It is definitely wise to hire a qualified commercial roofing company to regularly check your commercial roof for problem areas. And before you arrange to have any evaluation conducted, you should prepare ahead of time by creating some questions to ask during the contractor's time with you. Here are some areas to consider.
Repair, Maintenance or Replace
If your commercial roofing contractor finds a problem during the check, ask whether repairing or replacing the roof makes the most sense. If the roof is (for example) less than 10 years old, it should provide a few more years of service. On the other hand, it may be more cost-effective to replace the roof rather than continue to pay for expensive repairs. A reputable roofing company will be honest with you about what’s truly needed. If you decide to repair, the contractor should also let you know how much longer your roof should reasonably last and what you can expect for ongoing maintenance.
Cost and Timing Considerations
If your building is leaking, then it’s imperative for repairs to be done immediately, regardless of the season. However, if there are less critical problems (e.g., the roof membrane is thinning in spots, or beginning to pull away from flashings), then it might be prudent to wait for spring or summer, when repair or replacement can be done more securely during better weather. Also, the work should be done by the contractor without disrupting your normal business operations.
Roofing can be a dangerous undertaking, so make sure that the contractor you’re using has safety – both for the roofing crew and your staff – at the top of the priority list. Here are some indicators of the contractor’s commitment: a safety director on staff; regular safety training and refreshers with crew members; on-the-job inspections to ensure that workers are operating in compliance with company and government safety requirements; etc. Give yourself peace of mind by using a roofer who’s committed to safe practices in every aspect of their operation.
Areas Specific to Your Business
There will likely be things to ask the commercial roofing company about that are unique to your roof and business. For example, restaurant roofs have different challenges than school buildings because they typically have grease that collects on the roof surface. Do you have HVAC or other equipment on the roof that requires a lot of maintenance? If so, your roof surface will have to withstand considerable foot traffic. A reputable contractor will understand these differences and know what to keep any eye out for.
Be prepared for your roofing evaluation so you can make the most of the time you have with the company you choose. Once it’s been completed, you should get a written evaluation, and if you think of more questions subsequently, a service-oriented business will make themselves readily available for follow-ups.