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A commercial roof is an expensive investment, so you want to make sure that you won’t be financially burdened should there be any damage or malfunction. Commercial roofing warranties offer peace of mind and reduce the risk that property owners take with their purchase. 


Having said that, it’s important to understand the basics of commercial roofing warranties so that you’ll have a better understanding of your responsibilities as well as the vendor’s. It also helps to know what you’ll get out of a warranty and what you can do to prevent it from getting voided.


Types of Commercial Roofing Warranties

Warranties are classified into two categories: manufacturer roofing warranties and roofing contractor warranties.


Below are the subcategories of manufacturer roofing warranties:


  • Materials Warranty – This warranty guarantees that the roofing products won’t fail within a given timeframe, which is usually 10 to 30 years. However, it does not include materials that are not directly supplied by the manufacturer. 


  • Manufacturer’s Labor and Material Warranty – This warranty, which covers labor and material defects, is limited to a certain dollar amount. It is typically prorated, which means the coverage for defects decreases over time. 


  • Manufacturer’s Roof System Warranty – This type of warranty covers only the membrane of the roofing system, hence it’s also called a “membrane only” warranty. It does not apply to issues with decking or insulation. Its coverage can be limited to a dollar amount or it can be a “no dollar limit” warranty.


  • Manufacturer’s No Dollar Limit Warranty (NDL) – This is the most comprehensive warranty available on the market. Under this warranty, the manufacturer is required, regardless of the price, to fully cover the cost of the defective products or product failure while being used properly during the warranty period.


Roofing Contractor Warranties


A roofing contractor’s warranty covers both the installation work and the products used during installation. The typical length of a labor warranty is up to five years, though some only provide coverage for the first year. The coverage period can be negotiated. Note that the length of the warranty period that a contractor agrees to can be a reflection of their confidence in their skills and in the materials they use. 


What Warranties Do Not Cover


Understanding what your commercial roofing warranty covers and does not cover will save you a lot of headache and frustration down the line.


Warranties usually do not cover the following:


  • Damage to the roof due to inadequate maintenance, neglect, or abuse
  • Leaks caused by components that are not part of the vendor’s roofing system
  • issues caused by unauthorized alterations or repairs to the roof
  • Damage from natural disasters


Remember to read the fine print so you won’t have any unpleasant surprises later on.


Should You Still Get Property Insurance Even if You Already Have a Warranty?


A commercial roofing warranty and a property insurance policy are different from each other. Warranties don’t provide coverage for some roofing damages, especially those caused by fire and natural calamities. This type of damage may be covered by insurance, so it’s best to have your property insured even though you already have a warranty.


How to Ensure That Your Warranty Doesn’t Get Voided


A roofing warranty is a financial asset. You want to make sure that you’ll be able to use it when you need it most. However, there are some actions that can void a warranty and render it useless. Below are some pointers you can follow to keep your warranty valid:


  • Perform regular roof maintenance. Check the drains for clogs. Standing water can result in severe issues, such as an overgrowth of algae and ultimately the breakdown of the roofing system. Keep in mind that warranties typically don’t cover damage arising from inadequate maintenance so make sure that your roof is well-maintained.


  • Make sure that the modifications to your roof are allowed by the warranty. Renovations, additions to air conditioning capacity, or the installation of ventilation for machinery may compromise your roofing system. The components that go through the roofing system need to be properly installed by trained and qualified professionals. This will prevent any damage or leaks that may not be covered by the warranty.


  • Address storm damage immediately. You must document any damage caused by a storm, especially hailstorms. Storm damage may not be apparent right away. For instance, the membrane may already have cracks that you haven’t detected yet. Have your roof inspected shortly after the storm. Don’t wait until the next scheduled maintenance visit. 


Final Thoughts


Commercial roofing warranties reduce the likelihood of material defects and improper installation. They also act as a financial safety net in case there are roof damages. 


It’s best to choose a roofing contractor who can stand by their workmanship and use high quality materials so they can deliver the best outcome. That way, you’ll be less likely to need your commercial roofing warranty. 


If you want to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the roof over your head is properly installed and will last for decades, choose Allweather for all your roofing needs.