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When you invest in a flat roof, you hope to get a return on your hard-earned money. That means expecting the roof to last a number of years. A roof guarantee indicates that you are getting a quality product. Most roofing companies can give you a guarantee of up to 20 years. Still, your roof can last longer if it has been installed correctly and well maintained.
A flat roof is guaranteed to last between 10 and 20 years, depending on the type of roof you choose. Most roofing systems, including asphalt, felt, fiberglass, and liquid, can go up to 30 years, with a chance of getting up to 40 years when well maintained.
PVC membrane and TPO membrane last about 25 years, while the EPDM and liquid roofing systems can last more than 30 years. If you want something with higher longevity, consider metal roofing. A flat or low slope standing seam metal roof can extend to 50 years when well maintained.
Take a look at the various types of flat roof guarantee you can expect when buying a new roof.
Material Only Warranty
A material only warranty is also referred to as a manufacturer's warranty and covers the roofing material. This type of warranty covers manufacturing defects and is cheaper than a full-system warranty. Material warranty specifically covers the roof membranes and not other parts like edging and flashing. The warranty will cover the cost of repairing or replacing the roof in case of premature deterioration or defects. Keep in mind that this warranty will not cover the cost of labor needed to rectify roofing defects. When looking to install a flat roof, ensure that the company you choose offers this type of warranty.
Labor And Material Warranties
A labor and material warranty covers both the workmanship and the defects that come with the roof. That means if within a particular period your roof is found to have a defect, you won't be charged anything to get a new roof. Both the roof and the cost of labor associated with repairs and installation are covered here.
To qualify for this warranty, the roofer has to be approved by the manufacturer. You can't enjoy the full benefits of this type of warranty if you go with someone else. If your roof is damaged and you decide to undertake the repairs, you can void this type of warranty.
Labor and material warranty can last between 5 and 40 years. It will depend on the manufacturer. If you get a shorter period, check if you can negotiate for a longer warranty. And if you can, it's likely to cost you more money. That's because it involves the use of heavier roof membranes, extra piles of membranes, stronger flashings, and advanced seam technology.
A longer warranty is usually called a total system warranty. This warranty goes beyond covering the roofing membrane. It also covers the screws, installation, accessories, and adhesives. It also requires there to be a contract between the roofer and the manufacturer. That means the contractor should have undergone training from the manufacturer. They also need to take full responsibility for any roofing failures within the first two years after installation. That's because roofing issues caused by the installation are likely to arise within that period.
Workmanship or Contractor Warranties
This type of guarantee is provided by the contractor installing the roof. It focuses on the craftsmanship or the quality of the work done. When installing a roof, read this contract carefully to understand the terms used. If something goes wrong, you'll want to have all the information with you.
Most contractors offer a limited guarantee on their work. And if you hire a different roofer to maintain or repair the roof, or you do the work yourself, your warranty can become void. Most contractors will give you a guarantee of between 5 to 10 years. If you manage to negotiate for a longer period, it will cost you more money. Contractor warranties are worth the investment, considering how problematic damaged roofs can be. For instance, a leaking roof can weaken the structure of your home. It's better to have a warranty for workmanship, allowing you to address issues immediately when they arise.
Guarantee periods are great because you have some sort of protection, whether for five or 40 years. But what happens if a roofer goes out of business before that time lapses, and your roof is damaged? You'll be left with a faulty roof and no one to call.
Make sure that your flat roof guarantee is backed by insurance. You'll have peace of mind knowing that even if your roof suffers damage, as long as you're still under guarantee, you can make a claim and have your roof repaired.
Read the fine print when it comes to these insurance backed guarantees. For instance, certain policies may demand you pay a certain fee for your claim to be investigated, and if the claim is not valid, you're not refunded that cash.
Also, you may find that if damage occurs near the end of the insurance backed guarantee, there is a limit on liability, and the amount you get might not be enough to cover those damages. In other instances, the roofing contractor can claim the policy will last for 20 years when it is actually two ten-year policies. When ten years end, you have to renew the guarantee again.
Flat roof guarantees are great, but it is also wise to read the fine print. Understand what your guarantee does or doesn't cover before committing.