A Fall Checklist for Commercial Roofs

Fall is often a welcomed season by all, as the summer heat can leave us anxious for cooler weather—not to mention the changing leaves and all things pumpkin. But, no matter the season, preparations must be made—especially when it comes to roofing. For commercial roofs, having a service and maintenance checklist for fall is just as important as it is for winter and summer.

So, as we enter the fall season with its changing temperatures and weather, here’s our team’s list of commercial roofing maintenance must-dos.

If you have a low-slope commercial roof…

1. Inspect areas around HVAC units.

Low-slope commercial roofs are often helpful for keeping HVAC units off the ground and out of sight. However, heavy equipment atop a flat roof can cause breakage in the roofing membrane and lead to leaks or moisture infraction. Thus, inspecting these areas is highly recommended each season.

2. Check for organic debris build-up.

Low-slope commercial roofs can be prone to organic debris build up in gutters, around roof drains, or any other drainage points. If organic debris is not removed from the roof system, it can be the cause of water infiltration into the building. Draining points need to stay clear of debris to promote positive drainage and allow water to clear off the roof, rather than building up and backing into the building. Preventative maintenance calls are great to visually inspect the roof and remove such debris from the system.

3. Monitor roofing around skylights or diffusers.

Many low-slope commercial roofs have rooftop penetrations like skylights and diffusers that allow for more natural light and balanced ventilation in large facilities. If your building has these fixtures, be sure to monitor any flashings or seals around them to ensure there are no leaks or potential damage.

4. Review any high-traffic areas.

As many flat or low-slope commercial roofs are friendly for walking—and some can even have rooftop bars or decks—it’s important to monitor any high-traffic areas to make sure there are no cracks, deterioration, or compromised areas. 

If you have a sloped commercial roof…

1. Carefully assess roofing materials.

Depending on the material used for sloped commercial roofs—including asphalt, metal, shingles, or tiles—it’s important to assess your commercial roofing materials for any erosion or damage. If shingles or tiles are used, look for any that might be missing from heavy winds. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for any damaged or corroded panels on metal roofing.

2. Inspect any seams or flashing.

Sloped commercial roofing will obviously have seams and flashing. As these areas can be a magnet for where water will make its way to gutters, it’s imperative to inspect seams regularly to ensure they’re working properly and are leak-free.

3. Investigate the roof deck.

Almost all sloped commercial roofs will have a roof deck underneath the roofing materials, and this is essential to be inspected on an ongoing basis. Issues with the roof deck can lead to rusty support beams, interior mold and mildew, and even water drips during rainy weather.

4. Examine inside areas close to the roof.

Especially with a sloped roof, it’s essential to carefully examine the interior areas where your roof is sloped to ensure there are no cracks, leaks, or issues that can allow moisture to make its way inside. Pay careful attention to potential water spots, wet insulation, or damaged ventilation.

Don’t Fall Victim to Roofing Woes

Is your commercial roof in need of a fall check-up? Our team of professionals at Maxwell Roofing is here for you! Contact us today to schedule a roofing assessment or inspection.

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.

How COVID-19 Has Affected Commercial Roofing in Nashville

The COVID-19 pandemic affected every industry in the country—commercial roofing included. The roofing industry in Nashville went through a tough year. A tornado, derecho, and a pandemic all came together to put our patience and skills to the test. 

Though we were affected, our customers are still in need of inspections, maintenance, monitoring, and construction. Here are a few changes that we have noticed in our company and industry as a whole. 

Customers Now Budget with COVID-19 in Mind

As businesses experienced shutdowns, lower capacities, and employees working from home, they were forced to pause and re-evaluate their budgets. Their priorities inevitably changed, leaving them to consider where their money was going. Of course, there were pressing issues to be addressed first, such as changing operations to comply with regulations and protecting employees and customers. 

For the roofing industry, this meant that fewer projects were being scheduled. This shift proved to be only temporary, however, as companies have now begun to regain their footing. Some were able to take advantage of the government stimulus package, and others have now transitioned—and settled into—their new way of operating. It’s certain that another shift is in store as the pandemic dies down, and business returns to yet another new normal, but one thing rings true: commercial roofing services will always be necessary to maintain the integrity of a building. 

Construction is Moving as Normal, with Safety Precautions

Companies that are now dealing with vacant buildings, as their employees work from home, are taking this time as an opportunity to replace their commercial roofs or complete other large-scale renovations. With fewer people in the building, there are fewer disturbances throughout the workday. When it comes to maintenance services, many companies feared, rightfully so, that neglect could lead to costly damage down the line.

Commercial roofing contractors are taking extra safety measures on the job to ensure that they keep themselves, their teams, and their customers safe and healthy. Teams are carrying bottles of sanitizing solution, wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and completing daily screenings. It’s crucial that we all keep each other’s safety at the forefront of everything we do. 

“Maxwell Roofing’s first priority is to keep our customers and employees safe. Additionally, we strive to always be of service to the customer. The pandemic has provided a new challenge, but our position remains the same,” says Kathleen Maxwell, Vice President of Sales.

We Have Added a New, Modified Service

As customers’ priorities have understandably changed throughout the pandemic, Maxwell Roofing noticed that some companies’ commercial roofing needs are now different, prompting us to design a service that fits their new operations. Many companies have fully vacant buildings at the moment that could sustain damage. Others are running at full capacity and are wholly focused on their teams and customers. And, for those in between, they may be running at lower capacity but have a facility manager on staff that can perform an inspection.  

To provide relief, we now offer Maxwell Monitors—a new, flexible monitoring service to help you look after your building while you’re away or tending to your business. This service includes a downloadable inspection checklist and scheduled inspections to monitor the health of your roof, whatever your current situation. 

“We are adapting to the new needs of the customer and are always open to input for how we can improve our services line. Our attempt to flex with the recent environment is evident in our new program, Maxwell Monitors. This service is a cost-effective approach allowing us to monitor your building, with a contactless option, so you can focus on your business and team,” adds Kathleen.

Roof Inspections, Maintenance, and Construction are Still Essential

The importance of regular maintenance can’t be overstated. While Nashville continues to face challenges, preventative maintenance and timely replacements can protect your building and make your commercial roofing budget stretch further. If you are unsure how commercial roofing fits into your budget, talk to your contractor about how you can modify your service to continue to maintain your roof’s integrity. 

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to schedule your next roofing inspection.

A Summer Checklist for Commercial Roof Maintenance

Have you begun preparing your commercial roof for the summer heat? Extreme heat and humidity can damage your roof if it’s not properly monitored, inspected, and repaired. The summer temperatures are rising fast, and we want to help you protect your commercial roof from premature replacement or costly damages. To help, we’ve put together a list of items for you and your team check when the summer heat creeps up on you. 

  • Identify any holes or damaged pieces. Even small damages could potentially make your roof vulnerable to leaks. Ensure that every piece of your roof is not properly secured.
  • Clean all debris. If you find any loose limbs, leaves, or other debris on your roof, remove it, so that it doesn’t block water drainage or attract pests.
  • Inspect your roof’s flashing. Identify any potential damage or irregularities in your roof’s flashing, as they may become increasingly worse over time and cause water damage. Pay particular attention to any spots that look loose or buckled.
  • Check your roof’s penetration areas. Identify any gaps in caulking around penetrations or masonry panel joints.
  • Look for water stains on the walls and ceilings. If you see any water stains in your building, this could indicate that your roof has a small existing leak that could become worse over time.
  • Schedule regular inspections with your contractor. Your commercial roofing partner can set up a regularly scheduled inspection to ensure that all maintenance is taken care of, issues are identified, and damages are repaired. This keeps your roofing investment lasting longer throughout harsh weather conditions.

The Importance of Regular Inspections

In any season, your best protection against harsh weather conditions is a regular inspection from your commercial roofing contractor. Self-inspections are important, as you can identify problem areas for your contractor to address; however, it’s crucial that your roofer is doing a more thorough inspection so that they can fix any issues prior to them becoming large-scale damages. This schedule ensures that your company’s commercial roof lasts as long as possible, making your roofing budget stretch further. At Maxwell, our customers rely on our MAXCare® program to stay on top of their roof maintenance, invoices, documentation, and more. 

Our New Service, Maxwell Monitors

As we noticed that our customers’ needs were changing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our team worked to design a new monitoring service, Maxwell Monitors. Whether your building is currently unoccupied or it’s business as usual, we have a service plan to ensure that your facility is monitored. This service offers monitoring plans as well as a downloadable inspection checklist that will help your team identify potential problems. We can monitor your building so that you can focus your time and energy on your employees, customers, and core functions.  

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to schedule an inspection.

5 Tips for Commercial Roof Budgeting During COVID-19

As companies evaluate their budgets amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is clear: priorities have changed. You’re focused on changing business operations, health and safety regulations, and your employees’ and customers’ immediate needs. Throughout these constant changes, it may not feel like the year to invest in your commercial roof. However, continuing to invest in quality materials and consistent roof maintenance can prevent costly repairs down the road and improve the integrity of your building. 

To help you make room in your commercial roofing budget during COVID-19, here are a few things to consider. 

5 Commercial Roof Budgeting Tips 

1. Opt for a modified service.

If your current roofing services no longer fit your needs or are outside of your budget, consult with your commercial roofing partner to discuss new options. At Maxwell Roofing, for example, we saw a need for a new monitoring service that was flexible enough to mold to changing business operations.

Through Maxwell Monitors, we monitor your building so that you aren’t left to deal with surprise damages or repairs. Whether your building is currently unoccupied or it’s business as usual, there is a service plan to ensure that you have the help you need to maintain your facilities.

2. Talk with your roofing contractor about your budget.

The best commercial roofing contractors have your best interests in mind. If your budget is changing, your contractor can talk you through other possible options based on what your roof needs and how much your business can afford. Your roofing contractor is your partner, and as such, they succeed when you are satisfied with your service and your budget.

3. Focus heavily on inspections and maintenance.

Frequent roof inspections and maintenance are two areas that can reduce your budget significantly. By identifying potential issues and maintaining your roof, you are extending the lifespan of your roofing investment, saving you time and money. Your roofing contractor can help you set a maintenance schedule that works for your business.

4. Invest in quality materials and craftsmanship.

Quality materials and craftsmanship will both go a long way toward building a roof that will withstand the test of time. Investing in these things upfront will prevent untimely repairs and premature roof replacement, improving your budget for the long-term.

5. Work with a contractor that can streamline your project without sacrificing quality.

Contractors who have been in the commercial roofing industry for decades have fine-tuned their processes. Their teams are trained and prepared, they’ve seen every project and material type, and some even craft their materials in house. Partner with a roofing contractor with years of experience who can thoughtfully design your project and timeline, saving you money by not cutting corners and streamlining their processes. 

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn how we can help you adjust your commercial roofing services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

We Monitor Your Building, You Focus on Your Business: Maxwell Monitors

Even as states begin to open, COVID-19 has dramatically changed our local businesses. It’s likely that we will all see the effects of the pandemic long after it has dissipated. In light of the changes our customers are experiencing, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. is offering a modified service to maintain the integrity of your building—so that you can focus on your core business functions.

We know firsthand how difficult this time has been to navigate. And we understand that your building has most likely not been top-of-mind lately because you have been dealing with pressing issues, such as protecting your employees, serving your customers, and making decisions about your business’ future. 

We understand, and we’re here for you. So, we built our Maxwell Monitors plan to ensure that no matter the changes that COVID-19 brought your way, your building will be looked after. 

What is Maxwell Monitors?  

Maxwell Monitors is our commitment to you. Proactive maintenance still remains one of the most important elements of facility management, even during a pandemic or during its aftermath. Maxwell Roofing will monitor your building to ensure that damages don’t snowball into costly repairs or stall operations. This plan allows you to continue maintenance as you change your business to fit the needs of the current climate. 

Do I need Maxwell Monitors?  

Choosing our Maxwell Monitors service option gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your building is maintained, and you don’t have to worry about coming in to see an unexpected leak or other damage. 

Not sure if this service applies to you? Here are three scenarios in which this service can help. 

1. Your building has been [or will be] empty for the foreseeable future; however, you have a qualified person on staff who can inspect it. 

Maxwell Roofing will provide you with a list of what to look for when checking for damage and how to identify issues safely. This proposition applies to businesses that have a facilities manager, or someone who is qualified to inspect the building—empowering them to take the inspection and maintenance into their own hands.

2. Your building will be empty for the foreseeable future, and you are concerned that the building will have sustained damage before business returns to normal.

Maxwell Roofing will provide a monitoring service to regularly check the health of your roof and facility. This allows us to identify any current and potential issues, keeping your building protected and ensuring that it’s safe when the building must be occupied again.

