Commercial Roofing Contractors

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Guidelines for Selecting a Commercial Roofing Contractor

Industrial and commercial roofing systems are a big investment. The quality and professionalism of the commercial roof contractor performing the work is perhaps the largest factor in the long-term success of the roof. The National Roofing Contractors Association's Guidelines for selecting a commercial roofer offer several tips for selecting a commercial roofer:

A permanent place of business

Confirm that your commercial roof contractor is well-established with a permanent address, telephone number, tax identification number and, where required, a business license. Professional commercial roofers have these readily available.

Knowledge of commercial roof systems

New roofing materials and application techniques have led to significant change in the commercial roofing industry over the last several years. A professional roofing contractor is understands the different types of roof systems and will help you make the best decision for your commercial or industrial building and your budget. Be sure you are comfortable with the roof system(s) your contractor suggests.

Committed to commercial roofing education

Select a contractor that is committed to the safety and education of its workers. Ask the contractor what types of safety training he provides for his workers and what industry programs the workers have attended. The best roofing contractor is only as good as the workers who install the roof system. Insist on having well-trained commercial roofers.

Insured and committed to safety

Don't hesitate to ask the roofing contractor for proof of insurance. In fact, insist on seeing copies of insurance certificates that verify workers' compensation and general liability coverages. Make sure the coverages are in effect through the duration of your job. If a contractor is not properly insured, you, the owner, may be liable for accidents that occur on the property. Many building owners and homeowners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured roofing contractors. (Note: U.S. workers' compensation laws vary by state. Consult your state's laws to determine workers' compensation insurance requirements.)

Licensed and insured roofer

Many states require that roofing contractors be licensed; some states have specific licensing requirements. In addition, some contractors are able to obtain bonding from surety companies, while others are not. Check to see if a prospective roofing contractor is properly licensed and/or bonded. Your state's department of professional regulation or licensing board will have this information.

Application expertise for the commercial roof selected

Request your commercial roofing contractor list the manufacturers with which his firm has licensed or approved applicator agreements. Some commercial roofing materials require special application expertise to provide a quality roof system that will be durable.

Request a written proposal for your commercial roof

Insist on a written proposal and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications. Be sure the proposal includes the approximate starting and completion dates, payment procedures, and any additional issues such as landscape damage prevention and debris cleanup.

Commercial roofing warranties

There are two types of commercial roofing warranties: the contractor's warranty, which covers workmanship, and the manufacturer's warranty, which covers (as a minimum) materials. Be sure that your contractor offers a warranty that covers workmanship. A manufacturer's warranty alone will not protect you if the roof is improperly installed. Carefully read and understand any roofing warranty offered and watch for provisions that would void it.

Completed commercial roof projects and references

Look for a company with a proven track record that readily offers client references and a list of completed commercial and/or industrial roof projects. When making the final selection, ask the roofing contractor for a list of recent clients. Check with these customers to see if they were completely satisfied with the quality of materials and workmanship provided.

On-site supervision of the project

Have the contractor explain his project supervision and quality control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge, how many workers will be required and the estimated time of completion.

A professional maintenance program

Professional roofing contractors will offer periodic maintenance inspections throughout the year. These inspections will help ensure that your project complies with the standards specified in the warranty. A maintenance program usually consists of a detailed visual examination of the roof system, flashing, insulation and related components to identify any potential trouble areas.