4 Secrets to a High-Performing Roof

The four secrets to a high-performing roof aren’t such a secret. We love informing our customers about the best ways to get the most out of their roofing investment. We’re sharing the key elements of commercial roofing that you should look out for—whether it’s to extend the life of your current roof or a new installation. 

1. Durable, High-Quality Materials

The durability of your materials is one of the most essential elements to ensure that your roof has the longest life possible. Commercial roofs typically last between 10 and 30 years, depending on installation and your maintenance schedule—both of which are crucial elements. Metal roofs, on the other hand, can last up to 70 years. For the maximum lifespan possible, ask your contractor about a metal roofing option.

Cheaper materials may be enticing at first. It’s tempting to pay less upfront. However, consider that you will be spending more in the long run when your roof needs to be replaced prematurely. A reputable contractor should recommend the highest-quality materials; however, remember to do your due diligence and discuss the materials’ durability and warranties prior to the installation process.

2. Proper Installation

Installation is a crucial step in the process and has a significant impact on the lifespan of your roof. Ensure that the roofer you enlist to complete your roofing project has a reputation for quality and a long history of satisfied customers.

If you have already had your roof installed and suspect poor workmanship, contact a reputable roofing company to inspect and correct any installation issues to avoid more severe issues down the road. Faulty installation will, unfortunately, significantly increase the potential for commercial roof problems, ultimately affecting your roof’s life expectancy.

3. Consistent Maintenance

At Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., we frequently talk about commercial roof maintenance. The lifespan of your roof is directly linked to how often you have your roof inspected and maintained by your contractor, who can identify and solve small issues before they snowball into larger problems.

Routine inspections are a must. Procrastinating on your inspection or proactive maintenance can cost you financially while also potentially putting your employees’ safety at risk.

4. A Reliable Roofing Partner

At the end of the day, you have a business to run. Even if you are responsible for facility management, there are many moving parts to your job. A reliable roofing partner will be there to help you manage roof maintenance so that it’s at the top of their minds, not yours. Work with a contractor that will make it easy to keep up with inspections, maintenance, and replacements. 

Our MAXCare® Program Helps You Extend the Life of Your Roof

Commercial roofing inspections and maintenance are vital pieces of the puzzle when it comes to extending the lifespan of your roof. Maxwell Roofing has made it easier than ever to keep track of your maintenance schedule, invoices, and other essential information. Try the most comprehensive roof management program in the industry—MAXCare®.

If you’re looking for a full-service commercial roofing partner, don’t hesitate to contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today! We’re here to help.

A Guide to In-House Roofing Fabrication

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

4 Benefits of In-House Roofing Fabrication 

1. Eliminating the Middleman

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

2. Streamlining a Project

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

3. Having Access to Efficient Customization

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

4. Fitting Projects into A Smaller Budget

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

Commonly Asked Questions

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

  • What is metal fabrication?

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

  • What is customized metal fabrication?

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

  • What types of metals are used in fabrication?

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

  • Do fabricators help with design?

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

Type of Products Created by Commercial Roofing Fabricators

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

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

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

The Top Trends to Watch in Commercial Roofing

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

5 Trends in Commercial Roofing Technology

1. Project Management Software

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

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

2. The Increasing Use of Drones

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

3. Solar Panels on Commercial Roofs

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

4. Cool Roofing

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

5. Green Roofing

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

Your Source for Commercial Roofing Technology

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

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.

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 Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing Options

When companies make the decision to go green, roofing is probably not the first thing on the list. However, the materials used on a commercial roof can have a big impact on the overall eco-friendliness of a building. 

Here are a few options for creating an eco-friendly commercial roof:

Green Roofing

Possibly the most eco-friendly of all commercial roofing types, green roofs put vegetation directly on the roof surface over a waterproof layer. These roof plants have a number of environmental benefits, including air purification, carbon sequestration, and purifying runoff. The main advantage of green roofs, however, is that they help reduce the temperature of the building and the surrounding area, making them great for urban areas that have problems with heat sequestration. These roofs can also help regulate building temperatures and lower electricity bills.

Cool Roofs 

Cool roofs are one of the fastest growing segments of the roofing industry. The term “cool roof” refers to a roof painted white or a very light color. This color reflects sunlight better than darker roofs, keeping buildings cooler and allowing them to become more energy-efficient.

Rooftop Solar

Solar panels allow buildings to generate their own electricity and can sometimes even pump additional energy back into the grid. Over time, solar panels can also help companies save money. Adhering solar panels to a roof can be a complex and expensive task that should always be done under the supervision of a roofing professional.

Recyclable Materials

Many of the materials used for roofing can come from recycled elements like metal, which can be taken from the scrap yard and repurposed for a roof. Old roofing materials, such as reclaimed shingles, can often still be used on a different building. Rubber roofs are often made from old belt tires. When using new materials is necessary, choose one that can be recycled or sustainably disposed of after the roof needs to be replaced, like metal or rubber.

