8 Common Low-Slope Roofing Mistakes

When planning to install or repair a low-slope roof on your commercial building, you want to ensure that you’re planning for longevity. By not cutting corners and checking for quality along the way, your roofing contractor can significantly improve the lifespan of your roofing investment. To help you identify whether your commercial roofing partner is following best practices, here are eight common low-slope roofing mistakes they should avoid.

1. Having Inadequate Drainage

Proper drainage is essential to keep your roof free of pooling water and the accumulation of dirt and debris. Drainage issues are especially common in low-slope roofs, often causing long-term water damage. Among other consequences, poor drainage and pooling water can dissolve the adhesives used in construction, allowing moisture to infiltrate your building. Your roofing contractor should design a plan to prevent drainage issues before beginning your project.

2. Using Low-Quality or Incorrect Materials

As water does not drain as quickly from a low-slope roof due to its lack of slant, the materials your roofer chooses are important to ensure its longevity. You must consider that water will pool, even briefly, and so the materials must be able to withstand that exposure. Additionally, in the colder months, pooling water can freeze and thaw, so temperature should also be taken into account when searching for the best materials. 

3. Failing to Check the Seams Throughout the Project

Rather than waiting until the end of a project to check the seams, your roofer should probe the seams throughout the project to identify gaps. A “probe” is a tool that a roofer uses to test the welded seams of your roof. Checking the seams as they go will prevent issues from arising in the roofing inspection or—if gaps are overlooked by an inspector—causing damage to your roof down the line.

4. Improper Repairs

You’ve invested a lot of money in a new roof system, but small repairs are bound to happen throughout the years. Be sure to utilize a high-quality roofing contractor with experience and manufacturer approval so that warrantable repairs are made. Incorrect products or improper repairs can actually cause more harm than good to a new roof system.

5. Reactive Maintenance

A low-slope roof system needs to be regularly inspected and maintained to prevent small leaks from becoming larger issues. Many owners and representatives expect a new roof system to be water-tight and problem-free, but roofs are exposed to weather conditions and other external factors that can cause damage to a roof system. To avoid common issues, proactively manage your roof system with annual assessments and regularly scheduled preventative maintenance calls.

6. Leaving the Membrane Dirty

To ensure proper welding, adhering, or mechanical fastening, your roofer should ensure that the roof’s membrane is clean and dry beforehand. Even when returning to a roof for patches or repairs, cleaning the membrane should always be done first. When bonding new patches, flashing, or new membrane to the original field membrane, it must be as clean as possible for a long-term seal. The older the original material, the more difficult this is to do properly because the membrane naturally deteriorates over time.

7. Placing T-Joint Patches Incorrectly

A t-joint is where layers of a roof’s membrane meet. For leak prevention, t-joint patches must be placed and appropriately welded throughout the roofing system. Your roofer must cover all three of the joint’s membranes with the patch. And it’s equally important that they put the patches in the necessary places.

8. Improper Workmanship

For a high-quality roof system, hire a knowledgeable roofer. Many common roof problems can be traced to poor workmanship, so to minimize the risk of future roof problems, use an experienced and established roofing contractor. Professional roofing companies train their employees with proper installation techniques and high-quality products. To help avoid poor workmanship, always research the roofing contractor prior to hiring for their reputation, longevity, and safety rating. By taking the time upfront to choose carefully, you can minimize the risk for post-installation issues. 

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn how we can make your low-slope roof last longer with regular inspections and maintenance.

A Guide to In-House Roofing Fabrication

Commercial roofing fabrication is an involved process—one that Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. does in-house. We fabricate the sheet metal needed for customers’ roofing systems, streamlining our process without sacrificing quality. To give you insight into the benefits of and common questions about in-house roofing fabrication, we’ve outlined a quick guide.  

4 Benefits of In-House Roofing Fabrication 

1. Eliminating the Middleman

In-house fabrication of custom, specialty, and industrial products removes the middlemen that would normally be involved in a project. By eliminating the need for a fabrication vendor, we can oversee your project from start to finish. We know the status of your fabrication products at all times, decreasing the potential for complications along the way. 

2. Streamlining a Project

As we can oversee the entire job, having an in-house fabricator means that our customers’ projects are streamlined. When fabrication is outsourced, third-party vendors have their own timelines in mind, which may not be aligned with the contractor’s or the customer’s expectations. Our fabrication service allows for the efficiency, accuracy, and quality that our customers expect. 

3. Having Access to Efficient Customization

When your contractor outsources fabrication services, another person is added to the mix. However, when working with a roofer equipped with in-house fabrication, customers can communicate with them directly. This direct communication makes customization an easier process for the customer, as nothing is lost in translation.

4. Fitting Projects into A Smaller Budget

Outsourcing fabrication in a roofing project takes time and money. When a roofing contractor can take out the middleman, the company doesn’t spend as much, and therefore can pass that savings along to their customers. 

Commonly Asked Questions

Commercial roofing fabrication is not a topic that people outside of the roofing industry usually know much about—until they need it. Here are a few of the most common questions we hear from our customers. 

  • What is metal fabrication?

