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.

What to Expect with New Commercial Roof Construction

A new commercial roof is a significant investment. As such, you want to be as informed as possible before hiring a roofing contractor and beginning your project. We want our customers to understand every step of the process. Because, at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., we know that transparency and communication are two key elements to ensure customer satisfaction. Here are five components that you can expect when engaging Maxwell Roofing for a commercial roof construction job. 

1. A Comprehensive Planning Process

Once you contact Maxwell Roofing to request an initial quote for your project, our team walks you through our process from beginning to end. We spend time asking you questions and answering any questions you may have so that everyone is on the same page, and communication runs smoothly. Our team always wants to be sure that we have a firm understanding of your project and your expectations before we move on to the next steps.

2. An Expert Materials and Design Consultation

Not all roofing materials are made equal. Some are more durable than others, fit particular needs better, or reach certain goals. We walk you through the types of materials that we suggest for your project, based on your needs and budget. With our complimentary design services, we will present you with the plan for an expertly-designed roofing system that is built to protect your building and maintain its integrity. 

3. A Proposal and Open Communication

At this stage, we have the information we need to provide you with a comprehensive proposal. We explain the breakdown of cost and materials, as well as the timeline, ensuring that you understand the specifics of your proposal. You and your team can decide if this plan aligns with your goals before we begin the installation. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to modify something about your project, our team is more than happy to talk it through. 

4. The Installation Process

As soon as we have your approval, our team begins the installation process! We keep the communication open with you and keep you up-to-date on any changes to the timeline—if needed, due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances. It is our first priority to ensure that you’re satisfied with your project from start to finish, so we do everything in our power to make that happen.

5. A Continued Maintenance Plan

Once the installation is finished, there is still work to be done to protect your new investment. We will discuss maintenance plans and determine the best course of action to extend the lifespan of your roof. Our MAXCare® plan—the most comprehensive roof management program in the industry—is one way that our customers stay on top of their roof maintenance. Ultimately, we hope to become your commercial roofing partner, creating a long-term relationship, so that we can help you get the most out of your new commercial roof.  

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn more about the commercial roof installation process and how we can make your project a reality.

Rooftop Safety 101

Roofing can be a dangerous profession without the appropriate safety precautions. Workers are thousands of feet above the ground, and one misstep could severely injure or even threaten one’s life on a job site. Knowing the risk, the best roofing companies understand their responsibility in keeping their workers safe by following proper guidelines, such as those outlined by OSHA. You can identify a quality roofing company by how they care for their employees’ well-being. 

To help you identify a safe, qualified roofing contractor, we’ve outlined some rooftop safety basics, with added precautions for COVID-19. 

1. Fall Prevention

In 90 percent of fatal falls, there’s not a proper fall-protection plan in place. To stop these preventable accidents and protect from injury and liability lawsuits, roofing companies must stay up to date on OSHA regulations and that facilities take precautions to protect roofers.

OSHA requires the following precautions to prevent falls:

  • 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

2. Proper Employee Training

No matter how many precautions are in place, a roofing team is only as safe as its least-informed team member. Everyone on a job site should be regularly trained on safety basics—even the most seasoned roofers need refresher training. The team should all have a great deal of knowledge when it comes to keeping themselves and the rest of their team safe from the beginning to the end of a project.

3. Attention to Weather

Even if a change in schedule shifts a roofing project’s timeline, a roofing company should never be willing to send their team to work on a roof in inclement weather. Certain weather conditions can create extremely dangerous work conditions for their teams, causing decreased visibility as well as increased risk for falling and other work-related injuries.

4. Job Hazard Analysis

Companies that value safety will conduct a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) to understand how they can best prepare their team for a safe project. This analysis takes into account fall risks, exposure to electricity or chemicals, and several other potentially unsafe items that teams should be aware of.

5. Use of Technology

Roofing technology advances quickly, and it’s up to companies to stay up to date and utilize technology that can increase the safety of their employees. For example, drones can now be used for small-scale roof inspections to keep team members off of the roof altogether, until it’s absolutely necessary.

Another example is 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.

6. Health Precautions: COVID-19

Safety for construction sites currently includes protecting workers from spreading the coronavirus. Rooftop workers are practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and are asked to stay home if they are feeling ill. To keep their areas sanitized, teams use sanitizing solutions so as not to contaminate an area that another team member will touch.

Roofing companies must carefully follow the general CDC guidelines for construction sites, as well as guidelines by industry-specific organizations, such as the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), to ensure that they have taken every possible precaution.  

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn how we keep our employees safe while continuing to serve our customers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Rooftop HVAC Systems Can Affect Your Roof

Commercial rooftop HVAC units have many advantages and are a common choice for many building owners. Choosing a rooftop HVAC unit can help keep the machinery safe and makes it more versatile for changes later, but rooftop HVAC units can have a big effect on the roof structure itself. 

When considering commercial rooftop HVAC prices, facility managers should factor in the additional maintenance a roof will need to support one. 

Ways Rooftop HVAC Units Impact Roofs

  • Condensation: HVACS are heavy duty machines, and when they run they can cause condensation and sometimes steam. Moisture is the biggest enemy to a solid roof structure. Over time moisture can erode the roof’s membrane or cause leaks. Ponding on a roof can also cause mold. 

Moisture should vaporize while still inside of an HVAC unit, but sometimes malfunctions can lead to leaking. Many roofs with HVACs have special areas to trap and retain moisture, but it’s also important to regularly inspect roofs with HVAC equipment to ensure that there aren’t any pooling or build up in condensation. 

  • Roof strain: Not every roof can support a heavy HVAC unit. Roofs need to be specially designed to ensure the structure is strong enough to support HVACs. Typically, HVAC units are planned out and installed while a roof is under construction in order to accommodate the added weight. Some building owners may want to add more HVAC units after the roof is already done. It’s absolutely essential that a roofer be consulted during this process to help design the area where the new units will be placed.
  • Wind lift: HVAC units are heavy, but that doesn’t mean they are immovable. Strong winds and storms can shift or lift units out of place, damaging the roof and creating a dangerous situation for people inside and outside the building. Workers who install HVACs know how to properly secure their systems, but they may not know what impact that will have on the roof underneath it. 

