National Roofing Legal Resource Center

Contract provision protects reroofing contractor from liability for inadequate drainage design

When an intense storm causes a large amount of rain to fall in a short amount of time, substantial losses such as deck and roof collapse can occur as a result of extensive water accumulation on the roof and inadequate drainage. Because there often is no designer or mechanical engineer involved in a reroofing project, the owner may try to hold you, the roofing contractor, responsible. A roofing contractor’s contract should contain a provision, such as the one below, which disclaims liability for damage caused by deficiencies in the drainage design of the roof. This provision places the onus on the owner to evaluate the adequacy of the existing drainage and any effect the proposed reroofing work may have on the drainage capabilities of the roof before the roofing contractor begins its work. Additionally, this provision expressly states the roofing contractor is not responsible for making these determinations, ensuring the owner cannot later claim such decisions fell within the scope of the roofing contractor's work.

Drainage: Roofing Contractor shall not be liable for any claims or damages arising from or related to deficiencies in drainage. It is the Customer's responsibility to retain a licensed architect or mechanical engineer to determine and evaluate the drainage design and compliance with existing plumbing codes, including potential need for additional drains, scuppers or overflow drains, prior to commencement of re-roofing. Roofing Contractor's work does not include evaluation of code compliance, existing drainage, proper location or size of roof drains, or adequacy of drainage.


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