Commercial roofs go through a lot of abuse over the years. To ensure a building is well protected, it is essential to work with an experienced commercial roof company that will do the best work. Owners should also make certain their commercial roof installation is backed with the proper warranties; however, it is important to keep in mind that there are many different types of guarantees that apply in a variety of ways.
Manufacturer Warranty Types
The manufacturer of the materials used in a commercial roof installation may offer a number of warranties on their products. In the event there are problems with the materials, one or more of these guarantees may apply and depend on the product, the cause of the defect, and which of type of assurance is being offered:
- Material Warranty - This is a guarantee that the materials used by a commercial roof company will not fail for a stated period of time. The periods offered for commercial roofs are available in different lengths and usually range from 10 up to 30 years, depending on the quality of the materials. This warranty applies only to the products produced by the manufacturer. It also may or may not offer coverage for certain types of defective workmanship if an issue was due to a problem with the product. Unless otherwise stated, material warranties have set dollar limits that the manufacturer will cover.
- Roof System Warranty – This is an assurance that is offered by a manufacturer and sometimes called a “membrane only warranty.” It is offered by the manufacturer and only covers defects in the membrane materials used in a commercial roof installation. This guarantee does not cover damage to other components or parts of the roof that occur because of the failure of the system membrane.
- Labor and Material Warranty – This type of assurance offered by the manufacturer of roofing products covers defects in both the materials installed by a commercial roof company and the labor. Labor and material guarantees are limited and typically cover the same amounts as a material warranty.
- NDL (No Dollar Limit) Warranty - When listed as NDL on a material warranty, it means there is no dollar limit to the coverage provided. NDL means that the manufacturer has agreed to fully cover products for any defect that occurs during the warranty period provided the materials have been properly used and maintained. This is a valuable assurance to an owner, even if it requires paying an extra fee.
Contractor Workmanship Warranty
This guarantee that may be offered by a roofing contractor covers poor or improper workmanship on commercial roofs; however, it does not cover the actual materials installed. Although most workmanship warranties only apply for a few years after installation, it is best to hire a contractor who guarantees their work as this typically means the contractor does high-quality work that rarely has problems.
Considering the various warranties available for commercial roofs, building owners should be careful when choosing contractors and materials. Always discuss the various applicable guarantees with a commercial roof company before signing a contract for work to be done. Be sure you understand how each type applies. If necessary, request that a contractor use higher-quality materials with better warranties to further protect your commercial roof installation!