A Fall Checklist for Commercial Roofs

Fall is often a welcomed season by all, as the summer heat can leave us anxious for cooler weather—not to mention the changing leaves and all things pumpkin. But, no matter the season, preparations must be made—especially when it comes to roofing. For commercial roofs, having a service and maintenance checklist for fall is just as important as it is for winter and summer.

So, as we enter the fall season with its changing temperatures and weather, here’s our team’s list of commercial roofing maintenance must-dos.

If you have a low-slope commercial roof…

1. Inspect areas around HVAC units.

Low-slope commercial roofs are often helpful for keeping HVAC units off the ground and out of sight. However, heavy equipment atop a flat roof can cause breakage in the roofing membrane and lead to leaks or moisture infraction. Thus, inspecting these areas is highly recommended each season.

2. Check for organic debris build-up.

Low-slope commercial roofs can be prone to organic debris build up in gutters, around roof drains, or any other drainage points. If organic debris is not removed from the roof system, it can be the cause of water infiltration into the building. Draining points need to stay clear of debris to promote positive drainage and allow water to clear off the roof, rather than building up and backing into the building. Preventative maintenance calls are great to visually inspect the roof and remove such debris from the system.

3. Monitor roofing around skylights or diffusers.

Many low-slope commercial roofs have rooftop penetrations like skylights and diffusers that allow for more natural light and balanced ventilation in large facilities. If your building has these fixtures, be sure to monitor any flashings or seals around them to ensure there are no leaks or potential damage.

4. Review any high-traffic areas.

As many flat or low-slope commercial roofs are friendly for walking—and some can even have rooftop bars or decks—it’s important to monitor any high-traffic areas to make sure there are no cracks, deterioration, or compromised areas. 

If you have a sloped commercial roof…

1. Carefully assess roofing materials.

Depending on the material used for sloped commercial roofs—including asphalt, metal, shingles, or tiles—it’s important to assess your commercial roofing materials for any erosion or damage. If shingles or tiles are used, look for any that might be missing from heavy winds. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for any damaged or corroded panels on metal roofing.

2. Inspect any seams or flashing.

Sloped commercial roofing will obviously have seams and flashing. As these areas can be a magnet for where water will make its way to gutters, it’s imperative to inspect seams regularly to ensure they’re working properly and are leak-free.

3. Investigate the roof deck.

Almost all sloped commercial roofs will have a roof deck underneath the roofing materials, and this is essential to be inspected on an ongoing basis. Issues with the roof deck can lead to rusty support beams, interior mold and mildew, and even water drips during rainy weather.

4. Examine inside areas close to the roof.

Especially with a sloped roof, it’s essential to carefully examine the interior areas where your roof is sloped to ensure there are no cracks, leaks, or issues that can allow moisture to make its way inside. Pay careful attention to potential water spots, wet insulation, or damaged ventilation.

Don’t Fall Victim to Roofing Woes

Is your commercial roof in need of a fall check-up? Our team of professionals at Maxwell Roofing is here for you! Contact us today to schedule a roofing assessment or inspection.

8 Common Low-Slope Roofing Mistakes

When planning to install or repair a low-slope roof on your commercial building, you want to ensure that you’re planning for longevity. By not cutting corners and checking for quality along the way, your roofing contractor can significantly improve the lifespan of your roofing investment. To help you identify whether your commercial roofing partner is following best practices, here are eight common low-slope roofing mistakes they should avoid.

1. Having Inadequate Drainage

Proper drainage is essential to keep your roof free of pooling water and the accumulation of dirt and debris. Drainage issues are especially common in low-slope roofs, often causing long-term water damage. Among other consequences, poor drainage and pooling water can dissolve the adhesives used in construction, allowing moisture to infiltrate your building. Your roofing contractor should design a plan to prevent drainage issues before beginning your project.

2. Using Low-Quality or Incorrect Materials

As water does not drain as quickly from a low-slope roof due to its lack of slant, the materials your roofer chooses are important to ensure its longevity. You must consider that water will pool, even briefly, and so the materials must be able to withstand that exposure. Additionally, in the colder months, pooling water can freeze and thaw, so temperature should also be taken into account when searching for the best materials. 