Durable Materials

The longer something lasts, the better that is for the environment. Using durable roof materials generates less waste and requires the use of fewer prime resources. A long-lasting roof is also a huge financial benefit to businesses, as they won’t need to replace their roof as frequently. Durable roof materials include metal, rubber, and a number of other options.

Your Trusted Partner for Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has experience with all types of eco-friendly roofing options. To learn more about using your commercial roof to go green, contact the Maxwell team today.

What to Know About Commercial Rooftop Bars or Decks

Rooftop bars and decks are becoming popular features in city buildings, as restaurants and hotels look for new and creative ways to provide their guests with a unique experience. Rooftop patios are appealing, but they can put additional strain on a commercial roof.

 For building owners planning a rooftop bar, there are a few additional things to consider when planning for roof construction: 

Maintenance is still important.

Rooftop bars are doing double duty as a commercial roof and an entertainment space. It needs to be water-tight, fireproof, and support certain equipment like a regular roof, while also being able to accommodate large amounts of people. While it may be tempting to treat a rooftop patio like an extension of the interior of the building, it needs to be maintained by a roofer. Only a roofer will know the proper way to check for leaks and maintain other roofing equipment.

It’s not the same as a ground-level patio.

Designing an outdoor roof space isn’t the same thing as designing one on the ground level. Designers must ensure that the roof itself has enough support before they even start laying plans for the deck. For this reason, rooftop decks should be planned with the help of a roofing company and a structural engineer to ensure the structure can handle the projected plan.

Rooftop features are exposed to the elements.

Just like regular patios, rooftop patios are constantly exposed to the elements. Outdoor spaces need to be constructed from materials that can stand up to rain, snow, and wind. This is doubly true of a rooftop patio, which is generally more exposed and needs to be durable enough to protect the structure underneath it.

Drainage can be difficult.

Commercial roofs typically are not completely flat. It’s best that they have at least a slight slope, so that water will drain off the roof. Moisture pooling can damage a roof and eventually lead to leaks or other damage. This drainage requirement limits design options for rooftop decks and can make it difficult to plan them properly.

Rooftop patios are expensive.

Creating a rooftop deck or patio can be very costly for the building owner. While this expense can be daunting, it’s important to remember that rooftop patios add value to the building and can help attract additional customers. Some studies also show that patrons on rooftop bars stay longer at a bar or restaurant than they do at venues without a rooftop space.

Don’t forget the special equipment.

Commercial roofs often house special equipment like HVACs, but adding a patio or deck opens up even more options for the type of equipment a roof may need to house. Rooftop pools, hot tubs, or fountains can be especially challenging to design and maintain as they can create moisture that may damage the roof.

 While construction and maintenance on a rooftop patio can be challenging, the rewards are often worth it. Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to start designing your outdoor rooftop space with the right roofing partner.

How Commercial Roof Diffusers Can Help Regulate Building Temperatures

Heating and cooling a large commercial building can be a daunting and expensive endeavor. But managing temperature in a building doesn’t have to involve creating an entire duct system to move air.

 By making some simple changes to a commercial roof’s HVAC system, a building can use a diffuser system to pull air into a room for a single point and spread it around a room. Here is what air diffusers can do to control the temperature in a large building:

Conditioned Air In, Building Air Out

Rooftop air diffusers are used to bring conditioned air into a building from an HVAC unit and then return air back to the rooftop. Diffusers are an excellent delivery system for air and an alternative to a complex duct system.

Different Styles for Different Rooms

Every type of room is unique, and air may need to spread throughout an open space in a different pattern depending on its use. Air diffusers come in a number of different styles. The main types include slot diffusers that distribute air evenly along one strip, jet diffusers that push air into a room, and cone diffusers that release air in a radial pattern outward from the vent.

Simplifying Ceiling Installation

Unlike vents, diffusers can be combined with multiple pieces of overhead equipment in the same area. This makes it easier to install diffusers than other types of heating and cooling equipment.

More Temperature Control

Many heating and cooling systems require that several rooms be incorporated into the same temperature zone. In some types of buildings, this can cause discomfort to occupants. Certain types of electronic diffusers can allow for more flexibility in air control with a thermostat in each individual room.

Consistency

Because diffusers provide air from a single source, it provides more consistent air flow than other types of ventilation systems. Consistent air flow typically means more consistent temperatures, which keeps building occupants more comfortable. 

Expert Knowledge for Commercial Rooftops

Like all heating and cooling equipment, rooftop air diffusers require specialized knowledge to install. Because diffusers require the use of a rooftop HVAC system, it’s essential to consult a professional roofer when designing and installing it. Only a roofer has the necessary qualifications for installing a roof curb for a diffuser.

 To learn more about rooftop air diffusers and how to regulate the temperature of a commercial building, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today.

Commercial Roofing Terminology 101

As in any industry, roofers like to throw around specific terminology when they talk about their craft. Because roofing is so complex and specialized, roofers need to use this language, but it can be difficult for customers that are unfamiliar with the industry to understand.

