We regularly hear complaints from specifiers and owners of buildings about the guarantees issued within the cladding industry. Generally, purchasers refer to a guaranty whereas manufacturers and contractors refer to warranties. Whilst there may be a difference in law, for the purpose of this article they are seen as being synonymous.
The intent of a warranty is twofold, firstly it is intended to create a level of trust in a product and secondly to differentiate a product from others in the market place. Unfortunately, there is not always accord between the purchaser’s expectations and the anticipated performance offered for a product. It is naïve to believe that a product will be able to withstand everything nature and mankind can inflict upon it. Remember the greater the expectations the greater the price.
Rather match the product performance requirements to the anticipated working life, with minimum maintenance, of the building in both the known macro and microenvironments. Do not assume you will automatically qualify for the maximum period proffered in the marketing literature (every warranty has qualifications/exclusions) and above all make sure you have detailed all aspects you expect to be covered.
Most reputable manufacturers of coil provide a service whereby an application can be made for a provisional warranty prior to the tender stage which affords a purchaser the opportunity to ensure all expectations are covered and to understand the conditions and extent of the cover particularly in regard to fading and delamination of coatings i.e. read the fine print.
An aspect not fully understood by purchasers is that in the case of cladding there is not a single all-encompassing warranty. There are in fact three individual warranties. The manufacturer of the base material warrants the durability of the protective coating whereas the profiler warrants the structural performance of the cladding system and the installer warrants the cladding system has been installed in accordance with the profiler’s requirements and that it provides a waterproof envelope. All three may not necessarily have the same duration.
It is important to ensure that all warranties are in the name of the owner.