3. Failing to Check the Seams Throughout the Project

Rather than waiting until the end of a project to check the seams, your roofer should probe the seams throughout the project to identify gaps. A “probe” is a tool that a roofer uses to test the welded seams of your roof. Checking the seams as they go will prevent issues from arising in the roofing inspection or—if gaps are overlooked by an inspector—causing damage to your roof down the line.

4. Improper Repairs

You’ve invested a lot of money in a new roof system, but small repairs are bound to happen throughout the years. Be sure to utilize a high-quality roofing contractor with experience and manufacturer approval so that warrantable repairs are made. Incorrect products or improper repairs can actually cause more harm than good to a new roof system.

5. Reactive Maintenance

A low-slope roof system needs to be regularly inspected and maintained to prevent small leaks from becoming larger issues. Many owners and representatives expect a new roof system to be water-tight and problem-free, but roofs are exposed to weather conditions and other external factors that can cause damage to a roof system. To avoid common issues, proactively manage your roof system with annual assessments and regularly scheduled preventative maintenance calls.

6. Leaving the Membrane Dirty

To ensure proper welding, adhering, or mechanical fastening, your roofer should ensure that the roof’s membrane is clean and dry beforehand. Even when returning to a roof for patches or repairs, cleaning the membrane should always be done first. When bonding new patches, flashing, or new membrane to the original field membrane, it must be as clean as possible for a long-term seal. The older the original material, the more difficult this is to do properly because the membrane naturally deteriorates over time.

7. Placing T-Joint Patches Incorrectly

A t-joint is where layers of a roof’s membrane meet. For leak prevention, t-joint patches must be placed and appropriately welded throughout the roofing system. Your roofer must cover all three of the joint’s membranes with the patch. And it’s equally important that they put the patches in the necessary places.

8. Improper Workmanship

For a high-quality roof system, hire a knowledgeable roofer. Many common roof problems can be traced to poor workmanship, so to minimize the risk of future roof problems, use an experienced and established roofing contractor. Professional roofing companies train their employees with proper installation techniques and high-quality products. To help avoid poor workmanship, always research the roofing contractor prior to hiring for their reputation, longevity, and safety rating. By taking the time upfront to choose carefully, you can minimize the risk for post-installation issues. 

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn how we can make your low-slope roof last longer with regular inspections and maintenance.

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.

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.

4 Common Causes for Commercial Roof Leaks

Commercial roof leaks can cause significant damage to your building if left untreated. But, how do they happen in the first place? The wear and tear on your roof over time creates numerous opportunities for water to seep in. And even minor damages can create extensive vulnerabilities. 

Your first step in preventing leaks is to be aware of what causes them most often. When your commercial roof is damaged or worn, and leaks occur, it’s usually because of one of these four factors. 

Material Damage

Damage to your roof’s materials, primarily the membrane or flashing, can cause leaks if they are not identified and fixed promptly. To give you insight into why these elements are so important: the membrane is the outer covering that protects your roof, and the flashing protects the membrane’s edges. Because these are two of the primary components that protect your roof from the elements, any damage to their integrity can lead to leaks. Without proactive roof maintenance, these materials can crack, expand, or shrink, allowing for water to find its way in.  

Open Penetrations

Anything that penetrates a roof’s membrane (HVAC units, vents, drains, pipes, etc.) can make your roof vulnerable to damage when they are not correctly installed or sealed. Penetrations should be inspected and sealed to prevent structural damage to your building

Age of the Roof

Your roof’s lifespan is a significant factor in leaks. Commercial roofs generally last for around 15 to 20 years, but as your roof ages, it becomes more susceptible to damage. In addition, damages that may have gone unnoticed will become worse as the roof ages, creating leaks in the future. Preventative maintenance can help you stay ahead of minor damages and repairs as they come up, which can extend the roof’s lifespan considerably. 

Clogged Drainage Points

Clogged roof drains, gutters, downspouts, and other drainage points can cause water build-up on the roof system. When these points are clogged, the water will eventually find a way to enter the building, resulting in a leak. By keeping the drainage points clear of debris, you can help to promote a water-tight roof system and prevent leaks and other costly damages.

How to Prevent Leaks

The best way to prevent leaks in your commercial roofing system is to schedule consistent appointments with a commercial roofing company. Proactive inspections and maintenance go a long way in finding and repairing minor damages before they become more severe and expensive. 