Roofers need to be consulted about the fasteners used for HVAC systems to ensure they don’t pull on the roof and damage the structure underneath it. Even slight movements in heavy HVAC equipment can cause major damage over time. Making sure all curbs, flashings, and sealants have been properly installed is the only way to guarantee your roof is protected. 

  • Negligent technicians: Having a rooftop HVAC unit means inviting technicians onto your roof for maintenance and repairs. These HVAC technicians will not be specialized in roof care and may cause damage without realizing it. Keeping up with regular inspections can help identify damage that negligent technicians may have overlooked. 

At Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, we have worked for decades with different HVAC technicians and systems to ensure that both the roof and the equipment can function properly. Contact us today to learn more about what Maxwell can do for your rooftop HVAC unit.

Common Questions About Commercial Roof Construction

Commercial roof construction can be intimidating for a business that hasn’t dealt with a major project on their building before. The process naturally brings up many questions. What happens if the roof isn’t well-made? How do you know if you’re getting the best deal? What does it mean for the future of your business? 

Here are the answers to some of the most common commercial roof construction questions so you know what to expect with your new project.

1. How much is this going to cost?

There’s no easy answer to this. It depends on a whole variety of things, like the size of the roof, the materials used, and whether you’re tearing down to the deck and installing new (roof replacement) or putting a second roof on an existing system (recover). There is no “typical commercial roof construction,” as it varies from project to project. 

The good news is that companies like Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can help building managers be proactive in planning and budgeting for their future roofing needs. For new roofs, Maxwell can help find a solution that fits a full range of budgets.

2. Can commercial roof construction help save money?

Depending on the project, your roof may qualify for some tax incentives. This is especially true for roofs that provide energy efficiency improvements, but it also applies to other commercial roof construction types.

3. Will I need to close my business?

Probably not. Most commercial roof construction projects won’t force a business to close, but you should inform your clients or tenants and make sure they are aware of any areas that may be hazardous during construction.

4. Should I be concerned about workers on my roof?

Roof construction can be dangerous, but reputable companies provide training and take precautions. It’s important to find a roofing company with the proper licensing, bonding, and insurance, so that your company is not liable for anything that might happen during construction.

5. What are the commercial roof construction types?

The materials available for commercial roofs are endless—everything from metal to bitumen to membranes. Some commercial roofing projects may even involve green roofing, which involves putting vegetation on the rooftop. A good roofing company will be able to work within any reasonable budget to find the right material.

6. Will my roof have a warranty?

Typically, roofing systems come with a warranty from the manufacturer. The trick is finding a roofing company that knows how to properly install that system and can monitor it for flaws that would trigger the warranty. Even the best warranties are useless if you don’t know how to take advantage of them.

7. Will my new roof need maintenance?

All roofs—old and new—need maintenance to help them last longer and function properly. The best way to make sure you get the best possible return on investment on your roof is to start a maintenance plan immediately. 

If you’re getting a new commercial roof or re-roof, you likely have many other questions. A good roofing contractor like Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. will make sure that a customer service representative walks you through everything from costs to the commercial roof construction terms you should know. 

To get the answers to all your commercial roofing questions contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal 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.

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.

Energy-Efficiency Tips for Commercial Roofs

Commercial roofs protect buildings from weather and house important building equipment, but many people don’t know that roofs can also play a big role in making a building more energy efficient. With the right kind of roof, building owners can better insulate their building, improving energy efficiency and saving money each month on electricity bills. 

Here are a few common questions about energy efficiency and roofing:

What roofing material is most efficient?

The cardinal rule of roof energy efficiency is to use a lighter-colored roofing material. A white or light-colored roof will reflect the sun away from a roof, making the building easier to cool in the summer. 

The most efficient roofing material will vary from climate to climate but many different kinds of material can be painted white, including membranes and rubber that are commonly used on commercial roofs.

Are metal roofs efficient?

Metal is one of the most efficient roofing materials. The reflective material can help building owners save up to 40 percent on energy costs. Cool metal roofing uses a highly reflective coating to extend these energy savings even further. These materials are ENERGY STAR® rated for their superior energy efficiency capabilities.

Metal roofs also seal in temperatures excellently. Because metal is more durable than other materials, it protects the insulation that lies beneath it. This makes insulation last longer and perform better than with other types of roofing material. 

What roofs qualify for a tax credit?

Residential home improvements that include an energy efficiency element can usually qualify for a tax credit. Similar energy efficiency tax credits for commercial buildings expired in 2017.

The only tax credit now available for commercial roofs is through a general equipment deduction made available through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed in 2017. The particular type of roofing material doesn’t matter for this tax cut, and building improvements up to $1 million may be covered.

Will a new roof save energy?

The potential for a new roof to save energy depends on a number of factors, but it’s likely that a new roof will be able to deliver some energy savings. To maximize the energy efficiency for a new roof consider the following tips:

  • Choose a reflective material like metal to direct the sun’s rays away from the building.
  • Ensure that the roof provides proper ventilation.
  • Paint your roof a light color or coat it with a reflective coating.
  • Consider fasteners for solar panels or set up a vegetative roof.

To learn more about how to improve the energy efficiency of your commercial roof, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal today.

4 Ways Architecture Can Affect Commercial Roofing

As the chief designer of a building, an architect’s decisions affect every part of a building, including the roof. While the architect is responsible for the overall building, they will usually hire a consultant to ensure that the building’s architecture works together with the roof’s design. Here are a few ways that roofing architecture can affect the function and design of a commercial roof.

1. The building envelope.

Roofs play an important role in waterproofing and weather-proofing a building. The protective membrane that roofs use to keep the inside of a building safe is known as the building envelope. Architecture and design of a building can change the types of membranes and protective coverings that can be used on a roof, which in turn can affect how well the roof functions as the building’s most important protective service. Architects often rely on roofing consultants to help ensure that the building envelope can be optimized to work well with the design and still prevent leaks.

2. Weather ready design.

Different climates and weather patterns determine roof needs. Buildings in places with hurricanes or heavy rain and snow need roof designs that protect it from those weather events. Architects may opt for certain roofing materials or vary the pitch of a roof to deal with these weather phenomenons. The building’s architecture will affect the way the roof is designed, but architects should consult a roof technician to ensure that the roof design will be able to fend off the weather.