3. Your business has been deemed “essential” and is conducting business as usual.

Maxwell Roofing will provide a monitoring service to regularly check the health of your building’s roof and facility to identify any current and potential issues. The check-in frequency will be determined based on the characteristics of each roof. This service ensures that your employees have a safe building to work in, and your operations can continue without downtime caused by damages. 

How do I get started? 

We are here to talk through the best way to handle building maintenance while you’re focusing on your core business functions. Maxwell Roofing has a selection of services to fit any scenario, and we want to help in any way that we can. 

You will find our downloadable Maxwell Monitors monthly inspection checklist here. 

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn more about the new Maxwell Monitors program.

9 Common Commercial Roof Problems

Just like with any problem or issue, commercial roof problems are inevitable but can be prevented with proper care and attention. From the quality of installation and products used to the frequency of inspection and maintenance to the occasional natural disaster—if commercial roofing problems are left unchecked, they will lead to bigger, more costly repairs. It’s important that you have a trusted roofing partner to guide you in the prevention and repair of unwanted surprises with your commercial roof.

Here are nine of the most common commercial roof problems we find within the industry. If you are experiencing any of these with your commercial roof, please contact us today for a consultation and inspection.

1. Age

Commercial roofs will generally last in good condition for around 15 to 20 years. However, as a roof ages, it becomes more susceptible to damage. Proactive maintenance can go a long way in ensuring that a commercial roof stays problem-free as it ages.

2. Leaks

Wear and tear, open penetrations, and even clogged drainage on a commercial roof over time can create numerous opportunities for water to seep in. You can prevent leaks on your commercial roof by scheduling consistent appointments with a commercial roofing company.

3. Poor Installation

Faulty installation will speed up the potential for commercial roof problems, ultimately affecting a roof’s life expectancy. If you suspect poor workmanship or construction with your commercial roof, it’s likely time to contact a reputable roofing company to inspect and correct any installation issues to avoid greater problems down the road.

4. Lack of Maintenance

Routine inspections are a must for commercial roofing systems. Waiting too long for an inspection or proactive maintenance can cost you financially and at risk of your employees’ safety. 

5. Improper Roofing Materials

Commercial roofs that have been installed or repaired with improper roofing materials can cause major problems. Not only do you want to select the appropriate roofing materials, it’s critical to ensure that your roofing contractor or maintenance technician is certified to install and repair your roof.

6. Ponding or Standing Water

Especially common on flat or low-slope commercial roofs, there can be spots where water collects and “ponds,” meaning it doesn’t drain or evaporate quickly. Standing water on a roof will lead to a number of costly problems for your building and can dissolve the adhesives used in construction, allowing moisture to infiltrate your building.

7. Blow-offs

When heavy winds blow over a commercial roof, the pressure above the roof’s surface can decrease. At the same time, internal air pressure can expand due to air infiltration through cracks and openings—known as a wind uplift. Strong winds can also blow off vents or caps, which allows water to get into pipes.

8. Faulty Flashing

A high percentage of roof leaks can be attributed to faulty flashing. This is because of the expansion and contraction that occurs and causes the flashing to tear and break. If the top of the flashing is not terminated properly, water will creep in and lead to major damage.

9. Debris

Rooftop debris can come in natural and man-made forms—from leaves and limbs to cardboard or trash. Debris can clog a building’s gutters or pile up in rooftop areas, leading to rapid deterioration of roofing materials. Though you may not be atop your commercial roof often to notice debris, scheduling regular inspections will be helpful in ensuring that debris and gutter systems are clear—especially after severe weather.

How to Prevent Commercial Roof Problems

It’s no secret that preventative maintenance is a must when it comes to keeping your commercial building’s roof free of problems. Commercial roofs should be checked at least seasonally, as well as immediately after storms or extreme weather. Our team at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. prides ourselves on the quality of our inspections, preventative maintenance services, and long-term roof management program.  

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn how we can help you steer clear of unwanted commercial roofing problems and costly repairs.

4 Common Causes for Commercial Roof Leaks

Commercial roof leaks can cause significant damage to your building if left untreated. But, how do they happen in the first place? The wear and tear on your roof over time creates numerous opportunities for water to seep in. And even minor damages can create extensive vulnerabilities. 

Your first step in preventing leaks is to be aware of what causes them most often. When your commercial roof is damaged or worn, and leaks occur, it’s usually because of one of these four factors. 

Material Damage

Damage to your roof’s materials, primarily the membrane or flashing, can cause leaks if they are not identified and fixed promptly. To give you insight into why these elements are so important: the membrane is the outer covering that protects your roof, and the flashing protects the membrane’s edges. Because these are two of the primary components that protect your roof from the elements, any damage to their integrity can lead to leaks. Without proactive roof maintenance, these materials can crack, expand, or shrink, allowing for water to find its way in.  

Open Penetrations

Anything that penetrates a roof’s membrane (HVAC units, vents, drains, pipes, etc.) can make your roof vulnerable to damage when they are not correctly installed or sealed. Penetrations should be inspected and sealed to prevent structural damage to your building

Age of the Roof

Your roof’s lifespan is a significant factor in leaks. Commercial roofs generally last for around 15 to 20 years, but as your roof ages, it becomes more susceptible to damage. In addition, damages that may have gone unnoticed will become worse as the roof ages, creating leaks in the future. Preventative maintenance can help you stay ahead of minor damages and repairs as they come up, which can extend the roof’s lifespan considerably. 

Clogged Drainage Points

Clogged roof drains, gutters, downspouts, and other drainage points can cause water build-up on the roof system. When these points are clogged, the water will eventually find a way to enter the building, resulting in a leak. By keeping the drainage points clear of debris, you can help to promote a water-tight roof system and prevent leaks and other costly damages.

How to Prevent Leaks

The best way to prevent leaks in your commercial roofing system is to schedule consistent appointments with a commercial roofing company. Proactive inspections and maintenance go a long way in finding and repairing minor damages before they become more severe and expensive. 

Before you notice a leak in your building’s roof, ensure that you know your roofing company’s process. Is there an emergency hotline you can call? How quickly can they repair a leak? These questions are crucial because once you notice a leak, time is of the essence. The sooner you can take care of the issue, the less potential there is for damage to your building.  

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn how our MAXCare® program helps you prevent leaks by staying up-to-date on your commercial roof’s preventative maintenance.

The Value of Longevity in the Commercial Roofing Industry

Finding a commercial roofing contractor can be overwhelming. As you prepare to make a substantial investment in your building, you want to make sure you choose the right company. But with so many choices, how do you make the best decision? We view longevity as one of the most valuable assets for a commercial roofing company. Let’s take a look at what makes longevity such a critical element. 

Why Longevity is Important in the Commercial Roofing Industry

Extensive Industry Knowledge

In any industry, years of experience lead to a more knowledgeable team. Commercial roofing companies are no different. Those that have been in business for years have worked on countless projects and have learned from each one. Longevity allows roofing companies to develop extensive knowledge that they can use to better serve their customers.

Fine-Tuned Processes

Years of work and fine-tuning a company’s operations leads to better safety, customer service, and overall project efficiency. Companies that have completed a large number of projects over several years have found the most efficient way to carry out their work.

Proven Track Record

With years of work comes years of loyal customers and completed projects that can speak to a roofing contractor’s value. It’s crucial to look for a company with a comprehensive background of work. Longevity allows a roofing company to build an extensive record of work and customer recommendations.

Commitment to Employees and Customers

A roofing company that shows up for its people year after year demonstrates integrity. Look to well-established roofing contractors that emphasize their commitment to people, employees and customers alike. Companies that have withstood the test of time are those that have taken care of their employees and while providing great customer service, because it’s people who make a company truly great.

Higher Quality Products and Services

New roofing companies hoping to land the sale will often offer discounted prices and, with that, cheaper-quality products. Companies with longstanding reputations are focused on offering customers quality service that will keep their roofs lasting as long as possible. 

Through decades of working in the commercial roofing industry, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has learned a valuable lesson about business: trust and reputation are earned over time. To be competitive in the industry, roofing companies must show time and time again that they can finish a job on schedule with quality workmanship.  

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to begin planning your next commercial roofing project.

How to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for Summer Heat

As we’re enjoying the mild temperatures of spring, summer is right on its heels. It’s getting warmer by the day, and soon enough, the extreme temperatures of summer will be here. Now is the time to consider how you will prepare your commercial roof for the summer heat and humidity—before they begin to deteriorate your roof’s materials. In this article, we’ll share how the summer heat can damage your commercial roof and what you can do to protect it.

How Summer Heat Can Damage Your Commercial Roof

Summer heat and humidity pose a significant threat to the integrity of your commercial roof. Here are a few of the issues that you must be on the lookout for throughout the summer:

Thermal Shock—Summer temperatures rise quickly during the day, and fall quickly at night. Severe temperature changes, known as thermal shock, can cause your roof to warp or create gaps over time.

Sun Damage—The sun degrades roofing materials if they aren’t properly treated, which can cause bleaching or blackening of the roof.

Drying—When roof linings or structural materials dry out from the heat, they become brittle and crack. If left untreated, those fractures can damage the structural integrity of the roof or degrade its waterproofing materials.

Moisture Retention—Where the summers tend to be humid, commercial roofs are at high risk for retaining moisture. Water patches can cause leaks and, if left unfixed, can lead to roof collapses.

Popped Seams and Loose Screws—The combination of high heat, harsh UV rays, and an expansion and contraction of the roof surface can lead to popped roof seams and loose screws.

How to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for Summer Heat

Your primary defense from the summer heat is a regular roofing inspection. Important throughout the year, inspections allow your roofer to mitigate issues before they snowball into serious, and costly, damages. An inspector will look at the interior and exterior of your building to identify signs of weather damage and normal wear and tear. 

We mentioned a few potential heat damages in the section above. Here are other signs of damage an inspector might find:

  • Water stains on the walls and ceilings
  • Cracks in the walls or roof materials
  • Loose or buckled flashing
  • Gaps in caulking around penetrations or masonry panel joints
  • Cracks or blisters in the membrane
  • Loss of UV reflective granules

Any of the damages we’ve discussed could have been caused by heat or will be made worse throughout the summer as temperatures increase. Regular inspections are crucial to catch these issues early and extend the lifespan of your commercial roof. Proactive maintenance like this allows your business to get more value out of your roofing investment, saving your budget. 

As you plan for your next building project or your next roof replacement, talk to your roofing professional to choose the best materials for your region and the typical weather conditions.

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to get a quote on your next commercial roofing project. Our team of experts is here to help you choose the materials that best fit your building’s needs.

5 Commercial Roofing Best Practices

A commercial roof is a significant investment in your building. As such, you want to be certain that the company you choose has your best interests in mind throughout the entire project. From the initial quote all the way through to maintaining your roof’s integrity, it’s vital that every step is handled properly. 

Safety, efficiency, and responsiveness are key when choosing a roofing partner, so we’re sharing a few commercial roofing best practices that will help you choose the right roofing company for your business

5 Commercial Roofing Best Practices

1. A Responsive Roofing Team

Commercial roofing installation and maintenance are very involved processes. For that reason, many roofers exclude their customers from the process—sometimes so that they can cut corners without the customer noticing. The best roofing partner, however, will include you and keep you informed throughout.

Transparency is a sign of a quality roofing contractor. Ensure that you’ve talked through your questions and concerns with your prospective roofing company before hiring. Their responsiveness to your questions will go a long way in helping you trust them with such a large investment.

2. A Focus on Safety

Reputable commercial roofing contractors follow OSHA’s safety guidelines closely. Human lives are no light matter; the company you choose must have guidelines in place to keep their workers safe. Safe job sites are a sign of a company that cares about its employees and its customers by extension.

3. Routine Inspections

Your roof can sustain potential damage from normal wear and tear. Roofing companies that are concerned with extending the life of your investment will insist on routine inspections. These inspections are to identify possible damages, even seemingly-small damages, that should be repaired before they snowball into larger, more expensive issues.

4. Proactive Maintenance

In line with the routine inspections we mentioned in the previous point, proactive maintenance is another essential element that will extend your roof’s lifecycle. Maintaining your roof proactively, rather than reactively, prevents damage down the line. Every year that you extend your roof’s life is another year that your business can keep a roof replacement off the budget.

Tip: Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s MAXCare® program is the most comprehensive roof management program in the industry. With a customer engagement portal, MAXCare® gives you the tools to stay on top of inspections, maintenance, reports, invoices, and more.

5. An Emergency Helpline

When an issue does arise, such as a leak in your roof, a 24/7 emergency helpline is a much-needed resource. Roofing companies that offer emergency services are those that are more than a contractor; they’re your roofing partner. When you need them the most, you want them to be there to help—before the damage continues to worsen the structure of your roof or building. 

These five best practices are the foundation of the best commercial roofing partner for your business. Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to discuss your commercial roofing needs or to get a quote. Our team of experts is here to answer your questions and walk you through what you may need and how to get started.