Before you notice a leak in your building’s roof, ensure that you know your roofing company’s process. Is there an emergency hotline you can call? How quickly can they repair a leak? These questions are crucial because once you notice a leak, time is of the essence. The sooner you can take care of the issue, the less potential there is for damage to your building.  

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to learn how our MAXCare® program helps you prevent leaks by staying up-to-date on your commercial roof’s preventative maintenance.

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.

How to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for Summer Heat

As we’re enjoying the mild temperatures of spring, summer is right on its heels. It’s getting warmer by the day, and soon enough, the extreme temperatures of summer will be here. Now is the time to consider how you will prepare your commercial roof for the summer heat and humidity—before they begin to deteriorate your roof’s materials. In this article, we’ll share how the summer heat can damage your commercial roof and what you can do to protect it.

How Summer Heat Can Damage Your Commercial Roof

Summer heat and humidity pose a significant threat to the integrity of your commercial roof. Here are a few of the issues that you must be on the lookout for throughout the summer:

Thermal Shock—Summer temperatures rise quickly during the day, and fall quickly at night. Severe temperature changes, known as thermal shock, can cause your roof to warp or create gaps over time.

Sun Damage—The sun degrades roofing materials if they aren’t properly treated, which can cause bleaching or blackening of the roof.

Drying—When roof linings or structural materials dry out from the heat, they become brittle and crack. If left untreated, those fractures can damage the structural integrity of the roof or degrade its waterproofing materials.

Moisture Retention—Where the summers tend to be humid, commercial roofs are at high risk for retaining moisture. Water patches can cause leaks and, if left unfixed, can lead to roof collapses.

Popped Seams and Loose Screws—The combination of high heat, harsh UV rays, and an expansion and contraction of the roof surface can lead to popped roof seams and loose screws.

How to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for Summer Heat

Your primary defense from the summer heat is a regular roofing inspection. Important throughout the year, inspections allow your roofer to mitigate issues before they snowball into serious, and costly, damages. An inspector will look at the interior and exterior of your building to identify signs of weather damage and normal wear and tear. 

We mentioned a few potential heat damages in the section above. Here are other signs of damage an inspector might find:

  • Water stains on the walls and ceilings
  • Cracks in the walls or roof materials
  • Loose or buckled flashing
  • Gaps in caulking around penetrations or masonry panel joints
  • Cracks or blisters in the membrane
  • Loss of UV reflective granules

Any of the damages we’ve discussed could have been caused by heat or will be made worse throughout the summer as temperatures increase. Regular inspections are crucial to catch these issues early and extend the lifespan of your commercial roof. Proactive maintenance like this allows your business to get more value out of your roofing investment, saving your budget. 

As you plan for your next building project or your next roof replacement, talk to your roofing professional to choose the best materials for your region and the typical weather conditions.

Contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today to get a quote on your next commercial roofing project. Our team of experts is here to help you choose the materials that best fit your building’s needs.

5 Commercial Roofing Best Practices

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

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

5 Commercial Roofing Best Practices

1. A Responsive Roofing Team

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

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

2. A Focus on Safety

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

3. Routine Inspections

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

4. Proactive Maintenance

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

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

5. An Emergency Helpline

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

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

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.

What to Know About the Maxwell Roofing Experience

Unlike other basic roofing companies, Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. is a one-stop shop for all commercial roofing needs. We do everything from design and fabrication to construction and maintenance, and we do it all with the most professional and quality-focused team of roofers. Here’s what our customers can expect for every step of their roof’s life with Maxwell Roofing.

Fabrication

Sheet metal is a critical component of any commercial roof. While most roofing companies buy pre-cut sheet metal, Maxwell fabricates its own. Our fabrication shop allows us to create custom materials to fit any roof design. While other roof companies limit their customers to mass-produced components, Maxwell can create the best components for the job. On top of it all, Maxwell’s design services are free.

Construction

With more than 60 years in business, Maxwell Roofing has installed just about every type of roof system and design you can imagine. We can do everything from traditional single ply to specialized green roofs and patios. Maxwell has all the certifications and skills you would expect in a good roofing company, but what we really pride ourselves on is our service to customers. All of Maxwell’s employees are trained not only to do their jobs right but to explain their work to customers in a clear and professional manner.

