Most new roofs come with a warranty, but exactly what is covered can vary significantly from one warranty to another. Reading your roofing warranty is hardly exciting, but you probably want to work your way through it before hiring your contractor. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the finer points of roofing warranties so that you’ll be better prepared to understand what is and isn’t covered in your new roof installation warranty.
First and foremost, there are typically 2 types of warranties – implied and express warranties. Roofing membranes and other roofing materials actually come with an implied warranty; in other words, it is generally understood that roofing materials can be expected to perform in a particular way and for a specific purpose. For example, when properly installed, your roofing membrane should prevent water from passing through it – these terms do not need to be set out in writing. On the other hand, an express warranty is a set of written documents, usually issued by the materials manufacturer and/or roofing contractor that outlines the limits of liability by the issuer.
Who Issues a Warranty?
You may not know it, but your roofing warranty probably has two issuers – your contractor and the materials manufacturer. Your contractor will provide a warranty for workmanship, and providing the materials function as they are expected, your contractor will cover only errors in their work. Alternatively, the materials manufacturer will only provide a warranty for problems with their materials when they are installed according to their instructions. Simply put, your contractor issues a warranty for the quality of their work, not the quality of the materials. Likewise, materials manufacturers cover only their materials if they’ve been installed properly.
Pay special attention to the materials manufacturer warranty, as this is the most important. Roofing contractors come and go, but materials are covered regardless of who installed them. Moreover, when a corporation is dissolved, the associated warranties become invalid. This is a much less likely scenario with materials manufacturers than roofing contractors.
Labour and Materials
A materials-only warranty is exactly what the name implies – manufacturers will provide only replacement material, and does not cover the labour associated with installation. Obviously, it’s important for you to know whether your warranty covers labour and materials, as the cost of labour can be significant.
Another key component of your roofing warranty is the facility manager’s or homeowner’s responsibilities. In fact, most warranties indicate proper maintenance as necessary; so if you have not properly maintained your roof, your warranty is invalidated. This is one of the most often overlooked components of roofing warranties, and especially important if you want to ensure that repairs or material replacement will be covered.