5 Money-Saving Tips for Commercial Roofing

Constructing a new commercial roof or replacing an old one can be a huge expense for a business. While there’s no way to avoid the necessity of some roof-related costs, there are some ways to save money throughout the roofing process.

Here are a few ways to save money on your commercial building’s next roofing project:

Recover Instead of Replace

When a roof has reached the end of its life, it may not need a total replacement. If a roof’s deck and insulation are still in good shape, then you may be able to install a new roof over the top. This is known as a roof recover system, and it saves material costs and a significant amount of labor.

Investment in Good Materials and Craftsmanship

It may seem tempting to just contract the cheapest roofer to install the most inexpensive roof, but this can end up costing more money in the long run when the roof doesn’t last. Commercial roofing systems are designed to last decades if they are installed properly. However, a shoddy roofing job will likely need to be replaced long before that. Investing some upfront money in a job well done will save costs in the long run.

Don’t Neglect Maintenance

Even a perfectly constructed roof will need maintenance over its lifetime. Getting regular inspections and incremental repairs can prevent costly catastrophic damage. The best way to save money on roofing is to make a commercial roof last as long as possible without a major repair.

Track Warranties

Nearly every product on a roof comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, but these can be tricky to keep track of. Good roofing companies are familiar with possible defects in roof materials and know how to help their customers get their money back when something goes wrong.

Get a Budget Plan

Long-term budget planning can prevent companies from being forced to take out a loan for emergency repairs or replacement. Many roof maintenance plans offer budget planning and forecasting so companies can adequately prepare.

Your Cost-Savings Roofing Partner

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. is always looking for ways to help our customers save money. Contact us today for a consultation. Our team is highly experienced and equipped to provide you with a variety of solutions.

Do’s and Don’ts of Low-Slope Commercial Roofing

When it comes to commercial buildings, low-slope roofs are the most cost-effective and space-efficient roofing options. For these reasons, it’s rare to see a factory, warehouse, or grocery store with a sloped roof. While there are many advantages to a low-slope roof, this type of structure also presents some issues that commercial building owners should be aware of.

Here are the basic do’s and don’ts about owning and maintaining a low-slope commercial roof:

Don’t…

  • Ignore the maintenance schedule—With a low-slope roof, a small problem can become a big problem very quickly. Low-slope roofs don’t flush debris or moisture as easily as pitched roofs. Because of their large surface area, they can easily conceal problems. This makes regular maintenance and inspections even more important for a low-slope roof. 
  • Wait for repairs—Because low-slope roofs are so exposed, damage can get worse quickly. When there is damage on a low-slope roof, it’s important to get it taken care of as soon as possible before a small tear becomes a giant leak.
  • Make the roof overly accessible—Roofers and building contractors need access to your roof, but that doesn’t mean every person should be able to go up there. If someone doesn’t have official business on the roof, don’t give them access. High traffic on a low-slope roof can cause damage, not to mention it being a safety hazard.

Do…

  • Clean the roof regularly—A little mess on your roof may not seem like a huge issue, but it can become a serious problem for a low-slope roof. Debris, dirt, and grime don’t flush off a low-slope roof as easily as a roof with a pitch. Over time, filth can build up on a roof, clogging drains and even causing leaks. Regularly cleaning a low-slope roof will help your building look nice, and it will prevent problems.
  • Give water an escape route—When designing a low-slope roof, make sure not to create places that will retain water. Moisture build up is one of the biggest risks with a low-slope roof, and having a proper drainage system is critical to preventing leaks. Be sure to consult a professional roofer about drains and other equipment you’ll need to guide water off the roof’s surface.
  • Get on a consistent inspection plan—A maintenance schedule for a new low-slope roof should begin the day after it’s finished. Regular inspections and being consistent with minor repairs are the only way to ensure that a low-slope roof stays healthy. By working with a roofing contractor, you can get enrolled in a roof management program that will predict when you’ll need roof repairs.

There’s a lot to consider when getting a new commercial roof. Let the experts at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. help. For a consultation, contact Maxwell today.

Roof Maintenance vs. Roof Management

Everyone knows that in order to make a commercial roof last, you must take care of it. Traditionally, this has been done through preventative maintenance, with inspections every few months and repairs based on the recommendation of the contractor. 

Maintaining a roof will make it last longer, but for companies with multiple roofs to look after, there’s now a better tool: roof management. Here are two important differences between roof maintenance and roof management.

Proactive vs. Reactive Inspections and Repairs

With a roof maintenance program, inspectors will regularly examine a roof and make recommendations based on what they find. Roof management uses a predictive analysis to proactively treat your roof. It creates a plan for every roof in a portfolio of properties and allows owners to predict what repairs they’ll need and when. 

Because of this forward-thinking approach, roof management plans help property managers save money on more costly repairs. It also saves on unnecessary inspections and repairs. Roof management takes the guesswork out of roof repair, so you’re never just acting on a recommendation but on cold, hard facts.

Budget Surprises vs. Budget Planning

Roof maintenance can be unpredictable. When a roofer goes up for an inspection, there is always a chance that they are going to come down with a recommendation for a costly repair. Roof management programs predict when repairs are needed and allow roofers to proactively fix your roof so you have a better understanding of what to expect and can plan for repairs. 

Many roof management programs include a budgeting plan, so you know how much identified recommendations will cost and can schedule repairs for when your budget allows. This lets property managers put money aside in their budget for their roofing needs and not get caught off-guard.

Manage Your Roof with MAXCare®

For roof management, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has MAXCare®, the most comprehensive and unique program on the market. Not only does MAXCare provide its customers with the repairs and maintenance planning that all roof management systems do, its web portal also actively educates customers about their roof. 

The portal can be used to report leaks or check on a repair. The portal also stores all invoices and reports from past repairs. Additionally, MAXCare gives clients first priority service, discounts on repairs, and 24/7 emergency access. With all these features together, MAXCare provides customers with the best tools in the industry to manage a commercial roof. 

To learn more about Maxwell’s MAXCare, contact us today.

The Power of Preventative Maintenance

Exposed to the elements and loaded up with building equipment, commercial roofs have a lot of things that can go wrong without proper attention and care. Even in perfect weather conditions, every roof will experience some level of wear and tear over its life.

In order for a roof to make it through its expected life span, it will need to be maintained. While it may seem like a hassle to take care of a commercial roof, the benefits of preventative maintenance are too great to walk away from. Here’s what preventative maintenance can do for your roof: 

Catch the little things before they become big things.

A roof experiences hundreds of little things that over time cause it to deteriorate. Most of these things are almost undetectable to anyone other than a roofer, and over time these small problems can develop into major leaks or structural damage. Preventative maintenance fixes those small issues before they become major expenses. 

Take advantage of manufacturer warranties.

Sometimes, a roofing product just doesn’t perform the way it’s supposed to. The best manufacturers provide long-lasting, comprehensive warranties for situations in which the product fails. Understanding these warranties and realizing when a product is eligible for replacement is much more difficult than it seems. With regular maintenance inspections, roofers get a chance to go over a roof’s materials and make sure they are working properly and discover if a roof product is eligible for replacement before it’s too late.

Save money.

Preventative maintenance makes it less likely that a commercial roof will require a major repair. Paying for inspections and small repairs will cost far less in the long run than it would for a major repair or re-roof. Structural damage to a roof can also cause damage to equipment and other parts of the building, costing even more. Maintenance also makes a roof last longer, so you get more out of your investment.

Save time and avoid stress.

Dealing with a building disaster can be time-consuming and stressful. With regular roof inspections, you can predict what is coming down the line and avoid a sudden emergency. In the long run, this saves time and avoids unnecessary stress.

Be more eco-friendly.

Major roof repairs and re-roofs require a lot of material. By keeping a roof well-maintained, you are extending its life and the longevity of the materials used on it. 

Plan your budget.

Roof forecast assessments help commercial building owners plan for major expenses. This lets building owners know what they need to save and avoid unpleasant budgeting surprises.

If scheduling roof maintenance still sounds too overwhelming, turn to MAXCare® by Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. MAXCare lets property management companies manage all their roofs in one easy-to-use online portal. This organizes all the reports and assessments, so you know exactly what’s going on with all your facility rooftops.

To learn more about roof maintenance or MAXCare, contact Maxwell today.

5 Ways to Prepare for a Commercial Roof Inspection

Regular inspections are essential to extending the life of a commercial roof. Without inspections, problems on the roof can go undetected and lead to deterioration. While inspections are necessary, they can be intimidating for building owners who haven’t gotten one before.

Here are some tips for what to do before getting a commercial roof inspection:

1. Do a self-inspection.

You’ll need a professional roofer to diagnose a problem, but a self-inspection can help identify areas of concern that the inspector should watch closely. Walk the roof, scanning for debris, standing water, and obvious damage. Take note of what you think the inspector should be aware of.

2. List known problems.

Often commercial building owners call in for an inspection because of a problem. This may be a leak or a loose piece of flashing. It could also be a strange noise coming from the roof or something else that doesn’t have a clear cause. Lay out these known problems in a list, and make sure your contractor explains the problem to you after the inspection.

3. Track down warranty information.

All your roof’s components should come with a manufacturer warranty. Warranties will help you get a repair or replacement for free in case of a defect, but they can be tricky to redeem. Having all of your warranty information on hand will help the inspector determine if any part of the roof qualifies for replacement.

4. Find a contractor.

The most important step in getting a roof inspection is finding the right contractor. Look for a roofing company with a good reputation and a long history in business. Try to find a company that can be a long-term partner in the health of a roof rather than a roofer who may not stay in business.

5. Get a customized management plan.

The first inspection should only be the beginning of a roof management plan that lasts the life of a commercial roof. Quality roofing companies can provide building owners with a comprehensive management plan that automatically schedules inspections and projects when repairs are likely to be needed. Developing a plan like this greatly extends the life of a commercial roof.

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. offers forecasting assessments, inspections, and a full management plan called MAXCare®. To learn how the Maxwell team can turn a routine inspection into a plan to extend the life of your roof, contact us today.

What to Know About the Maxwell Roofing Experience

Unlike other basic roofing companies, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. is a one-stop shop for all commercial roofing needs. We do everything from design and fabrication to construction and maintenance, and we do it all with the most professional and quality-focused team of roofers. Here’s what our customers can expect for every step of their roof’s life with Maxwell Roofing.

Fabrication

Sheet metal is a critical component of any commercial roof. While most roofing companies buy pre-cut sheet metal, Maxwell fabricates its own. Our fabrication shop allows us to create custom materials to fit any roof design. While other roof companies limit their customers to mass-produced components, Maxwell can create the best components for the job. On top of it all, Maxwell’s design services are free.

Construction

With more than 60 years in business, Maxwell Roofing has installed just about every type of roof system and design you can imagine. We can do everything from traditional single ply to specialized green roofs and patios. Maxwell has all the certifications and skills you would expect in a good roofing company, but what we really pride ourselves on is our service to customers. All of Maxwell’s employees are trained not only to do their jobs right but to explain their work to customers in a clear and professional manner.

Maintenance

For Maxwell roofers, a roof’s construction is just the beginning of a long relationship. All commercial roofs should be maintained properly in order to last, and Maxwell has the best maintenance plan in the business. MAXCare® allows property managers to track the maintenance schedules and inspections of all of their roofs in one easy-to-use online portal. Maxwell inspectors use industry-leading reporting to inform building managers about exactly what is going on with each roof. The program has forecasting tools built in to limit surprise expenses and help a roof last for its full expected life.

Emergency Service

Even with the best materials, construction, and maintenance, roof accidents are still bound to happen every once in a while. MAXCare® customers have 24/7 access to a dispatcher in case of an emergency. Fast repairs can prevent further damage to a roof in an emergency.

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. isn’t just a roofing company; they are a partner throughout the entire life of a commercial roof. To learn more about how Maxwell can help with your commercial roofing project, contact us today.

How to Avoid Ice Damage on a Commercial Roof

Considering it’s only frozen water, ice is surprisingly adept at causing damage to a commercial roof. Left unprotected, a roof can emerge from winter much worse off than it was going in. Here’s some helpful information regarding what ice can do to a commercial roof and what to do to prevent damage.

Ice Damage to Commercial Roofs

When it gets cold, any water that is already on a roof may freeze and expand. This ice can block drains, buckle flashings, and expand gaps in the roof. Storms can also dump ice directly onto a roof. The weight of this ice can stress roof structures and, in some cases, even cause collapse. Even small amounts of ice will eventually melt, possibly causing water damage.

One of the most common problems is an ice dam on a roof. Ice dams occur when commercial roof ice melts and flows to the edge of a commercial roof. When this water re-freezes, it creates a wall, or dam, that can prevent future ice melt from leaving the roof. 