3. Green design.

The roof is one of the most important elements of buildings that are designed for optimal energy efficiency. Many green buildings use their roofs to support solar panels or vegetative roof systems. Other buildings will use the roof for insulation or skylights. All of these require particular roof architecture and design. Green roof specialists can help with this design process.

4. Architectural roofing.

Architects will often use a roof for a particular design element. While this can do a lot to affect a building’s look and feel, it can also affect the functionality of a commercial roof. It’s important that an architect consult a commercial roofer before completing the final drawings of a building. Roof pitch, roof material, and roof size can all affect the way the roof functions, which can affect the long-term protection of the building.

To learn more about how architectural design and commercial roofing work together to create safe and functional buildings, contact Maxwell Roofing and Sheet Metal 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.

Common Questions About Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication

Sheet metal is the hidden champion behind many construction projects. The material supports buildings, makes machines work, and comprises important mechanical structures. If you’re in need of sheet metal for a project, then customized fabrication might be the best option. Here are the answers to some frequent questions about sheet metal fabrication.

What Is Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Fabrication is the process used to cut, assemble, or otherwise form sheet metal into a finished product. This can be done in bulk in a factory that produces identical parts or in a custom shop that creates unique pieces designed for a specific need.

How Is Sheet Metal Manufactured?

Sheet metal can be made from a variety of different metals depending on its intended purpose. Copper, aluminum, and steel are all popular materials in sheet metal and can be combined with other types of metal in the same sheet. After selecting the material for the sheet metal, it’s melted down in a crucible and then poured out into rectangles. From there the sheet metal is cleaned and rolled out into sheets.

How Can I Get Sheet Metal?

Sheet metal can be bought from a hardware store, or even online, but this uncut sheet metal can’t be used for much. In most cases, going through a fabrication shop is the best way to get sheet metal. A fabrication shop can make sheet metal customized to any use and then cut and shape it into a final product.

What Kind of Machines Are Used for Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Industrial sheet metal cutters aren’t something you just pick up at the hardware store. These large and expensive machines can only be found in machine shops. Industrial machines like water jet cutters can make precision cuts through almost any type of sheet metal.

What Is Customized Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Unlike mass produced sheet metal components, customized sheet metal fabrication creates individual sheet metal components for a specific project. For almost any project, customized sheet metal is going to be more effective and of a higher quality than mass-produced sheet metal. 

Do Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication Shops Help with Design?

Not all custom sheet metal shops help with design, and most charge for design services. This can be difficult for customers with little design or construction knowledge. That’s why Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. never charges for design services, providing them free with all custom sheet metal fabrication.

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can help with your sheet metal job, 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.

How Infrared Moisture Surveys Can Save Your Roof

Infrared devices detect a different wavelength than a normal camera or the naked eye, viewing the world through heat rather than light. The image from an infrared camera can show warm objects in a lighter color where cold objects will appear darker. So, how can infrared devices be beneficial for commercial roofing? Here are some thoughts to consider. 

Using Infrared for Roof Surveys

Infrared cameras have been used in roofing since the 1970s as an inexpensive and nondestructive way to detect moisture within the underlying insulation. Wet areas reflect and retain heat differently than dry parts of a roof. By using an infrared camera, roofers can “see” where wet patches are, without penetrating the roof system.

4 Types of Infrared Roof Surveys

There are four different ways to use infrared cameras to detect roof moisture:

  1. Rooftop moisture survey: Usually roofers will conduct an infrared moisture survey by walking on top of the roof. Aside from obvious tears and sealing problems, a qualified roofer will know how to examine for hidden sources of moisture.
  2. Under-roof moisture survey: Sometimes, roofers will want to use infrared to examine a roof from the inside. This method can help find moisture that has penetrated the roof surface and is trapped inside the building envelope. Certain metal roofs won’t retain moisture on the surface and will require an under-roof moisture survey.
  3. Elevated roof moisture survey: By moving above the roof to capture infrared images, roofers can get a look at a larger portion of the roof’s surface. This gives a better picture of the scope of the water damage and can also help find wet areas that would be hard to see close up.
  4. Aerial roof moisture survey: This is the most accurate and efficient type of roof survey. Using an aircraft or a drone, roofers can get an image the entire roof to detect slight differences in temperatures that indicate moisture build up.

Generally, Infrared surveys are followed by test cores to confirm actual moisture infiltration and gather further details of the effects.  With the large investment in roof insulation on modern roofs, non-destructive moisture detection surveys, like Infrared, are more important than ever.

To hear more about how an infrared moisture survey can save your roof from long-term damage, contact us today.

What to Know About Roof Curb Installations

For commercial buildings, a roof is much more than just a protective covering. Large industrial and commercial roofs need to do more than provide a ceiling; they also must support heavy equipment that is critical to the function of the building. To handle this extra hardware, many commercial roofs should have one or several roof curbs.

What Is a Roof Curb?

A roof curb is an elevated platform on a roof that supports some piece of equipment or roof penetration. Because roof curbs are sometimes a part of a roof, they must be able to keep out moisture and debris, while providing a spot to anchor the equipment.

Most commercial buildings will require some type of roof curb. They are used with everything from exhaust fans and HVAC units to skylights and vents. Each type of equipment requires a different kind of curb, and each type of roof material carries different considerations.

Who Can Install a Roof Curb?

Installing rooftop equipment and roof curbs typically involves more specialists than other aspects of a building’s construction. The general contractor and the equipment manufacturer will likely do a great deal of the work, but to get the job done right, it’s also important to bring in a professional roofer. 

While other specialists may be more familiar with the product going on the roof, only a qualified roofer can ensure that the roof itself will still function as needed once the equipment is installed. Maintaining a weatherproof roofing surface is critical to the health and longevity of any commercial building.

Other Things to Consider with Roof Curb Installation

Some of the most common problems with roof curb installation occur when rooftop equipment is replaced. Rather than call a professional roofer, many facility managers will simply have the contractor use an after-market roof curb. While going this route may save some money up-front, after-market roof curbs can often create airflow and temperature issues once installed. 

