3 Ways to Prioritize Safety During School Roofing Projects

When it comes to constructing or renovating a school, safety is often the first and greatest priority. Parents want the peace of mind that their children are spending their day in a building that is as safe as possible. The school system and administrators also have a duty to protect the students, educators, and support staff from workplace hazards. However, what isn’t typically top of mind is the roofing system.

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has had the opportunity to work as the roofing contractor for several schools in recent years, including Ensworth SchoolCurrey Ingram Academy, Father Ryan High School, Saint Henry School, and Saint Ann School. And, because June is National Safety Month, we wanted to highlight some specific keys to consider for designing and building a school’s roofing structure.

How to Prioritize Safety for Students with Your School’s Roof

Here are a few things for school administrators, architects, and contractors to keep in mind when it comes to prioritizing safety for a roofing project:

  1. Design and build with safety in mind. While there are various new trends in commercial roofing that could make for an interesting design, it’s important to consider safety first and foremost. When it comes to roofing, thicker and stronger is better. However, there are several other risks to consider for protecting against damage and potential disaster. For example, how water is kept out during the construction project is critical. Schools should consult with a qualified roofing professional to not only identify the standards and codes that apply to their facilities, but they should also understand how to prioritize safety during the construction process.
  2. Maximize on-site safety during the roofing project. Roofing projects can be a dangerous undertaking, especially if people are present. Before any work begins, it is necessary to have some serious discussions about safety. For example, we often encourage that a roofing project takes place when students aren’t present. In addition to some of the obvious ways to prioritize safety, there are numerous ways schools can prioritize on-site safety during a roofing project.
  3. Be proactive about planning for potential disaster. Even if you choose to build the safest roof possible, no one can control unforeseen circumstances and natural disasters. A committed roofing partner can help schools establish a disaster response plan to minimize roof damage in the event of a natural disaster. They can also provide preventative maintenance to guard against the weather damage from wind, hail, rain or ice and snow.

When it comes to constructing or renovating a school, architects and contractors make every effort possible to make sure the project meets or surpasses all building code requirements. The roof should be at the top (no pun intended) of that list.

To learn more about our safety principles and practices, our services, or our commercial roofing capabilities for schools, contact us today!

How to Choose the Right Commercial Roofing Partner in Huntsville

No matter the location, when commercial roofing needs arise, customers want a commercial roofing partner that can provide cost-effective and full-service roofing solutions with a level of depth found in reporting, accessibility in the case of emergencies and leaks, as well as quality and reliable roof-management service. From construction to fabrication to service, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has a trusted reputation of being more than just a commercial roofing contractor. Additionally, with more than 60 years of history and experience, the Maxell team takes responsibility seriously.

From a local business that originally served Middle Tennessee, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. officially expanded to Northern Alabama in 2010. With the opening of a satellite office in Huntsville, Alabama, Maxwell’s team serves the commercial roofing demands of the Northern Alabama region and has a highly-regarded reputation in the region as an honest and capable commercial roofing and sheet metal contractor.

For those on the search for the best commercial roofing partner in and around Huntsville, Alabama, here’s a look at some of the unique factors within the North Alabama market, as well as key reasons to choose Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. over the competitors.

A Look at the Huntsville Commercial Roofing Market

What’s unique about the Huntsville commercial roofing market? Maxwell Roofing’s Service Account Manager for its Huntsville office says, “There are not a lot of commercial roofing companies in the Northern Alabama area that focus efforts on roof repair nor have service departments. Most of the companies that exist in the region just want to roof or re-roof.” This opens the door of opportunity, allowing Maxwell Roofing to shine, as the company is a full-service partner for the entire lives of their customers’ buildings. As opposed to being a “storm-chaser” roofing company that’s here today and gone tomorrow, Maxwell is a family-run business that trades on its reputation. As a market leader in quality, documentation, and customer service, the acclaimed Maxwell Roofing legacy remains strong in Huntsville and throughout the Mid-South.

Why Choose Maxwell Roofing?

When making the call on which commercial roofing company to partner with in and around Huntsville, Alabama, Mecomber says, “Maxwell’s attention to detail, competitive urgency, professionalism, and detailed reporting process are just a few of the differentiators that make the company stand apart in the Huntsville commercial roofing industry.” Additionally, every Maxwell Roofing team member is a full-time employee, which is something that you don’t often find within the industry. “Even more, Maxwell’s local presence and accessibility is something that means a lot to our customers,” affirms Mecomber. In other words, when you call Maxwell, you get a quick response, which is not always the standard in the commercial roofing business.