Before you start working with a roofing company, it’s good to brush up on some basic terminology. Here are some of the most useful roofing terms and their definitions:

Roofing Materials and Components

Bitumen—Bitumen is a component of asphalt or coal tar, which keeps the roof waterproof. And while it is flammable, it does have a decent fire rating.

Built-Up Roof Membrane—Known as BUR for short, built-up roofing has been around for more than 100 years and uses multiple layers of bitumen in order to increase waterproofing and durability. BUR is not as popular in today’s construction, due to costs. Single-ply membranes are much more cost-effective than BUR installation.

Curb—This is a raised roofing component that is used to raise equipment above a roof surface. These typically surround things like fans, HVAC units, vents, or skylights. Curbs need to be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure that they remain in good condition.

Deck—The roof deck is the surface that everything else goes on top of. It’s the first layer that sits right on the joists. This material is often made of concrete, metal, or plywood. Protecting the roof deck is critical for the health of a commercial roof.

Envelope—The envelope refers to the waterproof seal that protects the base of a roof and a building. A building’s envelope is adhered onto a roof itself and is a crucial component of any roofing system.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer—Also known as EPDM or rubber roofing, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer roofs are a cost-effective approach to a new roof system and are composed of recyclable materials. Though cost-effective, EPDM is not necessarily known for its durability in the same way as BUR roofs.

Flashing—Usually made of sheet metal, flashing is used on the edge of roofs to keep it covered and weatherproofed. Flashing is also used around roofing equipment like HVACs or near drains and skylights to keep those areas watertight.

Galvanized Steel—Iron in steel will rust if it isn’t coated. Galvanized steel is coated in zinc so that it does not corrode or rust. Many metal roofs use galvanized steel due to its strength and durability.

Polyvinyl Chloride—Also known as PVC, polyvinyl chloride roofs are a plastic material that sits on top of a roof and has some of the highest ratings for durability, fire-resistance, longevity, and waterproofing. These types of roofing systems tend to be more expensive than other options. PVC is valuable on roofs that contain grease emissions, as the grease will not eat through the membrane like other single-ply roof systems.

TPO—Short for short for Thermoplastic polyolefin, TPO is one of three single-ply roof systems, along with EPDM and PVC (mentioned above). TPO is a more cost-effective alternative with potentially high-energy ratings due to its white reflectivity.

Vents—Vents are any opening used to allow air or vapor to leave a building. Vents should be carefully planned out with roofing contractors, so they don’t become blocked or made ineffective.

Roof Problems

Ice Dam—Ice dams are walls of ice that form on a roof when water or snow freezes. They can cause leaks in a building if left unmanaged.

Thermal Stress—When temperature changes, roof components will expand and contract. This can lead to damage over time.

Water Infiltration—When water or even a small amount of moisture gets into your building, it’s called water infiltration. These leaks require immediate attention.

Wind Uplift—Strong winds can cause a section of a roof to rise. If the roof is not properly sealed, it can cause a section of the roof to blow off.

Your Roofing Terminology Interpreters

Roofing terminology can be useful to anyone investing in a commercial roofing system, but the  Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. team is happy to walk you through every component of your roof in more accessible terms. To learn more about how we can help get you acquainted with the roofing business, contact us today.

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.

The Top Misconceptions About Commercial Roofing Construction

When it comes to commercial roofing, there can be a lot of confusing information out there. Since commercial roofs are often complicated to construct and maintain, it’s easy for bad roofing companies to keep their clients in the dark so they can cut corners or over charge.

Here are a few common misconceptions about commercial roofing construction to help you know what to look for when searching for the best company for the job:

The cheapest option is the best option.

Commercial roofs are expensive, and it can be tempting to choose the cheapest option. It’s just a roof, right? The problem with this line of thinking is that inexpensive could mean that you’re sacrificing quality or that important items are missing from the scope that will end up needing to be added during the job, resulting in a change order. 

Instead of just looking at the price when comparing quotes for a roofing job, be sure to look at a roofing company’s reputation. Reputable roofing companies with many years in business have gotten to that point because they do their jobs well and fairly price their work.

More is better.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the more you put into a roof, the better it will be. But, it’s not just the quantity of material that makes a roof durable, it’s finding someone with the technical know-how to use roofing materials properly. A prime example of this fallacy is with insulation. Many people think that the more insulation stacked onto a roof, the better and more energy-efficient it will be. In fact, too much insulation can actually damage a roof. Excess insulation can trap moisture, which can attract mold and eventually cause leaks. Only professional roofers know the right way to use roofing materials.

If it doesn’t seem broken, don’t fix it.

If your roof doesn’t have a leak or a visible hole, then you may think it isn’t in need of a repair. Unfortunately, commercial roofs can have many hidden problems that aren’t easily visible to the naked eye. Hidden moisture can cause damage to a roof’s substrate over time, which can eventually lead to more obvious and expensive damage.

