Understanding Your Warranty


I’ve been approached by many building owners struggling for a solution to fix a material failure or leak on their building after having spent large sums of money having a new system installed.  The reason? They believed they were covered under a warranty for the new system, only to find out that they did not have a covered claim.

Unfortunately, once a warranty is provided and signed there is little that can be done to rectify this problem under a claim on the warranty.  This is why it is so important to accurately understand what is covered under your warranty before selecting a product or system.

When making a big purchase there are many factors that should be considered.  The three most important are cost, quality, and warranty.  While all are very important, they are not all equal.  Cost and quality should be the most important considerations with warranty being secondary, however many homeowners make decisions based on warranty alone.  For example, would you rather have a $50,000 high quality product that requires little to no maintenance but comes with a 5 year labor and material warranty or a $35,000 low quality product that requires constant maintenance and provides a “50 year limited lifetime warranty”. The decision can be difficult, but often owners simply see 50 year warranty versus 5 year warranty and go with the cheaper system based solely on the warranty.

A common misconception is that warranties are written to protect the owner. This is not the case.  With language such as “lifetime”, “limited” “material”, “performance”, “labor”, “prorated”, and “no dollar limit”, they are written in a manner that cause a lay person to believe they are very favorable to the purchaser, but are in fact weighed heavily in favor of the manufacturer.  It is important to understand this verbiage, as the phrasing can have a significant impact on the coverage provided by the warranty.

For this reason, you should retain an experienced and knowledgeable engineer or roof consultant as well as consult with your legal counsel. Doing so will assist you in determining which products/systems are best for your specific building as well as what the warranty requirements and limitations entail.

Before taking on a large project for your building, please reach out to Prescott Engineering to help assist you; alleviate any concerns; and ensure confidence that the project is completed properly. We can be reached at 727.637.6062, info@prescott-engineering.com, or www.prescott-engineering.com.