Preventing Ice Damage

Preventing ice damage on a commercial roof begins before winter even starts with an inspection in the fall. During this inspection, a roofer will examine the roof for moisture that may later freeze into ice. The inspector will also identify any clogs or blockages that will prevent ice melt from leaving the roof. For some roofs, the inspector may recommend a commercial roof ice system, known as an ice shield or ice guard.

Once winter is underway, some roofs may require regular de-icing. Chemical de-icers can prevent ice buildup during a storm and help clear a roof before ice buildup becomes a problem. It’s important to make sure that any chemicals used on the roof won’t damage the building materials and also comply with local environmental regulations.

Commercial Roof Ice Systems

Roof ice shields or ice guards are a protective coating that sits on top of a commercial roof deck. The membrane protects the roof from leaks as the ice melts. Once ice has melted, the water that doesn’t leave the roof will leak down to the ice guard, which will catch it and direct it toward the gutters. Installing this type of system in problem areas prevents standing water on a roof and ensures that ice doesn’t accumulate.

To learn more about how to protect your commercial roof from ice and snow, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today.

Is 2020 the Year for a New Commercial Roof?

If your roof is getting old, if it has serious damage, or if it’s just full of outdated materials, then 2020 might be the year for an upgrade. New construction for a commercial roof is a big undertaking, but it’s usually worth the effort. Here are some signs that it’s time to get a new commercial roof.

Reasons to Get a New Commercial Roof

  1. Leaks and damage: Sometimes, leaks can be solved with a simple repair, but often they’re signs that something more serious is going on with the roof. If you have severe leaks, you may have other problems, and it’s probably time for a new commercial roof. Other damage to the roof membranes, flashings, or deck can also signal the need for a new roof.
  2. Investing in the longevity of your building: The cost of a new commercial roof can be off-putting, but the investment goes a long way. New commercial roofs can last for more than 20 years, and they also protect the rest of the building from damage. Without a good roof, your building may be prone to damage from storms or moisture.
  3. Improve energy efficiency: Energy efficiency technology has come a long way in the last few years, and roofs play a large part in how many of those technologies function. A new commercial roof can get better insulation or be fitted for solar panels or some other kind of technology to lower electricity bills and make your building more efficient.
  4. Structural roof damage: Old roofs or roofs that have undergone some sort of accident can become structurally unsound. When this happens, it doesn’t just endanger your roof but the integrity of the entire building. If a roof is sagging or bending, it’s time to get a new commercial roof as soon as possible.
  5. Damage to roof equipment or penetrations: Damage to roof accessories like flashings, drains, or penetrations like skylights can be a cause for a roof replacement. Sometimes, these accessories can’t be replaced, and you will need a whole new roof.
  6. Get a new design: Maybe you want to make your building more green. Maybe you want some nice skylights to wow your clients. A new commercial roof opens up a whole world of design possibilities.

If you’re thinking about starting a new year with a new roof, consider Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. We have more than 60 years of experience and pride ourselves on the quality of our work. To learn more about how Maxwell can help you get the most from your new commercial roof, contact us today.

How to Maximize the Life of Your Commercial Roof

Commercial roofs are a big investment. Business owners who are about to spend big money on a new roof are probably wondering, What is the life expectancy of a roof? 

Brand new roofs should last long enough to make the building owner’s investment worth it, but that isn’t always the case. So, what is the life of a roof? It depends on how you treat it. There are many factors in determining the life expectancy of a roof. Here are some tips for making that new roof last as long as possible:

1. Schedule regular inspections.

Professional roofing inspections help catch roof problems early on and repair them before they can affect the long-term health of the roof. Facility managers should perform regular self-inspections for obvious roof damage, and a professional should come by a few times a year for a forecast assessment. Roofing forecasts can help predict future maintenance needs and help facility managers plan for upcoming costs.

2. Create a maintenance plan.

Maintenance is the single most important thing that a building owner can do to extend the life of a roof. Using information from professional forecast assessments, building managers should be able to create a detailed schedule for minor repairs and roof part replacements. Programs like our own MAXCare® create no-hassle roof management plans for property owners. MAXCare® automatically schedules maintenance and inspections so property managers never miss an important roof check up. 

3. Plan for emergencies.

Even the best maintenance plan can’t control the weather. Storms, falling trees, and other emergencies are always a risk. To be sure that an uncontrollable calamity doesn’t affect the life of your roof, you should have an emergency plan. Responding quickly in an emergency can prevent the need for a major repair or roof replacement, this is why MAXCare® includes 24/7 emergency response. 

4. Choose more durable materials if buying a new roof.

The typical life of a commercial roof made with conventional materials is anywhere between 10 to 30 years, depending on installation and how it is treated, but what is the life of a metal roof? Metal roofs can last up to 70 years depending on the materials used. If you’re buying a new roof or are in need of a roof replacement, consider a long-lasting material like metal.

To learn more about how to extend the life of your commercial roof, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today.

5 Reasons Comprehensive Roof Assessments Are a Must

Plenty of things can go wrong with a commercial roof system, but it takes a trained eye to find the small problems. Only a trained roofer can tell what parts of a roof need maintenance and repair, which is what makes regular comprehensive roof assessments a must for any facility manager. Here are just a few of the reasons that roof assessments are so important:

1. Stop a small problem before it becomes a big problem.

What’s an almost undetectable maintenance problem today, could become a leak or major repair down the road. Comprehensive roof assessments give roofers a chance to fix the little things before they become big, expensive problems.

2. Proactively plan your budget.

It’s a lot easier to come up with the money for a repair when you know that it’s coming. A regular roof assessment is the only way to know your roof condition, which allows you to plan for whatever maintenance is in the future.

3. Prepare for the changing seasons.

A small puddle in the summer can become an ice blockage during a winter freeze. An assessment gives a roofer a chance to clear the roof of anything that might become an issue when the season’s change, preventing a major problem later on.

4. Ensure you get the most out of your warranties.

Many roof parts and equipment come with good warranties. To take full advantage of these warranties, the roof needs to be well-maintained and the equipment with the warranty needs to be monitored carefully. Regular roof assessments are a chance to make sure everything is functioning as it should be and to cash in on those warranties if it’s not.

5. Extend the life of your roof.

When paired with maintenance, roof assessments are the best way to extend the life of a commercial roof. If left alone, a roof can develop problems that will eventually threaten its structural integrity. With a regular roof assessment, small repairs are completed before they can become a major leak.

6. Save money.

Roof inspections prevent roofs from developing costly problems, saving your business time and money. While there is an upfront cost for an inspection, it’s nothing compared to the cost of a major repair or re-roof.

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can help make your roof last longer with regular assessments, contact us today.

How to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for a Nashville Winter

Harsh winter conditions can spell disaster for an unprepared commercial roof. Even Nashville’s mild winters should be a concern for facility managers who want to keep their buildings in good shape. The shift from a hot summer to a cold winter leads to many changes on a rooftop, and if left alone, a roof can crack in the winter or spring a leak. Here are some tips for roof winterization in Nashville.

Why Worry About Winter?

The most common problem that roofs face in winter is the accumulation of ice. Moisture can build up on a roof during the summer and fall. Sometimes, this water can seep into caulking and roof panels or sit inside drains. When winter arrives that water freezes and expands, cracking the roof and creating clogs and leaks. 

How to Prepare a Roof for Winter

Every roof management program should include a plan for the winter transition. In places like Nashville, where snow is not common, roof winterization is typically focused on debris and moisture removal. While regular cleaning can sometimes be done by a general maintenance team, the cleaning in preparation for winter should be done by a professional so that they can properly inspect for clogs and ensure that all the drains are working properly.

Some roofs will also need small repairs in advance of winter. Small separations of roof panels and cracked caulking provide the perfect places for water to seep in. In winter, this water turns into ice and can cause structural problems in the roof or create a leak.

Emergency Response

Preparing an emergency response plan is also critical for winter. Ice storms can cause trees to fall or quickly fill a roof with dangerous debris. It’s critical to have a plan in place that allows you to respond quickly to these roofing emergencies. Having a professional on-call at all times during winter could save your building extensive damage in an emergency situation.

Prepare with a Management Program

Whether it’s winter or spring, all commercial roofs should have preventative maintenance plans to keep them working for the duration of their expected lives. The best way to do this is through a roof management program with a local roofing company. These programs provide customers with everything from forecast assessments to discounted repairs and roof winterization. Some programs, like Maxwell’s MAXCare® program, also provide 24/7 emergency response services to protect their customers’ roofs during extreme weather.

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc.’s MAXCare program can help you prepare for winter, contact us today.

Commercial Roof Preventative Maintenance 101

Not even the best commercial roofs last forever, but with proper maintenance and preventative care they can last a long time. The key to extending the longevity of any roof is to keep it in the best condition possible. Here are the basics anyone with a commercial roof needs to know about preventative maintenance.

What Is Roof Maintenance?

Roof maintenance encompasses everything from cleaning and repairs to general assessments. If left completely alone, roofs will accumulate debris and small damage. Without intervention, these little problems will worsen, causing the roof to need to be replaced prematurely. 

To maintain a commercial roof, building managers should schedule regular cleanings to remove debris that might cause damage. Yearly inspections are also important to uncover developing leaks and to reveal which specialized roof parts—flashing, gutters, etc.—might need to be replaced.

Good roof maintenance is also critical for complying with factory warranties. Most roofing products come with a guarantee that they will last a certain amount of time. If the manufacturer finds that the roof is not properly maintained, however, it can void the warranty.

How Does Roof Maintenance Save Money?

Roof maintenance can be expensive, but it saves a building owner’s money in the long-term by extending the life of the roof. The best way to save money and still get the benefits of preventative roof care is to join a roof management program, like Maxwell’s MAXCare®

MAXCare helps building owners save on each individual inspection and get discounted repairs. MAXCare customers are also the first priority in an emergency situation, like a storm. With an emergency repair, every minute could cost money in further damage to the roof or other parts of the building.

How Do You Assess Your Roof Maintenance Needs?

With MAXCare, you don’t have to assess your own roof maintenance needs, because a professional will do it for you. Starting with a forecast assessment, a professional roofer will lay out a maintenance schedule for the entire life of your roof, helping you prepare your budget for the future. All roofs have different needs, so it’s best to let a professional handle the planning.

Another advantage of using MAXCare is the program’s industry-leading reporting. Using cutting-edge software, Maxwell technicians log all of their work in one portal so that property managers have easy access to the information they need. With MAXCare, there are never any unwanted surprises or questionable repairs.

To learn more about how MAXCare can help your company keep its commercial roof maintained, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today.

Best Practices for Gutter & Roof Drain Debris Removal

Leaves and small debris may not seem like something that can damage a hardy commercial roofing system, but if left alone these little messes can turn into major problems over time, causing leaks and other damage. Regularly cleaning gutters and roof drains should be an integral part of any roof management program. Here are some tips for keeping those roofs sparkling clean:

Know your draining system

You’ve probably heard of gutters, but what is a roof drain? Roof drains are typically used on large commercial roofs to drain from the interior part of the roof and not just the edges. Whether you have gutters or a roof drain will change the frequency and type of debris removal that your roof requires. A professional roofer should be able to immediately identify which type of draining system a roof uses and to remove debris accordingly.

Safety first

Whether you’re the one going up on the ladder or you paid a professional to do the job, safety is the most important consideration when removing debris from a roof. Proper safety gear like goggles, gloves, and safety tie offs should be employed during the entire process. It’s also important to consider how the debris will be removed. Throwing leaves and sticks off the side of a roof can be hazardous to people below and workers should consider using bags to store the debris and remove it safely.

Watch out for clogs

A debris cleaning is a great time to examine the gutter and drain systems for clogs and wear and tear. When cleaning a roof, you should also water-test drains and gutters to ensure that moisture on the roof is able to escape properly. Check for loose bolts and screws on gutters, and examine flashings, sealants, and seams for problems. Not just any maintenance worker can do this kind of detailed inspection so it’s important to call in a professional at least a few times a year to make sure everything is working properly.

Prepare for winter

What is just a pile of damp leaves in the fall can become a frozen drain blockage during the winter. Small amounts of water pooling can also become an issue as water seeps into a roof and then freezes and expands. Just because roof debris seems innocuous in the summer doesn’t mean it won’t be an issue later on. Anticipating the change of seasons is an important detail in roof maintenance.

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal can help keep your commercial roof debris-free, contact us today.

The Benefits of White Reflective Roof Cleaning

White reflective roof membranes, or cool roofs, are one of the most popular choices for commercial roofs. The light color reflects the sun’s rays away from the building, lowering the roof temperature and easing the effects of harmful UV rays. 

