Metal Roof Warranties – They’re not all equal


Metal Roof Warranties

There are many things to consider when choosing the right design for your project’s roofing system. Is the life cycle important? Are you looking for a maintenance-free system that will last for decades maintaining its integrity? Is a watertight warranty important to the occupants and building owner? If you answered yes to any or all of the previous questions, you might want to consider a Standing Seam metal roof for the design of your next project.

Research has shown that metal roofing has a life cycle of two to three times longer than alternative roofing systems. Metal roofing maintains its watertight properties for 60 years and longer. Metal roofs are made up of panels and numerous components that seal, cap, and close off the penetrations and terminations on a roof assembly. Beneath each and every piece of trim, roofing manufacturers require the installation of a non-curing sealant or tape barrier (Butyl) to prevent water infiltration. Butyl manufacturer’s warranty their products for up to 60 years before any break down will occur. Thus creating an impenetrable roofing system.

Maintenance of a standing seam metal roof is virtually nonexistent. Necessary removal of debris and obstacles from the roofs draining components will ensure your roof assembly is draining correctly. Otherwise, the roof will not require the need for any adjustments or repairs. Numerous studies have found that yearly maintenance cost for other commercial roofing systems cost from $0.03 to $0.27 per square foot annually. Once a standing seam metal roof is properly installed, you can rest assured knowing that your investment is watertight for years to come without the hassle of costly and necessary yearly repairs.

Metal Roofing manufacturers offer weathertight warranties for their roofing systems to qualified installers. But be sure that the warranty you are requesting in your specification is actually the warranty you are receiving. Several manufacturers have tier and pro-rated warranty options. You may even receive an offer from a manufacturer that even offers a free warranty for their panels. Upon further inspection, you will learn this warranty may only cover the leakage in the seam of the panel. An adequately fabricated structural panel will have two legs that engage one another to form a watertight connection. The ends of vertical legs on the panels are mechanically folded together. The manufacturer will also inject a non-curing butyl sealant into this connection that acts as an added layer of protection to prevent moisture from penetrating between the panel legs. If there is one area, a panel will not leak, it is in this connection. A warranty needs to cover real-world conditions on a roofing assembly. Roof conditions may have a few or all of the following components: eave, ridge, rake, peak, valleys, hips, rake walls, aprons, skylights, and mechanical curbs for exhaust or HVAC equipment. Electrical lines or pipe vents penetrating the panels are ubiquitous. They make up the areas of the roof where moisture prevention failures are common.

Standing seam metal roof manufacturers must have warranties that will stand by the installation of all of these conditions. A reputable manufacturer will require installing contractors to adhere to strict installation methods. They may require that their engineering department provide shop drawings for the installer to use as an installation guide, as well as a submittal to designers for approval before construction begins. This template should include every component that will be necessary during the installation of this roof assembly and detail every condition that a particular building may have. Rarely will you find two roofs that are similar, must less identical? So the necessity for these drawings should be reviewed and detailed each and every time. Boilerplate drawings will leave room for grey areas that should not and cannot be allowed when you are trusting that this roof will protect the interior of a building and the integrity of the structure that supports it.

There are several things to consider when choosing the right roof for your building. Once the installation is over and the occupants move into the new facility the decisions you made when selecting the right manufacturer will have an impact for many years to come. This investment will protect your assets and the building below your roof for decades. So read through the warranty options. Check the fine print. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

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