To ensure the continued safety and functionality of the roof, it’s best to use a fully-welded and assembled custom roof curb. Though this may cost more money up front, a custom roof curb improves longevity and protects the investment in the roof and the roof-top equipment. Finding a roofer with its own fabrication department is the most cost-effective way to get a quality product. 

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can help supply your building with quality roof curbs, contact us today.

Understanding the Connection Between Insulation & Commercial Roofing

Everyone knows that a roof keeps buildings dry, but many might not realize the role roofs play in keeping a building warm. Insulation is a critical part of any roofing system, but the bigger the building, the more susceptible it is to temperature change. This is what makes proper insulation so important for commercial buildings in particular.

What Does Roof Insulation Do?

Insulation is a special material that sits between a roof’s outer layer and the waterproofing layer and/or deck. While there are many different types of insulation, they all work to protect a building from the elements outside. Here are a few things that roof insulation does for a building:

  • Regulates temperature: Insulation’s primary purpose is to prevent heat transfer between the building and the outdoors. Insulation seals the cold air out of a building in the winter and traps cool air inside in the summer, keeping the building at a comfortable temperature.
  • Reduces energy costs: Insulation seals out nasty weather, meaning that an HVAC system has less work to do to keep a building at an acceptable temperature. With insulation, just a little bit of temperature modification can go a long way because it will stay in the building longer without escaping through unsealed parts of the building.
  • Provides fire resistance: Most insulation is fireproof and can help dampen flames or restrict their spread in case of a fire. Some building codes require insulation in some cases to improve a building’s fireproofing.
  • Provides moisture protection: Insulation provides another line of defense between outdoor moisture and a building’s interior. Using the proper form of insulation can help prevent condensation under the roof membrane.

Proper Roof Insulation

Insulation goes into almost every building, but not every contractor knows how to insulate a roof properly. While some homeowners may install insulation themselves, this process becomes much more complicated with commercial roofs. It’s unlikely that a contractor or facility manager would know how to insulate a metal roof or how to insulate a concrete roof.

Improperly installed insulation can lead to leaks, moisture problems, and diminish a building’s ability to retain a comfortable temperature. With any insulation job, the most important thing is having the right roofing partner to avoid problems in the future.

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn more about how insulation can benefit your roof.

How to Know if MAXCare Is Right for Your Commercial Roof Needs

Even the best-constructed commercial roof won’t last without maintenance, which is why developing a roof management plan is so important for any commercial facility manager. Roof management should be proactive, thorough, and performed on a regular basis, but for many facility managers, tracking the health of a roof is just too much to add to their ongoing responsibilities. 

For busy people with multiple buildings to manage, a roof management program, like Maxwell Roofing’s MAXCare® program, can help manage the stress of planning and executing an ongoing maintenance plan.

You can use MAXCare® if…

  • You want your roof to live out its full life. A roof is exposed to the elements all day, every day, and it’s bound to experience some small problems over the course of its life. MAXCare helps catch those small problems before they become big problems that require a roof repair.
  • You want comprehensive forecasting. Every MAXCare relationship starts with a roof forecast assessment. Maxwell technicians come out, review the life of the roof, and generate a report on its condition. The report makes recommendations for the short- and long-term, allowing facility managers to properly budget for big expenses.
  • You value documentation. Maxwell’s reporting protocols are the best in the business, and with MAXCare, customers get full, detailed reports with every assessment or repair. MAXCare manages everything from warranty compliance to record management so that building managers don’t have to.
  • You value customer service. MAXCare customers get first-priority roof maintenance services from Maxwell and 24/7 access to the company’s unparallelled customer service department. MAXCare also comes with access to our online engagement portal, which gives our customers access to discounted services, as well as additional information about your roof.
  • You manage multiple buildings. With MAXCare, management companies with multiple commercial buildings can track all of their roofs’ conditions in one place. By integrating all buildings in one service, facility managers can better plan for expenses and schedule maintenance without worrying about conflicting building schedules.
  • You want to save money. Commercial roofs are incredibly complex and expensive systems, and maintenance is the most important thing for protecting that investment. Though you pay up-front with MAXCare, the program saves facility managers time and money in the long run by making roofs last longer and by eliminating unwanted surprises.

To learn more about how MAXCare can help your company extend the life of its roof, contact us today.

Why Nashville Companies Choose Maxwell Roofing for Commercial Roof Replacement

Deciding when to replace a roof is a difficult decision. Facility managers must consider their budget, their long-term plans for the building, and how the roof will be used. But, the most important decision to make before determining how to replace a roof is deciding which company to use.

There are plenty of options for commercial roof replacement but, in Nashville, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. stands above the rest. Here are just a few of the reasons why customers return to Maxwell again and again.

  • Maxwell’s stellar reputation: With more than 60 years of experience in Nashville, Maxwell has proven to be the area’s most trusted roofing partner. Maxwell built this reputation through years of over-delivering on their customer’s roofing needs by making themselves available and always producing a quality product.

“When you’re a property manager, and a roofing issue appears, accessibility matters,” said Maxwell customer Steve Horrell, the president of the Horrell Company. “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.” 

  • Expert personnel: Maxwell treats its employees better than the competition, so it expects its employees to live up to higher expectations. Maxwell’s team is always professional, courteous, and knowledgeable. In the Nashville area, there is no better team for assessing and carrying out a roof replacement.
  • Excellent customer service: Maxwell prides itself on a high level of customer service. While other companies work just to get the job done, Maxwell’s employees strive to ensure that every customer feels as though they are a part of the process. Maxwell employees are willing to walk customers through every step of the roofing process from answering simple questions like, “How much does it cost to replace a roof?,” all the way through technical issues.

“There’s never been a time when Maxwell Roofing has not been on site within 24 hours,” says Terry LeTourneau, the facilities manager of Maxwell customer JLL-Mars. “They always make us feel like we’re the most important customer, which gives us a peace of mind when potential roofing issues might occur.”

  • MAXCare®: How often should a roof be replaced? With MAXCare®, Maxwell’s roof management program, customers get regular roof forecast assessments to answer these important questions. MAXCare® helps customers proactively care for their roof, preventing disasters down the line.

