How COVID-19 Has Affected Commercial Roofing in Nashville

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

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

Customers Now Budget with COVID-19 in Mind

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

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

Construction is Moving as Normal, with Safety Precautions

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

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

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

We Have Added a New, Modified Service

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

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

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

Roof Inspections, Maintenance, and Construction are Still Essential

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

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

A Summer Checklist for Commercial Roof Maintenance

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

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

The Importance of Regular Inspections

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

Our New Service, Maxwell Monitors

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

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

5 Commercial Roofing Best Practices

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

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

5 Commercial Roofing Best Practices

1. A Responsive Roofing Team

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

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

2. A Focus on Safety

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

3. Routine Inspections

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

4. Proactive Maintenance

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

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

5. An Emergency Helpline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2: Who Is Getting On The Roof?

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

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

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

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

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

#4: How Is The Roof Made

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

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

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

#5: When Was The Last Inspection?

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

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

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

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

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

The Biggest Roofing Inspection Mistake

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

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

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

The Time And Place For DIY Inspections

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

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

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

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

Overcoming Common Roofing Inspection Mistakes

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

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

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

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

1. Water, Water Anywhere

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

2. Moisture On The Ceiling

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

3. Mold and Mildew

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

4. Rot In an Unused Area of the Building

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

5. Irregular Roofing Inspections

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

Proactive Indoor Searches For Signs of Outdoor Damage

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

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

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

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

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