The best way to prevent major roof damage is to put a maintenance plan into place as soon as a commercial roof is installed. Preventative maintenance and inspections can catch small signs of damage early when they are much easier and cheaper to fix. Just because your roof isn’t leaking doesn’t mean it can’t use some care.

All commercial roofs are the same.

Few people realize how complex commercial roofs can be and think they all function the same way. There are many different materials and designs that a commercial roof can adhere to, and a good roofer will be able to walk their clients through all the options. 

Any maintenance worker can handle a commercial roof.

Your handyman or contractor may be great at his or her job, but roof construction and maintenance requires specialized skills. Using anyone other than a trained roofer on a commercial roof is a recipe for disaster. 

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. prides itself on customer service as much as construction expertise. When you choose the Maxwell team, you can be sure you’ll always have correct and up-to-date information about your roof. To learn more, contact us today.

A Look at the Various Types of Commercial Roof Materials

No two businesses are alike, and neither are any two commercial roofs. Commercial roofs will differ from each other from the equipment they hold to the type of materials that make up their composition. Every kind of roof and roof material has its pros and cons. 

Here, we will look at some of the most common types of materials used on commercial roofs and explore the advantages and disadvantages of each one:

Polyvinyl Chloride Membranes

Known in the roofing business as PVC, Polyvinyl Chloride Membranes are one of the most popular commercial roofing materials. PVC roofs are made up of two layers of roofing material with a polyester layer in the middle for reinforcement. PVC is popular because it is extremely durable and long-lasting. It is also resistant to fire and moisture. The main downside is that PVC can be expensive compared to other roof materials. The material can also be difficult to repair when it ages.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer

EPDM is commonly known as rubber roofing. This roofing material is easy to install, lightweight, long-lasting, and is one of the most inexpensive roofing materials. While EPDM roofs will last a long time in perfect conditions, they do puncture easily. Rubber roofs can also spring leaks easily if they are not properly adhered and leaks are difficult to detect in this material. EPDM is also not considered to be very aesthetically pleasing for buildings where the roof will be visible.

Metal Roofs

Many different kinds of metal can be used in commercial roofing from copper to galvanized steel to aluminum. Each type of metal has its own advantages and disadvantages but, generally, metal roofs are among the most durable and long-lasting roof options. Metal opens up a whole world of design options for a building, and the material is usually used for buildings where looks are a concern. Metal roofs also tend to be more fireproof than other types of roofing material, but it can be expensive.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin

In most cases, thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO, is the cheapest roof material available. TPO is similar to both PVC and EPDM, but it is 100 percent recyclable. TPO is a lightweight membrane that is typically heat-welded at the seams rather than adhered like EPDM—however, it can also be mechanically fastened. This welding makes TPO more resistant to leaks than EPDM, but the material also has many disadvantages. TPO is prone to shrinking and cracking. The material is also not fire-resistant. 

Spray Polyurethane Foam

SPF is a plastic that is sprayed out as a foam that then solidifies and expands over a rooftop. This foam seals off gaps on the roof and is extremely insulated, helping owners save on energy bills. SPF is typically layered onto a roof underneath another roof coating. Applying SPF is a specialized skill, and not all roofing companies offer it. Applying and maintaining this material can be expensive.

Because this type of roof is difficult to repair and replace, Maxwell strongly recommends against having this type of roofing material installed. 

Asphalt

Asphalt is an older method for commercial roofs. The material is rolled out and pressed onto a roof deck. Asphalt roof systems are typically more expensive than PVC, EPDM, and TPO but are also more durable and long-lasting. They are very tough and puncture-resistant due to the multiple plies included in the system. This type of material is recommended for manufacturing plants or any roof that will have roof traffic or penetrations. 

Our roofing experts at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. are committed to helping every client figure out the best type of roofing material for their project. To learn more, contact Maxwell 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.

A Beginner’s Guide to Roof Recover Systems

It can’t be said enough: preventative maintenance is the best way to protect a commercial roof and make it last longer. Most major roof repairs can be prevented by following this important guide, but if you’ve lapsed on your maintenance or inherited roof problems after buying a building you may need to consider a roof recovery.

A roof recovery system uses a new membrane over the existing roof. These systems can be installed on roofs with damage, but only if the structural integrity of the roof deck is still sound. For many leaks and other types of damage, roof recovery may be the best option, but there are some things anyone considering a major change to their roof should know about.

Roof recovery systems are more affordable:

Reroofing requires stripping every part of the existing roof down. You have to tear off the insulation, membrane, and flashing all the way down to the roof deck. This is a time-consuming and expensive process. Because roof recovery systems also use the existing insulation and other roof materials, there is less to replace, making it more cost-effective.

Roof recovery systems are considered more environmentally friendly:

By reusing the existing roof materials, less new raw materials go into roof recovery. This isn’t just good for your wallet, but it’s also beneficial for the environment.

