Roof Warranty 101: What You Need To Know

When a building has a roof leak or needs a roof repair, the facilities manager or building’s owner often hope their roof warranty will cover the cost. In this post, I will explain What is a roof warranty? What does a roof warranty cover? How do I take advantage of my roof warranty?

The roof must be installed by a warranty eligible contractor and inspected by the respective manufacturer for proper installation. (RoofingSource is a certified contractor for installation and warranty repairs for all major manufacturers.)

Manufacturer’s roof warranty will not cover third party damage. This is important to take note and to ensure all third parties on the roof complete a detailed record of their service with before and after photos.

If a leak occurs, contact your roof manufacturer right away. If you have a partnership with a contractor that is certified with your manufacturer, be sure to copy them on correspondence for the quickest response. (For example, if you are our current RoofingSource client and have a roof that is protected by RoofCare and under a Mule-Hide warranty, be sure to inform both us and Mule-Hide about the leak so you can receive quick service.) 

What is a roof warranty? 

A roof warranty is issued by your roof’s manufacturer. Common roofing manufacturers are Mule-Hide, GAF, Duro-Last, Johns Manville, Firestone Building Products, Versico Roofing Systems, Carlisle, Derbigum, Fibertite, and Sika. In order to receive a warranty for your roof, the roof must be installed by a warranty eligible contractor and inspected by the respective manufacturer for proper installation. (RoofingSource is a certified contractor for installation and warranty repairs for all major manufacturers.)

Roof warranties are valid from five to thirty-five years depending on the roof membrane and the specific system installed. There are two types of warranties: material only or NDL (no dollar limit) warranties. 

Material only is how it sounds - it only covers the material and the failure of said material. Most of the time it only covers the membrane, not the accessories, insulation or edge metal. This warranty does not cover the cost of leaks either. The cost of this warranty is less. Material failure is very rare with the current testing done by manufacturers

A Full System Warranty (NDL - No Dollar Limit) covers the material and workmanship. These warranties will provide a no dollar limit for labor and material to fix roof leaks IF they are warranty related. The cost of this type of warranty can be between $0.08 - $0.20 per sqft. This warranty will include membrane, insulation, accessories and edge metal. 

What does a roof warranty cover? 

It is VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE that a manufacturer’s roof warranty will not cover third party damage. So if an HVAC technician slices your roof membrane or your  maintenance man accidentally punctures your new TPO, you will be directly responsible for that cost. While I highly recommend implementing a maintenance plan to prevent roof leaks and help extend the life of your current roof, your manufacturer more than likely requires it. Most roof warranties require an annual inspection and preventative maintenance to be documented. If these are not performed and documented, you will void the warranty and not be eligible to be covered by it.  (In order to offer facilities managers and building owners a fixed-price, leak-free guarantee maintenance program, we created RoofCare - our flagship annual maintenance program that covers repairs caused by third party damage.)

In addition to implementing a maintenance plan that covers third party damage, I highly recommend avoiding the below items that can void your warranty: 

  • Avoid third party damage by ensuring all third parties on the roof complete a detailed record of their service with before and after photos.

  • Avoid ponding water by having positive drainage and consistently cleaning internal drains, scuppers and gutters. 

  • Get approval from your roof manufacturer for structural repairs or additions to the roof (e.g. a new addition, new rooftop units, penetrations for gas lines, electrical conduits etc) 

 
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How do I take advantage of my roof warranty? 

First off, determine if you even have a warranty. It sounds ridiculous but many people do not know if they have a valid warranty or not. You can locate your roof warranty by: 

  • Looking through construction notes from the roof’s installation

  • Contacting your general contractor who built the facility

  • Contacting the manufacturer directly to see if they have it on file. (Most TPO, PVC and EPDM membrane can be determined by an educated roofing contractor. If you need assistance in identifying the manufacturer, we’d be happy to assist.

If a leak occurs, contact your roof manufacturer right away. If you have a partnership with a contractor that is certified with your manufacturer, be sure to copy them on correspondence for the quickest response. (For example, if you are our current RoofingSource client and have a roof that is protected by RoofCare and under a Mule-Hide warranty, be sure to inform both us and Mule-Hide about the leak so you can receive quick service.) 

Note that some manufacturers provide a 25% extension of warranty if you show a maintenance plan in place. If you contact your manufacturer, they will send you a vetted, quality contractor since they have relationships with certified contractors across the country. Lastly, some manufacturers offer warranty extensions. For example, Johns Mansville offers a warranty extension program that is detailed here.


If you need assistance with your roof warranty, I encourage you to reach out - send me an email or give me a call at 407-592-8363. My team and I help thousands of business owners and facilities managers across the country understand their roof warranty and save money by extending the lifespan of their current roof.

 

Written by

Tom Dawson
Director of Operations & Sales
tom.dawson@roofingsource.com

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