In short, having a warranty is important because life is hard on windows and doors! They are the first line of defense against all damaging weather, from high winds to rapid temperature shifts.
Moreover, they are major purchases and should last for decades. A warranty shows that a manufacturer is confident in their product’s ability to stand up to weather stress for a long enough time to justify its cost.
A good manufacturer should provide the following coverage:
- Lifetime Coverage for Manufacturing Defects
Vinyl windows should be strong enough to last a lifetime. A warranty should provide coverage against defects for as long as you live in the property.
- Lifetime Coverage for Preventable Wear
A properly manufactured window should never show certain kinds of wear. A warranty should protect against:
- Separation of the welds in metal components
- Failure of any kind in the window machinery
- Chips, cracks, fading, warping, blistering, or de-lamination of the PVC
- Filminess or cloudiness inside the windows or between the panes
- Breakage caused by weather
- Damage to screens
- Coverage for Insulation
A window should be guaranteed to keep its insulated value for at least 10 years.
Although manufacturers cannot usually provide lifetime coverage, as even slight failures in the caulking can cause a decrease in insulation, they should be confident to provide comprehensive coverage for a good length of time.
- Coverage for Locks and Other Door Mechanisms
Due to rust, it is difficult to provide lifetime warranties on door mechanisms, like hinges, automatic openers, and locks.
Still, a reputable company should cover these parts against failure for at least 10 years.
- Minor Warping of Wood
Unlike PVC, exterior wood cannot usually be guaranteed for life. It can, though, be protected against warping for 10 years. The manufacturer should have used a finish or a laminate to protect against water damage and physical stresses for at least that long, and should put it in writing.
Warranties and Confidence
A warranty is a promise that the manufacturer has confidence in the product they’re selling. This means that a comprehensive warranty is key to peace of mind for the consumer. If you are buying from a company with a warranty, you know you have made a good choice.