A systematic approach to a commercial roof installation is the key to successful results. Property owners want to protect their buildings in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible.
The project’s potential for success greatly increases if property owners and managers ask the right questions during the selection process.
Finally, to protect and preserve a new roof system, it is important to provide for follow-up inspections and routine roof maintenance. Consider these steps to taking a more systematic approach to your roof replacement.
1. Establish Your Budget
When you’re establishing a budget for commercial roof work, it is always important to consider both short-term and long-term costs. An energy-efficient roof that costs a little more in the short-term might save you thousands of dollars in energy costs in the long run.
When the cost of borrowed funds is relatively low, amortizing the expense of a high-quality commercial roof installation over its projected lifespan may be the most cost-effective approach.
Budget considerations may influence the decision to authorize temporary repairs instead, which will keep leaks at bay until a full roof replacement is possible. Owners and managers should be sure to consider the cumulative costs of repairs when a new installation is delayed.
2. Do Your Homework
Develop a list of roofing contractors by doing your due diligence. Confer with business associates in the area to find out which commercial roofing contractors they use. Talk to local building supply distributors who serve commercial contractors.
Since suppliers work with contractors on a regular basis, they often get a good idea of which ones are most capable. Check out ratings and reviews on Angie’s List, Google, Yelp and other online review sites. Any reputable roofer will also gladly offer you references upon request.
It is ideal to discuss your potential roofing needs with a variety of commercial roofers. Sometimes, you’ll find that one contractor simply recommends stopgap repairs, while another suggests more work than is actually required.
The best way to get clarity is to seek estimates until a consensus emerges as to the best course of action. After you’ve reached a decision, ask two to three contractors to prepare estimates using the same set of specs.
3. Ask the Right Questions
You’ll improve your chances of finding the right roofing specialist for the job if you ask the right questions. Here are some key questions you’ll want to ask prospective roofers:
How many years of commercial roofing experience do you have?
A qualified roofing company should bring years of specialized commercial experience to your project. Just as you wouldn’t want an automotive technician working on a semi, you don’t want a strictly residential roofer trying to tackle a commercial flat roof replacement. Since every commercial roof is unique, those with a wealth of relevant experience are better positioned to solve your one-of-a-kind roofing issues.
Do you use your own employees or do you sub out the work?
Complex commercial roofing systems rely heavily on proper installation. Close supervision of highly trained, safety-conscious employees is important during the weeks or months the project requires. You want a dedicated crew of specialized employees ready to see the installation through to proper completion.
Do you offer a contractor warranty in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty?
Although the warranty the manufacturer provides is usually quite extensive, a contractor’s warranty offers added peace of mind. It also makes a statement about the roofing contractor’s willingness to stand behind their work.
Can you handle unique roofing challenges?
A roofing contractor’s ability to find customized solutions to unique and complex roofing issues sets them apart from those that only offer standardized roofing solutions. A commercial roofing contractor needs to be comfortable with everything from traditional, century-old structures to custom-designed, modern structures. A highly experienced commercial roofer aware of the latest developments in roofing materials and technology is often an ideal choice.
Do you have proper insurance, and are you licensed?
It is important to verify that everyone is properly covered by general liability and workers’ compensation insurance, including the crew working on your roof. Your roofing company should also confirm that licenses are up-to-date. Roofing contractors must be properly licensed by the state.
Are you certified by any major roofing manufacturers?
Major roofing manufacturers want skilled, experienced roofing contractors to install their products. Proper installations reduce their warranty exposure and build their brands. Top companies like CertainTeed, GAF and Owens Corning certify a select group of contractors to install their commercial roofing systems.
4. Protect Your Investment
The last question worth asking is “Do you offer a maintenance program to help protect my new commercial roof installation?” A maintenance program with annual or semiannual roof inspections puts your substantial investment in the hands of roofing professionals with whom you’ve already established a business relationship.
Routine, periodic inspections reveal punctures and other damage from storms or other contractors working on the roof. Timely repairs prevent more extensive damage over time.
Participation in a maintenance program also protects the warranty provided by the roofing manufacturer. You’ll have debris removed from drains and other key areas to minimize standing water.
Contact Us Today
CRS is a full-service commercial roofing contractor capable of addressing all of your roofing requirements, from routine inspections to complete roof replacements. We’ve served businesses across the tri-state area since the 1970s and specialize in customizing roof systems to address the unique requirements of our valued clients.