Understanding Roofing System Warranties.

Prior to the 1980’s long term roofing warranties were virtually unavailable. Roofing at that time really was a craft. Contractors installed roofing systems by convention obtaining materials from suppliers. It did not matter at that time if all the materials used on a roof were single source. It was understood that a Built-Up Roof (BUR) had four plies set in generous moppings and a generous flood coat and embedded aggregate. Commercial roofing systems were expected to last 20 or 30 years and the owners understood that there was regular maintenance needed to make that happen. Contractors that cut corners were simply not asked to bid on new projects. Then in the 1980’s the idea of a manufacturer warranty and its marketing value caught on. Consumers would logically find value in a warranty provided by the maker of the materials over their local contractor. Soon, manufactures began a clever campaign turning the warranty from an instrument designed to protect the consumer and product into protection for the manufacturer. Warranties became very complex with prorated value, exclusions of every nature and responsibly delegated to the “owner of date”, that if were not followed would render the warranty null and void. This new trend in warranties ultimately lead to the dilution of the system components and short lived roofing systems. But despite the cleverly worded warranties lawsuit abounded and finally in the late 90’s and early 2000 manufactures began to include some minimum requirements for roofing systems if they were going to offer a warranty. One of the very best implementation in this period was the need for a representative from that manufacturer to make a personal inspection of the roof. Today, in the wake of this evolution and the recent hurricanes and stricter building codes, the roofing consumer and be assured a must better value for his money. Today the premier warranty is referred to as and NDL (No Dollar Limit) and the single responsible party is the manufacturer of the materials.


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