No one likes to think about it but if you own or manage a commercial property, sooner or later you’re going to have a roof leak. If you don’t already have a relationship with a roofing contractor you value and trust, you might be tempted to contact the first roofing repair contractor who comes up on your Google search.
But when it comes to actual value, using a commercial roofing expert with a dedicated service department is better than using a repair contractor. Here’s why:
1. A commercial roofing expert understands all things roofing, including being accountable
Whatever your roofing issue, there’s a proven system to solve it. Established roofing contractors have repair departments and installation departments that use proven, refined methodologies for solving your roofing problems. These departments share knowledge with one another so the total body of knowledge is greater than repair-only roofers. They have systems in place to dispatch, track, repair, report and maintain accurate records, and they discuss projects in meetings — what worked? What didn’t? How can we do better? People who hire full-service commercial roofers expect a high-level of service, quality of workmanship, and accountability — and they’re more likely to get it.
It’s important to note that there’s a difference between a commercial roofing expert and a commercial roof installer. An expert handles everything related to commercial roofs, from repairs to maintenance to re-roofing to new construction. Installers, on the other hand, install roofs. And to get the project, they may send installers to handle roof repairs even though the installers aren’t trained to fix leaks.
2. A commercial roofing expert knows which repair techniques work best over the long term
With installation and repair teams attend the same company meetings, it’s a real benefit for leak-repair customers. Installation crews must follow specific procedures and jump through a lot of hoops related to materials and workmanship so new roofing systems will not only perform at their best but also pass inspections and earn warranty coverage. Unless a repair project is a warranty job, on the other hand, it’s not likely there will be an inspection.
Repair-only contractors are not accustomed to having to meet third-party standards or to think at that level of detail. There’s a lot to be said for tried-and-true processes and best practices — they work! Which means buildings stay dry inside.
3. Commercial roofing experts know about your roof type no matter what type it is
Experienced roofing contractors that have been in business for a couple of decades can most likely deal with any kind of roofing problem on any kind of roofing system — the diversity of work experience definitely pays off. The superintendents and crews are experienced with low-slope, steep-slope single-ply, metal and, sometimes, vegetative, tile and slate. And they’ve worked with all of the different roofing materials, from TPO and EPDM to asphalt. Your roofing system won’t stump them.
4. Commercial roofing contractors have the right technicians on hand — no roofing problem is unsolvable
Your roof leak won’t stump a full-service provider either. Commercial roofing experts send the best technician for the job and, if needed, can escalate tricky problems to higher-level, on-staff professionals who are fully capable and like a good challenge. Even if your roof leak is especially complex or unusual, a superintendent who has been responsible for diagnosing hundreds of roof leaks will figure it out. These experts often have additional training and certifications, and their deep well of knowledge makes for more dependable work and for getting it right the first time.
5. Roofing experts understand how different roofing systems work together
A lot of commercial roofing systems are made up of more than one kind of roof. You may have one of these and not even know it. Older properties or properties that have been expanded are likely to have two or more types of roofs that are joined together. In these situations, it can be particularly challenging to figure out where a leak is coming from or what type of repair would be best.
A full-service roofing repair contractor will look at the entirety of the roof and take into account all of the details of each roofing system and how they work together. Another detail they’ll think about? Unintended consequences of a leak repair made on one system to the performance of an adjacent system. It’s always best to know what to expect down the road before committing to a repair approach.
6. A full-service commercial roofing provider can make valuable recommendations
When you keep using the same roofing expert, over time that provider will develop an ever-increasing understanding of your unique roofing system and the property it protects. Which means over time the recommendations they provide get more valuable because they’re more insightful.
Some providers also offer the added value written documentation for long-term roof management planning, which is important for your annual budgeting.
7. Experts at commercial roofing handle repairs faster
Once you’ve developed a relationship with a full-service provider and the provider has experience with your unique roofing system, they can find and fix the next leak faster. Hopefully, there won’t be a next leak but if there is, the provider will use the report and photos from previous repairs (providers who follow best practices keep careful records, including photos) to manage future repairs. And to recommend and complete pre-emptive maintenance, too.
8. Commercial roof experts want to earn your long-term trust
Roofing repair contractors that also provide re-roofing services want to build a relationship with you. They want to prove themselves by fixing your leaks correctly so you choose them when it’s time to complete larger projects. Doing the job right the first time and giving you solid advice builds a strong reputation and relationship. Roofing repair contractors often look at repairs as one-offs and send a different technician each time you have a leak.
Your commercial roof is an investment and an asset. When you choose a commercial roofing expert that has decades of experience, dozens of on-staff technicians, is fully accountable, and hopes the quality of their initial repair leaves you completely satisfied with their services, you have found a solid commercial roofing expert.
This post has been updated to include new information.