5 Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing Options to Consider

Companies decide to go green for many reasons. It may be due to a core business value or for a chance to connect with customers. It may just be for the cold hard cash savings that come from energy efficiency. Whatever the reason for becoming more eco-friendly, facility managers shouldn’t overlook the importance of choosing the right type of roof to maximize energy savings and eliminate waste. Here are five environmentally-friendly options for commercial roofs:

  1. Solar Panels—The large empty space on a commercial roof is the perfect place to put solar panels to offset a building’s electricity use. New roofs can be specially outfitted to support the weight of solar panels. Older roofs will likely need some modification to safely secure panels on the roof. Though a solar company may say they can install the panels, it’s important to always use a professional roofer to ensure that the installation doesn’t do any damage.
  2. Green Roof—Not only do roof plants help fight climate change, but they also can help moderate the temperature of a commercial building and improve air quality in the surrounding area. Green roofs are ideal for urban areas where there is little other surrounding vegetation.
  3. White Roof—Roofs with white or light-colored membranes are considered “cool roofs” because of their ability to reflect more of the sun’s rays away from the building. In hot places, cool roof systems can help reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer, lowering the building’s electricity bill.
  4. Metal Roof—Metal is one of the most eco-friendly materials for roofs. A metal roof made from recycled materials can last up to 60 years, and the material can be re-used again once it is time to replace it. Metal is also reflective, keeping buildings cool in the summertime.
  5. Recycled or Biodegradable Roof Material—There are plenty of ways to use recycled or biodegradable materials for a more traditional commercial roof style. Reclaimed clay can be used in tile roofing. Sustainably harvest wood shake is biodegradable and can be used for shingles. Old tires can also be made into rubber roofing material that can last for many years.

When choosing the right eco-friendly roofing for any building, it’s important to always use a professional roofing company. Maxwell Roofing has experience with all types of materials and roofing types. We even have our own fabrication department to customize your metal roof or roofing parts. To hear more about how the Maxwell team can help make your roof more eco-friendly, contact us today.

Why Reputation Matters When Choosing a Commercial Roofing Partner

When choosing a commercial roofer for a new building, the budget is often the first consideration. But while affordability is important, a “budget roofer’s” poor work may end up costing your company more in the long run.

Finding a commercial roofing company with a good reputation is the best thing you can do for the quality and life of your commercial roof. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. knows that reputation is more than just gossip. It’s trust that’s built through years of good work. Reputable roofing companies should embody these six qualities:

  1. More Experience—The best roofing companies will have had at least ten years on the job, preferably more. With more than 60 years of commercial roofing experience, Maxwell Roofing has seen it all.
  2. Better Safety Record—Companies that have accidents on the job or build roofs with liability issues never develop good reputations. If your roofer comes recommended, it means they know how to keep their employees (and yours) safe on the roof.
  3. More Expertise—To build a good reputation, roofing companies need to keep their employees up-to-date on the latest trends and technology. Maxwell Roofing has experts in everything from energy-efficient roofs to custom metal fabrication, ensuring that you’ll have the expertise needed to get your commercial roof done right.
  4. Better Value—Cheap is not the same thing as a good value. While cheap roofers will skimp on your roof to keep costs down, good value roofers find ways to get you more for your money and to make your roof last. Our team at Maxwell offers customers a full roof management service called MAXCare that ensures their roof is well cared for and cuts down on surprise costs that come with poor workmanship.
  5. Professionalism—Good reputations are built by treating customers right. Maxwell’s team prioritizes customer service, and our sales team and project managers always keep our customers informed.
  6. Quality—Though it might cost more up-front, using a roofer with a good reputation ensures that you will get a quality roof that will last. Maxwell does all we can to extend the life of your roof and to eliminate costly mistakes in the construction process.

Maxwell Roofing has a great reputation in Middle Tennessee and Northern Alabama for commercial roofing. To learn more about the value and quality we can bring to your roofing project, contact us today.

Skylight Replacement Tips for Commercial Properties

Skylights offer unique benefits for commercial buildings. They bring in natural light and improve conditions for people who spend their days inside. But, skylights are complicated roof penetrations that require careful installation and maintenance. Older skylights and skylights that were not properly installed can cause roof damage and may need to be replaced.

