Warranties For Commercial Roofs – Which Party Is Responsible?

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Warranties on commercial roofs can be confusing, especially regarding who of all the various parties involved is responsible when problems arise. If something goes wrong with the structure, the commercial roof company that did the installation may only be partially responsible or possibly not at all.

Building owners have their own responsibilities for the work done by commercial roof services. The party responsible for any defects or damage can differ depending on the situation.

Commercial Roof Company

When problems arise with commercial roofs, the first place a building owner normally turns is to the commercial roof company that did the installation. Yet the degree of responsibility depends on the type of warranty the contractor provided along and the problem that is involved.

When commercial roof services offer a contractor’s warranty on materials and workmanship, they are only responsible to the building owner for the materials supplied and any poor workmanship. Not all contractors offer a warranty, although most reputable services will offer this protection. Contractor guarantees are usually for a short period of time, typically from 1 to 5 years.

Roofing Materials Manufacturer

The manufacturer of the materials installed on commercial roofs usually offers several different warranties covering materials used against any manufacturing defects that cause some type of failure during the stated guarantee period. In these cases, the manufacturer is responsible to the building owner for replacing the defective materials.

They are not required to replace materials provided by commercial roof services nor to pay for contractor labor, even if the materials provided by the manufacturer are found to be defective. The only time a manufacturer will pay to replace both defective materials and the labor required to install them is when the installation is covered with a material and labor warranty.

These limited warranties cost more but provide better protection for a building owner. A No Dollar Limit or NDL guarantee on materials and labor will also pay for both with no dollar limit.

Building Owner

The building owner is responsible for paying costs that are not covered under either the contractor's warranty that is provided by the commercial roof company or the materials warranty offered by the manufacturer. With a standard material warranty from the manufacturer, the owner must pay for labor costs to have replacement materials installed.

If the owner has purchased a material and labor warranty from the manufacturer, labor costs are also covered up to the stated dollar limit. If defects are covered under a contractor’s warranty, the building owner is not responsible for either. The contractor will pay for both materials and labor.

Understanding the fine print on warranties provided by commercial roof services can be a challenge. The best advice for building owners is to work with a commercial roof company that provides a comprehensive contractor guarantee and can explain which parties are responsible based on each different circumstance.

If you are a building owner, avoid signing any kind of work contract for commercial roofs until all warranty information is outlined in writing and you understand which party is responsible for what. It will avoid confusion and the surprise of unexpected expenses later should the warranties need to be filed against!

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