If you’re satisfied with the work and have signed off on the completion certificate, the only thing remaining that will protect you from poor workmanship is the warranty. There are two basic warranties for roofing contracts: the contractor’s workmanship warranty or installation warranty and the manufacturer warranty.
The manufacturer warranty protects you from defects on the products, but rarely would this be of any use for you. Most defects are attributed to poor installation, so you should really focus on the installation or workmanship warranty.
You might already be aware of the warranty that the contractor provides. Even so, go through it one more time (or more if you need to). You need to be aware of the period of the warranty, among other finer details.
The warranty period
Most contractors will provide a workmanship warranty for a period of 10 years or more. If something goes wrong with your roof, simply call the contractor and have them fix it for free. Some contractors even provide a lifetime warranty.
A workmanship warranty sounds great, but make sure you read the fine print. Most warranties of this type will state that the contractor will only honor the warranty if they were the only ones who worked on the roof. This means that having another contractor do even a minor repair job can void the warranty.
Another thing that can void a contractor’s warranty is if they go out of business. If the contractor went bankrupt after a year and closed shop, you’ll no longer be able to count on the warranty. So pick a reputable contractor to begin with.
Most manufacturer warranties do not have monetary limits. However, some do, so you should check this carefully – yes, even if the warranty is an NDL (No Dollar Limits). Always read the fine print because you could end up wasting a lot of time and money.
You should also read this portion carefully. Warranties often state that the warranty does not cover certain factors or situations, such as acts of God, abuse, or lack of maintenance.
Once you’re familiar with the warranties, you should focus on maintaining your new roof. Remember, some warranties can be voided if you fail to maintain the roof. In Part III, we’ll discuss maintenance procedures that will ensure that your roof lasts a long time.