It’s true that using a light-colored roof surface can help lower electricity bills and even prolong the life of the roof, but this only works if the roof maintains its light color and reflective properties. The best way to ensure that a cool roof stays cool is to get regular cleanings by a professional roofer. 

Most roof manufacturers recommend building managers have commercial roof cleaning services contracted to be performed at least once a year. While it may be tempting to attempt this cleaning with in-house janitors, roofs require special care. Only certified roofing companies have access to proper commercial roof cleaning products and the safety equipment necessary for performing a precise cleaning.

The Benefits of Commercial Roofing Cleaning

  • Roof cleaning keeps white roofs white. Roofs are a building’s first line of defense against the elements. Roofs are constantly exposed to rain, mud, dirt, pollen, and air pollutants, and even the most cared for commercial roof will eventually become dirty. Only regular cleanings can keep grime from building up and permanently discoloring a roof.
  • Roof cleaning improves energy savings. In order to maintain its heat-reflecting properties, white roofs need to remain free of debris and dirt. A clean roof will better reflect sunlight away from the building, deflecting extreme temperatures and lowering cooling bills.
  • Roof cleaning improves longevity. Not only can dirt and grime make a roof look shabby, it can also lead to damage. Pollutants in the air can build up and break down a roof’s waterproofing materials, causing leaks and holes. Contracting a roof company for commercial roof cleaning services allows opportunity for roofers to uncover small damage that otherwise would have gone unnoticed and could have led to major repairs.
  • Roof cleaning prevents mold. While white roofs have a lot of advantages, there are some studies that show they may be more susceptible to mold due to moisture. Regular roof cleanings eliminate the possibility that a commercial roof will develop a mold problem.

To learn more about commercial roof cleaning and preventative maintenance, call Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today.

5 Ways Summer Heat Can Affect a Commercial Roof

Your roof has escaped the winter storms and spring hail, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally safe. For commercial roofs, summer can bring serious problems as extreme heat and high humidity put a strain on its structure and materials.

Unlike major cracks or leaks caused by other types of extreme weather, heat damage can be hard to identify. To prevent long-term roof problems, it’s important to perform self-inspections during the summer and to have a professional roofing company to make regular evaluations.

Here are five things to look for when the summer heat has started to bear down on your roof:

  1. Thermal Shock—Commercial roofs are constantly exposed to sunlight and can reach more than 180 degrees on hot summer days. When the sun goes down, the roof temperature rapidly decreases. This quick temperature change can cause problems as your roof materials quickly expand during the day and contract at night. This severe temperature change is known as thermal shock, and it can cause your roof to warp or create gaps over time.
  1.  Sun Damage—Just as UV rays can gradually damage your skin, they can also damage your roof. The sun degrades materials on the roof if they aren’t properly treated, bleaching or blackening the roof. Wood and shingles are particularly vulnerable to damage.
  2.  Drying—Roof heating can also dry out the oils in some roof materials. When roof linings or structural materials get dry, they become brittle and can crack. If left untreated, those fractures can damage the structural integrity of the roof or degrade its waterproofing materials and cause leaks.
  3. High Humidity—High heat combined with high humidity is one of the biggest risks to a commercial roof. When a roof has expanded, due to high heat, it can absorb additional moisture. In places like the Southeast, where the summers tend to be humid, commercial roofs are at high risk for retaining moisture. Water patches can cause leaks and, if left unfixed, can lead to roof collapses.
  4. Popped Seams and Loose Screws—The combination of high heat, harsh UV rays, and an expansion and contraction of the roof surface can lead to popped roof seams and loose screws. Penetrations like skylights and vents are hot spots for this type of damage.

The key to beating the summer heat is to schedule ongoing roof maintenance and evaluate your roof’s vulnerability. To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can protect your roof, contact us today

5 Common Misconceptions About Commercial Roofing Preventative Maintenance

If not carefully attentive on an ongoing basis, a lot can go wrong with a commercial roof. However, businesses often ignore their roofs until disaster strikes. There are many myths about modern roof maintenance and how frequently roofs should be inspected. To clear up some of the rumors, here are some insights to several common misconceptions about commercial roofing preventative maintenance, so you can get back on track with proper preventative roof maintenance practices.

MYTH 1: Waiting to fix roof problems saves money.

Many business owners think that waiting for damage to take its course or waiting for roof replacement can save money. The fact is that leaving roof damage until the last minute only leads to more damage to the building. Leaks and holes in the roof can cause water damage in other parts of the building. Tears and damaged insulation can have a direct impact on a building’s heating and cooling bills. Commercial roof preventative maintenance is the only thing that could save money in the long run by preventing disasters before they happen.

MYTH 2: Roofs only need to be examined when there is damage.

For commercial roofs, damage can begin very slowly and go almost unnoticed. Waiting for roof damage or replacement to get an inspection is a missed opportunity to have prevented the damage in the first place. By following a roof preventative maintenance checklist, facility managers will regularly check problematic parts of the roof. Regularly caring for the roof can prevent slow building damage and keep the roof in shape so it can face storms and other types of common damage. You can wait for an inspection until your roof is damaged, or you can avoid small problems before they become full-blown damage.

MYTH 3: Flashing only needs to be replaced when you get a new roof.

It’s easy to think of a commercial roof as one system. But, while each part of a roof has to work together to function, every individual piece has its own maintenance schedule. Flashing should be specially maintained to prolong its life, but even then, it may need to be replaced earlier than other parts of the roof.

MYTH 4: Every roof maintenance company can handle every type of roof.

Not all roof materials are created equal. Shingle roofs need a very different type of care than asphalt roofs. Metal roofs also require special care and may be best handled by a company with an in-house fabrication shop. Not every roof maintenance company has the expertise to handle metal roof maintenance.

MYTH 5:  Warranties cover all roof problems.

Roof warranties only cover manufacturing defects. In some cases, a warranty may cover major damage to your roof, but usually manufacturer defects start as small problems and only grow to a disaster once the warranty is expired. To catch these small issues, it’s important to get regular roof inspections from a professional roofing company.

Maxwell Roofing and Sheet Metal, Inc. has great pride in the thoroughness of our maintenance program. To learn more about our roof inspections, contact us today.

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.

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 Steps for Fixing Hail Damage on a Commercial Roof

April showers bring May flowers…and huge costs from hail damage from spring and summer storms. As with most maintenance issues, prevention is key. As a business owner, you keep up-to-date insurance policies, repair and maintain your structure, and address any issues as they arise. You get regular roof inspections and have implemented waterproofing and weatherproofing techniques. When it comes to Mother Nature, though, there are no guarantees. If you happen to be in the path of a vicious spring storm, hail damage on a commercial roof can be costly, and fixing it can be a headache. Here are seven steps for fixing hail damage on a commercial roof.

1. Determine the Extent of the Damage

Once the clouds have passed, you’ll want to survey the damage on the roof itself. Take all necessary precautions when making the initial inspection. If additional storms are in the forecast or the sun is setting, you may want to wait until a more opportune time to view the damage.

Once you have eyes on the roof, you’re looking to classify the type of hail damage the storm caused. An insurance professional will verify this assessment, but knowing the extent of the damage upfront will help you start to craft a strategy for repair and start researching professionals to help you get the job done right. There are a few signs of commercial roofing hail damage to keep your eyes open for when you’re surveying the structure.

2. Look for Circular Dents

This classic damage pattern can be seen on a variety of commercial roofing materials, including metal, wood, or composite materials. The dents are often arranged in a scattershot pattern, although there may be sections of the roof that have more damage than others. A circular indent indicates the presence of large hail and can range in diameter from a few centimeters to several inches in length, depending on the size of the hail.

3. Check for Missing Shingles

Shingles that are missing, askew, or not fully secured is also a sign of hail damage. Depending on the material of the shingles, inclement weather may have had the force to remove small pieces of roofing or the damage may cover the entire structure. If roofing material is darker in color, it can be difficult to determine if small sections are missing or damaged. When possible, touching material with your hands can indicate the presence of damage, even if it’s not immediately apparent to the naked eye.

4. Photograph any Black, Red, Yellow, or White Markings

Some roofing materials are able to withstand an onslaught of weather, and the only signs of structural damage may be markings from hail impacts on the commercial roofing materials or shingles themselves. Different materials show damage in different ways, and colored streaks of black, red, white, or yellow markings could indicate damage from a sudden storm.

5. Contact Your Insurance Professional

Once you’ve viewed the damage, your next call should be to your insurance professional. Having expert eyes view the damage can give you a better idea of the scope of the damage and the possible cost of repairs. Providing the assessor or agent with photographic evidence may help your claim be processed more quickly, which is essential for getting repairs completed in a timely manner.

6. Don’t Leave Commercial Roofing Damage Unaddressed

It’s important to remember that commercial roofs are not residential roofs. The cost of replacing even a small section of a commercial roof tile can be much higher than a large section of a residential roof. Commercial and industrial roofs are also subject to stricter building and safety codes. The cost and complexity can make business owners hesitate when they consider replacement. Letting even minor damage linger through a second cold winter or storm season could cause even greater costs in the long run.

7. Partner With a Company that Specializes in Commercial Roofing

Companies that mostly handle residential roofing don’t have the tools, materials, and experience to patch, replace, or repair commercial roofing. While your insurance company may give you suggestions on what company to contact, you’ll need to do careful research to make sure the contractor you work with can properly repair your commercial roofing. Unaddressed roofing issues can lead to moisture ingress, mold issues, or high heating or cooling costs due to escaping air.

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has years of experience installing, maintaining, and repairing a variety of commercial roofs. Schedule a call with us today to learn more about how we can help protect your investment by maintaining your building’s longevity.

5 Ways to Avoid Unwanted Surprises through a Roofing Forecast Assessment

Even the best commercial roofs don’t last forever, and keeping tabs on the health of a building’s roof is one of the most important jobs for any facility manager. Leaks and other serious damages may be easy to spot, but what about hidden damages that lead to big problems down the line?

Because they are such complicated systems, commercial roofs can have plenty of problems that build slowly and aren’t apparent to an inexperienced eye. Concealed moisture, bad weld jobs, loose seams, and other seemingly small problems can lead to a big and costly surprise down the road. Here are five tips for avoiding unwanted surprises with your commercial roof:

1. Get regular roof assessments.

Don’t wait until after a hail storm to get your roof assessed. Trouble with a roof isn’t always weather-related, and catching little problems before they become big problems is the best way to save on costly repairs.

2. Only trust professionals with roof inspections.

A facility manager may be involved with everything going on inside a commercial building, but there are some types of damage that only a professional roofer can recognize. Roof inspectors are specially-trained to spot damage as it happens, not once the roof starts to leak.

3. Prepare your budget for an emergency.

Even carefully monitoring your roof can’t prepare you for an unexpected accident or weather event. Don’t get caught off guard—keep a budget for roofing repairs. A good rule is planning to save $750 for each simple repair. Roofs with patios and roofs that support heavy equipment will need more repairs than roof tops that rarely see traffic.

4. Find a roofer with forecasting assessments.

When looking for a roofing company, find one that does forecasting as part of their traditional damage assessment. Forecasting allows you to see into your roof’s future and plan for big expenses down the line. Good reporting is critical to forecasting, and the best roofers will offer comprehensive reports with the roof’s current condition and future recommendations.

5. Prevent disasters with a maintenance plan.

With regular roof forecasting assessments, you can make a long-term maintenance plan to extend the life of your roof. Addressing small problems on your roof through preventative maintenance and weatherproofing is the surest way to avoid a costly roofing emergency.

Get All the Prevention Tools You Need in One Place

Our team at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. prides ourselves on the quality of our roof management program. Through our MAXCare program, customers get regular roof assessments with forecasting. Each assessment in this long-term monitoring program comes with one of our industry-leading reports that includes details on a roof’s condition and projections for future maintenance and costs. For unplanned emergencies, MAXCare also gives customers access to roofers 24 hours a day.

Visit us today to learn more about MAXCare and how it can help extend the life of your commercial roof.

Professional Development: CERTA Train-the-Trainer Certification

Commercial roofing can be a hazardous business. In addition to working from dangerous heights while installing complicated equipment, many of the tools used during a project should be handled carefully. Torch-down systems are one of the most potentially-hazardous aspects of the job. For this reason, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) developed the Certified Roofing Torch Applicator (CERTA) program to train installers on the safe use of roofing torches. As the need for CERTA training increased, the NRCA was looking for a way to scale their training program.

Investing in Our Employees Through CERTA Train-the-Trainer Certification

Earlier this year, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. was selected by the NRCA to host its regional Train-the-Trainer Authorization program, which allows roofing contractors (and others) to lead the CERTA class without NRCA’s assistance.

The training was held in advance of NRCA’s International Roofing Expo. More than 40 attendees, including Maxwell Roofing employees and other roofing professionals, spent an entire Sunday learning the ins-and-outs of CERTA Training. As the host, Maxwell was honored to partner with the NRCA, as they provided the knowledge and training for proper roof torching.

