There are three types of warranties in the industry:
1. Workmanship warranty
2. Manufacturer’s Material Warranty
3. Manufacturer’s Labor & Material Warranty
Almost all manufacturers provide a material warranty on their products. This warranty is in writing and will be on a standard form that features the manufacturer’s name. For instance, common asphalt shingle warranties are 25-year, 30-year, or 50-year. Most siding warranties are limited lifetime (which means as long as you own your home or building), and commercial roofing products are typically for 20 years. Typically, these warranties are prorated material-cost-only warranties. This means that the manufacturer would pay a prorated amount if the product failed without an “Act of God” (hail, wind, flood, etc.). The prorated amount would be the percentage of life that the product under warranty did not perform. For instance, if a 30-year asphalt shingle lost all of its granules in the 15th year after installation, the manufacturer would pay 50 percent of the cost of the materials because the shingle only lasted one-half of its life. On the other hand, if a shingle lasts 80 percent of its life under warranty, the manufacturer will pay 20 percent of the material cost. These warranties are available for any product that you buy. As a customer of Weathercraft, you are covered even if you don’t have a copy of the warranty. We keep records of all products used in your home or building.
Because manufacturers produce the material and the material warranty, the contractor you choose will warranty their work of installing the product. This is called a workmanship warranty. This warranty is to assure the customer that the work was done per the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation. If the contractor did something wrong, this warranty states that the contractor will return to fix the problem without charging the customer. For instance, if a contractor didn’t use enough nails while installing shingles, the contractor will have to come back to install the proper amount of nails at no cost to the customer. The industry standard is a 2-year workmanship warranty, as most problems with a job are identified during that time. Most states enforce an “implied workmanship warranty,” which means that regardless of whether the warranty is in writing, a customer expects the purchased job to be installed and performed properly for 1 to 2 years minimum. Weathercraft will provide a written workmanship warranty if requested. Weathercraft has an excellent reputation for installing products properly and fixing any mistakes, regardless of how long the product was installed. How long a company has been in business is a better guideline for a workmanship warranty than any written piece of paper because if a company goes out of business, the paper is worthless. Weathercraft finds it amusing that contractors who have been in business for 1 to 2 years offer a 5-year workmanship warranty. The company is trying to “trick” its customers into thinking it installs products differently than its competitors.
A manufacturer’s labor and material warranty was developed mainly in the commercial roofing industry in response to the poor performance history of flat roof products prior to the 1980s. Because consumers had little or no confidence in commercial roofing companies installing detail-oriented flat roofs, manufacturers stepped in to “partner” with reputable contractors to provide a manufacturer’s labor and material warranty. The manufacturers backed their products AND the installers of their products 100 percent. This means that if the roofing contractor went out of business, the manufacturer would find another roofing contractor to warranty the roof and pay that contractor directly. So, if your commercial roof leaked from an installation error in the 18th year of a 20-year labor and material warranty, the customer was still 100 percent covered. The manufacturer would find and pay a certified roofing contractor to fix your roof. This type of warranty always requires a manufacturer’s representative to inspect the roof after installation personally. This revolutionized the flat roof industry, and Weathercraft recommends this high-standard warranty on all commercial flat roofs. Beware of unscrupulous contractors who claim their manufacturer’s material-only warranty is the same as a manufacturer’s material and labor warranty. A few manufacturers also provide a false material and labor warranty, which in the fine print states that they are not liable for anything. A Weathercraft customer will always receive a personalized written manufacturer’s labor and material warranty, stating the type of roof, owner's name, and contractor’s name, on the manufacturer’s letterhead for EVERY roof job performed.