GUARANTEES – WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR?
18 Jun, 2021
In partnership with:: TATA STEEL
A guarantee is one of the most powerful commitments that a business can make to demonstrate confidence in their products’ performance. This article explores what makes a good guarantee and the importance of understanding what you are getting from it.
Nowadays, we see guarantees everywhere: they are offered on items from washing machines to cars and building services. They are often used to help boost customer confidence in a product or service and provide reassurance that, should a purchase not be of the specified quality, the customer will be compensated accordingly, whether by the provision of repairs or a replacement.
But do you actually understand the detail behind the formal assurance? Guarantees may often be presented without a thorough explanation of the accompanying terms and conditions. As a result, it can be common for people to not always fully understand the terms of their guarantee and may be fooled into thinking that they are covered for every eventuality.
As such, it is important that you understand exactly what the manufacturer’s guarantee is offering – especially when choosing pre-finished steel products and some important considerations are given below.
Is annual inspection mandatory? Indeed, for many building owners, determining whether the products used on their roof or wall system can be fully rectified within the limit of their guarantee can be a frustrating and laborious task. What should be a simple process can be complicated by the fact that some product guarantees could be invalidated, without upholding certain obligations. For example, several manufacturer’s require evidence of regular, official maintenance checks and building inspections, in order for the guarantee to be effective in the event of a claim. If a single inspection is missed, this can result in the whole guarantee being nullified.
Who is the guarantee actually with? Building owners can sometimes face confusion over who their claim actually lies with. This is because the building product guarantee can often be passed down through the contractual chain from manufacturer to contractor to building owner, each with their own set of terms and conditions, meaning that in the event of a claim the owner would have to navigate back through to the origins of the supply chain.
What is actually covered? Guarantees can also contain numerous limitations and restrictions. Specifiers should therefore ensure that they are liaising with a reputable manufacturer that offers an extensive, simple and easy-to-understand guarantee, without any hidden conditions or restrictions. This will provide a sense of security for themselves and their clients and ensure that both the project that they are looking to build, and the environment that it is in, is covered by the guarantee.
What is so good about the Confidex® Guarantee? The Confidex® Guarantee offered by Tata Steel has a reputation as being one of the most comprehensive guarantees for pre-finished steel products in Europe. Launched in 1992, Confidex® continues to provide reassurance for Tata Steel’s Colorcoat® branded pre-finished steel products, used in industrial and commercial roof and wall cladding applications, providing both the supply chain and building owner with peace of mind.
Unlike alternative guarantees, Confidex® does not require regular inspection or maintenance in order to validate the guarantee. It is only suggested that good practice would be to check the cladding occasionally, in keeping with the local environment.
Furthermore, the Confidex® Guarantee provides complete clarity in the unlikely event of a product failure, as the guarantee is issued directly to the building owner and therefore the legally binding contract is with Tata Steel themselves, thus avoiding the complications of an extended contractual chain.
The Confidex® Guarantee also includes flashings, as well as roofs and walls, provided it uses the same products and are all registered at the same time– an assurance that is not always included in other guarantees. In addition to this, Confidex® covers factory cut edges for the entirety of the guarantee period.
A further restriction that may be imposed on some guarantees could be the building location. For example, coastal environments are known to be highly damaging to steel due to the exposure to both bad weather and salt spray. As a result, some guarantees will classify a coastal environment as a building that is within 3km from the coast. In comparison, Confidex® offers a more representative classification with a coastal environment being defined as, a building within 1km from a saltwater coast.
Another assurance of the Confidex® Guarantee that other guarantees may not offer is that full remedial action will be taken in the unlikely case of a failure, regardless of when during the guarantee period the claim is made. For example, if either a Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® or a Colorcoat Prisma® product fails in the 39th year of a 40-year guarantee, Tata Steel would arrange the full rectification process.
Since its launch almost 30 years ago, over 50,000 registrations for the Confidex® Guarantee have been made across Europe, a sure indication of its reputation within the construction market. Building owners simply need to complete a short online form to register, within 3 months of the building completion date.
It is undeniable that building product guarantees are an important feature of the industry, providing construction stakeholders in particular building owners with valuable peace of mind and assurance that the products they have installed are of high-quality, with a long lifespan and enduring performance.
So, guarantees – what are they good for? Well this will really depend on the detail. It could be absolutely nothing, or it could save a significant amount of money if something were to go wrong. Delve into the detail of the guarantee, make sure you understand what the manufacturer is promising.
Colorcoat, Colorcoat Prisma and Galvalloy are trademarks of Tata Steel UK Limited
Isopan is constantly improving for quality and innovation in its solutions, which is why the partnership using Colorcoat Prisma® and Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® pre-finished steel from Tata Steel ensures exceptional performance and resistance against corrosion for building envelope applications.
Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® can be used for roofing products such as ISOCOP, ISOFIRE ROOF and ISOFIRE ROOF FONO. The Confidex® Guarantee which is direct from Tata Steel to the building owner for Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® ensures the integrity of the product for up to 30 years for the weatherside of industrial and commercial buildings.
Colorcoat Prisma® is a perfect solution for facade applications used in systems with either a PIR core (ISOPARETE, ISOBOX and ISOFROZEN) or mineral wool insulation (ISOFIRE WALL, ISOFIRE WALL FONO and ISOFIRE WALL PLISSE'). Another advantage of Colorcoat Prisma® is the Confidex® Guarantee, which guarantees the pre-finished steel product for up to 30 years.