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A flat roof is guaranteed for a period of between 10 and 40 years. Flat roofing systems typically offer guarantees of between 10 and 25 years. This covers all the main systems such as felt, asphalt, rubber, liquid and GRP/fibreglass. Fibreglass flat roof systems with a specific build up are guaranteed for up to 40 years. One such example is the "Topseal Doubletop System".
A material only warranty only covers the cost of materials which suffer from a manufacturing defect. These warranties are usually pro-rated. This means the value of the material decreases every year. So, an older roof which has the same manufacturing defect as a newer roof will be covered at a lower value. It is important to remember the labour cost to put right a defect is not covered in this type of guarantee. It is common roofing companies which are not accredited are able to offer material only guarantees. So, it is important to check the accreditations of any roofing company you use for the installation of a flat roof.
As the name suggest a labour and material warranty covers both manufacturing defects in the roofing material and the labour. A labour and material warranty is more complicated than other forms of warranty. Below we will outline the things to be aware of.
• The contractor who installs your roof must be approved by the flat roof manufacturer.
• There are various length warranties available. The typical lengths are 10 year, 15 year, 20 year and 25 year. But there are some flat roof manufactures who offer 30 year and 40 year warranties.
• The contractor is charged by the manufacturer for labour and material warranties. This charge is then built in to the quotation for the roof.
• The longer the warranty the higher charge the manufacturer will charge the contractor. This is not just for the guarantee but for the roofing system itself. Typically, a roofing system with a longer guarantee will have some of the following: stronger flashings, extra plies of membrane, heavier roof membranes, higher minimal insulation requirements or more advanced seam technology.
• Longer warranties are often “Total System Warranties”. This means the manufacture requires all the materials in the roofing system to be from them. This even includes flashings, insulations and edgings.
• This type of warranty involves a contract between the manufacturer and the contractor. The contractor must have taken training from the manufacturer and accept full responsibility for any leaks or roofing failures during the initial 2 years of the warranty period. The reason the initial 2-year period is used, is because any problems related to poor workmanship they are likely to show in the first 2 years. Once this period is over the manufacturer takes responsibility for all roofing failures. This means the manufacturer will pay the contractor to fix any problems which occur. Additionally, if your contractor is no longer in business after this period, the manufacturer will pay another contractor to fix the roof.
A contractor warranty is a promise from the contractor who installed your roof to fix any problems which occur post installation. The length, type of coverage, and value which is covered will vary between contractors. This value of a contractor warranty largely depends on these factors and how the reputable the contractor is. It is best to find a roofing contractor which has been established for a long period and is of a reasonable size. The reason for this is to protect yourself from a contractor disappearing if problems occur.
It is important to make sure your flat roof is covered with an insurance backed guarantee. An insurance backed guarantee is an insurance policy which covers the original guarantee provided by the roofing contractor. This type of guarantee provides you with extra peace of mind when it comes to your flat roof. The reason for this is, if the flat roofing contractor who installed your roof ceases trading and at a later date a problem occurred with your roof whilst it was still under guarantee, you would be covered. You would still be able to make a claim under the terms of your original guarantee.
Some roofing contractors provide insurance backed guarantees which claim to be 20 year policies. However, they are in fact two 20 year policies running back to back. The problem with this is there is no guarantee they will renew the policy after the first 10 years expires. If a problem develops with your roof after 10 years it may not be covered by a guarantee. Always check the nature of your guarantee before committing to a flat roof.
If you would like more information about roofing guarantees, be it for a new roof or a problem you may have, please get in touch with us or call us now on 01277 375 511. One of our friendly team of flat roofing experts will be happy to help you.