire roof to covering specific locations that were repaired. It is very important to read the details of your warranty as there are specific exclusions that can be included that still leave the consumer liable for leaks in some cases.
Manufacturer’s Labor Warranties
Manufacturer’s labor warranties can only be provided by a contractor who is certified by a manufacturer to install their product. These are THE BEST warranty a customer can have. There are 3 main reasons:
1. Manufacturers like Firestone and GAF will likely never go out of business. If your roofer gives you a labor warranty and their business doesn’t last as long as your warranty you are in trouble! Therefore, you can confidently rely on the warranty being intact if you need it.
2. The manufacturer acts as a third party inspector. They are the one who is liable for warranty claims, therefore, they send their own technicians out to make sure a roof was installed “by the books.” This means that you don’t have to worry if the roof was installed properly or not because some contractors cut many corners when no one is there to check their work.
3. Manufacturers offer full warranties up to 30 years. A standard roofing company cannot keep the liability for this type of warranty for that long of a duration. If you want peace of mind for the long haul, make sure to get this type of warranty.
On the surface, warranties can seem to be all-encompassing concerning the coverage that they provide. While some are vital to consumer protection, they don’t cover everything. Typically, anything that your insurance policy would cover (i.e., fallen trees, fires, high winds) are excluded from all warranties. That’s why you have insurance! In addition, ponding water (as defined as water that remains in a puddle on the roof for 48 hours or more without additional rain), is excluded from all policies except for Silicone Coating Systems. Silicone Roof Coatings are the only roofing product that remains unharmed when maintaining continuous contact with ponding water for an infinite amount of time. This resistance makes them an excellent solution when re-sloping a roof is not an option. Our recommendation is to read your warranty carefully to gain a better understanding of what it covers. We will gladly answer any and all questions you have about your warranty!
Get A Free Commercial Roof Consultation
The commercial roofing industry does have many contractors who aren’t true professionals. Our most sincere recommendation to customers is to conduct thorough research before hiring potential contractors. There are countless areas to consider before hiring a quality roofer, and you owe it to yourself to find someone who will get the job done right the first time around.
Parsons Roofing employs the most current and effective industry practices and is recognized as a certified partner by multiple leading industry manufacturers. Contact our team today for a free consultation and experience the professional difference that Parsons Roofing delivers.