Maintenance

For Maxwell roofers, a roof’s construction is just the beginning of a long relationship. All commercial roofs should be maintained properly in order to last, and Maxwell has the best maintenance plan in the business. MAXCare® allows property managers to track the maintenance schedules and inspections of all of their roofs in one easy-to-use online portal. Maxwell inspectors use industry-leading reporting to inform building managers about exactly what is going on with each roof. The program has forecasting tools built in to limit surprise expenses and help a roof last for its full expected life.

Emergency Service

Even with the best materials, construction, and maintenance, roof accidents are still bound to happen every once in a while. MAXCare® customers have 24/7 access to a dispatcher in case of an emergency. Fast repairs can prevent further damage to a roof in an emergency.

Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. isn’t just a roofing company; they are a partner throughout the entire life of a commercial roof. To learn more about how Maxwell can help with your commercial roofing project, contact us today.

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.

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.

How MAXCare® Makes Roof Maintenance Simple

You don’t notice some things until it’s too late…like the burnt burgers on the grill or the leaves overflowing from your gutters. That’s often how commercial roof maintenance goes, too. It’s often ignored until there are buckets littering the floor, catching drops of water falling from the ceiling. We’d guess this happens because people are intimidated by the idea of developing a proactive roof maintenance plan.

How often should my roof be evaluated?

What’s the typical cost of repairs?

Does it truly save money in the long-run?

Why MAXCare?

The fact is: Roof maintenance can seem like a vague concept that people tell you is important but have a hard time explaining. “You’ll save money,” they say. And, you know it’s true, but you have a hard time taking any action because you’re not sure how much you’ll save, or if it’s worth all the effort.

That’s where MAXCare® comes in. We know roof maintenance can get confusing. And, too often, people try to sell you on vague concepts without clearly explaining how they will help you or save you money. We created MAXCare so you could get a clear understanding of your roof maintenance plan—and how much money it could potentially save you.

MAXCare is different from Maxwell Roofing’s regular service and maintenance offerings in the way that Maxwell provides reactive daily response to roof maintenance needs, where MAXCare stands apart in its proactive, relationship-driven approach to roof maintenance that is built around an asset management. “Through the MAXCare program, you increase the return on investment in your assets. With roofing, that return is most prominently affected by extending its life or reducing operating costs over its life,” says John Maxwell, President of Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. “The real value of MAXCare is partly dependent on the stage or life cycle of the roof and can often depend on the construction being correct and complete, if the damage was caught early and corrected, if the roof was monitored and cared for from day one, and if the roof gets a lot of traffic. When customers invest in MAXCare early on, there’s great value in having document intelligence of all these matters to help maintain the roof’s current life cycle and inform any future changes or needs,” he adds.

How MAXCare Works

MAXCare is our comprehensive roof management program. Here’s how it works:

We start with a roof assessment, where we look at the state of your roof and generate a report that details planning, work recommendations, and forecasting for each section of your roof. We’ll be 100% transparent with you about the state of your roof and what we recommend to keep it healthy. You’ll also get access to the MAXCare online portal, where you can access educational content, tools, resources, historical reports for each of your buildings, and invoicing. MAXCare will show you exactly how healthy your roof is now and how you can best plan for future expenses. John explains, “One of the most significant values of MAXCare to our customers is in the regular monitoring we perform. When repair needs arise, our customers quickly learn that with MAXCare the question isn’t about the condition itself, but rather how long did it take this condition to develop. With long-term monitoring, you’ll have less costly surprises along the way.”

MAXCare helps you say goodbye to vague statements like, “You’ll get a few more years out of it.” We’ll forecast, as clearly as we can, future repairs to your roof, along with a prediction of costs and general timeline. As a bonus, our MAXCare portal lets you report leaks, check the status of work orders, and review invoices, so you can stay up-to-date on everything related to current and past work. MAXCare members also get discounted rates on other Maxwell Roofing services.

Who Needs MAXCare?

While MAXCare may not be the right fit for every commercial roofing partner, it can be greatly beneficial for property or industrial managers who are responsible for maintaining multiple buildings, roofs, and units. Though it might seem like you’re paying a bit more in upfront costs, MAXCare can save on overall maintenance costs in the long-term, and it can be greatly beneficial in proving your attentiveness to roof maintenance if ever faced with a complaint of negligence. “If you’re looking to break away from a run-to-fail model, MAXCare is right for you,” affirms John. “A run-to-fail model doesn’t cost much to operate, but there’s always a surprise factor that appears,” he adds.

