- What does it mean for a homeowner or customer?
- Why so many exceptions in written warranties?
These are some good questions one should ask when companies offer warranties.
First I would like to state that any reputable painting contractor or manufacture should believe enough in their work and product to stand behind it or back it up. Our world is much more impersonal than when I was young and times have changed so a smile, handshake and a promise don't mean much anymore. No one feels secure unless everything is in writing. So when we sit down to write out a "Promise" or "Agreement" in the form of a warranty with our lawyers words need to be used such as "Limited", "Express", and "In Lieu Of". These words are necessary in order to "limit the liability" of the service provider or manufacturer.
Most warranties will have many exceptions or loopholes because in our current "sue happy" world people will hold providers responsible for unreasonable extensions of problems associated with their service or product. Especially if "deep pockets" are perceived.
That being said, a painting warranty or guarantee should simply mean if the service provider produced poor workmanship resulting in a failure (premature peeling, flaking or loss of adhesion) of the paint coating they should come back and fix it. The key words here are "poor workmanship" and "premature".
I have known a few paint chemist in my time and one used to say to me "you want a guarantee? I guarantee that if water gets behind the coating it will peel."
Mother nature is far more powerful of a force than the human brain and we cannot offer any defense that can defeat nature. we can only hold off the inevitable for a while. Nature is patient and has all the time in the world to destroy anything we engineer.
Some companies offer "Lifetime" or "7 year" or "Extended" warranties sometimes at a premium price. So what they are doing is building in the maintenance agreement into the contract and playing the law of averages that either the house will be sold or customer will not enforce the agreement after a few years when problems start to show up - and they will show up.
A realistic warranty will cover vertical substrates only for 2-3 years and exclude tornadoes, hail, trees or other disasters that the coating was never intended to withstand.
So why do companies offer a warranty at all?
Answer- SALES- It makes the customer feel more secure in their purchase.
In my company I tell people if you have any problems in the next 4 years call me. If it is a result of our misapplication or poor prep we will take care of it at no charge. Sometimes in the spirit of good will we will fix it for free even if it wasn't our responsibility. Please see our " Limited 4 Year Warranty Page". So! Beware of smooth slick salesmen offering warranties that sound like a lifetime answer to all of your painting problems. "knowledge is power".
Jay - Founder of Adirondack Painting