Solutions Provided by Roofing Warranties
A warranty will provide all the details regarding possible actions you can take should there be a problem. Some remedies will be limited and only involve work that restores the roof to its watertight condition, which can mean simple patching. Issues like wood rot or damaged insulation are not likely to be taken care of. As far as the manufacturer is concerned, once the roof is leak free, the warranty provisions have been met.
In addition, some manufacturers have the right to decide if the damage will be covered or not and they can even charge you for the site visit should they deem they are not responsible. A warranty is a contract so you can negotiate the terms. This is the best way to remove some of the exclusions and clauses that are unreasonable. Just make sure all changes are agreed upon and authorized.
What’s Important When Choosing a Warranty?
Warranties can help with significant issues and major damage, so they worth it. It is ideal to have both a manufacturer materials warranty and a roofing contractor warranty. Roofing contractor warranties are typically 5 years, as most installation issues appear within the first 3 years.
If there are any clauses insisting a contractor be required to provide the maintenance work, this needs to be negotiated out of the contract. For asphalt-based roofing, make sure you have a rider that states the roofer has to fix blisters during the first 5 years. Many manufacturers exclude this from their warranty, so you want to make sure blister repairs are taken care of.
If the roofing you choose is designed to last for 20 years, the best warranty to get is a 15-year, labor, and materials, no dollar limit warranty (NDL). A warranty longer than 15 years will be expensive and more difficult to collect because of the normal wear, tear, and aging of a roof. Choose a warranty length based on the expected lifespan of the roofing system, but not one that goes beyond this.
Installation and Maintenance Makes a Difference
When you accept and acknowledge a shorter warranty, you accept that the warranty has little to do with the roof lifespan. Longer-lasting roofing is associated with having an experienced and reliable roofing engineer to design and oversee the installation. This also involves hiring a qualified and reputable contractor to perform the work.
The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) advises that to get a long-lasting, well-installed roof, you need to have an independent observer overseeing the entire process. When you have proper installation, maintenance, and experienced professionals in place, chances are you will never have to use that warranty, and you’ll have peace of mind that the roofing will work as intended and last.
If you do decide to get a warranty for your roofing system be sure you read everything carefully and fully understand before you sign. You may even want to have a lawyer look over the contract to make sure you are fully aware of what will happen and what your responsibilities will be. Warranties can be beneficial and help provide peace of mind, but only when you read them.