Clarity on Roofing Warranties


If you have recently had a new roof or roofing restoration system installed or are in the process of acquiring one, then it’s important to understand the intricacies of the included warranty. American WeatherStar hopes to provide some clarity in this regard on a wide range of common warranties present in the roofing industry. The first point in this clarification is that the length of the warranty is not the most important aspect of the warranty document. The most important aspect is what the warranty includes, and what it excludes.

Since this is the case, it is important to carefully and completely read any warranty you are considering. Many warranties issued in the roofing industry are called “material warranties,” which only covers the premature breakdown of the roofing materials, but does not cover leaks in the roof system. This is not meant to critique these types of warranties. Sometimes, they are the best option for the proprietor as these warranties are often paired with a “workmanship warranty” and can be a more cost-effective option, as these “workmanship warranties” cover the labor of the roofing system.

However, an NDL System Warranty from American WeatherStar covers both the labor and the material components of the roofing system in the event there is a leak in the new system due to material or workmanship failure. As previously mentioned, it is important to note what this warranty excludes. Listed below is an excerpt from American WeatherStar’s “system warranty” the lists the kind of leaks that are not covered.

1. Flood, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hail, lightning, hurricanes or other acts of God.
2. Installation, erection or construction of any additional equipment and/or structure on or through roofing substrate or flashing after date of application of the System.
3. Failure of, or repairs to, substrate and/or defects in any component underlying the roofing substrate, flashing, or caused by faulty construction and/or design.
4. Application of, or repairs to, substrate and/or flashing after the date of the original application of the System.
5. Environmental fallout or overexposure to commercial/ industrial solvents, acids, caustic fluids, or other harmful chemicals
6. Acts of negligence, abuse, accidents, vandalism, falling objects, civil disobedience, war or any other acts beyond the control of American WeatherStar.
7. Insects or animals.
8. Movement or deterioration of material adjacent to or through the American WeatherStar System.
9. Condensation. Condensation is caused from lack of ventilation and/or insulation.
10. Owner’s or the building occupant’s failure to use reasonable care in maintaining the roof and building.

The exclusions listed within the American WeatherStar warranty are considered industry standard. In any other warranty, these exclusions will be included in one way or another. A roofing manufacturer or supplier of fluid-applied coatings can only ensure the system is installed properly and that the material will not degrade prematurely. In either of these events, the leak is covered in the warranty. The number of leak-causing events that cannot be covered by the warranty is too many to name.

Both American WeatherStar material and system warranties must be installed by an Approved Contractor. Make sure the contractor quoting the project has the proper credentials including insurance, state license (if applicable), and approval from the material supplier. The warranty is not automatic. An application for the warranty must be filled out and the warranty approved by the supplier. When the project is complete it is essential to have a maintenance plan in place for your new roof system.

This is the reason that it’s important to keep up the maintenance of your roofing system. A 12, 15, or even 20-year warranty is not going to benefit you or your roof if you allow the term to be voided within the first few years due to neglect. Just like checking engine oil in your car, seeing a doctor for a physical, or giving your house a deep clean, your roof needs to be maintained and checked once or twice a year. Because of this, American WeatherStar requires a documented annual maintenance program for all system warranties. For warranties issued with less than a 20-year term, the building owner can perform their own maintenance. The 20-year system warranty requires an American WeatherStar Approved Contractor to perform the maintenance.

When formulating a leak-preventing maintenance program, we suggest you keep the following in mind to discuss with your roofing contractor.

• Walk the entire roof to find storm damage and remove all debris.
• Inspection and cleaning of roof drains, scuppers and gutters to ensure proper drainage is maintained.
• Inspection of all expansion joints, parapet walls, counter flashing and seams and repair any cracks or breaches.
• Check all HVAC stands and structures for cracks in flashings or between any crickets.
• Inspection of all pipe penetrations.
• Inspection of all coping and metal edge areas.
• Inspection of the field and perimeter of any fiberglass skylights.
• Annual cleaning of roof by light pressure washing to maximize cleanliness and reflectivity. (Use caution not to damage the system.)

Most companies will include a report in their annual or bi-annual inspection to be kept for your records. Any issues that arise should be repaired with an approved product.

Hopefully, with the clarity provided here, you will be able to take full advantage of your roofing system warranty and not fall prey to the missteps that lead to a voided warranty.

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