Think You are Covered by a Roof Warranty?
Information Roof Owners/Managers Should Know
What Exactly Is a Warranty?
A warranty is a promise by the issuer. It outlines the expectations of how the product will perform, what will be done if the product fails to perform, what limitations are placed on these obligations, and the time frame in which the obligations will last.
Who Issues Roof Warranties?
Material manufacturers are typically the issuers of roof warranties. More specifically, roof manufacturers utilize long-term warranties as a marketing tool. Since warranties are not insurable, a warranty is only as good as the ability of the issuer to keep its obligation. This is troublesome when a manufacturer that issues a long-term warranty goes out of business. In this case, a consumer could be left with a problem roof, and an ineffective warranty.
How Does Coverage Work?
According to The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), "there is a common misconception by roofing consumers that long-term warranties are all-inclusive insurance policies designed to cover virtually any roofing problem, regardless of the cause or circumstance." Typically, roof warranties do not offer assurances that the system won't leak, or that it is even a suitable system for the consumer's installation needs. Roof warranties are designed to only cover the issues and causes that are specifically spelled out within the document, and those are only covered if the consumer stays in complete compliance.
Why Do Warranties Fall Short?
There are many steps and procedures to follow in order to maintain compliance under roof warranties. Adhering to the variety of provisions can be tedious and confusing. Any misstep could render the warranty useless, and leave the purchaser on the hook. Additionally, warranties typically exclude covering issues unrelated to materials such as design, application, flashing, movement of the building, weather related damage, or vandalism.
The cold, hard reality is that most roof warranties are designed and intended to protect all parties, except the consumer. The responsibility of virtually everybody – from the manufacturer, contractor, and designer can be played like a shell game leaving no accountability.
The fact is... A piece of paper will never keep a roof system performing, and water tight.
So how can purchasers of roofs protect themselves? It starts at the beginning of the project, by having an inspector ensure that every aspect of the install is done properly. This is why roof consultants like RAM USA are being called upon more often, to oversee entire roof system installations, from beginning to end. The unbiased, objective opinion of an RCI approved Registered Roof Consultant (RRC), such as RAM, can alleviate the aforementioned roofing concerns.
The roof consultant works as the consumer's advocate to assure the proper design, materials, and installation are utilized, for their particular needs. The consultant also uses tight specifications to create "apples-to-apples" contractor bids, promoting fair competition and best value for the consumer, not simply awarding the lowest bid. This saves money and future headaches. Finally, the RRC can manage complete projects ensuring everyone's success. Studies have shown that proper project monitoring can double the life of a roof!
All along the way, the roof consultant can keep the parties involved in a roof installation honest, accountable, and reduce the risk of future failures. Upon project completion, an RRC can perform routine maintenance keeping the roof system in tip-top shape, and in compliance with the manufacturer's warranty.
Bottom Line - Keeping a roof water tight and free of failure is worth so much more than relying on what a warranty "may" provide, post-failure.
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