Perhaps atop the list of Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s unique differentiators is MAXCare, coined as the most comprehensive roof management program in the industry. Maxwell customers across the Mid-South have affirmed that no other program provides property managers, maintenance supervisors, facility managers, and building owners with more value or a higher level of service, offering cost savings, education, and preventing future unexpected roofing surprises.

Curious to know more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. stands out in the Huntsville and North Alabama commercial roofing market? Contact us today to connect with one of our Huntsville team members!

Maxwell Roofing Kicks Off Summer with Employee Appreciation Event

It’s no secret that Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. loves our employees. Our employees not only work tirelessly each day to exceed customers’ expectations, but they live and breathe the Maxwell Roofing mission, vision, and values. In fact, our company’s legacy maintains its trusted reputation because of our employees’ commitment and excellence in performance.

Get this Party Started

As one of the ways our Maxwell Roofing leadership team shows our gratitude throughout the year, we host the much-anticipated Summer Kick-Off party the Friday before Memorial Day. This year’s celebration was held during lunch hours on May 25, 2018 at the company warehouse (which we’re quickly outgrowing).

“The real purpose of the Maxwell Roofing Summer Kick-Off Party is to rally the entire company together, say thanks, and boost morale as we embark upon the year’s hottest season,” says Kathleen Maxwell, Vice President of Sales. Since summer is typically the busiest season for the Maxwell Roofing team, the Summer Kick-Off Party has also become a positive way to remind employees about safety and the nature of upcoming jobs to keep them engaged. A complimentary lunch is also provided at the party for employees and their families as a way to show appreciation and celebrate their many accomplishments throughout the year.

Here for the Party

With attendance ranging anywhere from around 60 employees plus several accompanying family members, the Summer Kick-Off Party is in its 15th year. The annual celebration began in 2003 as an extension of the company’s yearly Christmas party, which is also a long-standing company tradition. Kathleen explains, “Because of the success and participation of the event, we made the decision 15 years ago to host bi-annual appreciation events, including the Summer Kick-Off Party, and here we are seeing the affirmation of that decision all these years later.”

During the event, Maxwell Roofing’s President, John Maxwell, and the operations team (led by Keith Stiles) also highlights recently completed projects, company and individual accomplishments, as well as upcoming projects, which helps employees get a great overall picture of the collective work being achieved together. Following lunch, the Maxwell leadership team presents fun “swag” to all employees, in addition to holding a raffle for prizes. “We also capture and celebrate the accomplishments of our field crews.  Above all, we want these events to be centered on showing appreciation for our team and crews, highlighting all the many ways they help Maxwell Roofing be successful,” adds Kathleen.

Party On

The Maxwell leadership team’s goal is to keep the celebration brief so that employees can have an early end to their work day. “Not only do we want to celebrate our employees while enjoying a dedicated time of fun together, we also want to show appreciation to their family members, who are in many ways an extended part of our team. Thus, we invite families to the event and encourage employees to take the rest of that work day to spend time at home or however they need,” Kathleen affirms. With a growing team and continued successes, the Maxwell team carries on, looking forward to the many future opportunities to serve customers with excellence and celebrate together along the way.

Curious to know more about the Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. team, company history, or services? Visit our “About” page or contact us today!

Employee Spotlight: John Maxwell

The popular phrase, “never say never,” is something John Maxwell understands well. With no intentions of ever working in the family business, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s president now proudly carries the torch of his family’s business legacy in Middle Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, and Northern Alabama. John’s father, Ken Maxwell, a decorated B-17 Bomber Squadron Commander, started the business as Maxwell-Webster Roofing in 1956 as a Nashville branch of the company he worked for in Knoxville. In 1963, Ken bought the Nashville branch from the former owners and established Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.

Before graduating from Tennessee Technology University in 1976 with a degree in electrical engineering, John worked for the family business during his summer breaks in various roles from helping in the business office to assisting estimators and project managers. Upon graduation, John found himself diving in full-time at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., where he has served for the past 42 years.

From his beginnings as an estimator trainee, John never imagined how his career would evolve during the next six years. In 1982, John’s father fell off a roof, landing on his head and injuring him extensively. Though he recovered substantially, Ken couldn’t continue managing the company, and John took on a general manager role to keep things moving along for Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. In 1986, John formally became the company president and majority stockholder.

“The 80s were tough for Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.,” says John. “With the generational shift in leadership and a compilation of industry changes, we muddled through,” he added. As the commercial roofing industry had been dominated by the old “built-up” tar and gravel style roof, technology gave way to single-ply roofing during the 1980s. The 1990s were more stable for Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., as single-ply roofing gained popularity, and the company was tuned into the growing trend. “The 90s were a decade of growth for Maxwell. We consolidated the company and entered a season of expansion,” affirms John.

