Types of Commercial Roofing Warranties to Protect Your Business

When it comes to making enormous purchases, you want to feel confident that your investment will not go to waste due to negligence on the part of the seller. In the same vein, manufacturers of any high-priced product are motivated to maintain a certain standard of excellence since it ensures that their valued customers will keep coming back. This is where the warranty comes in to bridge both customer and provider’s concerns. Warranties for industrial roofing systems are designed to guarantee that you won’t have to pay extra when the roofing materials are faulty or the contractor’s labor is imprecise.

Warranties come from the materials manufacturer, the roofing contractor and sometimes both. The manufacturer’s warranty replaces or repairs the materials used to build your roofing system. The contractor’s warranty provides quality assurance for the workmanship involved in installing the roofing materials. Let’s take a closer look at the different commercial roofing system warranties and what they cover.

Warranty From Your Roofing Contractor

The roofing company’s warranty only covers defects that result from the labor or installation processes performed by their workers. Additionally, it should include any materials that they supply that do not come from a manufacturer. These warranties have the shortest lifespan, effective for a minimum of one year or up to five years at most. 

In general, individual companies are vastly different from one to the next, which means that roofing contractor policies vary tremendously. Correspondingly, it’s crucial to vet your roofing company and their unique warranty arrangements so that you can go into the contract with eyes wide open. Look also for companies who are certified by the manufacturer to install those specific products.

NDL Warranty From The Manufacturer

The “no dollar limit” warranty is the premium deal, lasting anywhere from ten to thirty years, depending on the roofing system. The manufacturer repairs or replaces all defective products, regardless of how expensive it may be. NDL warranties tend to be the most costly warranty option due to the long lifespan and wide range of coverage. However, these features are also what make it the most worthwhile investment.

Aside from price, the other downside to this warranty is the complexity of its conditions. First of all, the products are required to be used appropriately throughout the roof’s life after installation. Secondly, the materials must be installed precisely according to the manufacturer’s standards. This means that your roofing contractor must be certified with that particular manufacturer, and the installation process must meet the manufacturer’s technical stipulations. An inspector must come to your property multiple times throughout the installation process to ascertain whether those guidelines are being honored. Any issues that the inspector finds must be remedied before the warranty can go into effect.

Manufacturer’s Material Warranty

The manufacturer’s warranty on their materials covers defects, product failures and unprecedented signs of early aging. This warranty lasts a decade at minimum or up to three decades, meaning that any materials that fail within that period are replaced at no cost. This is the most common variety of roofing system warranty, as it is usually free or relatively affordable. Be advised that this warranty is the most limited in that it does not cover roofing accessories, materials that come from your roofing contractor, or negligence on the part of your roofing contractor’s labor and installation processes.

Manufacturer’s Material and Labor Warranty

As evident in its name, the manufacturer’s material and labor warranty covers everything the materials warranty does, plus some labor. Whereas the NDL warranty covers everything as long as specific protocols are upheld, this warranty has coverage limitations. Manufacturers may only repair or replace up to a prorated amount, which depends on when the issue arose. For example, a roofing membrane that fails within a year of the installation may be entirely replaced. If the membrane fails after thirty years, which is when most roofs naturally start to decline, then the warranty may only cover up to a specific dollar amount or not cover it at all. Because the manufacturer’s materials and labor warranty can have such precise provisions, you’ll want to read the entire agreement in full and be aware of what is or isn’t included.

Things Warranty Does Not Cover

Keep in mind that warranties are only meant to protect you from inherent flaws that show up in the manufacturer’s products or roofing contractor’s services. They most likely will not protect you in the same way that insurance does against unforeseen circumstances, issues unrelated to roofing, or negligence on the building manager’s part. For example, “acts of God,” such as hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning strikes, strong wind, fire and earthquakes, may cause severe damage to your roof but are rarely covered in any warranty. Damage or leakage that occurs to your roofing materials stemming from any non-roofing systems in your building will likewise not qualify for coverage. Problems caused by excessive or inappropriate use, lack of maintenance, or improper modifications will sometimes even cancel your warranty. It is therefore imperative that you practice preventative maintenance and schedule roofing inspections at regular biannual intervals.

Ideally, you should opt to have both warranty types — one from your roofing contractor and one from your manufacturer. Before you jump into the immense purchase of a new commercial roofing system, shop around with different roofing companies first to find the most liberal and affordable warranties available in your market. The genuine experts in the roofing industry will guarantee their product quality and protect you from further financial consequences at their fault. Make sure to ask your contractor about both their installation warranty and the manufacturer’s materials warranty. Equipped with a full understanding of your coverage, you will be prepared to invest your hard-earned dollars with professionals who stake their reputation upon their promises.