“I was fortunate enough to be a part of this event and earned my CERTA Train-the-Trainer certificate,” said David Daniel, Project Manager for Maxwell Roofing. “I got to meet others in the industry and trade best practices,” he adds.

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s Commitment to Employee Development

For the Maxwell Roofing leadership team, employees are family. Whether it’s hosting an employee appreciation event or offering specific professional development opportunities for commercial roofers, we believe that investing in our employees is an important priority.

“Safety and training are key to the future of the industry. Being able to participate in something like this makes me proud to be a part of the team here at Maxwell Roofing,” Daniel affirms.

If you’re looking for a commercial roofing partner in Nashville or Huntsville who values training and continuing education and skills, we invite you to learn more about our services or read how we’ve partnered with businesses like yours.

Preparing Your Roof for a North Alabama Winter

With average lows between 32°F and 35°F between the months of December and February, North Alabama winters, while not comfortable, are generally mild.

But, however sporadic they may be, freezing temperatures and snowfall can represent real risk to your commercial roof if it’s not correctly prepared.

Here are four ways you can prepare your roof for a North Alabama winter:

1. Perform an inspection of the roof before winter officially begins.

Ideally, this inspection will be performed by a professional, as they’ll know the exact signs to look for and may be able to point out potential roof health issues before they occur.

The professional roofer will look for visible cracks or seams in the roofing material, cracks in the roof’s caulking, structural damage to flashings, and gaps or punctures anywhere on the roof’s surface, including the edges, to avoid potential leaks or wind uplift.

This step is important in all climates, but it’s crucial here in North Alabama, as the heat of the sun can cause expansion, drying, and/or cracking of the roofing material that may prove hazardous when the roof material cools and contracts.

2. Clean, clean, clean.

Structural integrity isn’t the only risk factor for your roof in inclement weather. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any branches, debris buildup, or foreign objects on your roof’s surface.

While these objects may not have caused any damage yet, their presence presents a risk to your roof during inclement weather, as they can either puncture the roof’s membrane or, in the case of debris, it can collect moisture from fall rain or winter snow. The more moisture the debris retains, the bigger chance for mold or rotting.

This also means cleaning your gutters, as clogged gutters may keep water from cleanly flowing off the roof. The risk here is that the water will end up pooling on the roof itself or flowing over the gutters onto the walls of the building.

3. Examine the insulation.

It’s easy to think the only function of insulation is to keep us warm. And, while that’s true, it also helps prevent a major winter weather roof problem: ice damming.

Ice damming is what happens when improper insulation allows heat to transfer to the roof, where ice or snow melts into water, then flows to the gutters and edges of your roof. It then refreezes, leading to added weight that could damage the gutters or pull them away from the roof itself.

4. Make a plan.

Despite our best efforts, sometimes roofing emergencies occur, whether it’s due to a falling branch or an unexpected spell of extreme weather.

Create a plan for what you’ll do if you experience a roofing emergency during the winter months. Do you have a relationship with a roofing company that performs emergency services? Do you have a budget for emergency roof repairs? Who is responsible for identifying roof damage and contacting the emergency repair team?

Preparing your roof for winter in North Alabama is not a complicated process, but it does require planning and work—and, it’s much easier when you have the guidance of a professional.

If you want to learn more about preparing your roof for the winter and how Maxwell can help keep your roof in tip-top shape despite lower temperatures, click here to contact us.

How Severe Weather Can Affect Commercial Roofing

Severe weather puts things in perspective. It can make us stay home from work, check on loved ones we haven’t talked to in months, or hide out in a basement for hours on end. Mother Nature is indifferent to our plans, our jobs, and especially our roofs.

Whether you’ve recently experienced a severe storm or you’re about to, here’s what you need to know about how severe weather affects commercial roofs.

Material Matters

Not all commercial roofs are constructed the same way. There are multiple types of commercial roof builds, and each respond to severe weather differently. Here are a few of the most common commercial roof build types and how they respond to severe weather.

1. Built-Up RoofingBuilt-Up Roofing systems, also referred to as BUR, generally are composed of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics that create a finished membrane. There are two types of layers for BUR roofs. The first is either gravel or some other type of granule, which endures hail well, but is vulnerable to wind, which can blow off this top layer, leaving lower layers open to damage from water or hail. The second is a smooth finish, such as asphalt. Smooth finishes on a built-up roof, while less susceptible to wind damage, are more vulnerable to hail.

2. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Roofing—EPDM roofing is rubber roofing. This type of roof generally fairs well in severe weather. However, like all roofs, if there is not a sufficient slope and water starts to pond in specific areas, then there is a risk of damage due to the weight of the water and the fact that, after repeated instances, it may eventually eat through the surface of the roof and cause a leak.

3. Metal Roofing—Metal roofing generally holds up well during storms, sustaining mainly superficial damage. One thing to be aware of, though, is the roof’s finish. The finish can be “chipped or cracked by the hail, which can then lead to the development of rust.”

4. Thermoplastic Roofing—Because thermoplastic roofing is made to flex, it is generally resilient in the face of hail. However, severe hail could damage the layers beneath the surface without showing any visible damage. An important thing to note is that thermoplastic roofing is a comparatively new technology. Working with a professional roofer can help you properly evaluate how this type of material holds up to severe weather in your area.

Severe Weather Risks with All Commercial Roofs—Regardless of Construction Material

Regardless of their construction material, all commercial roofs are susceptible to damage from wind uplift and water. Wind uplift is when “strong air gets underneath the roof materials and pulls them up.” When this happens, “rain can get underneath and begin to rot out the materials.” Water damage can either be acute or occur over time. If wind uplift severely damages the integrity of the roof, water can enter within a short time frame. But if wind uplift does not occur, there is still a risk of ponding water on roofs without sufficient slope.

While ponding water may not cause an immediate problem, over time, it can wear down the surface of a roof and form a leak. No matter what type of roof you have, if you’ve recently experienced severe weather, you’ll want to check for damage. This is best done by a roofing professional, as some damage may not be immediately noticeable—or may be so subtle that it can only be detected by an experienced professional.

Contact Maxwell Roofing today to learn how our emergency repair services can get your roof back to 100%.

3 Ways Maxwell Roofing’s Nashville Team Maintains a Commitment to Safety

Roofing projects are known for being hazardous to the crew and those in and around the building. According to OSHA, 34 percent of construction-site fatalities from 2003-2013 were the result of falls from roofs.

There has been a lot of incredible work done to create policies and procedures for protecting roof workers over the past few decades. However, many of the injuries that occur in roofing are due to complacency.

This reality is what our Maxwell Roofing team works diligently to avoid. We recognize that no one walks on a job site at the beginning of the day wanting to injure themselves. Injuries happen when we fail to recognize new potential dangers or rely a little too much on our skills and experience to keep us safe.

3 Ways Maxwell Roofing’s Nashville Team Maintains a Commitment to Safety

Throughout the lifecycle and maintenance of your roof, those who work on the roof can face many different threats, such as skylights and units close to the roof’s edge. Here are three ways we proactively work to keep safety top-of-mind for everyone involved with one of our commercial roofing projects:

1. We Conduct Job Hazard Analysis on a Regular Basis

Before any roofing project begins, we conduct a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) to survey the project and essentially answer the question, “What are the things that could go wrong?”

This is not required by law; however, more building owners are starting to request it and many contractors submit a JHA as a matter of course. Additionally, we strive to re-visit and re-submit the JHA on a weekly basis to ensure that supervisors are continuously evaluating the conditions on and around the roof.

2. We Equip Workers with High-Grade Safety Devices for Fall Protection & Injury Prevention

Thankfully, the days of lunch atop a skyscraper with minimal safety equipment are behind us. Today, there are a host of retrofit options that make roofs a safer working environment. Through rooftop safety mechanisms like Roof Davits and Roof Hatch Guard Rails, our team has the skill to control these hazards and maintain a safe environment on your roof.

3. In-depth Documentation & Training

Beyond physical protection measures, we recognize that it’s also important and necessary to have robust policies in place for roof safety. Our team has developed policies that dictate how all installations, routine maintenance checks, and repairs should be conducted to create the safest environment possible. We also train each employee on how to respond in real-world situations that commonly lead to injury.

Roofing contractors are faced with dozens of hazards every time they step foot on a job site—from inclement weather to hazardous substances. This is something that everyone in our organization, from the top to the bottom, is mindful of each day. If you’re looking for a commercial roofing partner in Middle Tennessee, Northern Alabama, and their surrounding areas, we invite you to learn more about our services or view some of our recent projects today.

How to Proactively Prepare for a Commercial Roofing Emergency

Emergency repairs are inevitable over the course of a roof’s life. Exposed to the elements for decades on end, your roof is under attack throughout its entire lifecycle.

Unfortunately, most businesses don’t think about a roofing emergency until they experience one. Between getting the issue fixed immediately, dealing with insurance or warranties, and figuring out how you’re going to pay for the repairs, the process can eventually become a lot more stressful.

And, while you may not be able to prevent every commercial roofing emergency, there are ways you can make the process of dealing with them with much less burden or worry.

How to Proactively Prepare for a Commercial Roofing Emergency

Here are three ways we work with our clients to help them proactively prepare for emergencies that are outside of their control:

1. Develop an Emergency Response Plan

The first step to address roof issues as they arise is to have an action plan before an emergency occurs. All emergency plans should work in conjunction with the building’s regular maintenance plan and include a project schedule, initial inspection procedure, a prioritized list of repairs, and a process for recording the emergency work.

2. Be Financially Prepared with Capital Budget & Warranties

For many businesses, a roofing emergency can potentially seem more damaging to their bank accounts than the roofs themselves. Maxwell Roofing’s team works alongside our clients to consider capital budget strategies to proactively prepare for potential emergencies. We also educate them on the important things to consider when evaluating a commercial roof warranty. By taking these two ideas into consideration, the financial burden of an emergency roof repair won’t be an issue.

3. Address Potential Emergencies through Weatherproofing & Preventative Maintenance

The best defense against potential emergencies is a good offense. There are a few different ways we work to help our clients address potential emergencies before they become significant issues. Each commercial roof is weatherproofed based on specific factors and the unique structure, geography, and materials involved. Additionally, our Roof Monitor system keeps tabs on the conditions of the roof in the midst of damaging weather. Our Maxcare® program is designed to quickly address unexpected emergencies and also prevent small issues before they become big ones.

Is Your Roof Adequately Protected from an Emergency?

No one wants to think about the worst-case scenarios. However, proactively preparing can help you quickly resolve whatever emergency might occur without any stress or headaches. Taking time to implement these three ideas will ensure you’ll be in better shape if a roofing emergency arises.

If you’re interested in learning exactly how we can help your business proactively prepare for a commercial roofing emergency, click here to contact us today. Our team of professionals is ready to assist.

How to Know When It’s Time for a Roof Replacement

It’s a surprise no one likes. It’s more than added stress, noise, and disruption. It’s a five- (or six) figure check for a new roof. Like taxes, roof replacements can’t be avoided. No matter how good you treat your roof, you’ll have to replace it eventually. However, it’s possible to plan for a roof replacement instead of being surprised by it.

A Roof’s Lifecycle

A roof falls into four categories during its lifecycle.

  1. 0-3 years: Honeymoon Phase
  2. 3-5 Years: Preventative Maintenance Phase
  3. 5-15 Years: Ongoing Maintenance Phase
  4. 15-20 Years: Re-Roofing Watch

But, don’t be fooled by those categories. Not all roofs make it to 15 years old. Some fall victim to severe weather, others to faulty installation, and many to poor maintenance practices.

Smart Roof Maintenance

All roofs must be replaced eventually, but there are some easy things you can do to make your roof last longer and save money in the process.

1. Perform Roof Inspections Regularly. Regular roof inspections will help you identify potential problems before they turn into actual problems. We recommend hiring a professional to perform these inspections. Unless you have roofing knowledge or experience, you might not know what you’re looking for. If you miss a small issue, it could turn into a big issue down the road. If you decide to perform a roof inspection yourself, take pictures and notes. You want to have a record of your roof’s condition, so if any major problems arise, you’ll be able to provide your roofer with background information.

2. Put Maintenance at the Forefront. A new roof may need preventative maintenance as early as three years after being installed. Be willing to pay a small price for preventative maintenance to avoid paying a big price for repairs.

3. Fix Problem, Not just Symptoms. Imagine your ceiling has started leaking. The leak is the problem, right? Fix it, and the problem is solved. Not exactly. By this point, the problem could be that the insulation is so saturated with water it can’t absorb anymore—along with the fact there is a hole in the roof. In this case, the leak is the symptom, and there are two problems. The first is the hole causing the leak, and the second is the saturated insulation. When repairing issues, fix the whole problem, not just the symptom. It might be more costly at the time, but it will help extend the life of your roofing system and save money in the long run.