When to Replace Skylights

 Acrylic skylights last between 7 to 10 years, while higher-end skylights will last much longer with regular inspections. Still, bad weather or improper installation could mean that your skylights need to be replaced much sooner. Here are a few signs that you may need new skylights:

  • Leaks—Check skylights for discoloration, bubbling, or peeling near the skylight. This can indicate that the skylight seals are broken.
  • Cracks—If there are visible cracks or chips in a skylight, it means that it is definitely time for a replacement. Skylight cracks can cause leaks and drafts in a building.
  • Discoloration—Old and low-quality skylights will degrade over time, changing the glass color to yellow or brown. Typically, this is caused by corrosion in the sealant.

What to Look for in a New Skylight

Skylights have come a long way over the years and can now last longer and do more for commercial buildings. Here a few new things to look for in a new skylight:

  • Condensation Channels—High-quality skylights will have condensation channels built in. These help direct water away from the frame of the skylight to help prevent leaks.
  • Impact Modified Acrylic—This stronger material has replaced traditional acrylic as the industry-standard for skylights.
  • Polycarbonate—This material is found in high-end skylights. It is stronger and more UV-resistant than acrylic.
  • Photovoltaic Film—Some skylights now incorporate photovoltaic film that allows building managers to control the amount of light coming into the building.

Choosing a Roofing Company for Skylight Replacement

Regardless of what features you choose for your skylight, it’s critical to use a professional roofing company for the replacement. Only quality roofers know the proper way to seal skylights and prevent leaks.

Maxwell Roofing’s roofers are specially trained to remove and replace skylights. We have an in-house fabrication department to make any custom materials that you may need to properly install skylights, and our industry-leading maintenance program will ensure that they will last. To learn more about Maxwell’s skylight replacement services, contact us today.

Commercial Roofing Financing Tips

Buying a new commercial roof or repairing an existing one can bring daunting expenses for any company. However, facility managers in need of a new roof or costly repairs can’t always wait around for money to appear in the budget. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. understands how challenging it can be to pay for a commercial roof, so we developed a few tips for preparing your company’s budget for different types of roofing needs.

Before we get into the best ways to pay for a new commercial roof or roof repair, it’s important to note that the best way to avoid costly repairs is through regular roof maintenance. Also, for tips on how to plan for routine repairs, check out our blog on how to budget with your commercial roof in mind.

If it’s too late to save your roof, or if you’re constructing a new building, there are many low-cost financing options to help pay for a new commercial roof or fund an unexpected repair. Here’s how financing can help support the big expense.

How Financing Your Roof Can Help Your Business

Financing is usually more of a necessity than a choice, but there are a number of ways financing a roof can benefit a business.

  1. Maintain Cash Flow—Instead of dedicating a huge chunk of an operational budget to a roof, financing can defray many of those initial costs and give facility managers more flexibility in the budget.
  2. Facilitate Budget Planning—Financing breaks down the entire cost of a commercial roof into simple monthly payments. These payments are predictable, enabling facility managers to factor them in well into the future.
  3. Upgrade Your Roof—Financing a commercial roofing project or repair gives companies the option of buying something better than they could otherwise afford. Upgrading to a higher quality roof could save money down the line in repairs and maintenance.
  4. Get What You Need Now—Financing helps companies get the roof or repair they need immediately rather than waiting for funds to become available. With financing, businesses get an immediate return on investment even before the roof is paid off.
  5. Get a Tax Deduction—In many cases, interest on loans can be written off as a business expense, lowering your taxes.

While financing a commercial roofing project can provide many benefits to a business, there are some cons. Here are the negatives to taking out a loan to pay for a roof:

  1. Down Payment—Many commercial roof loans require that the company come up with some sort of down payment. While this money will only be a fraction of the total cost of the roof or repair, it can still be a significant expense.
  2. Interest Payments—Like any business loan, financing a commercial roof will require the company to pay interest on the loan, making the project more expensive overall.
  3. Eliminates Early Payment Discounts—Financing may make a roof project ineligible for an early payment discount with some roofing companies.

How to Finance a Commercial Roof

Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided to finance your roof project, it’s time to consider different types of financing. Here are just a few of the options:

  1. Financing through PACE—Some roofing projects may be eligible for financing through a property-assessed clean energy program, or PACE. PACE loans give commercial and residential building owners low monthly payments and options to defer payments on projects that improve building efficiency or add storm damage protection. These programs vary from state to state and may not be available to every customer.
  2. Bank Financing—The most common form of roof financing is through a bank or qualified lender. This type of financing is credit-based, and interest rates will differ from customer to customer.

