Janine Brady, Marketing Manager at SIG Roofing, looks into warranties for roofing and highlights some of the key areas to consider when beginning a project.
The roof is one of the most important elements of a property. This is not only from a weatherproofing and energy performance perspective, it’s also because the roof accounts for 20-30% of the visible exterior and will determine the aesthetic for decades.
Deciding on the best roofing material for a project can be a complex business, as there are a number of factors to consider; such as the type of coverings; concrete or clay tiles or slate- natural or man-made, the colour, size and texture, planning restrictions, and budget. And, with multiple products needed to complete a roof…there’s a lot to think of!
However, it’s not just the products alone – the warranty should also be a key consideration, especially when taking into account the life expectancy of the roof. Should things go wrong, a robust warranty will provide a great safety net – the last thing any housebuilder or developer needs is a problem with the roof that leads to a claim. Not only can it prove costly if the warranty is not upheld, it can seriously discredit the reputation too.
A reliable warranty instills trust with the manufacturer, as well as confirming confidence in the product. It also offers reassurance that they can be relied upon in the event of product defect or failure, and will stand by a claim. Although it can be time consuming and confusing to assess the value of every warranty, it pays to do the homework at the specification stage rather than be faced with problems post-installation. So, how do you ensure that a warranty is reliable? Here are a few things to look out for:
Choose quality products: Some roofing products like natural slate and clay roofing tiles are considered to be premium products that command premium prices. When cheaper imitations become available, it can be tempting to be swayed by lower prices or quality, or extended warranties. However, regardless of the size and nature of the project, quality must never be compromised. Every job needs to be approached with confidence that the roofing products are of genuine quality and that their warranties are robust.
Take natural slate; the origin and labeling is paramount. Not all slate is of the same quality and an inferior product may be riddled with inconsistencies and imperfections that can affect its durability and performance over time – resulting in high wastage and escalating labour costs. Quality slate is usually backed by a quality warranty. Hence, if something goes wrong further down the line, the slate will live up to its promise and support will be provided.
Reputable suppliers: Only deal with reputable companies who offer assurance that they can uphold their warranties. Checking the credentials of the supplier will give complete assurance in their product and services. A supplier with a solid reputation and a long history of sourcing the products, and who can offer traceability of supply, can often be relied on to offer warranties that will prove worthy should support become necessary.
Such attributes will far outweigh any savings made by sourcing lesser products, or dubious warranties. Suppliers that offer reliable and robust warranties and case histories are a safe bet; as they have invested in their supply chain and are in it for the long term. A reputable slate supplier, for example, will honour all warranties, even if the slate quarry that supplies the slate ceases production.
Extended warranties: Some roofing products come with the seduction of lifetime warranties. However, these should be approached with caution. It’s highly doubtful that the product or system will actually last an entire lifetime. Also, if using an imported product, it’s worth checking if the warranty is enforceable under UK law. In such cases, it’s important to read the terms and conditions and to understand the manufacturer’s definition of a ‘lifetime’ warranty – some may only be between 10 and 20 years. It’s also worth checking if there are any exclusions; do they cover all the components of the product and/or installation?
Single package warranties: Specifying the right roof covering is one thing, however, there are a whole host of other products that make up the roof; from battens and fixings, to breather membrane and ridges. Time is precious in any business, and the time and effort in dealing with various manufacturers in the event of a warranty claim can quickly amount to lost revenue. Indeed, research carried out by SIG Roofing, showed that 70% of contractors have had to make a warranty claim for roofing products. The research also showed that contractors felt frustrated when having to deal with multiple suppliers for claims, and that having to collate all the warranties for one project is difficult and time consuming.
Single package warranties are fast becoming an attractive option to housebuilders and developers. Although they offer a number of valuable benefits, the key one is simplicity. When a single package warranty is purchased, just one warranty covers the performance of the key products involved in the build-up of a roof – in some cases up to 15 years.
In the unfortunate event of a claim, there’s just one company and only one contact to deal with at any time throughout the process. In addition to offering complete peace of mind for the specifier and developer, it’s a sure fire way to protect their reputation too. It also means that the contractor can rest easy knowing that they’re using top quality products and the homeowner will have their roofing issues resolved easily and at speed. Single package warranties also tend to include a comprehensive selection of quality market-leading products, and these can be relied upon to deliver durability and great performance.
When it comes to specifying roofing products, it’s worth remembering that what may seem like a great deal at the time may not be all that it appears. Of course, the impact from such a fallout will only be felt in the event that a warranty claim needs to be made. However, that’s precisely the time when support is needed most. The importance of having a reliable roofing warranty in place can never be underestimated.
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