5 Tips for Commercial Roof Budgeting During COVID-19

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

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

5 Commercial Roof Budgeting Tips 

1. Opt for a modified service.

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

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

2. Talk with your roofing contractor about your budget.

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

3. Focus heavily on inspections and maintenance.

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

4. Invest in quality materials and craftsmanship.

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

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

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

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

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.

Beyond the Quote – How To Properly Vet A Professional Roofer

Unless you’ve spent significant time in the roofing business, it’s hard to tell if you’re talking to an honest, professional roofer that knows their stuff and is giving you objective recommendations. If you want to choose a roofer you’ll be satisfied with, you should know the signs that you’re working with a true pro.

Communication Breeds Trust

Trusting a roofer is difficult. Roof work can be costly, and most building management teams don’t call a roofer until they’ve got a significant problem on their hands. It’s easy to see how someone could take advantage of the situation, so it’s important to feel you’re spending your money wisely.

Trust begins with communication. Roofers that don’t have a professional website with contact information that’s easy to spot, that are slow to respond to calls and questions, or who do not provide detailed assessments of their findings both verbally and in writing should not make the final cut when choosing a partner. Prompt responses, detailed written assessments and proposals, and honest discussion are usually a good sign that you’ll feel confident working with that roofing team.

Professional Quote, Professional Roofer

Contractors that pop up on the roof then give you a verbal estimate and move on, or worse, demand instant payment up front are red flags. Any roofing company worth its salt will spend a lot of time on the roof to get a full picture of what’s going on with the system. They will likely meet with you right afterward to explain what they found, but they should always follow up with a written assessment and proposal.

That proposal should be professionally prepared and should be extremely detailed, including pictures of the damage and deterioration they found. The project manager or point person should then walk through the proposal line by line with building management so everyone understands the problems and the suggested remedies.

Repairs Deserve Detailed Reporting

Total roof replacements require detailed proposals, but so do many repairs. Anyone can tell you a section of a roof needs to be repaired, but when you’re spending money to fix a critical portion of a building’s structure, you deserve to know what the damage is, why the repair is in order, and how the fix will be made.

Expert roofers believe wholeheartedly in detail and are committed to helping building managers make informed choices. When called to inspect a roof, they will provide a leak investigation report that provides important details including the location of the damage/deterioration, the size, the proper way to fix it, and the price. Furthermore, expert roofers will also document the finished work with photographs for record keeping purposes.

No Service Standards? No Thanks

Great roofers care about customer service. They know that roof repairs and replacement are a hassle for building owners, and they take steps to make the process as smooth and as pleasant as possible. Their proposals should include service standards that ensure the project moves quickly and efficiently.

Roofers should be upfront about noise, construction vehicles, the need for and timing of HVAC system shut downs, and any potential fume issues that will arise during repairs or installation. They should also work closely with building managers to minimize these potential intrusions.

Unfortunately, the industry has some participants who are “here today and gone tomorrow”. In contrast, professional roofers who are committed to service and who have dedicated, knowledgeable staff rarely disappoint. They will be willing to share manufacturer authorizations, history of performance, and references from satisfied customers.

In Roofing, There Should Be Some Guarantees

You can never predict how foot traffic, construction or Mother Nature will impact a commercial roof, but great roofers will guarantee their permanent repair work for one year. Any roofer that does not provide a guarantee or warranty on their work should be avoided.

No business wants to have to fix something for free – especially something they already did – so companies that stand by their work put several levels of quality controls in place to ensure the job gets done right, the first time.

Choosing a commercial roofer can be overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with major leaks or damage that require immediate attention. Take the time to vet potential roofers, and pay close attention to the way they communicate with you and your team before you ever sign on the dotted line. When you know how to choose a roofer, you’ll be much happier with the end result.

Five Signs It’s Time To Call A Professional Roofer For Help

Commercial roofs are designed to last for decades, but there is no guarantee that any roof will live up to its full expectations. Anything can happen at any time, but most roofs will show signs of “wear and tear” long before they reach critical failure. Here are five signs that your roof is telling you to call in an expert commercial roofer for help.

Tears, Cracks, Blisters or Other Blemishes On The Membrane

 

Tears and holes in the roof membrane are obvious signs that the roof is in need of repair, however, blistering and other blemishes can be a sign that moisture is trapped within or beneath the membrane. That trapped water will eventually cause bigger problems if it is not dealt with quickly.

 

The Flashing Is Failing

 

Flashings are the materials that connect the roof membrane to adjacent walls, curbs, penetrations and other building components. Damage or tears in the flashing should be identified, repaired or replaced immediately, because water will enter the system through these defects. Sheet metal components that are embedded in the roof often have joints that can be sources of water entry into the roof system. These should be checked regularly.

 

The Insulation Has Gone Soft

 

When walking on the roof, it should feel sturdy and that feeling should be consistent at every step. If any portion of the roof feels “mushy”, it is a signal that the insulation has gotten wet. Waterlogged insulation indicates serious trouble and it leads to major issues in a roofing system. This situation can ultimately compromise the integrity of the roof deck if it is detected too late. Soft spots should be examined by a professional as soon as they are identified. Note that wet insulation might indicate problems with things other than the roof itself. For example, interior moisture can migrate into the roof insulation if a vapor retarder is not used when needed, or is damaged.

 

Water Stains On Inside Walls

 

Not all roof leaks lead to water dripping through a ceiling and splashing on the floor. Water can also seep through the building and make its way into internal walls and ceilings. If you notice water stains on ceilings or around doors, or if you see rust on metal in an exposed deck, it’s a good indication that there is a problem on the roof that needs attention.

 

It’s Raining Indoors

 

The most obvious sign that you need to call a commercial roofer is leaks. When water is dripping onto internal floors of the building, you’ve got a serious problem somewhere in the system, Leaks do not get better on their own – they only get worse.

Nobody likes thinking about repairing or replacing a roof, but your system will tell you when it needs a little bit of TLC. If you see any of these obvious and not-so-obvious signs of damage and decay, it’s time to call an expert for help.

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

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

The Key To A Better Capital Budget For Roofing

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

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

Building A Roofing Safety Net

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

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

The Bad Budgeting Ripple Effect

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

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

Planning For The Future

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

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