Of all the parts of your building, the roof is one of the most critical. You rely on a well-built roof for security and peace of mind, knowing that it keeps out wind, rain, snow and other elements. Fortunately, roofs are built to last and should do their job for at least 20 years, depending on the material used and routine maintenance. Of course, this doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions or that it can’t suffer damage. Poor materials or inadequate installation can reduce the life of the tiles and other components of your roof. If you face a complete restoration, the costs can pile up. However, if your roof is still under warranty, you may be in good shape. Depending on the roof warranty, you may get a big hand in repairing it.
Warranty vs. Insurance
There are key differences are between your insurance policy and the warranty that covers the roof. Your insurance plan will cover repair and replacement costs when there is accidental damage to the roof. For example, if a massive hailstorm rolls through town and breaks a bunch of shingles on the roof, your commercial property coverage should kick in. If someone vandalizes the roof, you can turn to your insurance. The roof warranty won’t be applicable in either of these cases. The warranty, on the other hand, is a guarantee that the roof and all its materials and components will perform up to a certain standard for a specific time period, and should over the roof regardless of its size or orientation. The warranty certifies that the workmanship of installation the quality of building materials will last for a certain number of years, not counting the same accidental damage that the insurance would cover.
Types of Warranties
When it comes to your roof, as well as other parts of your building, there are two different categories. The first is the contractor, or installer, warranty. Contractor warranties are concerned about the work and expertise that went into installing the roof. Even the highest-quality building materials on Earth won’t hold up if the installers do a poor job building the roof. Lack of attention to detail or insufficient skill on the part of the installers may lead to problems with the roof down the road, regardless of how amazing the materials are. This warranty will cover the workmanship that went into the construction, and will usually be for one to five years, though you can negotiate for longer coverage. If the warranty is short, it’s a good bet that the builder doesn’t have a lot of faith in the type of work the builders do.
The second type of roof warranty is a manufacturer’s warranty. This one can be more complex, as there are different options with it. One of the most common is a No Dollar Limit Warranty. This one is popular because the manufacturer will pay to replace the roof if there were defects in the materials, even if the cost is more to do this than it did to build the roof in the first place. For instance, the No Dollar Limit Warranty guarantees replacement if the materials do not last their entire lifespan. The manufacturer would honor the warranty and install new materials, regardless of the cost to do so. A labor and material warranty is similar, though it will only pay for repairs and replacements up to a certain dollar amount. The limits for this warranty’s coverage will decline year by year. A manufacturer’s materials warranty covers the quality of building materials for a certain time frame, usually between 10 and 30 years. A basic warranty, known as the roof system warranty, will only cover the membrane part of the roof. Other portions such as insulation are not applicable under this warranty.
Responsibility for Repairs
Business owners are often confused about which party handles the repairs and the replacement of a roof. The owner needs to take responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of a roof. Neglect or negligence may void the warranty. If the roof suffers damage outside of the roof warranty scope, the owner must make the repairs. When it comes to repairs that the warranty will cover, the building owner should not have to take part in the effort. If it is determined that the materials and components used to construct the roof are defective, the manufacturer must replace them and repair the roof at no cost to the owner. If the contractor furnished the materials for building the roof, that party must repair or replace any defective items. This, too, should not cost the building owner a cent.
What Voids the Warranty
The warranty will not be in effect under all circumstances no matter what. In addition to negligence and neglect, you can’t make unapproved changes or enhancements to the roof. This is in effect because adding certain elements to the roof can cause severe damage and harm the integrity of the materials. You also need to record any damage you find to the roof following a storm. If high winds destroy parts of the roof or if a tree falls on the building, you need to document these and provide details of the incident. If you don’t do this but instead make a warranty claim later on, it may be rejected. Also, the warranty may be void if you do repairs yourself or hire a non-professional to handle the work.
Your commercial roof warranty is an investment and an important financial asset. Understanding and using it properly can protect you and your business for years to come.