Roof Warranties – Are They Worth Anything?

Have you ever had to pursue a warranty for damage to your roof or as a result of a leak? Did your warranty cover the cost of all repairs? Many times the warranty will not cover the cost due to exclusions, as follows:

  • Natural disasters, including hail
  • Misuse, abuse, or negligence by the owner
  • Installation failures or material failures due to components used in the roof system which were not supplied by the manufacturer
  • Material failure or damage due to exposure to substances such as oil or solvents
  • Material failure due to vermin, insects, or birds
  • Changes to the building’s usage or new roof penetrations
  • Failure of the substrate from building movement, design defects, etc.
  • Material degradation from improper drainage (i.e. ponding water)
  • Lack of maintenance and regular inspections by the owner

Owners are responsible for their warranties. The fine print on most manufacturers’ warranties indicates, “the owner must be responsible for maintaining the roof warranty.” The warranty provisions indicate the owner must do the following things to maintain their warranty agreement:

  • Maintain records of all activity that takes place on the roof such as leaks, repairs, inspections, etc.
  • Inspect the roof at least semi-annually for signs of defects
  • Clean the roof of debris
  • Examine all metal flashings and adjacent components, such as chimneys, walls, etc. that may affect the roof system
  • Examine the roof for wind damage
  • Examine any roof-top equipment for leakage or vibration that may affect the roof membrane
  • Check the building exterior for settlement or movement
  • Examine the surface coating for cracks or flaking

Anything that needs to be repaired is the responsibility of the owner. All repairs must be documented and the information sent to the manufacturer for their files. You paid high dollar for a warrantied roof system that you thought would take care of all your roof problems for at least 15 years, yet none of this is ever clearly explained.

So is a roof warranty really worth it? Warranties come in all shapes and formats these days. While a warranty may say “20 years”, it may be full of exclusions and provide a manufacturer every possible out. It is important to read the fine print, compare the warranty to others in the industry, consult with non-biased roofing experts, and have a solid roof maintenance plan in place to ensure any warranty you have remains valid. Depending on your location, ask the following questions when considering an investment in a warrantied roof system:

  • Will regular wear and tear be covered? Is foot traffic listed as an exclusion?
  • At what wind speeds will the warranty not be valid?
  • Is “inadequate drainage” or “ponding more than 48 hours” noted?
  • Is any size of hail covered?
  • Does the warranty have a dollar limit on what the manufacturer is responsible for fixing?
  • Is workmanship or installation of the materials included in the warranty?
  • Does the manufacturer pay for both materials and the labor to fix deficiencies when they are covered?
  • Are annual or bi-annual inspections required?
  • How soon do I need to contact the manufacturer when a leak occurs?

Triton not only provides the best flat and low-slope roof warranties in the industry, we are committed to ensuring our approved applicators offer maintenance plans and routine inspections for any client who receives a new Triton roof system. If you’re interested in learning more, please send us a message or give us a call.