The age and amount of damage can limit the effectiveness of a roof recovery system:

Roof recovery systems are cheaper than a reroof, but they aren’t inexpensive. If a roof is already reaching the end of its life or has significant damage, it may be worth the extra money to just get a new roof that will last longer. Though this costs more up-front, it may save money in the long run.

Excessive moisture can make a recovery unviable:

While many types of damage can be papered over with a roof recovery, extreme moisture intrusion cannot. If the insulation or roof structure has gotten wet, putting a new roof over the existing one will only exacerbate the problem. It’s possible to remove moisture from some parts of the roof and replace wet insulation, but it’s important for roofers to use thermal detection to attempt to discover how much of the roof insulation is contaminated. If too much of the roof is wet, it may be more cost-effective to replace the roof. 

Consider the roof deck:

Without pulling up the existing roof, it’s impossible to adequately examine the condition of the roof deck. A damaged roof deck will eventually mean that the roof needs to be replaced and can render a roof recovery system ineffective. If there is reason to believe that the roof deck has been damaged, it may be necessary to replace the roof. 

Only a roofer can determine if a recovery is appropriate:

The best way to understand if your roof is best suited for a recovery or a replacement is to consult a reputable roofing company. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has decades of experience in both roof recoveries and replacements. To find out more, contact us 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.

5 Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing Options to Consider

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

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

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

Why Choose Maxwell Roofing for Fabrication?

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

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

Cutting-Edge Technology

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

Custom Roof Systems

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

Specialty Fabrication

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

Industrial Fabrication

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

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

7 Advantages of Metal Roofing for Commercial Business

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

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

  1. Fire-Resistant

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

  1. Energy Efficient

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

  1. Low Maintenance

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

  1. Attractive

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

  1. Strong and Durable

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

  1. Weather-Resistant

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

  1. Long-Lasting

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

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

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.

New Roof vs. Roof Repair: Which Should You Choose?

Should you repair your current roof or have a new one installed altogether? It’s a decision many facility managers face, and it’s not an easy one. But, there are a few factors that can help you decide which option makes more sense for your facility. Consider these eight questions when making your decision:

1. How old is the roof?

In most cases, if your roof is approaching 20 years old, it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. That doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to fail around that age, but it does mean that, if you’re faced with a costly repair to an aging roof, you should consider complete replacement as a viable option.

However, if your roof is still relatively young and has only suffered minor damage, repair may be the most cost-effective solution. As a general note, the type of material used for your roof’s construction affects its maximum age, which, in turn, affects whether you should lean toward repair or replacement.

2. How much of the roof is damaged?

As a general guideline, if over 25% of the roof is damaged, your money will be better spent on a complete replacement. Although it may cost more, if the roof is not already brand-new, you’ll benefit from newer (and higher-quality) materials that are less likely to cause headaches in the near future. However, if less than roughly 25% of the roof is damaged, and the roof is not nearing the end of its lifespan, a repair can make perfect sense.

3. How long do you plan to stay in the building?

If you intend to stay in the facility for years to come, a completely new roof could be a wise investment that helps you avoid future repair costs. But, if your intended stay is short-term, it might make more sense to pass the roof replacement cost to the next tenant.

4. What is the roof’s history?

In addition to the age of the roof, pay attention to the number of repairs the roof has needed to this point. If the roof is relatively young but has needed several repairs, it could be an indication that the roofing material is low-quality or that it was installed improperly.

On the other hand, if the roof has been in use for over 10 years and has needed relatively few repairs to this point, it can be an indication of quality materials and installation. If that’s the case, it may be worth it to stretch the life of the roof with repairs instead of tearing it off and installing a completely new roof.

5. How healthy is the roof’s membrane?

The membrane is the roof’s most important defense against the elements. If the roof’s membrane is healthy, it has a healthy foundation. The more damaged the membrane, the higher the possibility of damage to the materials underneath. Extensive damage to the roof’s membrane may be a sign to consider replacement over repair.

6. How healthy is the insulation?

Wet insulation can lead to structural damage, a decrease in air quality (due to mold and bacteria), and can even decrease energy efficiency. If the insulation is wet, it’s an indication the damage has surpassed the roof’s membrane—and that’s bad news. As previously mentioned, if damage to the insulation and/or membrane is significant, a replacement may make more sense than a repair.

7. Where is the building located? And, how urgent is the repair?

If your building is located in a climate that experiences significant precipitation or extreme weather for certain parts of the year, this can have a huge effect on your decision to repair or replace. If the repair is urgent and the forecast predicts rain, snow, or extreme weather for the foreseeable future, a complete replacement would unnecessarily expose your building to the elements. You may have no choice but to go with the repair until the weather allows further evaluation.

8. What is the promise of the repair?

How much mileage can you expect from the repair? What are the odds you’ll need to perform another repair within the next few years? These things are affected by the extent of the damage as well as the history and age of the roof. If you’re just placing a metaphorical band-aid on a problem that will continue to occur, a complete roof replacement might make more sense.

