Resolve to Improve Your Commercial Roof’s Performance in 2020

Making resolutions for a new year has been shown to improve personal performance and to help people more effectively reach their goals. With all the 2020 offerings from Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., businesses can also make a resolution this year: to improve their roof performance with new commercial roofing.

Here are just a few ways that a new commercial roof can help your business in 2020: 

Better Energy Efficiency—Energy-efficient materials have come a long way during the last decade. Commercial roof new construction allows building owners to install top-of-the-line insulation or other materials to help reduce energy costs. A new commercial roof can also be equipped for hardware like solar panels.

Improved Weatherproofing—New commercial roofs are better at resisting weather like rain and snowstorms. Old roofs may not hold up against hail or strong winds. Aging materials may not be up to the job of securing equipment on the roof, and outdated roof membranes and other roofing materials may start to lose their waterproofing qualities.

A New Look—A change in roof design can completely change the look of a building. Altering the roof pitch or material can give a business a whole new style, while also improving performance. Additionally, the design of a roof can help with everything from weatherproofing to energy efficiency.

Preventing Leaks—Leaks are the biggest concern when it comes to a commercial roof. Not only can a leak damage a roof, but it can also create problems in other parts of a building. With a new commercial roof, your business can get the best leak protection. If a new roof isn’t in the budget for 2020, your business can still improve leak performance by fixing penetrations and other problem areas on a roof. It’s not just the roof itself that protects against leaks but also all roof accessories.

Starting Strong with a Maintenance Plan—No matter how good a new commercial roof is, without a regular maintenance plan, it won’t make it to its expected replacement date. Commercial roofs are complicated systems and need regular inspections and repairs. Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. offers a no-hassle maintenance plan called MAXCare®. With MAXCare, companies can easily schedule inspections and plan for upcoming repairs. Going into 2020 with MAXCare will ensure that your company’s roof performance greatly improves. 

To learn more about how a new commercial roof can set your business up for success in 2020, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today.

How to Avoid Ice Damage on a Commercial Roof

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

Ice Damage to Commercial Roofs

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

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

Preventing Ice Damage

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

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

Commercial Roof Ice Systems

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

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

Is 2020 the Year for a New Commercial Roof?

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

Reasons to Get a New Commercial Roof

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

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

How 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.

Employee Spotlight: Dan Maxwell

Born and raised in Nashville, Dan Maxwell grew up interested in manufacturing. After graduating from high school, he went to Tennessee Technological University and then entered an apprenticeship program for tool designers. After graduating, Dan entered the manufacturing industry, where he spent 15 years. Dan joined the family business 26 years ago when his brother John was looking to expand.

Current Role

Dan works at Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. as a company Vice President and Senior Estimator. He works alongside the sales department to determine the approximate costs of different projects. To do that, Dan and his team determines the scope of work for a given project and establishes pricing for each element. Based on this proposal, Dan and other estimators write proposals for the project and work orders for the materials once the project is contracted. To make these estimates, Dan works with facility managers, building owners, designers, and general contractors. Dan’s precision and technical knowledge is what makes him so valuable to the Maxwell team. He is dedicated to solving problems and establishing the proper scope of work. Dan is able to look at the overall building envelope and assist in discussing other issues or conditions with anyone from facility managers to building owners, while also diagnosing the roofing problems and providing cost-effective solutions. 

Why Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. Stands Out  

Dan loves working on the Maxwell team because of the company’s core values of professionalism, quality, and safety. By being a family-owned business, Dan says the team feels closer and more accountable to each other.

“I love working alongside individuals who display integrity and professionalism,” Dan said. “I think that’s what makes Maxwell Roofing like a family and what makes the company successful.”

Personal

When he’s not working, Dan likes to spend time with his wife and five kids at home. The family also has a cat and a dog. Dan and his son enjoy biking, hiking, and camping together, and when he’s at home, Dan likes to work on his house. Dan’s favorite place to travel is to Florida’s beaches. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Client Spotlight: Next Generation Net Lease

The Client

Next Generation Net Lease Management, LLC is an investment company that acquires net leased commercial real estate properties. They invest in single-tenant real estate that is then leased to large companies. Next Generation’s team is made up of experienced real estate investors with backgrounds in finance, tax, law, leveraged leasing, and the financial services and securities industries.