    Fabrication is the process used to cut, assemble, or otherwise form sheet metal into a finished product.

  • What is customized metal fabrication?

    Customized sheet metal fabrication is the process of creating individual sheet metal components for a specific project, which is more effective and of a higher quality than mass-produced sheet metal.

  • What types of metals are used in fabrication?

    Most commonly, the following metals are used in fabrication: aluminum, stainless steel, copper, prefinished steel, and galvanized steel.

  • Do fabricators help with design?

    Yes, however, many fabricators charge for design services. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., on the other hand, never charges for design services, providing our customers with all custom sheet metal fabrication.

Type of Products Created by Commercial Roofing Fabricators

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. provides the following fabrication products:

  • The custom fabrication of architectural metal roof systems, as well as the fabrication of aluminum, stainless steel, copper, prefinished steel, and galvanized steel
  • The specialty fabrication of spires, finials, weathervanes, cornices, gutters, and column covers
  • The industrial fabrication of safety guards, containers, volume pieces, and HVAC curbs and adapters

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn how our in-house roofing fabrication service can streamline your next commercial roofing project.

The Top Trends to Watch in Commercial Roofing

As technology continues to develop, the commercial roofing industry develops along with it. Technology advancements have made roofing work safer and more efficient. By following the top trends, roofers can stay ahead of the curve, providing their customers with the highest quality service. Here are five of the top trends in commercial roofing technology that your roofing contractors should be aware of. 

5 Trends in Commercial Roofing Technology

1. Project Management Software

Software engineers have made it possible for roofing contractors to track and quote their projects, communicate with their customers, and keep a close eye on their progress from start to finish. Top companies utilize the latest software that can help them to improve their processes and pass that efficiency and cost-savings along to their customers.

One tool used by Maxwell Roofing is The EDGETM, an innovative estimating tool that allows for efficiency and consistency in our quoting process. With this software, we’re able to streamline project estimations to provide customers with fast and precise quotes.

2. The Increasing Use of Drones

The demand for drones is on the rise within the commercial roofing industry. They allow roofing companies to identify and analyze damages without sending roofers on the job. By using drones, roofers can quickly see parts of a building that may usually be difficult to access and can keep a roofer from being in a potentially dangerous situation. This process is also much faster than a person climbing on top of the roof to search for and investigate an issue. Overall, we’ve seen the use of drones increase exponentially in the past few years and can only expect that as drone technology becomes more advanced, that the increase will continue.

3. Solar Panels on Commercial Roofs

The solar power industry has been on the rise for the past several years, and, with that, solar roof panels have become a widespread trend across the country. Commercial buildings of all sizes have used solar panels and even solar shingles to reduce their carbon footprint and energy expenses. As solar energy becomes more mainstream, the options for solar power integration become more cost-effective and accessible in the commercial roofing industries.

4. Cool Roofing

Another environmentally-conscious option, cool roofs are an increasingly popular choice among developers. Cool roofs are more reflective and absorb less heat than other roofs, lowering the internal temperature of a building while decreasing energy expenses. This type of roof offers building tenants increased comfort thanks to lower internal temperatures, and building owners enjoy the decrease in HVAC expenses usually related to extreme heat.

5. Green Roofing

Green roofs are a trend among many urban, environmentally-friendly buildings. This type of roof incorporates soil, vegetation, and waterproofing layers to add live trees and other plants that will grow on the rooftop. Much like a cool roof, a green roof can protect a building from high temperatures, due to the insulative qualities of its vegetation and layers. With green roofs, companies can lower the internal temperature of their buildings, lower energy expenses, and make a statement to its environmentally-conscious audience. 

Your Source for Commercial Roofing Technology

Got questions about how commercial technology can help your company’s roofing needs? Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn more about our commercial roofing technology services.

Employee Spotlight: Claudette Patterson

A native of Dalton, Georgia, Claudette Patterson came to Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. after working for a general contractor, bringing with her a wealth of industry knowledge and a positive spirit. Claudette loves to help others—a quality that shows in her work every day. 

Current Role

As a project manager, Claudette spends her time liaising with superintendents, construction managers, and leadership. She aligns her team’s efforts, helping them to stay connected throughout each job. Claudette believes that communication is what helps bring the team together, as she says, “I know that when everyone is working toward a common goal, projects remain on schedule and within budget, without sacrificing quality.” Through her work, Claudette illustrates that she is dedicated to Maxwell’s clients, providing them with the outstanding service they expect out of every job. 

Why Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. Stands Out

It only took one year in her role for Claudette to be affirmed that she truly loves being a part of the Maxwell family. “We are a family, not a payroll ID number. This is an amazing company that values the opinions of the people on this team—and the whole company is a team.” She also enjoys the quality of our work and the overall company culture. “Maxwell is fair, honest, and you really want to work hard for the common goal because you are valued. That’s the bottom line.”

Personal

When she’s not in the office, you’ll find Claudette spending time with her four rescued bulldogs. She also serves as a deacon at her church, enjoys any opportunity to be at the beach, and, one day, she hopes to travel to Ireland to explore the Emerald Isle.