4. Budget for Repairs. Budget about $750 for a simple repair. You can estimate the number of repairs on the amount of foot traffic expected on the roof, as well as the number of repairs needed in previous years.

When to Call a Professional

Sometimes, your roof needs special attention. You should call a roofer if you notice:

  • Cracks, blisters, tears, or other blemishes on the roof’s membrane
  • Failing flashing
  • Soft insulation
  • Water stains on inside walls
  • Leaks

An experienced commercial roofer will be able to identify the severity of these issues and recommend a course-of-action to fix them. An experienced roofer can also estimate how much life your roof has left within these ranges:

  • 1-3 years
  • 3-5 years
  • 5 years or more

So, if your roof has an estimated three years left, you can start budgeting for a roof replacement and eliminate the surprise that too often comes with roof replacements.

When Should You Replace Your Roof?

Only a professional can accurately tell you when your roof should be replaced. However, the four major factors that contribute to the necessity of a roof replacement are:

  1. Roof age (How old is the roof?)
  2. Roof usage (Does it experience a lot of foot traffic?)
  3. Maintenance history (Have you performed maintenance throughout the roof’s lifecycle?)
  4. Roof damage (Has the roof experienced major damage from weather or people?)

Not sure how long your roof has left? Just click here to contact us and learn how we can help!

Client Spotlight: Horrell Company

Serving the Nashville Area with 60 years of Commercial Real Estate Experience 

The Client

One of Middle Tennessee’s leading commercial real estate firms, Horrell Company specializes in real estate brokerage services in leasing and sales, tenant representation, property management, development consulting, and acquisitions for commercial and investment properties in Nashville and throughout the Middle Tennessee market. With 60 years of experience, Horrell Company has built a trusted reputation with its family-owned and operated legacy, core values, and quality service.

Horrell Company’s founder, Thomas Henry Horrell, started Horrell Refrigeration in 1943, providing refrigeration to local grocery stores. Horrell Properties, Inc. was later formed in 1946 and became a flourishing business that gradually evolved into site consultation and development services to grocers. With the purchase of a Sidco Drive and Thompson Lane property in 1955, Horrell Properties, Inc. expanded the business to include commercial real estate, including real estate development, brokerage, and management.

Henry and his sons, Fred and Steve, sold the refrigeration business in 1972 to devote full-time to real estate development, brokerage services, and property management under the name, Horrell Realty and Investments. The company became Horrell Company in 2005 and is the brokerage arm of the Horrell family business. Horrell Company is now led by Steve Horrell as its president and co-brokers, Laura Grider, Ben McKnight, and Mike Russell. Steve, Laura, Ben, and Mike, represent over 100 combined years of experience in Middle Tennessee Commercial Real Estate Sales and Leasing. “I believe what makes Horrell Company unique is that we’re a boutique operation in an ocean of national companies,” says Steve Horrell. “Because of our longevity, we have a real place in the commercial real estate business that includes around 400 tenants from office to retail to industrial to warehousing,” he adds.

The Opportunity

Horrell Company’s now seven-year relationship with Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. began when the Maxwell team reached out to Horrell Company in their process of changing roofing vendors. “We were immediately impressed with the accessibility and quality of Maxwell’s team and services,” affirms Steve. To date, Maxwell Roofing provides ongoing commercial roof maintenance and gutter work for Horrell Company’s facilities. When it comes to what made Horrell Company choose Maxwell Roofing over another roofing company, Steve says “We love that Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. is a local, family-owned and operated business much like ours. We had always heard great things about the Maxwell team, and now, we can attest to the company’s reliability and quality of work, which makes them stand out from other roofing vendors.”

The Solution

As for what makes the relationship with Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. so good, Steve says it is their attention to detail and their execution of processes. “With Maxwell Roofing, you can always get someone on the phone, and their follow-up time is second to none.” Steve explains that the biggest potential issue in the world of commercial property management (aside of mechanical issues) are roofs. “Since Horrell Company is a part of the MAXCare program, the Maxwell Roofing team does an annual update for us, which is extremely helpful because we have partners who want to see the latest roofing surveys. MAXCare sets Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. apart from their competitors,” affirms Steve.

For other businesses considering Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc.’s services, Steve encourages exploring what the Maxwell team has to offer. He explains, “When you’re a property manager, and a roofing issue appears, accessibility matters.” A perfect example of that for Steve was when Horrell Company had a roofing issue to arise on a Sunday. He emailed the Maxwell team with pictures and assuming to hear back on Monday. However, it came as no surprise to Steve when Maxwell’s Service Account Manager, Kalen Canady, emailed him back the same day. “That’s the kind of difference in Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s level of care that has helped them maintain their high-ranking reputation throughout Middle Tennessee,” says Steve, who looks forward to the continued partnership with the Maxwell team.

How MAXCare® Makes Roof Maintenance Simple

You don’t notice some things until it’s too late…like the burnt burgers on the grill or the leaves overflowing from your gutters. That’s often how commercial roof maintenance goes, too. It’s often ignored until there are buckets littering the floor, catching drops of water falling from the ceiling. We’d guess this happens because people are intimidated by the idea of developing a proactive roof maintenance plan.

How often should my roof be evaluated?

What’s the typical cost of repairs?

Does it truly save money in the long-run?

Why MAXCare?

The fact is: Roof maintenance can seem like a vague concept that people tell you is important but have a hard time explaining. “You’ll save money,” they say. And, you know it’s true, but you have a hard time taking any action because you’re not sure how much you’ll save, or if it’s worth all the effort.

That’s where MAXCare® comes in. We know roof maintenance can get confusing. And, too often, people try to sell you on vague concepts without clearly explaining how they will help you or save you money. We created MAXCare so you could get a clear understanding of your roof maintenance plan—and how much money it could potentially save you.

MAXCare is different from Maxwell Roofing’s regular service and maintenance offerings in the way that Maxwell provides reactive daily response to roof maintenance needs, where MAXCare stands apart in its proactive, relationship-driven approach to roof maintenance that is built around an asset management. “Through the MAXCare program, you increase the return on investment in your assets. With roofing, that return is most prominently affected by extending its life or reducing operating costs over its life,” says John Maxwell, President of Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. “The real value of MAXCare is partly dependent on the stage or life cycle of the roof and can often depend on the construction being correct and complete, if the damage was caught early and corrected, if the roof was monitored and cared for from day one, and if the roof gets a lot of traffic. When customers invest in MAXCare early on, there’s great value in having document intelligence of all these matters to help maintain the roof’s current life cycle and inform any future changes or needs,” he adds.

How MAXCare Works

MAXCare is our comprehensive roof management program. Here’s how it works:

We start with a roof assessment, where we look at the state of your roof and generate a report that details planning, work recommendations, and forecasting for each section of your roof. We’ll be 100% transparent with you about the state of your roof and what we recommend to keep it healthy. You’ll also get access to the MAXCare online portal, where you can access educational content, tools, resources, historical reports for each of your buildings, and invoicing. MAXCare will show you exactly how healthy your roof is now and how you can best plan for future expenses. John explains, “One of the most significant values of MAXCare to our customers is in the regular monitoring we perform. When repair needs arise, our customers quickly learn that with MAXCare the question isn’t about the condition itself, but rather how long did it take this condition to develop. With long-term monitoring, you’ll have less costly surprises along the way.”

MAXCare helps you say goodbye to vague statements like, “You’ll get a few more years out of it.” We’ll forecast, as clearly as we can, future repairs to your roof, along with a prediction of costs and general timeline. As a bonus, our MAXCare portal lets you report leaks, check the status of work orders, and review invoices, so you can stay up-to-date on everything related to current and past work. MAXCare members also get discounted rates on other Maxwell Roofing services.

Who Needs MAXCare?

While MAXCare may not be the right fit for every commercial roofing partner, it can be greatly beneficial for property or industrial managers who are responsible for maintaining multiple buildings, roofs, and units. Though it might seem like you’re paying a bit more in upfront costs, MAXCare can save on overall maintenance costs in the long-term, and it can be greatly beneficial in proving your attentiveness to roof maintenance if ever faced with a complaint of negligence. “If you’re looking to break away from a run-to-fail model, MAXCare is right for you,” affirms John. “A run-to-fail model doesn’t cost much to operate, but there’s always a surprise factor that appears,” he adds.

Is MAXCare Right for You?

MAXCare is a result of our years of experience in the field and our desire to make roof maintenance as simple as possible for our customers. With MAXCare, you don’t have to guess. We take the effort off your plate and consolidate all your roof maintenance needs into a simple online portal.

If you’re interested in learning how MAXCare might help simplify your roof maintenance program, just click here to contact us.

3 Tips for Weatherproofing Your Roof

Drip.

Wait. Was that water?

Drop.

Where is it coming from?

You look up and feel another drop of water land on your face.

For a business owner,this is the beginning of a headache that will likely span weeks, beginning with a drop of water and ending with a check for thousands of dollars leaving your pocket. But, what could you have done? And, how can you prevent this from happening again?

The fact is, all roofs will need repair at some point, but, thereare things you can do to prolong the life of your roof and avoid costly repairs for as long as possible. One of the best ways to avoid excessive repair costs is to make sure your roof is properly weatherproofed. Here are three, simple things to consider when weatherproofing your roof.

  • Roof Structure—Most commercial roofs are flat and can be made of a variety of materials, including bitumen, metal, plastic, foam, and more. Before beginning the process of weatherproofing your roof, you must know what you’re working with. What is your roof made of, and what weatherproofing capabilities does it currently have? Where is it lacking? No matter which type of roof your building has, it will eventually leak and wear down, but determining the structure of your roof and understanding its strengths and weaknesses will give you a clearer picture of what must be addressed during the weatherproofing process.
  • Geography—Where is your business located? What’s the weather like? If you’re located in the Mid-South, you likely experience all four seasons. So, you’ll have to protect against heat and intense sunlight in the summer, as well as freezing temperatures and ice in the winter. To fully understand how to weatherproof your roof, you must know exactly what weather elements it needs to be protected from.
  • Materials for Weatherproofing—Depending on your business’ location, weatherproofing may not be the same thing as waterproofing. To use the previous example, if your business is located in Tennessee or Alabama, you may need heating cables in the winter for ice protection, as well as additional coating in the summer to protect from intense sunlight. If you want your roof to be completely weatherproof, you may need to use a variety of materials to achieve that goal.

There are many variables to consider when weatherproofing your roof, but if you do your homework, it can be a straightforward process. You simply need to understand the material you’re working with and the weather elements you need to guard against.

While the process can be straightforward, some intricacies may best be addressed by a professional. If you’d like some guidance to determine the best way to weatherproof your roof, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. We’d love to help you protect your building and avoid costly, unplanned repairs.

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.

Preventative Roofing Maintenance: Tips for Your Common Weather Woes

Commercial roofs are under constant assault from Mother Nature. They are built to withstand weather events like run-of-the mill thunderstorms, rain storms, periods of sustained winds and snowfall. However, all roofs are vulnerable to extreme weather events and you won’t necessarily know just how vulnerable your roof is until something happens. The good news? You can take steps to help guard against weather damage and to receive alerts when wind, hail, rain or ice/snow does a number on your roof.

The Best Defense in Roofing Is A Good Offense

The most important thing that building managers can do to protect the integrity of their roofing system is to know the condition of the roof. Regular, professional roofing inspections can identify damage or defects and can also identify potential vulnerabilities should a nasty weather event occur. In between inspections, facilities managers should conduct check-ups to monitor the roof and to identify any new issues as soon as possible.

Knowing the condition of the roof is important, but it’s only half the battle. Management should be prepared to correct the defects and damage found during inspections and self-checkups. Facilities staff can seal cracks, secure areas that may be vulnerable to high winds, and remove puddled water. Any preventative measures should be shared with your commercial roofing partner, however, so that they can examine those small issues and create a plan for a permanent fix. Putting off repairs, however minor, can leave the roof system vulnerable in the event of a storm.

Keep “Eyes” On The Roof In Any Weather

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to receive an alert if something happened to the roofing system instead of discovering water on the floor of the building? There is a product on the market called Roof Monitor™ that keeps tabs on the conditions of the roof 24/7/365.

The product keeps tabs on water and snow load on flat and low-slope roofs and it alerts building managers if the roof’s perimeter is breached or if the deck experiences sag. The sensors send a signal that triggers a call to building managers and immediately dispatches an authorized repair team to the site to assess the situation and make necessary fixes to protect the roofing system.

