They appear regularly on buyer-beware segments of the evening news, homeowners that have had something go wrong with their gutters but when they go to make a claim on the warranty they find that their particular situation isn’t covered. Most people in the market for gutters focus on the gutter system – the type of gutter material, size, gutter profile, colour. If a warranty is included, often they don’t know exactly what it’s for and specifically what it covers. Here are some things you should know about a gutters warranty.
Two Types of Warranties
There are generally two types of warranties offered to a purchaser of a gutter system. One is the manufacturer’s warranty (materials) – a company’s promise to stand behind its product should it be defective in some way. It typically covers the materials used in the gutter installation. In order for someone to make a claim, most manufacturers’ warranties stipulate that the gutter system must be installed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. That’s why it’s important to hire a trustworthy gutter contractor who is certified to install the gutter systems they sell.
It’s important that gutters are installed properly to avoid problems such as overflowing gutters or a flooded basement. The second type of warranty is the labour warranty offered by the gutter installation company installing your new gutters. It ensures if any installation errors were made that they will be covered under the contractor’s labour warranty.
Read the Fine Print
Whichever gutter installation company you hire, you will be required to sign a contract with them. It will outline everything to do with the installation – materials, number of gutter hangers, number of downspouts, etc. It will also include any warranties that come with your gutter system. Check to see if both materials and labour warranties are included – contractors can offer one or the other or both.
Sometimes gutter installation contractors give you a choice of the length of coverage – for example, they might offer a 5-year or 10-year labour (installation) warranty. The same goes for manufacturers’ warranties: different companies might offer a 5-year warranty that is part of the installation, while a lifetime warranty can be purchased at an additional cost.
In addition to reading the contract you sign, also read any warranties, taking note of what is and is not included.
Concerning a manufacturer’s warranty, certain conditions might need to be met in order to keep the warranty valid. In order for the warranty to be current, the manufacturer may require you to perform some kind of regular maintenance. The reverse is true as well: there may be things you do that will void a manufacturer’s warranty such as leaning a ladder against aluminum gutters.