“It’s better to know any potential roofing problems or needs upfront than have surprises throughout the year,” says Greg Victor, the director of facilities at Ensworth School, a Maxwell customer. “As a facilities guy, you can’t always use who you want to use, but with Maxwell, we got lucky.”

  • Full-service roofing services: Most roofing companies put all their focus on roof construction, but Maxwell offers customers a full-service approach with maintenance and fabrication services. Not only can Maxwell replace a roof, but they can produce custom sheet metal pieces to cut down on costs and deliver exactly what each customer needs.

If you’re ready to learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can help with your commercial roof replacement, contact us today.

The Importance of Commercial Roofing 24/7 Emergency Response

No one gets to choose the best time for a life emergency, and the same is true for a commercial roof. A roofing emergency can occur in any season, at any time of day, on holidays or on weekends. There are plenty of ways to prepare for a roofing emergency, but having access to a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency response team is the most important thing to have in your emergency tool box.

What Qualifies as an Emergency

A roofing emergency is any type of sudden damage that threatens the integrity of a roof or building. Fallen trees and storm damage are the most frequent and obvious sources of emergency roof damage, but even small events can cause an unpredictable disaster. 

How to Prevent a Roof Emergency

It’s important to develop a regular maintenance plan to catch small problems that could become larger ones later, but some emergencies are inevitable realities for commercial roofs. Roofs are exposed to the elements all day and all night, and there’s no way to completely protect them from harmful debris or weather. The best way to prepare for an emergency is to plan for one with a budget and an emergency response team that’s available at all hours.

What 24/7 Emergency Response Does

Most roofing companies operate during regular weekly business hours, which can leave a gap of hours or days between emergency roof damage and a necessary repair. With 24/7 emergency response, customers can report the damage when it happens and receive a quick response from a qualified roof technician. In cases of serious or dangerous roof damage, companies with 24/7 emergency response will have roofers on-call and ready to respond.

Why 24/7 Emergency Response Is Important

While some roof repairs can wait a few days or weeks, very serious roof damage can cause additional deterioration to the building or harm to the people who use it. Exposed roofs, holes, storm damage, and other issues can create a fire hazard or further destruction to a building’s structure if left alone. Quick repairs are the only way to ensure that roof damage stays isolated to the roof, and that’s where 24/7 emergency response comes in.

When an accident happens outside of normal business hours, a 24/7 emergency response team will be able to make an urgent repair and prevent further damage. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. prides ourselves on our great customer service and ability to respond anytime to your roofing needs. 

To learn more about Maxwell’s preventative maintenance plans and our 24/7 emergency response services, 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 Tips for Commercial Roof Leak Prevention

Roof leaks can pose serious problems for commercial buildings, causing structural damage that extends far beyond the leak. Facility managers should have someone on call who knows how to fix a leaking roof, but the best protection against leaks is to prevent them in the first place.

Tips on How to Prevent a Roof Leak

  1. Perform regular inspections: Storms and fallen trees aren’t the only things that can cause leaks. Damage can occur slowly over time and go unnoticed without regular inspections. Facility managers should walk their roofs regularly to examine for leaks and call in a professional roofer at least several times a year to perform more thorough inspections.
  2. Call in a professional: A lot of facility managers may have someone on staff who knows how to patch a roof leak in an emergency, but only a professional roofer has the know-how to prevent further damage and leaks. Just because water has stopped coming into the building doesn’t mean that a leak is fixed. A professional roofer will have special equipment to detect hidden leaks and know how to identify damage that isn’t obvious.
  3. Create a maintenance schedule: The best roofers don’t just know how to fix a roof leak, they are partners throughout the entire life of a roof. Every new roof should come with a maintenance plan and a forecast assessment. When it comes to leaks, a good offense is the best defense.
  4. Trim trees and clear debris: A building’s surroundings determine the longevity of a roof almost as much as the quality of the roof does. Surrounding trees can fall in a storm, posing serious threats to a roof. Trimming nearby trees and clearing debris from a roof after a storm can protect roofs from developing leaks.
  5. Be aware of problem areas: Leaks can happen anywhere on a roof, but there are a few common hotspots that tend to attract leaks. Roof penetrations, like skylights and vents, are vulnerable to wear and tear that may develop into a leak. High traffic where workers regularly stand, like areas near HVAC units or other equipment, spring leaks often. Facility managers should give these areas regular attention and monitor them for leaks.

For a quote on a management program for your commercial roof, contact 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

Sheet Metal Installation Do’s and Don’ts

Sheet metal is one of the most durable materials that can be used for commercial roofs. Metal is long-lasting, weather-resistant, and can help save on energy bills by reflecting the sun’s rays away from the building. But, while metal can be a great choice for many commercial buildings, it takes a highly specialized sheet metal installer to get the job done properly.

If you’re considering metal for your commercial building’s roof, here are a few of the do’s and don’ts for how to install sheet metal:

Do

  • Know what you’re paying for. Yes, metal roofs have a lot going for them, but adding on customized roof parts can quickly add on to the project’s cost. Before purchasing a metal roof, it’s important to know what will raise the cost of the roof system. Certain types of metal, complicated engineering, or high levels of customization will raise the price of your roof system, but they may make the roof last longer.
  • Make proper measurements and estimates for the roof pitch. This may seem like a no-brainer, but improper measurements are one of the most common things that can mess up roof installation and deplete a budget. It’s important to hire a properly trained engineer or sheet metal installer to estimate a roof’s pitch accurately and make correct measurements.
  • Get the right fasteners. Sheet metal fasteners are not one-size-fits-all. If installing yourself, it’s important to get the proper fasteners for your roof’s substrate material. If a sheet metal installer is doing the work, be sure to ask about the fastener’s corrosion minimization capabilities. Low-quality roofers may try to skimp on fasteners that corrode easily, diminishing your roof’s value.
  • Research extensively. The best way to prepare for roof installation is to do your research and know what your expectations are. Be sure that your roof will suit the needs of your area’s weather and your business before making the big purchase.

