What to Look Out for in a Commercial Roofing Contractor
So, you’re currently having some issues with your commercial roof and you’re looking for a contractor to come out and take a look.
You collected a few bids and chose the least expensive option.
Fast forward two years.
A few storms have come by which has resulted in some leaking.
But you remember, you got a 10-year warranty on your roof. You go to make that warranty call and you hear the recording “this number has been disconnected”.
You go online…no website to contact anyone.
What are you supposed to do?
This is the kind of scenario this article is going to help you eliminate.
You already have a headache on your hands with a leaky roof. You don’t want another headache when (or if) something should happen.
In this article, you’ll learn a few tips to help you choose a reputable commercial roofing contractor, such as:
- Why being in business for years (or decades) is beneficial.
- Why a contractor having a real office and/or warehouse is a good sign.
- Do they use reputable roofing manufacturer’s materials, and why is this important?
- Why having certifications and awards matters.
- Why having “precise” case studies gives a building owner confidence.
- Why having an online presence showcases a contractor with longevity?
The worst thing that can happen is you spend thousands of dollars on a new roof, and then the contractor disappears as soon as things go sour.
Hopefully, this article puts you in the best position to avoid this terrible scenario.
Been in business for more than a few years
When you’re getting a new roofing system installed on your building, you need to get that roof under warranty.
Most warranties are 10-20 years in length.
If you choose to work with a roofing contractor who’s only been around for a few years, who’s to say they will be around for 10 more years?
If a roofing contractor closes shop, and the warranty ran through them, you are out of luck.
Advice: Work with a commercial roofing contractor who’s been around for a long time. This will give you peace of mind that they won’t leave you hanging (right after they do your roof) or in the middle of your warranty. Or get a full-service warranty through the manufacturer of the products used on your roof. If the contractor goes under or is sold, the manufacturer will find another contractor to honor the warranty.
[old photo of West Roofing Systems]
They have a real business office/warehouse
A red flag is a commercial roofing company that’s just working in a garage or doesn’t have any location, such as a PO box.
The reason is that they might not be around to fix, repair, or perform routine maintenance on your roof over a 10–20-year period.
Advice: If it’s within a reasonable distance, ask to get a quick tour of the office or warehouse.
They use high-end manufacturer products
When you get a bid/quote from someone, make sure to check out what kind of products they will be using.
High-quality material manufacturers require roofing contractors to be trained by the manufacturer to install their products.
These manufacturers don’t allow just any contractor to apply their products.
The manufacturer wants to know that their materials are installed to the exact specifications required so that the materials last the desired warranty lengths.
This is to ensure the product is installed correctly and to protect the integrity of the materials.
Advice: Check out what materials are going to be installed on your roof and make sure that the contractor is a certified installer of those materials.
The roofing contractor has certifications and awards
This is more of a peace of mind thing than anything else.
When comparing roofing contractors, do they have any certifications or industry awards?
If they don’t, it could be a red flag that the contractor is new to a roofing system or hasn’t been around long enough to apply for awards.
Advice: If you’re comparing apples to apples and one contractor is priced higher than another, it might be because they have credibility in the industry (or by installing a certain product) where the customer can have more confidence that the roofing system will be installed correctly.
They have precise case studies
For a roofing contractor to say that they have done this roof and that roof is cool, but do they have a case study that’s reflective of the work you’re trying to get done?
For example, let’s say that you have a metal roof that has leaks. And you’re wondering if you can restore the roof instead of tearing it completely off?
When you’re collecting bids and getting quotes, do those contractors have experience with metal roofs?
Can they recall a scenario where the metal roof was in too bad of a condition, that the best option for the building owner was to perform a complete roof removal?
Or in other cases where the metal roof was in decent condition, that it was beneficial to the building owner to restore it?
And the contractor has proof (inspection reports, photos, infrared surveys, etc.) to back up the solution they provided to the building owner?
A contractor who can provide “precise” case studies should make the building owner have confidence in that contractor over one who cannot.
Advice: See if you can get a list of case studies or get the reference list of building owners who had previous work done by the contractor. This could be a great opportunity to feel optimistic about one contractor over another.
Here are some case study examples:
- Spray foam roof over metal
- Silicone roof coatings over a rubber roof
- Spray foam over multiple roofing systems
[silicone roof coating over existing rubber roof]
The contractor has an online presence
Does the roofing contractor have a website?
Does the contractor have any Google Reviews?
If a contractor doesn’t have a website, how are you supposed to learn a little about the company, what roofing systems they install, and if you can read any resources they might have for you to educate yourself?
If a contractor doesn’t have any Google reviews, it probably means that the company hasn’t been around long enough for their customers to write good (or bad) reviews about them.
Advice: If a contractor doesn’t have a website or any reviews online, how are you supposed to educate yourself on the company before requesting a quote? It’s best to skip the contractors with no web presence and educate yourself as much as possible on the ones that do before reaching out to a contractor.
What are your next steps?
If you’re at this point, we hope we have given you some pointers on how to choose a good commercial roofing contractor.
If you’d like to consider West Roofing Systems for your commercial roofing needs, we:
- Have been around since 1979.
- Have locations in three different states (Ohio, Georgia, and Alabama)
- Are qualified applicators of all the top spray foam and roof coating manufacturers.
- Are certified with the SPFA (Spray Polyurethane Foam Association) and have PCP-certified installers and project managers.
- Have won 25+ SPFA awards almost every year since 2005.
- Have case studies involving work with every type of roofing system.
- Have a website and several Google Reviews.
If you have any questions, please contact us at any time!
Author: Greg Palya
Greg Palya is the Digital Content Manager of West Roofing Systems, Inc. He has a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Akron and an MBA in Marketing from Walsh University. When he’s not trying to teach others about spray foam roofing and silicone roof coatings, you can find him on the basketball court or golf course.