Ultimately, the decision to repair or replace a roof can be a difficult one, based on many factors with a wide degree of variance. The smartest choice, when facing such a large decision, is to consult a roofing professional for an inspection.

If you want to learn more about how Maxwell can help guide you through the big decision of whether to repair or replace your roof, just click here to contact us.

Roof Recover Systems: How to Know if Your Roof Meets the Criteria

What’s the difference between roof replacement and roof recovering?

Here are the basics:

Roof Recovering is when you install a new roof over the old roof. However, it’s only a viable solution in certain situations. (We’ll share more on that later.)

Roof Replacement is when you tear off your old roof and install a completely new one in its place. In certain situations, this is the best solution to roofing issues.

Why Choose Roof Recovering Over Roof Replacement

Unsurprisingly, roof recovering is cheaper than roof replacement. You won’t have to pay for the cost of removing and disposing of the old roof. You’ll just have to pay for the installation of a new one.

Beyond that, when a roof is torn off, it exposes your building to the elements, the most dangerous of these being rain and moisture. When your facility undergoes a roof recovering, it is never exposed to the elements, making it a less risky option than a complete replacement.

You may be thinking, “Why would I pay to tear off the old roof if I could just install a new one over it?” Well, because roof recovering is not always a viable option. If the existing roof has excessive moisture within it and has not been properly repaired, installing a new roof over it could trap the moisture and cause problems in the future.

Additionally, your existing roof may have been a recovering job itself, meaning— your existing roof may have been installed over the roof before it. Facilities are generally only allowed a limited number of recoverings before the roof must be torn off and completely replaced. Beyond that, there are certain requirements a roof must meet in regards to wind up-lift resistance and fire protection. A roof recovering is not a viable option if it would not meet those requirements.

When You Should Choose Roof Recovering Over Roof Replacement

In an ideal scenario, your “old” roof would be in perfect condition, aside from being a bit worn-out. It’s unlikely your roof will be in “perfect” condition, but your roof is a good candidate for recovering if damage is minimal and could be repaired before beginning a recover.

When You Should Choose Roof Replacement Over Roof Recovering

If you’re not following a preventative roof maintenance plan, you might hardly even notice your roof until something is wrong—which could prevent recovering as an option. Quite often, it’s a leak that gets your attention. If that’s the case, you’ll need a professional to assess the condition of the roof and help you determine the extent of the moisture present in the current roof. If there’s too much moisture trapped, the damage may be too extensive for repair to be cost-effective. In that case, a complete tear-off and replacement would be the best option.

Two Checklists to Help Determine if Your Roof Should be Replaced or Recovered

A complete roof replacement may be best if…

  • The existing roof is too damaged for repair to be a cost-effective option
  • The existing roof is too damaged to support a recover
  • Your current roof is a recover
  • Building codes do not permit recovering (or do not permit another recovering)
  • A roof recover would not meet wind up-lift or fire protection requirements

A roof recover may be viable if…

  • Your current roof is NOT a recover
  • Your current roof is structurally sound and could support a recover
  • Recovering is permitted by building codes
  • Little or no moisture is present in the current roofing system
  • The current roofing system is only minimally damaged or undamaged and can be repaired before beginning the recover

Regardless of your situation, make sure you get a professional commercial roofer’s assessment before deciding on a recover or a replacement. Click here to get in contact with us. We’d love to help you make the best decision for the future of your facility.

What to Consider with New Commercial Roof Construction in North Alabama

The North Alabama area is growing rapidly. According to the latest census, the Huntsville metro area is the second fastest growing area in the state. With all the new growth comes new development. Many businesses that are growing or relocating in Huntsville are looking to build. As a local commercial roofing contractor in Huntsville, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s local presence is just one of the important benefits we provide businesses searching for new commercial roof construction in North Alabama.

Maxwell Roofing—A Leader in New Commercial Roof Construction in North Alabama

Here are a few reasons why businesses in North Alabama trust Maxwell Roofing as a partner for their new commercial roof construction and repair needs:

1. Our Trusted Reputation

There are a lot of factors that go into our A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. Not only do we strive to make sure every project is completed on time and on budget, we truly approach every project as a partnership. We help our clients think through the various roofing options, including the latest roofing systems, to maximize the lifetime value of their roof. Maxwell is not a “storm chaser” roofing company that goes wherever the latest need is. We are an established company with more than 60 years committed to excellence.

2. Our Commitment to Quality & Service

Quality and service are more than values on a page, they are words that drive every decision we make as a business. Whether it’s our MAXCare® solution or our in-house fabrication department, we’re constantly looking for new ways to make the service we provide one in which our clients feel like they’re getting more than what they paid for.

For our team, service means facilitating relationships to understand client needs and provide an exceptional customer experience. It’s something we prioritize in every project.

3. Our Approach to Partnership & Communication

We realize that inefficient communication can be one of the most frustrating problems when working with a construction contractor. From the very beginning, we wanted to be different.