Don’t

  • Paint with a sprayer. When it comes time to paint your roof, don’t use a sprayer. Wind can easily cause paint to drift and spread unevenly. It may be more work, but using a paint roller is the best way to ensure that a roof’s color is properly distributed.
  • Rely too much on the warranty. Metal roof warranties can be a big selling point. Having a good warranty is important, but warranties will only cover manufacturer defects. Regardless of the quality of your roof’s warranty, it’s essential to set up a proper maintenance schedule from the get-go to ensure that your metal roof will last.
  • Assume all roofers know how to install sheet metal. Not every roofer can do everything. Finding a qualified sheet metal installer means you’ll have to find a full-service roofing company. Using a company with a sheet metal fabrication unit will be best because it lowers costs and allows for additional roof customization.
  • Try to install your roof on your own. Even if you know how to install sheet metal, you’ll likely need some help along the way. Using a qualified roofer is the best way to ensure that your metal roof gets installed properly and lasts as long as possible.

To learn more about Maxwell’s in-house fabrication unit and metal roof installation, contact us today.

Why Rooftop Grease Trap Installation Is a Must

Anyone who works at a restaurant or food processing plant knows that grease can damage the building’s interior and is best addressed by blowing it out of the exhaust fan. However, once that grease leaves the building, it can wreak havoc on the roof outside if not properly handled.

More than 80 percent of food industry buildings are damaged when grease is released from the building without a properly installed rooftop grease trap.

Types of Grease Damage

Without a rooftop grease trap bucket, grease can contaminate or destroy a commercial roof. Here are just a few of the ways grease can harm a commercial roof:

  • Breakdown of tar or gravel roofs—Grease exposure can turn tar and gravel roofs soft. Over time, the roof will start to break down and take on a sponge-like texture, weakening the roof’s structural integrity.
  • Membrane blistering—Roof membranes help keep buildings waterproofed. When grease gets into a membrane, it can cause the roof to blister and crack.
  • Contamination—Over time, grease can seep into a roof so severely that it becomes contaminated and needs to be replaced. Even roofs with a grease bucket are vulnerable to this when not properly maintained. It’s critical to regularly bring in a professional roofer who knows how to clean grease traps on rooftop hoods.
  • Ruptured seams—A roof’s seams, or any other part that involves an adhesive, will deteriorate if grease gets on them. Over time, this could lead to a rupture in the seam and cause a collapsed roof. 
  • Fire damage—When grease is allowed to build up on a commercial roof, it can become a fire hazard. Grease is extremely flammable, and allowing it to build up isn’t just a risk for a roof but for the entire building and anyone who uses it.

Why Grease Traps?

Because the potential for damage is so high, grease traps are a fairly common and inexpensive addition to a commercial roof.  A rooftop grease trap is installed near the exhaust fan and captures any grease and other harmful particulates before it can fall onto the roof or be released into the environment.

Restaurant rooftop grease traps are often required by law, and other types of buildings may need them to be in compliance with EPA regulations in certain states.

Why You Should Work with a Professional Roofer

Only a professional roofer has the technical skills to properly install a rooftop grease trap or a rooftop grease trap bucket. Once installed, your roofer should also be able to perform regular maintenance on the trap to ensure that it functions properly.

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has more than 60 years of experience working with commercial kitchens. To learn more about how a rooftop grease trap can help protect your building, 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.

Commercial Roofing Financing Tips

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

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

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

How Financing Your Roof Can Help Your Business

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

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

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

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

How to Finance a Commercial Roof

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

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

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

What to Expect During a Commercial Roof Inspection

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

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

  • Identifying Active Warranties and Guarantees

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

  • Examine Records and Talk to Occupants

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

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

  • An Interior Inspection

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

  • Building Envelope Inspection

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

  • Flashings, Edges, and Joint Inspections

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

  • Gutters, Drains, and Scuppers Inspection

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

  • Rooftop Equipment and Penetration Inspection

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

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

  • Infrared Moisture Inspections

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

  • Drone Inspections

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

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

Finding the Right Roofing Partner 

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

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

Why Choose Maxwell Roofing for Fabrication?

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

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

Cutting-Edge Technology

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

Custom Roof Systems

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

Specialty Fabrication

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

Industrial Fabrication

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

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

Rooftop Safety Compliance 101

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

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

Fall Protection Basics

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

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

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

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

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

Innovation In Fall Safety

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

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

Finding a Roofing Partner that Values Safety

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

  1. Does the roofer conduct a Job Hazard Analysis?

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

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

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

  3. Does the roofer consider HVAC worker safety?

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

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

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

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

7 Advantages of Metal Roofing for Commercial Business

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

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

  1. Fire-Resistant

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

  1. Energy Efficient

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

  1. Low Maintenance

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

  1. Attractive

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

  1. Strong and Durable

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

  1. Weather-Resistant

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

  1. Long-Lasting

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

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

4 Things to Know About Rooftop Penetration Installation

The last thing you want to think about with an expensive commercial roof is poking a hole in it. However, roof penetrations are sometimes necessary for other functions in your building. Here is everything you need to know about installing rooftop penetrations the right way.

1. There are many reasons to penetrate a roof. In general, the quality of a roof is partially determined by its ability to hold up when things try to penetrate it. No company wants a tree or a chunk of softball-sized hail crashing down through its roof, but there are types of penetrations that can add utility or value to your building. Here are just a few types of intentional roof penetrations.

  • Chimneys—If you plan to put a fireplace in your building, you’ll need a chimney to help empty the smoke from a fire.
  • Skylights—Skylights can dramatically improve the natural light in your building without taking up valuable wall space.
  • Exhaust Fans—Exhaust fans can help remove steam, odors, or other unwanted pollutants in your building’s air.
  • Vents—Vents suck out moisture or pump air to provide ventilation to a building.
  • HVAC Systems—Large commercial heating and cooling units are often kept on a building’s roof, and a penetration will be needed to bring the warm or cool air inside the building.
  • Solar Panels—Large solar units for a commercial building are best fastened to a roof using anchors, which put small holes into a roof.
  • Pipes and Drains—Some complex pipe systems may be kept on a building’s roof and need entry into the building.

2. Penetrations are best installed during construction. Planning out roof penetrations during construction will save work and time in installing them. A dedicated roofing company will be able to work with other construction specialists to find the best spots for your penetration and to customize the roof’s construction to best accommodate it.