In 1993, John hired his brother, Dan, to join the company from the automotive industry as parts/tools designer. Dan is still here today and is one of the owners of the company. In 1997, another stockholder, Keith Stiles, joined Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. with a reputable roofing background in Arkansas. “The three of us have been growing the business ever since,” says John. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has been operating in the same industry and geography, using evolving technologies and practices, to serve the same market for more than 60 years.

“If you’re in an industry that values reliability, it’s hard to look past longevity,” says John. “When somebody has been doing the same thing we’ve been doing for as long as we’ve been doing it, it suggests we’re doing something right,” he affirms. In 2010, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. started a small office in Huntsville, Alabama, where it continues to grow. John explains, “We wanted to bring the same stability and reliability we are committed to in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky into the North Alabama region, and it has proven to be a good decision.”

Today, John is proud that two of his own children, Kathleen and David, have been involved in the family business for several years and that they will carry the business forward to a new generation. “Seeing my children step in and serve in such leadership capacities truly shows our family commitment to the business and the commercial roofing industry,” says John.

Current Role:

As the company president, John’s current role is significantly different than it was at first. “For most of my career, I wasn’t truly a company president. I was more of an operating manager who was involved in business tasks such as sales, project management, general management, and more,” says John. Only in the last few years has John backed away from most of the daily business operations. As he prepares to pass the baton, his main goal is to make sure things run more smoothly than when he took over. “It is now necessary for me to remove myself from being a part of every small company detail. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s growth has lended to the need for a true president who oversees the company’s vision,” says John.

John now has five direct reports and around 75 employees who handle the day-to-day operations, and he tries to be a resource for anything they might need. “I love testifying to our company’s capabilities to current and potential clients who want to know we are both capable and reliable. I get involved in strategic accounts and am still involved in overall administration,” he adds.

Why Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. Stands Out:

“If you look at what we’ve done rather than just what we say, you’ll see who we truly are,” says John. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has been on the same street in Nashville for 62 years. They’ve been considered as a tier-one roofing company and are leaders in the market not by their acclamation but by their results. John explains, “The real competition (the ones who are truly ‘in the business’) does what it takes to be ‘in the business.’ The others are just imitators.” One of Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s core values is professionalism, which is evident to our customers. “Keith told one of our employees once, ‘This is how I feed my family.’ Our work is thatserious, and such a statement is the mark of a professional. The professional takes the challenges of life seriously. The amateur tries everything but doesn’t plant and dedicate his or her life to the vocation. Professionalism requires a high level of confidence. People who want to do business with us do so because we take our work seriously and are confident in our abilities and service,” affirms John.

Personal:

A true Middle Tennessean, John grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, attending the Saint Henry School and Father Ryan High School. Beyond the office, John a genuine family man. John and his wife, Betty Ann, have been married since 1977 and just recently celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary. Together, John and Betty Ann have four children—David, Sarah, Rachel, and Kathleen. They have two grandchildren, Henry and Gilbert, both David’s sons. On occasion, you can find John golfing or exploring the outdoors at Percy Warner Park (which he’s been doing since age 5).

When Is the Right Time for Preventative Roof Maintenance?

You go to the doctor for a checkup. You get the oil changed in your car. But, you completely take for granted the roof over your head.

We get it—preventative maintenance isn’t sexy. Nobody’s pulse speeds up when they hear about commercial roof inspections or flashing repairs. But, if that doesn’t get you going, we can guarantee there is one thing that will make your eyes bulge: The cost of putting a new roof on your facility.

We say this all the time, but it bears repeating: Every roof will need to be replaced at some point. But, if you perform preventative maintenance regularly, you can greatly extend the life of your roof and keep small repair costs from turning into big replacement costs too soon.

What Is Preventative Roof Maintenance?

Before we continue talking about why preventative maintenance is important, let’s define exactly what it is. Preventative roof maintenance includes inspecting your roof regularly and performing pro-active services before they become large issues, causing costly repairs. Essentially, preventative maintenance is checking on the health of your roof regularly and providing timely tune-ups when needed to give your roof a healthier and longer life.

Can Preventative Roof Maintenance Save Money?

So, you may be wondering—how exactly does preventative roof maintenance save your company money (and potential stress)? Consider this example:

Let’s say you had your roof installed in 2013.

“It’s a brand-new roof,” you thought. “There’s no way it’ll need any attention for at least a few years.”

So, you ignored it. Little did you know, the roofing crew was in a rush to finish the job on time, so they sped through the installation. Because of this, a tiny crack formed at the corner of the roof.