Once you have financing secured, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. to get started on your commercial roof.

Employee Spotlight: Keith Stiles

Keith Stiles joined the Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. team in 1997 as a partial owner of the company. Keith came to Maxwell with ten years of commercial roofing experience back in his home state of Arkansas. For the past 22 years, Keith has worked alongside John Maxwell and Dan Maxwell to use new technologies and practices to grow the business.

Current Role:

During his tenure at Maxwell Roofing, Keith has held multiple roles. He is currently Senior Vice President, pursuing profitable work for the Maxwell Roofing team. Keith spends his busy days meeting with property owners, general contractors, and government and industrial building managers. Through these meetings, Keith works to identify new projects for the Maxwell team and then develops them into profitable opportunities. While Keith works with other sales team members, his work requires a great deal of independence and intrinsic motivation. “My role is somewhat autonomous and very fulfilling,” says Keith.  

Why Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc. Stands Out:

For Keith, it’s Maxwell’s professionalism and commitment to good work that makes the company stand out from competitors. Keith believes these values are best reflected through Maxwell’s employees. Above all, Keith takes Maxwell’s professionalism and core values very seriously and expects the same of all Maxwell employees. He affirms, “We have a strong and dedicated workforce. The diversity within our team is bountiful.” 

Personal:

Beyond the office, Keith is always looking to make the best of life. While he loves working hard for Maxwell, Keith still dreams of making it big some other way. He jokes, “I’m forever on the pursuit of winning the lottery.”

What to Expect During a Commercial Roof Inspection

Commercial roofs can be complicated structures, and even when they are well constructed, they can develop hidden problems over time. Regular inspections are critical for extending the life of a roof and preventing roofing disasters, which is why it’s important to find a roofing partner that makes inspections and reporting a key part of the maintenance routine. But, not all inspections are created equal. Quality roof inspectors will go above and beyond, checking things that may be causing hidden damage to your roof. 

A good roofing inspection starts before anyone even looks at the roof. Qualified professional roofers will start with these two steps: 

  • Identifying Active Warranties and Guarantees

    Certain types of roof work can invalidate the warranty of some products. Before performing any work, a good roofer will check this information, as it may influence what types of repairs can be done and can save customers money, especially if parts of the roof are failing earlier than expected.

  • Examine Records and Talk to Occupants

    By examining a building’s records and plans, roofers can figure out what issues they may need to pay close attention to during the inspection. Talking to people who spend their time in the building—residents or employees—might also help identify leaks or other problems.

Once the roofer has a better idea of what to expect, they’ll begin the roofing inspection. A comprehensive roofing evaluation will include: 

  • An Interior Inspection

    Before climbing atop the roof, roofers should walk the inside of the building, looking for water stains, signs of rust, or potential weaknesses. The source of a leak may be from inside a building.

  • Building Envelope Inspection

    The building envelope is the membrane and structure that seals a facility’s interior from the outside. A roofing inspection should include an examination of the building’s structure to ensure there are no defects.

  • Flashings, Edges, and Joint Inspections

    Roof inspectors will pay careful attention to the edges of roofs and where different segments come together. These are vulnerable spots in any roof and can easily crack or collect moisture.

  • Gutters, Drains, and Scuppers Inspection

    It’s critical that water can escape the roof surface. Roofers must make sure that the roof is draining properly and isn’t blocked.

  • Rooftop Equipment and Penetration Inspection

    If your facility has an HVAC unit or any other type of roof penetration, inspectors will need to make sure that the seams are watertight and that the penetrations haven’t damaged the roof surface.

Every building is different, and roofers may need to rely on other tools to properly examine certain types of roofs. These additional services may include: 

  • Infrared Moisture Inspections

    Not all leaks are easily apparent to the naked eye. Using infrared scanners, roofers can identify moisture leaks and cracks that they have missed during other parts of the inspection.

  • Drone Inspections

    Some buildings have roof areas that are difficult or dangerous to reach. Many roofing companies have licensed drone pilots that can take images of the roof while safely planted on the ground.

The most important part of any roofing inspection comes after the roofing inspection is done, with a detailed report about the roof’s condition and suggestions for repairs and future maintenance. This isn’t a report that a roofer should complete quickly in their service truck. Instead, it should be a detailed and well-thought plan. 