3. Retrofits are possible with penetrations. Not everything about a commercial building can be planned right from the outset. If you wind up needing a roof penetration down the road, you can retrofit your roof, but this is when most things go wrong. Penetrating a roof that’s already constructed requires puncturing your “building envelope,” which refers to the materials that seal a building off from the elements. After installing a roof penetration, this envelope needs to be properly re-sealed to protect the building. Poor craftsmanship at this phase can cause disastrous damage, which brings us to our final point.

4. Use a professional roofer. An HVAC contractor or a skylight installer might tell you that they can penetrate and reseal your roof themselves, but only a specialized roofer knows the best ways to prevent leaks from entering your building. Penetrations are complicated, requiring special metal flashings and seals that few other construction contractors are trained in using. Improper installation can result in corrosion or leaking around the penetration and can result in costly repairs down the road.

If you want to get your roof penetration installed right the first time, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today. Our full-service roofing approach offers everything you need for your roof penetration from installation to maintenance.

The Importance of Hiring Qualified Roof Technicians

As a commercial business owner, you’re committed to the upkeep and maintenance of your building and building systems. You schedule yearly HVAC inspections, keep a close watch on energy use, take out any necessary insurance policies, and fix any problems as soon as they arise. Once problems have been identified, though, it’s up to you to locate and employ a conscientious contractor to address problems quickly and effectively. With so many options to choose from, you can quickly feel overwhelmed by the process of selecting a company or individual to service your building. This can be especially true when it comes to commercial roofing. A properly installed and maintained roof can save you thousands of dollars in energy savings and prevent major costs from water ingress and mold growth.

You’re also concerned about the bottom line. In an effort to save money, some folks hire contractors or professionals who may not be fully qualified for the task they’re about to complete. Roofing installation or replacement can be a huge investment. That’s why it’s essential that the company you work with is highly qualified to complete the job. When you’re interviewing potential partners, here are a few qualifications you should look for.

Safety Must Be a Priority

In terms of safety in building and construction, roofing is one of the most dangerous. It’s a fact: roofers are more at risk for onsite injuries or fatalities than other construction workers. In fact, according to OSHA, 34 percent of construction-site fatalities were roofing-related. This means that you should contract with a company that ensures the safety of its workers through airtight safety protocols and insurance policies. Maxwell conducts a job hazard analysis for every project, taking time to identify potential dangers and formulate a plan for preventing falls or injuries. We also employ the most advanced safety equipment possible to make sure our workers and supervisors are fully protected. Don’t engage with a company that doesn’t take time to customize its safety approach to your construction site. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Roofing Professionals Must Be Licensed, Bonded, and Insured

In efforts to cut costs, some roofing companies are not licensed, bonded, and insured. You may be considering working with an unlicensed roofing contractor because you feel it can save you money on a large, expensive project. This is a choice which can come at a huge cost to you, the customer, in the long run. First, let’s run through the meaning of these three commonly-used terms. A licensed roofer has undergone training, testing, and the legal certification necessary to work in a particular state or region. This means they’ve also been trained to address specific issues that may arise in particular areas. They’re aware of all local, state, and national building codes and can make sure the work they do adheres to all building regulations. This eliminates the chances of you being fined for work that is not up to code. A bonded and insured roofer has a full-coverage insurance policy that protects workers in the case of injury. With an insured and bonded contractor, you can’t be held liable for any injury that occurs on your property. For all these reasons, these three words are non-negotiable when it comes to selecting your roofing partner.

Establishing a Maintenance Relationship

When you’re looking to engage with a roofing contractor, you want to establish a relationship with a company you can trust. Look for a company that schedules yearly or bi-annual inspections to keep tabs on any necessary repairs from weather or exposure. You also want to work with a company that doesn’t suggest extraneous repairs. If an inspector finds an issue at every single checkup, it may be time to consider a new contractor. As in every relationship, the key factor is that you’re certain the professionals you’ve hired will bring a high level of efficacy to their work. With so much to manage in a commercial building, it’s important to have reliable, experienced partners to handle all aspects of building management. Since roofing can be one of the most expensive investments you make in a building, you must engage with someone you trust.

Trusted and Experienced Professionals

Any company is only as good as the talent they hire. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has established a reputation for excellence by consistently hiring experienced roofing professionals who are licensed, bonded, and ensured. We maintain a strong workforce by offering an outstanding benefits package. We know that if we treat our employees right, they’ll treat your roof right. If you’re a professional roofer or an experienced supervisor looking for a dedicated, caring company, we’d love to determine if you’re a fit. For more information on how we bring the best in roofing installation and maintenance to our clients, 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 Maxwell Roofing Shines in the Huntsville Market

Northern Alabama industries are growing fast, but its commercial roofing market still lacks options. Most Huntsville-area companies make their money from roofing or re-roofing after major storms. But, for companies in Northern Alabama looking for more than a quick patch job on their roofs, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has a proven and trusted reputation for quality service. Here are just a few of the many ways Maxwell Roofing stands out in the Huntsville market.

1. High Quality

Maxwell is committed to providing every client with a high-quality roof that will last. We stay up-to-date on the latest products and roofing technologies to ensure that every roof we work on is in the best possible condition. Because Maxwell Roofing only employs full-time, specially-trained roofers, you can be sure that the craftsmanship on your roof is of the highest quality and will hold up under tough conditions.

2. Superior Service

Many companies see roofing as a product-oriented business, but Maxwell Roofing understands the importance of service in every aspect of the job. The Maxwell team doesn’t just find a problem and fix it, but we use industry-leading reporting techniques to make sure you understand what your roof needs and why. We also maintain an entire service center to make sure that you get the personal attention you need—every time. In the Huntsville area, it has been this emphasis on service that has helped Maxwell Roofing stand out from our competitors. One client, John Blue Realty, says: “ 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.”

3. Extensive Experience

Throughout our 60-year history, the Maxwell team has grown and evolved along with the industry. Maxwell Roofing isn’t some short-term outfit with inexperienced roofers. Instead, we’re a quality, family-run business that knows the industry inside and out. Throughout the years, we have developed a stellar reputation and a backlog of excellent client testimonials, so you know what you’re getting when you hire the Maxwell Roofing team.