As time passed, the alternating heat of summer and cold of winter caused that crack to expand.

It turned into a leak in late 2014, but since it was on the corner of the roof, the water flowed down the side of the building—and the leak went unnoticed.

In early 2015, you decided to have a roof inspection performed.

“I doubt it’s necessary…but, just to be safe,” you said to the inspector.

After the inspection, he said, “Everything looks great, except for one thing. Did you know you had a crack in this corner of the roof?”

He pointed to the ceiling.

“No…we’ve never noticed anything.”

Fast forward a few days and after some further investigation.

“Bad news. That crack is a leak, and you have wet insulation. You’re going to have to get that section of the roof replaced, in addition to the insulation and possibly the drywall.”

And, just think: If you would have caught that crack earlier, it could have been patched in a matter of minutes for a fraction of the cost.

When Is the Right Time for Preventative Roof Maintenance?

Preventative roof maintenance probably won’t help you win any popularity contests or make you sound interesting to an attractive stranger, but it will save you from unplanned expenses and help you with budgeting roof expenses. The right time begins as early as new roof installation. Unlike fine wine, roofs do not age better with time. If you’re interested in learning exactly how a preventative maintenance plan can help your business, click here to contact us today. Our team of professionals are ready to assist.

Client Spotlight: Ensworth School

Helping Students Seek Truth through Academic Excellence, Community Service, and Moral Integrity

The Client

Chartered and opened in 1958, Ensworth School was built on a foundation of excellence, which is still evident today as a kindergarten through twelfth grade, coeducational independent school. The school opened its doors with 152 students and 10 teachers spread across eight grades and today enrolls around 1,131 students between its lower, middle, and high school campuses and around 150 employees.

Rich in history and generously supported by its community, Ensworth School is one school with two campuses and prides itself in maintaining beautiful, well-kept, and up-to-date facilities. Red Gables, a large Tudor-style home in Nashville’s West End residential neighborhood, houses Ensworth’s lower and middle school, along with added facilities that include a library, music education venue, and athletic center. In 2004, Ensworth’s high school campus was constructed on a private, 127-acre historic site in West Nashville, and includes state-of-the-art academic, performance, and athletic facilities.

“Many things make Ensworth School unique,” says Greg Victor, Director of Facilities at Ensworth School. “From the school’s prestigious enrollment standards to its academic achievements and resources to the extraordinary facilities, Ensworth School stands apart from other schools with its commitment to excellence,” Victor adds.

The Opportunity

Ensworth School’s commitment to excellence extends into the ways in which it chooses partners to help maintain the beauty and longevity of its facilities, and that’s part of the story that led the school to discovering Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. Before Victor brought Maxwell to the Ensworth School table, the campuses had worked with eight different roofing companies primarily at the lower school campus. “After meeting Kathleen Maxwell at the local chapter meeting of an International Facility Manager’s Association, she made such a wonderful first impression and offered for Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. to visit our campuses to assess our needs and make an offer. They came quickly to inspect and present a comprehensive maintenance plan that we couldn’t refuse,” affirms Victor.

Ensworth School has now been working with Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. for over two years. Their work began at with the lower school at Red Gables and quickly extended to the high school campus. Among the services that Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. provides to Ensworth School are annual roof assessments, yearly preventative maintenance that includes inspecting and assessing potential problems, and forecasting for the longevity of our facilities’ roofs, which helps Victor and his team with budgeting. “It’s better to know any potential roofing problems or needs upfront than have surprises throughout the year,” says Victor. “As a facilities guy, you can’t always use who you want to use, but with Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., we got lucky,” he adds.

The Solution

What makes the relationship with Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. so good for Ensworth School? Victor says that communication is key. “Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s team is always quick to respond. I can always count on Kathleen to take the message and quickly get the right person on the job. I deal with several companies, and it’s rare to find that type of responsiveness and attentiveness to our needs that Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. provides,” affirms Victor.

Victor says that Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has improved Ensworth School’s facilities most effectively through its preventative maintenance plan, as the school no has much less instances where repairs are needed. “Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s reputation is among the best you’ll find, and everybody we’ve worked with on the team is thorough. They work around our schedule (not creating disruptions or distractions during the school day) and are very respectful of our environment. The team has done a wonderful job from assessment to construction to service,” says Victor.

Ensworth School also appreciates the way Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. takes each maintenance task by section as needed, while providing a concise, long-term, and proactive service approach. For other businesses or institutions on the search for roofing services, Ensworth School recommends giving Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. a try. “See for yourself what Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has to offer. They will prove their worth,” says Victor.