Metal Roof Warranties – Don’t be fooled by the years!

In the metal roofing industry it’s amazing that there is such as wide range of warranties! It’s actually become a bit of marketing game and one that confuses the contractors, architects and for the most part those metal roofing sales teams.  Here’s a simple question;  If we were to tell you that we’d supply you a product that comes with a 45-year SMP warranty vs. a product that would come with a 35-year PVDF warranty…which product would you choose? The 45 year product of course!  What you don’t know is that the SMP performance criteria is not as good as the PVDF system and more is actually less.  Let me breakdown the differences for you:Surf MallPaint Warranties cover three main items; Film Integrity, Chalk and Fade/Color Change. Paint doesn’t rust so the substrate is not included in your PAINT warranty (although there is a perforation warranty on Galvalume even when painted). Here’s a breakdown of each coverage item:

  • Film Integrity: The paint will not crack, flake of PEEL for the life of the warranty.
  • Chalk: This is a number system that allows for a certain amount of chalk. Chalk is the residue resulting from Weathering Decomposition of the paint films.  Visual Ratings are assigned according to ASTM D659 and ratings range from 10-0 with 10 being the best.
  • Fade/Color Change: is the change in the paint film color and appearance due to degradation from UV Radiation in Sunlight…this is also known as Color Weathering.   Ever hear of a Delta E or NBS unit?  This is the measuring unit for color color change per ASTMD2244.  Values range from 0 to infinity where 0 is the best (No color change).  This is measured on both Vertical and Non-Vertical applications.  Metal Roofs are typically Non-Vertical.

So back to that 45-year warranty.  This is actually the number of FILM INTEGRITY years that your warranty covers however if you read each section (Color change and Chalk) you will find that there is only a 30-year warranty on both chalk and color change.  So in reality, you have a 45-year warranty stating that your paint will not fall of your roof but only 30-year coverage on aesthetics.  The coverage is replacement materials only and does not include labor.

I wanted to give you an idea of color change using the photo below. On the left is the unexposed product and on the right is the allowable color change during the term of the warranty.   As you can see, PVDF (Kynar500(R) or Hylar5000(R)) resin systems perform much better in the color change department than the SMP system.  The 35-year warranty covers you for 35 years whereas the 45 year warranty actually covers you for 30 years.

kynar vs smpThe bottom line;  understand what’s covered and what is not and don’t be fooled by the # of years.  More is actually less in this case you’ll often make the wrong decision without understanding all of the facts. You may be thinking who cares…in 30 to 35 years I am not going to care what color my roof is….the key is you are not getting the value for what you think you are paying for.  Also keep in mind, warranties are only as good as the companies that stand behind them and most of them are non-transferable from owner to owner.

For more information about paint warranties please visit http://www.drexelmetals.com and make sure you check out our Gold Standard Paint Warranty; which covers labor, replacement materials and is fully transferable for the life of the warranty. It also requires a Drexel Metals Certified Installer to install your roof using approved Drexel Metal products from the roof deck up!

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