4. Professionalism

All of Maxwell Roofing’s technicians are full-time employees with specialized training in both roofing and customer care. You can expect our roofing crew to be responsive, on time, and considerate while on the job. One client, SVN | Avat Realty, says they prefer Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. because: “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.”

5. Full-Service Care

Maxwell Roofing doesn’t just construct roofs and re-roofs. We provide everything from regular maintenance checks to custom sheet metal fabrication in-house. This full-service approach enables us to offer a higher quality product in the construction and customization phase, and then to extend the life of your roof through our proactive maintenance management program, MAXCare. Using a company with a full-service approach can save you time and money and stave off worries about unwanted roofing emergencies.

To learn more about what Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can do for your company, contact us today.

Guidelines for Commercial Rooftop Safety Compliance & Fall Protection

As a building owner or property manager, your roof can be one of the most dangerous aspects of your property. In fact, Forbes magazine recently listed roofing as the sixth most dangerous job in America. Fall protection is also the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) top-listed citation annually. It goes without saying that you can’t underestimate the importance of rooftop safety compliance. Having a proactive approach to fall protection is one of the best ways to ensure on-site safety during a new roofing project and prevent injury or liability for your commercial roof.

The Importance of Rooftop Safety Compliance & Fall Protection

The reality is that there will likely be a lot of people to walk on your roof over its lifetime—roofers, HVAC workers, building inspectors, etc. So, how do you go about preventing a major incident?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set new guidelines for the safety measures that are required for commercial roofs. These regulations require that all commercial roofs (new or old) need top-ridge anchors installed that inspectors and contractors can attach safety cords to so they can walk and inspect roofs and perform repairs or replacements of roofing materials.

If you allow people to walk on a roof without these precautions in place, you will be out of compliance with OSHA regulations and subject to fines. You could also face insurance issues for not following regulations.

Maxwell’s Commitment to Rooftop Safety Compliance & Fall Protection

Throughout the lifecycle and maintenance of your roof, those who work on the roof can face many different threats. The Maxwell Roofing team wants to provide customers with the greatest peace-of-mind possible when it comes to rooftop safety compliance and fall protection.

Here are a few specific ways we prioritize rooftop safety on our projects:

1. Conducting a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) to Identify Potential Hazards

Before any new roofing project, our team works to conduct a JHA that identifies all the potential hazards for the roofing crew, people inside the building, visitors, and passers-by. This includes specific analysis of fall protection and rooftop safety concerns.

2. Providing Specific Protection Services for Skylights

OSHA considers a rooftop skylight to be a hole in the roof surface. If skylights are in the vicinity of any work area or walking surface, they must be protected with the appropriate fall protection screens or guardrails. Maxwell Roofing works with our customers to address specific skylight issues by putting handrails around it or installing a skylight screen with a wire mesh framework.

3. Equipping Roofs with Hatch Railing Systems and Roof Davits

In order to meet the specific OSHA regulations, we provide engineering and installation services for Hatch Railing Systems and Roof Davits. These railing systems allow individuals to access the roof from a ladder inside the building with a grab bar for a climber, ensuring a safe transition to and from the ladder. Roof Davits (or Roof Anchors) are attached at various points across the roof so that people can hook up to them with a safety harness and conduct their work without falling. For buildings that don’t have walls around the edge of the roof, we recommend at least 4-12 davits laid out strategically across your roof.

4. Protecting HVAC Workers with RTU HVAC Mechanical Unit Railing

For rooftops with HVAC units within six feet of a roof’s edge, it’s wise to have some sort of guardrail between the side of the unit and the edge of the roof. These rail barriers are intended to protect HVAC workers in the event that someone trips, leans back, or loses balance.

When it comes to your roof, safety should be your first priority. If you are concerned about potential safety compliance of fall protection issue, our team at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. is here to help. Contact our team to discuss your specific needs and identify the best approach for your project.

How Drones are Revolutionizing the Commercial Roofing Industry

For a commercial building owner, leaks and other roof damage can be an absolute nightmare to locate and repair. To access hard-to-reach parts of a building, roofers often have to use expensive lifts or cranes, and it can take days to fully analyze a large commercial roof.

However, roofing has come a long way through the years with new technology and equipment. Drones are the latest tool to land in the roofer’s equipment arsenal, and they’re revolutionizing the way commercial roofs get repaired.

Drones Work Fast

With a traditional roof assessment, roofers must climb atop the roof and manually search for damage. This process is time-consuming and requires hours of planning to secure the appropriate equipment to keep roofers safe. If the roof has multiple points of damage, roofers must examine each problem area individually.

While traditional roof assessments can take several days, an aerial drone can easily fly over any type of roof and take photos within hours or minutes. In just that short amount of time, drones can conduct an entire building envelope survey without the disruption caused by having a crew on the roof.

Drones Work Cheap

High-end drones are expensive pieces of equipment and learning to pilot one is a specialized skill. But, even a well-trained pilot and a nice drone cost less money than a roofing team and the equipment needed to get them safely atop a roof. Using drones frees up qualified roofers to focus on other parts of their job, making assessments cheaper for the company and the customer.

Drones Are Accurate

Using a drone for roofing measurements and other simple tasks eliminates human error. When paired with special imaging equipment, like infrared cameras, drones can also detect damage that would be difficult for the human eye to spot. Roofing companies can even use machine-learning software to analyze drone images and identify the types of damage, eliminating the guesswork in traditional inspections.

Drones Don’t Get Hurt on the Job

To get their jobs done, roofers often have to climb, balance, or dangle in precarious positions. While good roofing companies always have the best safety equipment to keep their employees safe, falls and other injuries are always a risk with traditional roof surveys. While drones are not immune to damage, a broken propeller is certainly preferable to a broken arm.

Drones Open Up New Possibilities

While drones are becoming more prevalent in the roofing industry, their use hasn’t yet spread into the mainstream. More widespread use of drones could allow roofers to offer cheaper and more frequent inspections. In the future, drones will be equipped with better cameras, opening up even more opportunities for drone roofing.

Having the best technology can give roofers a cutting edge, but expertise and experience still matter. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has been around for more than 60 years and has maintained its reputation and quality of service through many shifts in technology.

Learn more about Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s drone services and contact us today.