A warranty is a written guarantee from the manufacturer promising to repair or replace a purchased product within a specified period of time if necessary. The vaguest part of this definition is the term “if necessary.” Another key term is “within a specified period of time.”
In other words, a warranty is not necessarily for the lifetime of the product nor does it generally cover every issue. If you want to know what is under warranty and for how long, you need to review the warranty statement that came with the product.
However, there are generalities and commonalities among warranties for steel buildings. Let’s dig into those and then have a look at what Whirlwind Steel warranties cover.
How warranties work
A warranty spells out the exact parts of a product that are covered, for how long and under what conditions. For example:
- Car warranties may cover everything from bumper to bumper while others only warranty the drive train.
- Warranties for complex products may differ in time and coverage for certain portions of the product.
- A warranty may only cover a specific condition, such as leakage, but not aesthetic issues.
A one-year warranty on a steel building, which is expected to last for a decade or more, may be passed on by the seller from the manufacturer and is unlikely to be worth much. Keep in mind that the manufacturer issuing the warranty has the responsibility for performing repair or replacement. If the manufacturer is not trustworthy, then the warranty may not be either.
Many warranties require activation, meaning you, as the building owner, are responsible for notifying the metal building manufacturer of your purchase within a set amount of time. Activation provides the “start date” for the manufacturer’s warranty coverage and is typically performed by mailing a preprinted card that comes with the building documents.
If the activation does not arrive within the specified time or is never sent, then the manufacturer is not necessarily obligated to cover your metal building under warranty. Other exclusions may apply.
- Warranties are often not transferable to a new owner; an owner who was not responsible for the construction may not have as much stake in maintaining it. Also, the paperwork for making a change of ownership is not worth the time and effort.
- Warranties do not cover damage from natural disasters; you should have insurance to cover such issues.
- Many manufacturers will not warranty damage caused by something outside the control of the manufacturer. For example, if you make an alteration to your steel building - without consulting the manufacturer - that is outside the specifications in the plans and drawings, you may void the warranty.
- Some warranties are limited geographically, perhaps to the country of the manufacturer or regions where the manufacturer has facilities.
- Most warranties will not cover engineering design failures stemming from incorrect information provided to the manufacturer for fabrication.
- Warranty claims may not be honored unless they are submitted by the owner or a duly appointed representative.
- You may be required to send a claim within a certain period of time after the product failure has occurred.
- All claims must be in writing, whether on physical paper or electronic form. As with any other legal contract, a verbal claim does not count.
Questions to ask about a steel building and component warranties
You can learn more about your building warranty by asking a few questions.
- How long has the company (manufacturer) been in business?
- How long is the warranty?
- Is the company financially sound?
- Is the warranty a “pass through” from a vendor to the manufacturer?
- Request sample copies of the manufacturer’s warranties.
A final point we want to make is this: you should never be asked to pay extra for a warranty. If the manufacturer will not warranty its product without an additional fee, you would be better off looking for another manufacturer. There is, however, an additional fee for the optional weathertightness warranties throughout the metal building industry.
Whirlwind Steel warranties
Whirlwind Steel offers warranties on its products. What is covered, for how long, and under what conditions depends on the system or component under warranty.
25-year acrylic-coated GALVALUME(R) finish limited warranty
The 25-year warranty provides 25-year coverage for acrylic-coated GALVALUME including GALVALUME PLUS(R), ACRYLUME(R), or ZINCALUME(R). It must have a coating weight of AZ55, used for unpainted exterior building roofing and siding panels and trim.
- Warrants the material when it is exposed to normal atmospheric conditions.
- Warrants against corrosion, structural failure, perforation or rupture.
- Does not apply to buildings exposed to salt-water environments, repeated spraying of salt or fresh water or installed in high humidity, sand, dirt or grease.
- Claims must be made within 30 days of discovery of a suspected defect.
- Claim must be accompanied by specified supporting documentation.
40-year paint finish limited warranty
The warranty provides 40-year coverage for exterior full coat siliconized modified polyester (SMP) and straight polyester (SP) colors for exterior building panels and trim. The coating must be applied over prime quality GALVALUME(R) or hot-dipped G90 Galvanized coated steel.
- Warrants the paint coating will not peel, crack or flake noticeably.
- Vertical installations will not chalk or change color within specified limits.
- Only covers weathering, not other causes of degradation such as scratching, abuse, or used in a manner not originally intended.
- Claims must be made in writing within 30 days after the discovery of a suspected defect in the coating.
- Claims must be accompanied by specified supporting documentation.
35-year warranty for Kynar 500(R) colors
Kynar 500 is a specific exterior full coat for building panels and trim. It must be applied over GALVALUME or Hot-dipped G90 Galvanized coated steel.
- Warrants against peeling, cracking, checking or flaking visible at a reasonable distance.
- Covers a certain degree of color change or chalk.
- Does not apply to buildings installed in a saltwater (marine) environment or goods that have been damaged in transit or storage.
- Claims, along with required supporting documentation, must be made within 30 days of discovery of the defect.
Optional Premium and Limited weathertightness warranties for particular roof systems
Both warranties only cover the roof and only warrant against leaking.
- The Limited and Premium warranties are only valid if the installation of the roof was performed according to the manufacturer’s standard details and drawings approved by the manufacturer before the roof is installed.
- The Limited warranty has a set dollar amount for coverage of any leak repairs over the term of the warranty.
- The Premium warranty requires the installer to be trained and certified by Whirlwind Steel and there is no dollar limit on the cost of leak repairs over the term of the warranty.
Repair costs for each type warranty are borne by Whirlwind Steel with a valid claim. Other items of note:
- Lasts for 20 years
- Non-transferable to a new owner
- Requires activation within 90 days of installation
- Claims must be submitted within 30 days of suspected leak
Check with a sales consultant for assistance with warranty terms and conditions.
Whirlwind Steel stands firmly behind its warranties. We have been in business for more than 60 years and we don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. Be sure to read any warranty materials you receive for your products, whether from us or another manufacturer, so you know exactly what is covered.