Is MAXCare Right for You?

MAXCare is a result of our years of experience in the field and our desire to make roof maintenance as simple as possible for our customers. With MAXCare, you don’t have to guess. We take the effort off your plate and consolidate all your roof maintenance needs into a simple online portal.

If you’re interested in learning how MAXCare might help simplify your roof maintenance program, just click here to contact us.

3 Tips for Weatherproofing Your Roof

Drip.

Wait. Was that water?

Drop.

Where is it coming from?

You look up and feel another drop of water land on your face.

For a business owner,this is the beginning of a headache that will likely span weeks, beginning with a drop of water and ending with a check for thousands of dollars leaving your pocket. But, what could you have done? And, how can you prevent this from happening again?

The fact is, all roofs will need repair at some point, but, thereare things you can do to prolong the life of your roof and avoid costly repairs for as long as possible. One of the best ways to avoid excessive repair costs is to make sure your roof is properly weatherproofed. Here are three, simple things to consider when weatherproofing your roof.

  • Roof Structure—Most commercial roofs are flat and can be made of a variety of materials, including bitumen, metal, plastic, foam, and more. Before beginning the process of weatherproofing your roof, you must know what you’re working with. What is your roof made of, and what weatherproofing capabilities does it currently have? Where is it lacking? No matter which type of roof your building has, it will eventually leak and wear down, but determining the structure of your roof and understanding its strengths and weaknesses will give you a clearer picture of what must be addressed during the weatherproofing process.
  • Geography—Where is your business located? What’s the weather like? If you’re located in the Mid-South, you likely experience all four seasons. So, you’ll have to protect against heat and intense sunlight in the summer, as well as freezing temperatures and ice in the winter. To fully understand how to weatherproof your roof, you must know exactly what weather elements it needs to be protected from.
  • Materials for Weatherproofing—Depending on your business’ location, weatherproofing may not be the same thing as waterproofing. To use the previous example, if your business is located in Tennessee or Alabama, you may need heating cables in the winter for ice protection, as well as additional coating in the summer to protect from intense sunlight. If you want your roof to be completely weatherproof, you may need to use a variety of materials to achieve that goal.

There are many variables to consider when weatherproofing your roof, but if you do your homework, it can be a straightforward process. You simply need to understand the material you’re working with and the weather elements you need to guard against.

While the process can be straightforward, some intricacies may best be addressed by a professional. If you’d like some guidance to determine the best way to weatherproof your roof, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. We’d love to help you protect your building and avoid costly, unplanned repairs.

When Is the Right Time for Preventative Roof Maintenance?

You go to the doctor for a checkup. You get the oil changed in your car. But, you completely take for granted the roof over your head.

We get it—preventative maintenance isn’t sexy. Nobody’s pulse speeds up when they hear about commercial roof inspections or flashing repairs. But, if that doesn’t get you going, we can guarantee there is one thing that will make your eyes bulge: The cost of putting a new roof on your facility.

We say this all the time, but it bears repeating: Every roof will need to be replaced at some point. But, if you perform preventative maintenance regularly, you can greatly extend the life of your roof and keep small repair costs from turning into big replacement costs too soon.

What Is Preventative Roof Maintenance?

Before we continue talking about why preventative maintenance is important, let’s define exactly what it is. Preventative roof maintenance includes inspecting your roof regularly and performing pro-active services before they become large issues, causing costly repairs. Essentially, preventative maintenance is checking on the health of your roof regularly and providing timely tune-ups when needed to give your roof a healthier and longer life.

Can Preventative Roof Maintenance Save Money?

So, you may be wondering—how exactly does preventative roof maintenance save your company money (and potential stress)? Consider this example:

Let’s say you had your roof installed in 2013.

“It’s a brand-new roof,” you thought. “There’s no way it’ll need any attention for at least a few years.”

So, you ignored it. Little did you know, the roofing crew was in a rush to finish the job on time, so they sped through the installation. Because of this, a tiny crack formed at the corner of the roof.

As time passed, the alternating heat of summer and cold of winter caused that crack to expand.

It turned into a leak in late 2014, but since it was on the corner of the roof, the water flowed down the side of the building—and the leak went unnoticed.

In early 2015, you decided to have a roof inspection performed.

