Understanding Warranties and Bonds


A manufacturer’s warranty is applicable when a roof system fails before the estimated life of the roof is completed. Manufacturer’s warranties usually require a manufacturer-certified contractor to install their roofing system. Warranties cover deficiencies in the installation and failures of the material used. When deciding which manufacturer to choose, customers should understand the warranty and possible exclusions.

Contractor Warranty

The contractor’s guarantee or workmanship warranty covers deficiencies resulting from the installation of the roofing system.

A contractor’s guarantee is only as good as the contractor supporting it. If a contractor goes out of business, a guarantee will no longer be active.

Choosing a reputable contractor assures not only the quality of the work but also the effectiveness of the guarantee.

Common Warranty Exclusions

  • Material Storage on the Roof
  • Repairs/Alterations Without the Warrantor’s Approval
  • Change in Ownership Without Notifying Manufacturers
  • Failure To Maintain Roof
  • Poor Installation

  • Excessive Foot Traffic
  • Natural Disasters
  • Abuse
  • Hailstone Damage
  • Ponding Water

Inquire Ahead of Time

  • Is the warranty issued directly from the manufacturer or a third party?
  • Is there a repair contingency?
  • Does the warranty cover material and workmanship, or material only?
  • Are monetary limits imposed on the cost of repairs?
  • What repairs are covered, and what repairs are general maintenance and the responsibility of the owner?

  • Is the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) excluded?
  • Is there a dispute resolution procedure?
  • Does the roof meet the specifications of the warranty?
  • Does the warranty require notification of the warrantor of a change in building use or ownership?
  • Are exclusions in writing?

Read the fine print.

Warranties and extended guarantees are frequently used in the industry today as sales and marketing tools to compete with the competition rather than for assurance. Roofing system manufacturers and distributors are under pressure to increase sales and meet quotas. One of the cheapest ways to meet goals is to lower pricing and offer the consumer an “extended” warranty on roofing products. Know what you’re buying.

Choose Carefully

  • What is the length of the guarantee?
    • Most are two to five years long.
  • What is covered by the guarantee?
    • Faults or defects in workmanship should be covered.
  • What is excluded?
    • Examples: acts of God, foundation settlement, skylights, fire, clogged gutters, etc.
  • How long has the contractor been in business?
    • It is important to choose a contractor who stands behind their work and will be there if something goes wrong.

  • Does the contractor have a repair and maintenance department?
    • If a contractor provides a repair and maintenance department, there is a greater chance of receiving a quick response when needed.
  • Does the contractor offer maintenance programs?
    • In order for the roofing system to last its life cycle, maintenance is important.

Thoroughly read the fine print and save warranty information for reference. Remember, roofing problems happen. That’s why it is important to have a proper warranty and a quality contractor to stand behind their work.


An insurance bond is an agreement among three parties — the principal, the surety company, and the beneficiary. It protects the beneficiary named on the bond. When there is a valid claim on a bond, the principal is responsible for repaying the surety company for their losses. Qualifying for a bond can be much like qualifying for a loan; employment history, credit rating, personal assets, and experience are all factors the surety company examines when determining whether to issue a bond. A roofing company with an established track record in the industry that can demonstrate financial strength and is known for honoring its commitments keeps bonding requirements to a minimum.

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