Building Management Hawaii
June 2021 Issue
When A Roofing Contractor Goes Out of Business – What Do You Do and How Does It Impact Your Existing Roof Warranty?
Larry Young, Vice President / PME
You finally got that roof replacement project completed and grateful you can check that capital project off the list. Then unusually heavy rains hit Hawaii and suddenly your brand-new roof has leaks. You call your roofing contractor only to find out they have gone out of business. What do you do?
Find your contract and warranty paperwork. This will help steer you in the right direction to get the leaks resolved.
Check the contract to see if a Performance Bond was required. A bond is like having insurance for the years the bond is required to be enforced. The bonding company will step in and pay for labor and materials to get the roof repaired if the contractor has gone out of business.
Check what type of warranty was issued. This will determine what is covered. Types of common warranties are Contractor Labor only, Limited Manufacturer material only, Limited Manufacturer material and labor, Manufacturer Material & Labor, NDL (no dollar limit) to name a few.
- Contractor Labor only labor warranty speaks for itself. If the contractor goes out of business you will end up paying for the labor and possibly the materials to make repairs.
- Limited Manufacturer Material Warranty. This could be very broad as it varies per Manufacturer. But the main focal point is the materials are covered only if the material itself failed. If the material was installed incorrectly this would not be covered.
- Manufacturer Material and Labor Limited Warranty. This warranty covers labor and material for repairs or replacement up to a set amount, such as the amount you paid for the materials. It sometimes stipulates that if the materials were not installed correctly, the warranty would be void. If may also require the original contactor to perform the labor for repairs for a certain number of years at the beginning of the warranty.
- Manufacturer Material & Labor NDL (no dollar limit) warranty. This type of warranty is usually limited to contractors that have been certified and/or trained by the Manufacturer to install their product. A true NDL warranty will cover from day one labor and material to keep the roof in a watertight condition. This is the highest and best warranty available.
Call the manufacturer and report the leak.
It is important that you follow the warranty requirements that stipulate a certain time frame leaks must be reported within. Owners of the warranty must be the ones to directly notify the manufacturer of any leaks. Let them know your current situation and they will be able to help recommend next steps such as having a technical representative go out and assess the leak. The manufacturer will also help in identifying another local roofing contractor that is certified to make repairs.
It is good to also inquire about the level of certification each contractor is qualified for as well. Manufacturers often extend different levels of certification to contractors based upon the quality of workmanship over time. Contractors with consistent quality and minimal to zero punch list items can be awarded higher levels of certification and more favorable warranty terms. Manufacturers normally will use higher level certified contractors to perform repairs.
You may also want to check with the local distribution centers that all roofing contractors purchase their materials from. Here on Oahu that would include distributors like RSI Roofing Supply, ABC Supply, Roofline and Hawaii Supply. They would be able to provide you a second opinion on the contractors as far as reputation, fiscal stability etc.
Select A Reputable Roofing Contractor
Have confidence in the roofing contractor you move forward with. A few things to look for: certified to install a wide variety of roof systems, affiliation with industry organizations, licensed, bonded and insured with a commitment to safety, financial stability, past performance as well a maintenance programs for future support.
Larry Young is Vice President and Project Managing Estimator at Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii Inc. He brings over 27 years of industry experience to the company having worked on a variety of projects spanning commercial, industrial, education, government and military sectors. Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing is one of the largest commercial roofing contractors in Hawaii having installed nearly every type of roofing system across the islands. Services include roofing, waterproofing, roof maintenance programs, repairs, gutter installation and solar PV.