The Opportunity & Solution

Next Generation has been in business for seven years. For six of those seven years, they have been a loyal customer of Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. As Next Generation frequently acquires new real estate, there was an immediate need for a reliable commercial roofer they could call upon for quality repairs and replacements. After several local recommendations, Next Generation chose Maxwell Roofing as their full-service roofing partner. Steven Germain, a principal investor, says that what he enjoys most about working with Maxwell is “efficient work, fair pricing, and knowledgeable and honest people.” He goes on to say that they genuinely “like John Maxwell and trust him and his team.”

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.

5 Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing Options to Consider

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

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

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

Skylight Replacement Tips for Commercial Properties

Skylights offer unique benefits for commercial buildings. They bring in natural light and improve conditions for people who spend their days inside. But, skylights are complicated roof penetrations that require careful installation and maintenance. Older skylights and skylights that were not properly installed can cause roof damage and may need to be replaced.

When to Replace Skylights

 Acrylic skylights last between 7 to 10 years, while higher-end skylights will last much longer with regular inspections. Still, bad weather or improper installation could mean that your skylights need to be replaced much sooner. Here are a few signs that you may need new skylights:

  • Leaks—Check skylights for discoloration, bubbling, or peeling near the skylight. This can indicate that the skylight seals are broken.
  • Cracks—If there are visible cracks or chips in a skylight, it means that it is definitely time for a replacement. Skylight cracks can cause leaks and drafts in a building.
  • Discoloration—Old and low-quality skylights will degrade over time, changing the glass color to yellow or brown. Typically, this is caused by corrosion in the sealant.

What to Look for in a New Skylight

Skylights have come a long way over the years and can now last longer and do more for commercial buildings. Here a few new things to look for in a new skylight:

  • Condensation Channels—High-quality skylights will have condensation channels built in. These help direct water away from the frame of the skylight to help prevent leaks.
  • Impact Modified Acrylic—This stronger material has replaced traditional acrylic as the industry-standard for skylights.
  • Polycarbonate—This material is found in high-end skylights. It is stronger and more UV-resistant than acrylic.
  • Photovoltaic Film—Some skylights now incorporate photovoltaic film that allows building managers to control the amount of light coming into the building.

Choosing a Roofing Company for Skylight Replacement

Regardless of what features you choose for your skylight, it’s critical to use a professional roofing company for the replacement. Only quality roofers know the proper way to seal skylights and prevent leaks.

Maxwell Roofing’s roofers are specially trained to remove and replace skylights. We have an in-house fabrication department to make any custom materials that you may need to properly install skylights, and our industry-leading maintenance program will ensure that they will last. To learn more about Maxwell’s skylight replacement services, contact us today.

Employee Spotlight: Keith Stiles

Keith Stiles joined the Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. team in 1997 as a partial owner of the company. Keith came to Maxwell with ten years of commercial roofing experience back in his home state of Arkansas. For the past 22 years, Keith has worked alongside John Maxwell and Dan Maxwell to use new technologies and practices to grow the business.

Current Role:

During his tenure at Maxwell Roofing, Keith has held multiple roles. He is currently Senior Vice President, pursuing profitable work for the Maxwell Roofing team. Keith spends his busy days meeting with property owners, general contractors, and government and industrial building managers. Through these meetings, Keith works to identify new projects for the Maxwell team and then develops them into profitable opportunities. While Keith works with other sales team members, his work requires a great deal of independence and intrinsic motivation. “My role is somewhat autonomous and very fulfilling,” says Keith.  

Why Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc. Stands Out:

For Keith, it’s Maxwell’s professionalism and commitment to good work that makes the company stand out from competitors. Keith believes these values are best reflected through Maxwell’s employees. Above all, Keith takes Maxwell’s professionalism and core values very seriously and expects the same of all Maxwell employees. He affirms, “We have a strong and dedicated workforce. The diversity within our team is bountiful.” 

Personal:

Beyond the office, Keith is always looking to make the best of life. While he loves working hard for Maxwell, Keith still dreams of making it big some other way. He jokes, “I’m forever on the pursuit of winning the lottery.”