Cladding products are designed to provide an aesthetic and protective cover to the building. When it comes to selecting cladding for building and construction projects, key considerations for architecture and construction professionals include thermal insulation, weather resistance, fire safety, durability and visual appeal.
One aspect that is often overlooked, however, is the warranty on the cladding product. Warranty is an important factor since your choice of cladding is a long-term decision.
Here are the 6 questions you should ask about cladding warranties when selecting cladding products for your building project.
1. Who is providing my warranty?
There are many cladding products on the market where the local agent or distributor provides the warranty. However, in the event they go out of business, change their business name or discontinue cladding lines in future, your warranty may not be of any value and you cannot make a claim.
Insist on a manufacturer’s warranty. This should include the actual warranty as well as all the details of the manufacturer, so you know who to pursue if you need to make a claim.
2. Where does my warranty come from?
Before selecting your cladding product, find out if the manufacturer has the reputation of standing behind their products and resolving their customers’ problems. A warranty from such a manufacturer will serve you well in the long run.
All manufacturers have problems from time to time but the manufacturers you want to deal with are the ones who stand behind their products, and their agents and distributors, and ultimately, stand beside you if there is ever a problem.
3. What does my warranty include and exclude?
Read the fine print on your warranty document. Make sure your warranty does not include a number of exemption clauses – in the event of a problem, these clauses can be used by the manufacturer to deny the claim.
Take the time to read the warranty in its entirety, so that you’re not caught unawares about its limitations.
4. Do I need to keep records of cleaning and maintenance of panels to maintain my warranty?
Most warranties will insist on you keeping records of your cleaning and maintenance procedures for the life of the warranty. If this is not done, your warranty can be voided.
However, not all manufacturers insist on this clause, but you should do your homework on this issue and comply accordingly.
5. Do the products I am using have 100% traceability?
All cladding products should have permanent identification marking (not stickers) on their products so that they can be 100% traceable back through the production process (as referenced by the new Australian Standard 5344).
Unfortunately, there are many products sold in the Australian market that have not adopted this basic ‘good practice’ of manufacturing. With 100% traceability, the manufacturer can identify any issues they may have with the supplied product, making it easier for the customer to make a claim in the event of a problem.
6. Should I get a sample copy of the warranty before I place my order?
Yes, you should ask to see a copy of the ‘typical’ warranty document that will be available at the end of your project. You also have the right to raise any questions or concerns you may have with this document prior to order placement.
Do not accept an agent’s or distributor’s warranty – it is potentially worthless when it comes to making a claim. Insist on a Manufacturer’s Warranty and get complete details about the manufacturer before you place any orders.
How to ensure you’re getting the right warranty
If you have concerns about cladding warranties when making a purchase, it’s best to choose a trusted and well-established supplier of cladding products. Network Architectural provides a large range of cladding products, all backed by large and reputable companies who provide manufacturer warranties.