But, don’t just take our word for it. Here are a couple of Huntsville area businesses who highlighted this specific attribute about our service…

“Maxwell lets us know when they are on the way, when they are on-site, and what the issue is before a repair is done. All this is done in a timely fashion, and the invoice is accompanied by photos of the repair area and description of work performed.”SVN | Avat Realty

“What made our experience so much better with Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. versus other companies is their excellent photo reports of problems they find and fix. If larger repairs are necessary, they also prepare a detailed photo report, along with their recommended solutions and quotes. For us, that is perfection.”John Blue Realty

Can Maxwell Roofing Help with Your Commercial Roofing Needs?

If you’re looking for a commercial roofing construction or repair contractor in Northern Alabama, we’d love to talk! You can learn more about our commercial roofing solutions or contact our Huntsville-based team with a specific question.

What to Know About Energy-Efficient Roofing

Does using “40-percent less energy for cooling” sound interesting? If so, you may want to consider energy-efficient roofing—a roofing industry technology that helps reduce energy consumption.

How Does Energy-Efficient Roofing Work?

There are a few different types of energy-efficient roofs, and they each work in different ways. For example, some commercial energy-efficient roofs are made with materials that reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere and protect the roof from UV rays. Other commercial energy-efficient roofs are “green roofs,” covered with vegetation that absorbs sunlight and keeps it from reaching the roof itself.

What Are the Benefits of Energy-Efficient Roofing?

Saving money on cooling costs isn’t the only benefit you can get from energy-efficient roofing. Energy-efficient roofs are also more likely to last longer. Why? Rather than absorbing damaging sunlight and UV rays, energy-efficient roofs reflect them, reducing indoor cooling costs and preventing damage to the roof.

How Much Will You Save?

Energy-efficient roofs generally provide more savings in hotter climates. According to Energy.gov, “Cool roofs achieve the greatest cooling savings in hot climates, but they can increase energy costs in colder climates due to reduced beneficial wintertime heat gains.” If you want to know whether your facility is a good candidate for a cool roof, try this cool roof calculator or this roof savings calculator.

Should You Install an Energy-Efficient Roof?

Installing a brand-new roof sounds stressful—event painful, right? If you’re interested in achieving the benefits of an energy-efficient roof without going through the headache of tearing out your current roof and installing a new one, we have good news: Getting an energy-efficient roof might be less complicated than you think. You don’t have to install a completely new roof for it to be considered energy-efficient.

According to PowerScout, “A cool roof coating, comprised of pigments that reflect sunlight, can transform a standard roof into an energy-efficient roofing system.” If you’re looking for energy-efficient roofing materials, PowerScout recommends you “look for materials with a high solar reflectance and thermal emittance. Solar reflectance determines the amount of solar energy that a material reflects into the environment, while thermal emittance describes how readily a material releases absorbed solar heat.” Choosing a material that reflects as much sunlight as possible and releases as much heat as possible will allow you to maximize the benefits of energy-efficient roofing.

If you’re interested in installing a brand-new, energy-efficient roof or transforming your current roof to an energy-efficient one, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to learn how we can help you gain the benefits of energy-efficient roofing.

4 Benefits of In-House Roofing Fabrication

Commercial roofing projects are complex, with multiple points where things can go wrong. Pain-free projects happen by minimizing the amount of potential complications and completing the project as cost-effectively as possible.

There are many ways commercial roofing companies work to achieve this—whether it’s how fast they complete the project, how cost-effective they can do it, or how easy they are to work with. While we believe all those things are important, at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., there’s one thing we do a little differently. But, before we get to that, there’s something you should know about all commercial roofs: They contain sheet metal.

It’s a structurally sound (and cost-effective) material used for gutters, drain boxes, cornices, trim, and even secondary components like wall panels. Basically, any commercial roofing project is going to use sheet metal. Here’s why that’s important:

Maxwell Roofing can fabricate our own sheet metal, and there are a few benefits to this:

1. Lower likelihood of complication or failure in the project. By eliminating contractors, middlemen, and vendors, commercial roofing companies who fabricate their own sheet metal can decrease potential points of complication, miscommunication, or mistakes in a project. In short, in-house fabrication keeps things simple. Direct from the roofing company to your roof, with no riff-raff in-between.

2. Projects move more quickly. Outsourcing sheet metal fabrication adds time to the project’s schedule. This often puts the project at the mercy of a third-party’s schedule instead of your specific needs. Companies who provide in-house roofing fabrication can complete projects more efficiently and work with you on an individualized basis to maintain appropriate timeline considerations. In-house roofing fabrication gives both the roofing company and the client more control over the project’s timeline.

3. More efficient customization. In-house fabrication allows you to work directly with the roofing company to customize your roofing design. By working directly with the fabricating/roofing company, you simplify the communication process and maintain the ability to more efficiently communicate your needs for the project.

4. Projects fit on a smaller budget. Companies who perform in-house roofing fabrication don’t have to pay third-parties for the roofing fabrication process. By completing the fabrication in-house, they can cut out the costs associated with outsourcing such a large part of a roofing project.

