How to Locate a Roof Coatings Contractor
One of the newest types of roofing systems out there is what’s called “roof coatings”.
Roof coatings can be applied over an existing roof, creating a seamless roofing system.
It’s great for reducing costs (by minimizing the amount of your existing roof that will need to be removed) and getting a new warranty.
Now that you’re interested in getting coating on your roof, you need someone to do the work.
So how do you locate a roof coatings contractor?
The easiest way to locate a coatings contractor is to use the contractor locator on the SPFA’s website.
You can enter your address and it’ll give you a list of contractors that are close to your location.
However, we would advise on NOT searching by “city”. The reason is that the website will only show you contractors in that city, and not any contractors close by.
For example, West Roofing Systems is located in LaGrange, OH. If you searched for Cleveland, a city 30 minutes from LaGrange, West Roofing Systems will not appear in the search results.
It would be beneficial to search by State, and then see which contractors are close to your location.
You may be thinking, “Ok, I get that having a roof coatings contractor that’s close is important, but what if the contractor is no good, or isn’t a great fit for my roof?”
I’m glad you asked.
Here are some questions to think about:
- Does the coating contractor have any case studies or testimonials?
- What size roofs can the contractor handle?
- What kind of coatings can the contractor use?
- How reputable is the coating contractor?
Before we get started, I wanted to address two questions:
What does the SPFA (Spray Polyurethane Foam Association) have to do with roof coatings?
The SPFA will give you a list of contractors who apply spray polyurethane foam. On a roof, when spray foam is applied, UV rays will degrade spray foam within 72 hours. Therefore, every spray foam roof has a coating that protects it from UV rays. An expert in spray foam is an expert in the coatings that protect it.
Why is the SPFA a credible source to locate a contractor?
The SPFA was founded in 1987. Since then, they have been providing the construction industry with tools and educational resources related to spray foam. One of the best accolades the SPFA has is its own certification program.
For example, to become an SPFA-certified master installer, an applicator must have a proven track record of applying more than 500,000 sq. ft. of spray foam.
The certification program is to make sure good spray foam is being applied to protect the integrity of spray foam as a well-performing roofing system.
Now that you know the SPFA is credible, and that spray foam contractors know about roof coatings, and you have your list of coating contractors near your location, let’s get into other ways you can be sure to choose the best coatings contractor for your roof.
Does the coating contractor have any case studies or testimonials?
Case studies and testimonials are extremely important in helping you decide which coatings contractor to use.
For example, perhaps there’s a case study that’s very similar to your roofing situation.
If you have a metal roof, perhaps a contractor has a case study of restoring a metal roof with coatings.
Or perhaps you have a single-ply roof that’s leaking. There could be a case study on a contractor’s website where they explain step by step how they removed all the saturated insulation, added coatings, and got the property owner a new 10-year warranty.
[silicone roof coating being installed on a single-ply roof]
A question you should ask yourself is, “What if a contractor doesn’t have any case studies?”
Not having any case studies makes it hard for a contractor to show a property owner that they have experience in doing roof coatings.
Maybe the contractor doesn’t have a good website or no marketing person on staff, but not having any case studies makes it feel like the contractor hasn’t done any coatings work…even if it’s not true.
What size roofs can the contractor handle?
Some contractors can handle only small jobs, and some specialize in larger jobs. It really depends on the number of certified roofers the contractor has.
For example, some commercial roofs can be as large as 1 million square feet. There are only a few roofing contractors out there that are big enough to complete that big of a job in a reasonable amount of time.
The only way to find out the capabilities of a contractor is to give them a call and ask if they have done any roofs that are the same square footage as your roof.
Another characteristic of a larger vs smaller roof coating contractor is if they have a full-time service department.
Roofs that have coating installed need routine maintenance. Drains need to be cleaned, tiny holes need filled and smoothed out, debris needs to be removed from the roof, and all penetrations and flashings need to have a close eye on them to recognize early signs of failure.
A larger contractor will have a full-time service department on staff whereas a smaller contractor might pull a few members off a crew and have them do service calls.
An advantage of having a dedicated service team is that they will be familiar with your roof when going on service calls.
What kind of coatings can the contractor use?
There are many coating manufacturers, including:
- Carlisle Foam and Coating
- Progressive Materials
And I’m sure a bunch more.
Some contractors are tied to one manufacturer and some are tied to all of them.
An advantage a coating contractor has that can use any manufacturer is that they have experience in using a certain coating for certain situations.
For example, coating X was perfect for the single-ply roof in this climate. Or coating Y didn’t work so well the last time it was installed over a metal roof.
A coating contractor that can use any coating has more flexibility than a roofing contractor tied to one manufacturer.
How reputable is the coating contractor?
To make sure you choose the best coating contractor for your job, you need to make sure they have a good reputation.
Here are some questions that a property owner should ask a coating contractor:
- Are you certified in the SPFA?
- How long have you been installing roof coatings?
- Do you have a list of testimonials that I can call?
- Do you have any experience in coating over an XYZ roof (the roofing system that you have)?
- How does your service department operate?
Questions like these should help you pick the right contractor for your situation.
Final thoughts on coating contractors
Now that you know how to locate and choose the best coatings contractor for your roof, I wanted to highlight a few benefits to roof coatings that you may not know.
- Using coating is considered maintenance and does not count as another roof system. This is important because a building can only have two roof systems per building code.
- Before a roof can be coated, the saturated areas of the roof will need to be removed. This is cost-effective versus a complete tear-off because you’re only removing the areas of the roof that are holding water. This is great at reducing costs because you don’t need to transfer as much material to landfills.
- The cost of a roof coating system is usually around $2 – $3.50 per square foot, although there are a lot of variables that drive the cost up or down.
West Roofing Systems has been providing property owners with the most cost-effective solution to solve their roofing problems since 1979. Since 1979, we’ve been installing spray foam and coatings for commercial roofs, and since 2008, we’ve been installing roof coatings on their own as a solution to restore commercial roofs.
If you’d like to learn more about roof coatings, please check out our Complete Guide to Silicone Roof Coatings.
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.