Finding the Right Roofing Partner 

Because roofing inspections should be a regular part of any maintenance routine, it’s important to find a contractor who will work as a long-term partner. Find a company that schedules bi-annual inspections, and be sure they aren’t recommending unnecessary repairs. A roofing contractor’s goal should be to provide the client with a detailed report to assist with planning for the future. The inspection isn’t meant just to point out emergency defects, but rather to provide long-term solutions to issues that may be underlying or on-going for the client. By providing budgetary costs for maintenance, repairs, and replacement, we allow the client to decide when to “pull the trigger”. 

Our team at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. prides ourselves on professionalism and our industry-leading reporting. If you’re ready to start a maintenance relationship with a company you can trust, contact us today, or see what some of our current customers are saying.

Why Choose Maxwell Roofing for Fabrication?

While every commercial roof contains sheet metal, not every commercial roofing company has the experience and tools to customize the material themselves. Most roofers outsource their metal fabrication, but Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. cuts out the middleman with a sheet metal division of its own.

 Our in-house fabrication department allows us to deliver cost savings to our customers, while also providing the highest levels of customization available. Even beyond your roof, the Maxwell team can provide fabrication services for your building. 

Cutting-Edge Technology

Maxwell Roofing uses a state-of-the-art water jet machine for all metal fabrication. The machine combines a powerful spray with an abrasive material, cutting as strong as a blade while making the most precise cuts possible. Using water jet technology allows our fabrication department to make everything from heavy-duty building pieces to delicate specialty items.

Custom Roof Systems

Maxwell doesn’t simply install metal roofs, we fabricate architectural metal roof systems from scratch. Our powerful cutting machine can work with a variety of different materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, copper, prefinished steel, and galvanized steel.

Specialty Fabrication

Because our fabrication department is fully-outfitted, we can create everything from specialty roof parts to non-roof pieces. Our fine-precision machines can create specialty roof parts, such as spires, weathervanes, cornices, and finials. We work with customers from the very beginning by providing free design services to help turn their vision into reality.

Industrial Fabrication

Maxwell’s fabrication department is also outfitted to produce industrial-grade parts like safety guards, containers, volume pieces, and HVAC curbs. Just like our other fabrication services, Maxwell provides free design services for industrial parts. We produce prototypes before rolling out the final product, so you don’t have to worry that your parts won’t be done correctly.

To learn more about Maxwell Roofing’s fabrication services, contact us today.   

Rooftop Safety Compliance 101

Each year, around 50 roofers will suffer a fatal fall. In the construction industry, falls are responsible for about 40 percent of all work-related deaths. But, despite these sobering statistics, fall protection is the most violated health and safety standard according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In 90 percent of the fatal falls that occur, there was not a proper fall-protection plan in place. To stop these preventable accidents and protect from injury and liability lawsuits, it’s important that roofing companies stay up to date on OSHA regulations and that facilities take precautions to protect employees who will be working atop a roof.

Fall Protection Basics

Fall Exposure Risks—The first thing an employer should ask at a work site is if their workers are exposed to the risk of falling. OSHA defines fall exposure in the construction industry as any potential fall of more than 6 feet. Generally, fall exposure on rooftops occurs in five different ways:

  • Roof Access—Many falls occur before anyone even reaches the roof on a ladder or on scaffolding.
  • Roof Edge—A roof’s edge provides the most obvious danger for a fall and can send people down multiple stories to the ground.
  • Obstacles and Openings—Many commercial roofs have skylights or vents that workers can mistakenly fall into.
  • Roof Systems—Many commercial roofs will house important equipment like HVAC systems. Because workers often need access to this equipment, the area surrounding rooftop systems presents a high risk of fall exposure.
  • Navigation—Rooftops with tricky obstacles or low visibility can pose a safety risk to workers.

Preventing Falls—OSHA requires that employers provide fall protection systems for their employees. This includes:

  • Covering holes like skylights or other penetrations using a cover or railing
  • Building guardrails and toe-boards near certain ledges and on lifts
  • Creating warning systems for areas with a fall risk
  • Providing fall restraint systems (like harnesses) when workers will be near edges
  • Securing ladders and other equipment used to access a building’s roof

In some cases, OSHA also recommends the use of fall arrest systems, such as safety nets. In commercial roofing, personal fall arrest systems are also common. These systems use harnesses and some sort of shock-absorbing line to prevent workers from falling quickly to the ground.

Innovation In Fall Safety

Roofing is a constantly evolving industry, and new technology is finding its way into fall safety. While physical barriers, fall restraint, and arrest systems are critical for protecting people on a building’s roof, there are two emerging technologies that are helping to make roofing even safer. 

