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The 5 Most Important Decking Product Warranty Questions
There are more deck building products on the market than ever before in the entire history of building decks which can make selecting the right product for your project a bit of a challenge. Of the variety of factors to consider when deciding what decking products to choose, one of the most important considerations is product warranty.
Most respected manufacturers stand behind their product and are willing to provide a warranty with new purchases. But what does that warranty really guarantee? Here are the top 5 questions you should be asking about the product’s warranty when you are selecting your decking products:
#1 – How long is the warranty valid?
This is a no-brainer for most people and the automatic first question, however, depending on your circumstances; you might want to get a few more details. Is the warranty valid from purchase date or installation date? While usually there is not much of a difference, in some large projects where a missing permit can delay completion by months, this may be something to be aware of.
Duradek’s warranty on our Ultra PVC Membranes is 15 years for leaking due to a manufacturing defect and is valid from the date of installation (reportedly, many homeowners are enjoying the product for twice as long). An important point to note is that Duradek has been around for 45 years…that’s 3 complete warranty cycles so there is no guessing if the company will still around to stand by their warranty.
#2 – What does the warranty cover?
With building products, it is not unusual for the function of an item and its appearance to be considered separately. It is important to be aware if your warranty covers the integrity of the product only, or if it covers appearance (see item #3) and how well the product performs (see item #4).
Duradek’s warranty offers independent terms for appearance and workmanship.
#3 – Does the product have a separate appearance warranty; and if so, does it have the same terms as the product’s performance warranty?
Often with building products, the warranty does not include aesthetics and only honors performance. If there is an appearance warranty, it is not necessarily for the same duration as the performance guarantee. For example, the image below shows the result of accelerated weather testing of a decking membrane that has been promoting their scuff resistant clear coat tested side by side with Duradek Ultra Cork.
Obviously, if the deck material on the left had been installed on your home and turned this dark over time from natural sunlight as the testing emulated, you would want it to be replaced. As far as our research shows, this particular manufacturer does not offer an appearance warranty at all, and you may find yourself in a long debate or simply replacing the product entirely at your cost.
Duradek’s warranty terms include a 5-year warranty on the product’s appearance for our 60 mil Ultra vinyl.
#4 – Is there a separate workmanship warranty?
While a product can be tested for performance in a number of ways, the truest test of all is its success in its intended application. When it comes to waterproofing, no matter how great a product is, if it is not installed with consideration to all of the intricate details involved in proper waterproofing techniques, it is very difficult to guarantee performance.
Duradek is installed only by trained and authorized installers who have completed Duradek’s training in proper waterproofing details and have access to Duradek’s technical staff for support if needed. In addition to the product and appearance warranty offered by the Manufacturer, Duradek installers offer their own separate Workmanship Warranty. While Duradek ensures all installers are skilled in the proper application of PVC membranes, it is still important to check references and past projects when selecting your contractor.
#5 – Are there limitations or restrictions to the product’s warranty?
Does the manufacturer limit the warranty to everything imaginable so that you aren’t really getting a warranty worth the paper it is printed on? Phrases that include “subject to”, “with the exception of”, “when used with” or “in the event of” should be read very carefully as you might find yourself in a circle of restrictions that make a warranty claim virtually impossible. Sometimes you may even see the same warranty present contradictory phrases where the “limited to” and “including but not limited to” clauses leave you scratching your head on what the manufacturer is willing to guarantee. While most warranties will not cover damages resulting from improper maintenance or Acts of God, make sure you are getting one that actually backs up the product’s performance.
Duradek Ultra is a proven, reliable product and the Duradek warranty backs that up. While there are certainly realistic limitations as with any warranty, Duradek lays them out in a straight forward manner so that homeowners with a Duradek vinyl deck know what the product expectations are, what the installing contractor is responsible for and what the homeowner’s responsibilities are.
After 45 Years in Business, Duradek Knows its Warranty Cycle
Not only is Duradek the original vinyl deck membrane that has been around for decades, but it has been produced consistently by the same manufacturer and maintained by the same ownership.
Sometimes if the manufacturer of a product has had a change in ownership, the warranty terms offered through the previous owner is not legally binding to the new owner, even if the product in question retains the same brand name. This issue of manufacturer warranties far exceeding proven lifecycles has come up with new product innovations that have not fully matured through their infancy stage such as some composite decking products.
Make sure you look for the “Duradek’ stamp on the product you choose, and the best way to ensure this is to select one of Duradek’s authorized dealers.