Commercial roofing projects can be complex, time-consuming, and, in general, not always inexpensive. Working with a company that offers in-house roofing fabrication lets you simplify your roofing project, reduce potential complications, and receive great service at a cost-effective price.

Interested in working with a company that has its own in-house fabrication department? Just click here to contact us and learn how we can help.

Watch Out: What You Need to Know About the Hottest Commercial Roofing Trends

Like any industry, commercial roofing trends emerge with advancements in materials and construction, changes in public attitude, and the needs of the people. It’s great to be on trend, but it’s also important to understand the drawbacks and limitations of these trends — before signing on to something that might damage or detract from your commercial roof. Let’s examine some commercial roofing trends and the often overlooked factors that might make this trend one to avoid for your particular roof.

Hot Trend #1: Solar Panels

It seems like every time you turn around, another commercial building is getting retrofitted with solar panels. Everyone from environmentalists to frugal building owners are installing solar panels on their roof to help power their properties off the traditional grid. With the latest advances in technology, it’s easy to get swept up in the promise of reduced electricity costs and an eco-friendly solution.

What You Might Not Know About Solar Panels

Installing solar panels on a roof is a logical way to save money and guard against power grid disaster. However, if those panels are not installed properly, it can lead to major spending issues on a micro level, namely, roof performance and maintenance. It is common for solar equipment to be placed directly on the roof membrane and anchored to the building, which can mean cutting into the roof membrane. If installation is not performed correctly, it can cause damage to the roof and can void materials warranties.

Even if the installation is done properly, there can still be expensive trouble down the line. When (not if) leaks or damage occur to the roof, those panels must be moved in order to properly address and fix the problem. In many cases, moving solar panels around can be more costly than locating and repairing the leak itself.

Hot Trend #2: Green Roofs

Green, vegetative roofs are becoming extremely popular, especially in urban areas. They contribute to the energy efficiency of the building, insulate sound, reduce stormwater runoff, and turn neglected space into usable, green space benefitting the building owner, the tenants, and the community at large. They are hugely popular with environmentalists and architects alike. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they can help to drastically reduce the building’s cooling costs.

What You Might Not Know About Green Roofs

There are numerous positives to green roofing systems, but there is one very important consideration that many building owners overlook. Green roofs are continually exposed to water. Plants need water to grow, and soil must be kept moist. It is absolutely critical that green roof installers strictly adhere to basic waterproofing principles, as one mistake or oversight could lead to major problems sooner rather than later.

It is also important to remember that if the roof membrane beneath the vegetation and soil does experience problems, repair teams will have to get under all of those layers to isolate the issue, identify it, and repair it — this can add time and expense to the repair work. With green roofs, preventative maintenance is of the utmost importance. Smaller upfront investments for ongoing maintenance are necessary to prevent costly problems down the line.

Hot Trend #3: High Density, High-Performance Insulation

Whether their motivation is environmental or cost-savings, nearly every building owner is concerned with being more energy efficient these days. There have been major advancements in insulation, and a trend in the commercial roofing industry is high-performance insulation, including high-density coverboards that insulate the building and are more resistant to “crushing” under high foot traffic.

What You Might Not Know About Insulation

High-performance insulation is an absolute must in order to maintain energy efficiency in a modern building. Heating and cooling systems are calibrated based on the R-value of the chosen insulation. Unfortunately, many advertised R-values are incorrect, which means that the engineers who calibrate the heating and cooling system will base their settings on the wrong data.

Even if you have the correct R-value, your insulation could cost you. In the event of a leak – even a small leak, if the insulation experiences extensive water damage, it will need to be replaced. Replacing high-density, high-performance insulation can sometimes be more expensive than fixing or replacing the roof membrane itself.

Hot Trend #4: White, Reflective Roofs

Known as “cool roofs”, white or reflective roofing systems are ideal in warm months or climates. Standard, black roofs can reach temperatures over 150°F in the summer. A white or reflective roof in the same the same conditions can be up to 50°F cooler, reducing cooling costs.

What You Might Not Know About Reflective Roofs

However, in areas that experience cold winters, the benefits of black roofs can actually outweigh those of white roofs by keeping buildings warm and reducing heating costs. Northern building owners need to consider their environmental conditions and exposures before jumping onto the white-roof bandwagon.

Trends: Avoid Them or Consider Them?

Trends rise in popularity for one reason: they offer some sort of benefit that is tempting for building owners. But, like almost everything in the commercial roofing world, one size never fits all. How the benefits and drawbacks of these trends will affect you depends entirely on the unique aspects of your roof: the materials, the building’s purpose, the region in which it is situated, etc.

Being able to evaluate trends with a critical eye and examine them in the context of your unique needs is critical for strong decision making when it comes to roof construction or replacement. If you do decide to pursue some of these trends, make sure to anticipate the potential issues and budget properly for long-term maintenance and repair for your chosen roof system.