Ensuring the roofing manufacturer's warranty can be transferred to a new owner is an important factor to consider when installing a new roof or buying a building. Navigating the fine print can be overwhelming, and often the transfer is forgotten entirely during a sale. Manufacturers may also require specific documentation to be submitted to them upon transfer of ownership or limit warranty transferability entirely. It is vital to understand your roofing warranty before you need to use it.
How To File a Claim With Your Commercial Roof Warranty
It is important to keep all roof related documents together including the warranty, maintenance records, inspection reports, and any other paperwork relating to repairs or modifications. Having all this information organized will greatly expedite the process.
Begin the claim process as soon as damage is discovered. First, inspect the source of the leak, document the damage, and call the claims department listed on the warranty.
In most cases, the original company that installed the roofing system will be asked to investigate. You have the option to request a different roofing contractor if your roof was installed over 2 years ago.
The contractor will investigate the reported issue, perform repairs to the manufacturer’s specifications, and send documentation to the roofing manufacturer for reimbursement. The assigned contractor will typically be able to advise you if the costs will be your responsibility.
Quickly link to the warranty claims pages for most major roofing manufacturers:
There are two basic types of warranties that cover a roof. Do you know the difference?
The Materials Only Warranty is true to its name and covers the manufacturer’s materials only. This is a very limited warranty as it does not protect the owner from faulty installation. A Labor and Materials Warranty will cover both the performance of the materials and installation / workmanship for a specified length of time. There will also be a specified cost coverage associated with a manufacturer’s warranty. No Dollar Limit (NDL) signifies that all labor and material costs will be covered to make any necessary repairs. Under Limited coverage, the coverage of repairs is prorated based on the remaining life of the roof.
The life of a commercial roof warranty will vary depending on the manufacturer, but typically last between 10 to 25 years. The length of the warranty will determine the expense and requirements for installation. When selecting a commercial roof warranty it is important to look closely at the duration, coverage, and any limitations on the coverage. It is also very important the warranty is with a reputable manufacturer, and to read the fine print.
Warranties specify who benefits. Check if the warranty can be transferred. You can generally find this information in a dedicated section.
What is covered in the warranty? What is not?
What is the duration of the warranty? Keep in mind that different components may be covered for different periods of time, and read the warranty carefully.
How can you make a claim? This will be specified in the warranty as well.
What type of warranty does the roof have? A roof warranty may be limited, lifetime, or extended. Lifetime warranties are generally valid only until the owner sells the property.
Roofing manufacturers stand behind their products’ quality and durability with the warranty, but certain things may effect coverage. All work must be performed by a certified roofing contractor and reported to the manufacturer to be noted on the roof drawing for the warranty. When this process is not adhered to, particularly in work that requires penetrating the roof membrane, the owner runs a risk of voiding the warranty. 'Failure to use reasonable care in maintaining the roof system or materials' is a common clause included in most warranties. This calls for annual maintenance be performed by an approved roofing contractor to ensure the proper performance for the life of the roofing system. Without annual inspections and repairs, the warranty could be voided. These inspections should be looking out for abuse to the roof, such as damage from dropped tools, unsecured equipment, or severe weather that do not fall under the warranty.
Transferring the Warranty:
In the case of commercial property sales, the roof is often the most important asset being evaluated, yet the warranty transfer is often overlooked. The warranty transfer research should be included in the due diligence inspection to get a full understanding of the roof prior to the completion of the sale. Even if this happens, the paperwork and actual transfer is often forgotten. This is where a team that's familiar with the process and in regular contact with warranty claims departments can help. Elements works to facilitate the transfer of a roofing warranty both inside a sale, and after the fact.
Submit your warranty transfer request within the specified timeframe of closing the sale.
Prove ownership history by submitting a copy of the deed or closing documents.
Submit the roof’s installation date and the date on which the roof was purchased.
In simplest terms, your roof warranty acts like an insurance policy. A commercial roof warranty guarantees the performance, reliability, durability, and quality of your roof by covering defects in materials and workmanship over a specific period of time. Without one, you will be responsible for the full cost of any roof repairs or replacements that are required as a result of defects or damages. Routine commercial roof maintenance is crucial to extending the lifespan of your roofing system and avoiding potential damage, which is why most warranties require annual inspections (at a minimum) and regular servicing to remain valid. Our annual and semi-annual inspections ensure you follow the maintenance guidelines, use authorized or approved contractors and installers, and understand the processes for filing a claim that will ensure that your warranty is ready to cover you if the need arises. We'll highlight in our repairs reports whether issues should be filed as part of a warranty claim to save you from paying out of pocket for covered repairs. Partnering with Elements throughout the life of your roof is designed to maintain both the warranty and condition of the roof and transfer the cost savings to you.
Elements has vast experience providing repair recommendations and designing replacement of commercial roofs. We work with a wide range of roofing materials and manufacturers, and can help you to choose products with the best warranties at the outset. We are happy to provide guidance on the terms and conditions of both our contractor’s warranties and those provided by individual manufacturers. Our skilled team also offers scheduled commercial roofing maintenance inspections, not only to ensure the longevity of your roof, but to ensure that your roof warranty remains valid should any problems occur.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch today!