  • Drone Inspections—The best way to prevent a fall is to keep people off the roof entirely. The use of imaging drones for inspections allows roofers to identify problems or create maintenance plans without ever putting themselves near a dangerous ledge.
  • GPS Hazard Marking—Large roofing surfaces may have multiple hazard locations, and it can be difficult for workers to remember exactly where they need to be to stay safe. Many roofing companies have started integrating GPS into their safety equipment so that workers receive an alert when they are approaching a dangerous area.

Finding a Roofing Partner that Values Safety

No matter how safety-conscious a general contractor or facility manager may be, employees will be at risk if roofers don’t also value safety. It’s important that roofing companies work to protect their own workers while on the job and to install safety equipment on the roof to protect other workers in the future. Here are a few things to check for when vetting a roofing company’s safety regulations.

  1. Does the roofer conduct a Job Hazard Analysis?

    The first step in preventing a workplace accident is to conduct a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA). This includes a specific protocol for evaluating fall risks and creating a rooftop safety plan.

  2. Does the roofer follow OSHA standards by providing railing systems, roof anchors, and penetrations?

    OSHA lays out specific building requirements for roofs with skylights to prevent people from falling through them. The agency also requires railing systems for ladders and has specific requirements for roof anchors that can support workers in harnesses. A safety-conscious roofing company should be able to provide engineering and installation for each of these safety requirements.

  3. Does the roofer consider HVAC worker safety?

    Once a roof is built, HVAC workers will likely be the most frequent visitors to a building’s rooftop. Roofers who prioritize safety will recommend a guardrail to protect HVAC workers that will be near a roof’s edge.

  4. Does the roofing company provide safety training to its employees?

    All employees who are going to be working on a roof should receive some sort of safety training. Roofing companies that value safety will often participate in certification classes through OSHA. Another company safety program is the Certified Roofing Torch Applicator (CERTA) program, which teaches workers how to use roofing torches. Though not specifically designed to prevent falls, CERTA and other certifications show that a company cares about safety.

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. prioritizes safety as our highest concern. To learn more about how we help protect our employees and the importance of maintaining commercial rooftop safety compliance and fall protection, contact us today.

7 Advantages of Metal Roofing for Commercial Business

The options for roof materials are almost limitless—asphalt, concrete, polymers, and gravel. But, there are some types of materials that simply perform better. While choosing certain materials may save money during a building’s construction, they can require costly repairs and extensive maintenance down the line.

Though less conventional than other types of roofing material, metal provides a quality roof that can easily outshine the competition. Here are some of the advantages of choosing a metal roof for a commercial building. Metal roofs are: 

  1. Fire-Resistant

    Asphalt shingles may be a common sight here in the U.S., but in many parts of Europe, they have been banned for their flammability. Metal is among the most fire-resistant materials that can be used on a commercial roof, protecting the facility and keeping it in compliance with fire codes with no extra effort.

  1. Energy Efficient

    By using reflective materials, metal roofs can drastically reduce the costs of cooling a building in the summer. Because the material is so versatile, it can also pair well with a variety of insulation to keep extreme temperatures at bay. Metal is also the best material for affixing equipment like solar panels to a roof, enabling businesses to become even more efficient.

  1. Low Maintenance

    With high-quality weather coating, metal roofs will require little maintenance beyond the typical bi-annual roof inspection. Metal roofs rarely fail, and when a repair is needed, it is typically a much simpler job than repairs on other types of material.

  1. Attractive

    Functionality aside, metal roofs are just plain pretty. Instead of a typical flat, featureless roof, metal provides buildings with a little bit of flare. Because metal can be shaped in a variety of different ways, it opens up a whole new world of roof design and penetration options. Roofing companies with in-house fabrication will be able to offer even more customization by making a roof exactly the way the customer wants.

  1. Strong and Durable

    Metal roofs hold up to the daily wear and tear a building experiences better than any other material. Gale force winds don’t stand a chance against a metal roof.

  1. Weather-Resistant

    For places with heavy rain or snow, metal roofs are the best choice for building protection. Nothing holds up to heavy amounts of moisture the way metal does, preventing leaks…and headaches for facility managers.

  1. Long-Lasting

    Some types of metal have an estimated life of up to 60 years—the same lifespan as a typical commercial building. Investing in a metal roof is investing in the long-term.

To find out if a metal roof is right for your business, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn about your options and to get a quote.