Ice And Snow Don’t Have To Cause Stress

They say everything is bigger in the South, and when it comes to hail, nothing could be more true. All southerners are familiar with the sounds and the stresses of a hailstorm which can pound ice chunks on a roof at speeds of 90 miles per hour. Hail can wreak havoc on a commercial roof, and it’s important to take precautions to protect sensitive systems. Installing a high-density coverboard over the insulation and under the membrane can guard against hail damage.

There isn’t much snow in the South, but Northern states can deal with several feet of snow over the course of a winter. Those loads can lead to serious roof damage, and in worst cases, collapse. It is good practice to install heating coils on a roof to melt snow in the event of a heavy storm, guarding against major malfunctions.

Whether it’s rain, hail, snow, or wind, Mother Nature can cause real damage to roofing systems. Regular professional inspections and self-checkups are important to keep tabs on the physical conditions of the roof. Construction features like coverboards and heating coils can provide extra protection, as can a sensor system like Roof Monitor™. When it comes to all-weather roofing, prevention is the best medicine.

Building a Capital Budget: How to Plan for Today and Tomorrow

When a roof fails, most building owners and property managers find themselves scrambling to scrape together tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars that were not allocated in the capital budget. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to proactively plan for this? The good news: You can. Building owners can build a better capital budget that eliminates roof failure anxiety.

The Key To A Better Capital Budget For Roofing

Regular roof inspections are critical when trying to predict future expenditures. However, many people prefer not to think about their roof until a problem arises. The fact is, even a brand new roof is subject to damages or defects. The best and most effective way to keep a handle on the lifespan of a roof and to manage minor problems before they become major (and expensive) issues is to conduct regular inspections of your roof.

These regular inspections alleviate the budgeting process by keeping an eye on the horizon. If the roof is given a life expectancy of three years, for example, the planning team can begin to move money around early so that the budget is in order and the funds are available by the time a replacement is needed.

Building A Roofing Safety Net

Most roofs fail prematurely due to damage. That damage may be caused by weather events, but in actuality, it is most often caused by people. This is especially true of buildings that allow tenants to use the roof as recreation space and buildings with a great deal of heavy equipment on the roof. The more activity that happens on the roof surface, the higher risk there is for damage.

When building out a capital budget, teams should include line items for repairs and incidentals on the roof, especially if the roof experiences high traffic. A good rule of thumb is to budget around $750 for a simple repair. Some repairs will cost a little less, others will cost far more. $750 is a round number that the budget committee can work with, as long as the estimated number of repairs can be justified. This may require digging into data and past records and estimating the amount of traffic expected on the roof in a given year.

The Bad Budgeting Ripple Effect

Failing to budget for roofing expenses can have even bigger consequences on the bottom line for building owners than just the cost of a new roof. Building owners and property managers are not the only ones affected by leaks. Tenants in residential, office and mixed-used buildings often pay a premium for top-floor space, and when the roof leaks, they expect it to be fixed, and fixed properly. Patches and repairs can alleviate water leaks in one section of the roof but does not prevent them from popping up elsewhere. If the space is no longer deemed adequate, tenants may decide to relocate elsewhere.

Mold and mildew accumulation from leaks can also leave employers and building owners open to lawsuits from tenants who can show that exposure has caused or exacerbated medical issues. The health and safety of those who use the building are of extreme importance, and neglecting roof maintenance and repair can have a significant impact on a building owner’s finances and public image.

Planning For The Future

A few commercial roofs are designed to be run-to-fail, but not most. Knowledge is power when it comes to building a better capital budget—and a trusted partner can help. Their experience working with a variety of roofing materials and on buildings of comparable size and structure allows them to provide accurate information and keen insight into the longevity of your roof.

The information uncovered in regular inspections helps mitigate any small issues in the present and proactively plan for events in the future, ultimately allowing building owners to predict when they will require a full roof replacement.

How Much Do You Really Know? 5 Things Every Facility Manager Needs To Know About Their Roof

The roof is one of the most important components of the building, but “out of sight is out of mind”. SO, many facilities managers and property owners tend to forget their roofs until a problem arises. This approach leads to repetitive leaks, ongoing patch jobs, expensive repairs and ultimately that, “Oh no” moment of panic and dread when the roof needs to be replaced. Now, facilities managers can learn about and understand what’s happening above them. Here are five things that every facility manager needs to know about their roof.

#1: What Is The Leak History of the Roof?

The leak history of a roof tells the story of what’s going on in a roofing system. The pattern and presence of leaks over time can inform diagnosis of the problem. Repeated leaks around skylights, for example, may indicate a construction defect rather than roof damage. (That’s right, roof leaks are often more a result of a design or construction flaw than a roof defect, per se.)

Leak history can also help the contractor more accurately assess the roof’s potential remaining life. A complete record of where water has gotten in and how it was repaired can help the contractor and Owner know whether or not water has infiltrated the roof system and saturated the insulation – which is the death knell for a roof.

#2: Who Is Getting On The Roof?

While Mother Nature can be hard on a roof, humans are usually a roofing system’s biggest enemy. If a roof is accessible to tenants or to other trade contractors for heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and other repairs, the roof is at risk of puncture, cuts, tears, and other damage.

Controlling access to the roof is essential for protecting the integrity of the roofing system. However, facilities managers don’t need to be fearful of granting access. People who use the roof should be able to come to the manager and let them know if they inadvertently caused damage. That means being friendly and available to tenants, repair workers and contractors who want access to the roof. Good access control and good communication allows managers to track issues they may never have known about otherwise.

#3: What Are the Safety Hazards Of The Roof?

Every roof is rife with safety hazards beyond the sheer height of the building. Some hazards are obvious, such as the edge of the roof being a fall hazard. Others are not quite as evident.

Skylights can be an extreme hazard. These features are not built for sitting or holding a lot of weight, and people on the roof may be tempted to rest on top of one, or place toolboxes on the skylight, putting themselves and the people inside in danger. Hidden corners, drop-offs and L-corners are also a hazard for anyone walking on a roof, especially they have never been on that particular building before. It’s easy to approach edges and corners in non-square layouts without realizing it.

#4: How Is The Roof Made

A thorough facilities manager should know as much as possible about the way the roof is built including:

  • When the roof was built
  • Where the design plans are
  • The roofing materials
  • The manufacturers of those materials
  • The company that installed the roof
  • The terms of the warranty

Knowing these details can help form a baseline understanding of the roof itself, and allows the facilities manager to communicate more effectively with a roofing contractor.

#5: When Was The Last Inspection?

Regular roofing inspections are the key to maintaining a roof that performs well and lasts as long as possible. One of the most important things a facility manager needs to know about their roof is the inspection history. If it has been more than a year, or if no one on the facilities team has any idea when the last inspection was, it’s been too long.

These roofing inspections help get ahead of major issues, keep the facilities team in the loop on areas to watch and conditions to observe, and ensure that budgets can properly be set for future repairs and re-roofing projects.

The more familiar the facilities manager becomes with the roof, the better. When it comes to prolonging roof life, choose a good contractor and make strong repair decisions, always keep in mind that you can never be armed with too much information. It is worth the time for a facility manager to learn and file away as much information as possible about their roof, in order to get the most value from the system.

Do You Know What’s Happening On Your Roof? An Inspection Guide For Facilities Managers

Effective facilities managers are vigilant. They keep a watchful eye on every aspect of the building in their care. However, roofing systems are a proverbial horse of a different color. Even the most thorough and proactive manager can sometimes miss things that can lead to costly repairs and roof replacements. Here are some of the most common mistakes that facilities managers make when inspecting their own roof, and tips on how to avoid them.

The Biggest Roofing Inspection Mistake

Proactive inspections of a building’s roof are critical for keeping tabs on the conditions of the roof. Identifying potential issues early will save big money and big headaches down the line. Although do-it-yourself inspections by facility managers are key, the number one way they can prevent costly future repairs is to ensure professional roof inspections are being done on a regular basis by a trusted roofing partner.

While major defects like wide tears or holes in the membrane may be obvious during a DIY inspection, other defects are far more nuanced and subtle (yet no less damaging to the integrity of the roofing system). When caught early, those defects can help stave off major failures and can prolong the life of the roof.

Potential defects outside of obvious holes are wide-ranging and many are unique to the type of roofing system used on a building. For example, thermoplastic membranes are vulnerable to “cold welds,” wherein a section or sections of the membranes were not properly fused together during the welding process. Defective welds can be a result of moisture, dirt, or incorrect welding temperatures. Only an experienced roofer with expertise in thermoplastic membranes could spot such a defect on an inspection before that defect led to a major issue with the roof.

The Time And Place For DIY Inspections

A trusted roofing partner can and should conduct regular, professional inspections, but it is still a wise practice to get up on the roof in between those formal inspections. You never know when something could go wrong, and as they say, two heads are better than one. After each formal inspection, sit down with the roofer and go over their results and insight. Have the inspector walk you through the places and spaces that may require a little TLC in the future, and learn which areas of the roof you should keep a close eye on for changes.

Having eyes on the roof in between inspections is helpful for the roofer, as well. Spotting damage or changes in the roof’s appearance early can prevent major water leakage and damage in the future. Facilities manager should create a checklist for these regular, self-inspections that include:

  1. Checking for obvious holes in the roof
  2. Studying the draining system (i.e. clearing debris from drains and gutters)
  3. Monitoring access areas
  4. Examining the areas around HVAC units and other heavy equipment on the roof
  5. Identifying potential damage after an extreme weather event
  6. Identifying damage after trade contractors have been on the roof

Regular examinations in between formal visits from your roofer ensures that damage will be spotted and repaired quickly. It can mean the difference between a tiny puncture in a membrane and a saturated roofing system.

Overcoming Common Roofing Inspection Mistakes

As discussed in the thermoplastic membrane example, experienced roofers know that defects look a certain way under specific circumstances. While the facility manager may be intimately familiar with the inner workings of the building, they don’t necessarily know how the roof has been assembled, how all of the components should work together, and how to spot problems in their particular roofing system.

The vigilance of the facility manager who conducts regular DIY inspections of the roof coupled with the expertise of a roofing contractor who conducts regular inspections and maintenance can ensure that potential weaknesses are spotted and dealt with early, thus ensuring the roof performing its desired function.

Your Roof Is Asking For Help: 5 Red Flags to Look Out For

With the exception of an act of nature, roofs rarely open up and allow water to pour in without warning. Most leaks begin small, getting worse with time as more and more water seeps into the roofing system. A commercial roof will “communicate” with the people inside, offering signs of stress. These are the 5 indoor roofing red flags to keep an eye on.

1. Water, Water Anywhere

The number one leaky roof red flag is the presence of water anywhere it should not be. The location of the water can be misleading, and may not be an accurate indication of where the water is coming from. Don’t assume that water stains near a window are caused by the window itself. Water travels on the path of least resistance, and that means that moisture from the roof can run down walls and show up nearly anywhere in the building.

2. Moisture On The Ceiling

Condensation can accumulate on the ceiling tiles for many reasons and may not always indicate a roof leak. Sometimes it can be the result of a heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or plumbing issue. However, if it occurs on the top floor, odds are it’s caused by a roof leak. Any time condensation appears on the ceiling, the cause should be immediately investigated.

3. Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew require water to grow. If mold or mildew are spotted on or behind walls, this is a major roofing red flag. Again, this could be the result of a plumbing or ductwork issue, but in many cases of mold, water is likely getting in between the walls through the roof.

4. Rot In an Unused Area of the Building

Some buildings have restricted or unused areas that are not regularly visited by employees or tenants. When a section of a building is not populated, it can be a while before signs of leaks are found, which can cause rot. If rot is present in a little-used section of the building, the source may be the roof.

5. Irregular Roofing Inspections

When was the last time your roof was inspected by a professional roofing contractor? If no one on the facilities team can recall, or if it’s been more than a year, the building is at high risk for roof leaks, especially if that roof is more than a few years old.

Proactive Indoor Searches For Signs of Outdoor Damage

Leaks are often not spotted in their early stages, especially if you’re not conducting regular inspections and roofing maintenance check-ups. Typically, the first time a roofing red flag is noticed occurs when water is already dripping or pouring down into a building.

When facilities teams conduct inspections of the property, they should create a checklist for their examinations that includes:

    • Looking for signs of moisture on the ceiling.
    • Examining areas around windows and door openings for wetness, warp or rot.
    • Scanning for visible signs of mold or mildew.
    • Studying the roof deck, if visible, for signs of moisture.

Water leaks damage more than just the roof. If a leak is not detected early, or if it is not repaired in a way that corrects the damage done by the water, it can lead to widespread mold and mildew, drywall may need to be replaced, carpeting removed, window frames rebuilt, etc. These residual repairs can significantly add to the total cost of the repair.

The best way to keep water from getting inside is to ensure the roof is an impregnable barrier against the elements. Working with a trusted partner and expert can help keep water outside, where it belongs.