Whether you’re shopping for a professional exterior painting contractor to paint your home or the best exterior paint to do-it-yourself, a major concern for homeowners is the painting warranty. What happens if the paint peels? If it blisters? If the finish is uneven and streaky? If you own a home, you know you’re always spending on something: replacing this and fixing that. In this never-ending cycle of home expenses, a warranty means peace of mind. It makes sense, then, to look for the painting warranty that promises the longest product life. But how do you know if the warranty is actually reliable and not full of loopholes? The truth is, most warranty claims are used to entice you into buying and are rarely fulfilled. As Consumer Report flatly states, “you shouldn’t expect a team of uniformed pros to arrive at your house if the paint or stain you used fails early.”
Whether you’re doing-it-yourself or hiring a painting contractor to paint your house for you, we put together the info you need to know in order to spot a genuine painting warranty from an empty sales tactic.
What “lifetime” really means
When it comes to off-the-shelf exterior latex paint, the duration of the warranty isn’t necessarily an indication of how long the paint job will actually last. Weird, right? A Consumer Reports test revealed that in general, the best outdoor paints and stains used on siding usually last 9 years before requiring repainting or maintenance, regardless of offering a lifetime warranty! If you take a look at the Limited Lifetime Warranties of leading paint manufacturers Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, lifetime is defined as “the period beginning on the date that you purchased the coating and continuing as long as you own such Home.” And you guessed it, these warranties are not transferable to new property owners.
Rule #1: a lifetime warranty doesn’t necessarily mean a life-long paint job. 9 years is pretty good, but it’s not a lifetime. When selecting an exterior paint, it’s best to read up on real-world testing for application and durability instead of relying on the warranty as an indicator of how long the paint film will last.
How Paint Manufacturers Avoid Paying
When you read the fine print on most paint warranties, you’ll quickly notice statements like, “when used in accordance with the label instructions,” or “shall not apply to any defect or damage resulting from improper surface preparation… or application.” These sneaky statements usually make up what’s called the Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Put simply, good luck to you or your contractor to prove that not only was the surface prepped properly, but that the paint was also applied properly… AND during the specified weather conditions as recommended on the label! If you or your contractor are amongst the successful few to prove this, consider yourself pretty lucky, as many paint manufacturers will go to great lengths to prove a defect was caused by improper paint prep or application and not the product itself. Finally, you’ll also realize that most warranties only cover the cost of the paint itself. No labour costs.
The Limitations of the Popular Two-Year Limited Warranty
Now, let’s take a look at some of the lingo in the standard two-year limited warranty that many leading exterior painting contractors provide. At first glance, it seems like you’re getting a pretty good deal. When you look at what the warranty doesn’t cover, however, you start to realize that the coverage of the warranty begins to fade. These warranties typically don’t cover damage due to ordinary wear and year, extreme weather conditions (hello Canadian weather) and fading and discoloration are practically creatures of fiction in most painting warranties.
Product Warranty Versus Service Warranty
It’s important to be aware of the difference between a product warranty and a service warranty when it comes to house painting, as one implies covering some additional costs. A product warranty means you’ll merely be provided with the paint, and the rest of the expense (the more expensive labour cost) is still on you. A service warranty implies that the application of the paint will be included. When you receive your painting contract, take a look at the back and check exactly what type of warranty is covering your project.
You should also be aware of sub-contractors. If your exterior painting contractor subcontracts, they might not warranty those services, let alone the other pitfalls that come from such an arrangement.
What is a Good Warranty?
A good warranty should CLEARLY outline the paint failures that are covered and what the company will do to fix them. In our opinion, it shouldn’t make it nearly impossible for consumers to actually exercise their rights nor shift liability to external factors that are difficult to measure.
We built our warranty with our customers in mind. Instead of creating hurdles, we removed the hassles. And we’re able to do this because we cut out ALL middlemen and we control the entire painting process: from paint formulation to application™. Unlike most conventional house painters, we formulate our own coatings in our in-house paint lab. We don’t use off-the-shelf products, so we’re not bound to the warranties of a separate paint manufacturer. And unlike manufacturers who just make paint, we also apply it, so our customers don’t have to worry about the “bad application” song and dance.
The Spray-Net Warranty:
- We cover the cost of product and labour: there are no expenses for our customers to cover.
- We offer a 15-year warranty against peeling, without any weather conditions attached: since we’ve formulated a line of innovative coatings that can be adjusted to real-time weather conditions on-site to ensure optimal application and adhesion, there’s no need to include the limitation of weather in our warranty. Alongside peeling, our warranty also covers blistering and cracking.
- We offer a 10-year warranty against premature/excessive fading and discoloration: depending on the intensity and duration of sun exposure to an exterior surface, some fading over the years should naturally be expected. But if your dark brown garage door starts to look more pink than brown after just 5 years, that’s not normal fading. To prevent excessive fading and to prolong the general fade resistance of our coatings, we use superior UV resistant, industrial-grade resins and inorganic pigments. Unlike conventional latex paint, our coatings contain a much higher quantity of resins. The job of a resin is to encapsulate or “hug and protect” the pigments to prevent them from fading. Resins are pretty expensive, but the less resins in a coating, the more fading you’ll see.
Have any questions on our warranty or services? Feel free to ask one of our experts during your at-home consultation. Just send us your information by filling out the details below and we’ll contact you shortly to set up your appointment with one of our experts!
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