Roofing Warranties

Long-term roofing warranties are quite common, but often their importance is overemphasized in selection of a roof. Many building owners and designers have focused on specifying warranties rather than on other aspects that are more likely to result in a successful roof. The Consumer Advisory Bulletin on Roofing Warranties, 1992, National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), suggested the following:
The length of a roofing warranty should not be the primary criterion in the selection of a roofing product or system because the warranty does not necessarily provide assurance of satisfactory roofing performance. The selection of a roofing system for a particular project application should be based upon the products qualities and suitability for the prospective construction project. A long-term warranty may be of little value to a consumer if the roof does not perform satisfactorily and the owner is plagued by leaks. Conversely, if the roof system is well-designed, well-constructed and wellmanufactured, the expense of purchasing a warranty may not be necessary.
Manufacturers who use long-term warranties as a marketing tool have encountered a highly competitive roofing market and have found themselves compelled to meet or exceed warranties of competitive manufacturers. It is suspected that in some cases the length of the warranty was established without appropriate technical research or documentation of in-place field performance.
NRCA believes that the roofing consumer, with the assistance of a roofing professional, should focus his purchase decision primarily on an objective and comparative analysis of proven roofing system options that best serve his specific roofing requirements and not on warranty time frames.
NRCA further advises that the roofing consumer consult the membrane warranty section of the Roofing Materials Guide for a comparative analysis of the specific provisions, remedies, limitations, and exclusions of the warranties of those roofing systems under consideration. All questions should be addressed to the respective roofing manufacturers for specific written clarification.

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