Among the many considerations when specifying building products is the robustness of warranties. After all, what better indicator of product quality and lifespan? Unfortunately, the language of siding warranties—and nearly every building product, for that matter—can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. If you don’t read the fine print, you and your customers may be left helpless in the face of fading and decaying products.
Here’s what to look out for.
Get to Know Your Siding Warranties
Warranties are notoriously hard to decipher—there’s a lot of jargon, legal speak, and fine print. But making sure you understand the meaning behind the warranty and what it actually covers can be key for your customers as well as your business.
When in doubt, ask your salesperson for a layman’s explanation for what the warranty covers and when. For siding, this not only means manufacturer defects and other obvious flaws, but also color and fading. For what length of time is fading covered? And how much is considered fading?
Vinyl siding is one product category in which you might find some big differences if you dig into the fine print.
For example, our Royal® and Exterior Portfolio® siding lines with Chromatix Color Technology carry an industry-leading Double Lifetime Warranty. While most other vinyl companies prorate the coverage for the second owner of the house, Royal and Exterior Portfolio provide full coverage to the second owner. This additional coverage not only instills peace of mind, it can help increase resale value.
In addition to Double Lifetime coverage, the use of Chromatix technology enables us to warrant fade to as low as 3 Hunter Units (a common measure of color difference), while most other vinyl manufacturers only warrant a higher fade amount of 4 Hunter Units. The following image shows the approximate magnitude of 3 Hunter Units of fade with a typical gray color.
This also can be the case in considering vinyl siding to other materials. In comparing Royal’s and Exterior Portfolio’s surface finish coverage versus a fiber cement manufacturer’s prefinished offering, Royal and Exterior Portfolio both offer a Double Lifetime Warranty with fade coverage of 3 or 4 Hunter units, depending on the color, while the fiber cement product carries just a 15-year warranty for chipping and flaking, but only covers fade of up to 4 Delta E for only three years.
These are just two examples of why it’s incredibly important to read the fine print—not just the warranty claims in bold on manufacturers’ marketing materials. For further guidance, reach out to our customer service representatives to get more details and help break through the legalese.
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