“I doubt it’s necessary…but, just to be safe,” you said to the inspector.

After the inspection, he said, “Everything looks great, except for one thing. Did you know you had a crack in this corner of the roof?”

He pointed to the ceiling.

“No…we’ve never noticed anything.”

Fast forward a few days and after some further investigation.

“Bad news. That crack is a leak, and you have wet insulation. You’re going to have to get that section of the roof replaced, in addition to the insulation and possibly the drywall.”

And, just think: If you would have caught that crack earlier, it could have been patched in a matter of minutes for a fraction of the cost.

When Is the Right Time for Preventative Roof Maintenance?

Preventative roof maintenance probably won’t help you win any popularity contests or make you sound interesting to an attractive stranger, but it will save you from unplanned expenses and help you with budgeting roof expenses. The right time begins as early as new roof installation. Unlike fine wine, roofs do not age better with time. If you’re interested in learning exactly how a preventative maintenance plan can help your business, click here to contact us today. Our team of professionals are ready to assist.

Client Spotlight: Ensworth School

Helping Students Seek Truth through Academic Excellence, Community Service, and Moral Integrity

The Client

Chartered and opened in 1958, Ensworth School was built on a foundation of excellence, which is still evident today as a kindergarten through twelfth grade, coeducational independent school. The school opened its doors with 152 students and 10 teachers spread across eight grades and today enrolls around 1,131 students between its lower, middle, and high school campuses and around 150 employees.

Rich in history and generously supported by its community, Ensworth School is one school with two campuses and prides itself in maintaining beautiful, well-kept, and up-to-date facilities. Red Gables, a large Tudor-style home in Nashville’s West End residential neighborhood, houses Ensworth’s lower and middle school, along with added facilities that include a library, music education venue, and athletic center. In 2004, Ensworth’s high school campus was constructed on a private, 127-acre historic site in West Nashville, and includes state-of-the-art academic, performance, and athletic facilities.

“Many things make Ensworth School unique,” says Greg Victor, Director of Facilities at Ensworth School. “From the school’s prestigious enrollment standards to its academic achievements and resources to the extraordinary facilities, Ensworth School stands apart from other schools with its commitment to excellence,” Victor adds.

The Opportunity

Ensworth School’s commitment to excellence extends into the ways in which it chooses partners to help maintain the beauty and longevity of its facilities, and that’s part of the story that led the school to discovering Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. Before Victor brought Maxwell to the Ensworth School table, the campuses had worked with eight different roofing companies primarily at the lower school campus. “After meeting Kathleen Maxwell at the local chapter meeting of an International Facility Manager’s Association, she made such a wonderful first impression and offered for Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. to visit our campuses to assess our needs and make an offer. They came quickly to inspect and present a comprehensive maintenance plan that we couldn’t refuse,” affirms Victor.

Ensworth School has now been working with Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. for over two years. Their work began at with the lower school at Red Gables and quickly extended to the high school campus. Among the services that Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. provides to Ensworth School are annual roof assessments, yearly preventative maintenance that includes inspecting and assessing potential problems, and forecasting for the longevity of our facilities’ roofs, which helps Victor and his team with budgeting. “It’s better to know any potential roofing problems or needs upfront than have surprises throughout the year,” says Victor. “As a facilities guy, you can’t always use who you want to use, but with Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., we got lucky,” he adds.

The Solution

What makes the relationship with Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. so good for Ensworth School? Victor says that communication is key. “Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s team is always quick to respond. I can always count on Kathleen to take the message and quickly get the right person on the job. I deal with several companies, and it’s rare to find that type of responsiveness and attentiveness to our needs that Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. provides,” affirms Victor.

Victor says that Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has improved Ensworth School’s facilities most effectively through its preventative maintenance plan, as the school no has much less instances where repairs are needed. “Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.’s reputation is among the best you’ll find, and everybody we’ve worked with on the team is thorough. They work around our schedule (not creating disruptions or distractions during the school day) and are very respectful of our environment. The team has done a wonderful job from assessment to construction to service,” says Victor.

Ensworth School also appreciates the way Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. takes each maintenance task by section as needed, while providing a concise, long-term, and proactive service approach. For other businesses or institutions on the search for roofing services, Ensworth School recommends giving Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. a try. “See for yourself what Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. has to offer. They will prove their worth,” says Victor.