Why to Leave Roofing to the Pros

September 13, 2021

When budgets are tight, it can be tempting to perform roof maintenance by enlisting the help of your in-house facility maintenance/engineering team. This can be risky, though; the pitfalls may outweigh the savings.

The Disadvantages of DIY

A roof inspection seems basic enough to DIY; if only it was as simple as looking around. Not every roofing problem or defect is obvious. A professional knows what to look for. (An inspection by D. C. Taylor Co. assesses the condition of more than 20 components of the roof.) Roofing professionals are trained in the observation of issues detrimental to the roof and have knowledge about damage and wear that could otherwise be overlooked. If small problems go undetected, larger problems will ensue.

Man in hardhat writes a roof plan

Does your roof need a small repair? Don’t try to fix it yourself. Improper workmanship results from circumstances like an inadequate understanding of the problem, when someone is not properly trained or approved by the roof system applicator, and/or the use of incompatible materials. The outcome is rust, ponding water, leaks, and a larger bill when the pros have to undo the faulty work. Worse yet, the manufacturer could void the warranty.

In addition to these concerns, having your own team members working on the roof is an unnecessary safety risk. Roofing professionals are aware of and understand how to comply with OSHA’s safety regulations. They can assess hazards and come with necessary personal protective equipment and fall protection equipment to minimize the risk of injury. You don’t want an employee getting injured, resulting in an OSHA recordable incident.

Who’s a Roofing Pro?

Have we convinced you to hire out your roofing work yet? If so, the following set of criteria will help you contract with a qualified and reputable professional.

Insured and Licensed

Any contractor you hire should be licensed in the state where your facility is located and have an up-to-date registration (this means the contractor has provided proof of compliance with unemployment tax and worker’s compensation requirements). Commercial general liability insurance is a must to protect you from liability such as jobsite accidents, as well.

Experienced and Approved

If the contractor is only experienced with residential shingles, keep looking. It’s important that the roofing contractor you hire have experience with the type of roof system (e.g., built-up, single-ply, spray polyurethane foam, etc.) you have or will be installing. Don’t forget to ask about the type of facilities they’ve worked on before too. A hospital has a very different set of work requirements than a downtown high-rise or industrial manufacturing facility. For extra assurance, find out what manufacturers’ products they are authorized and trained to install. Ask if they have been awarded elite or master status from any manufacturers.

Safety: First and Always

Even if the contractor has all the right roof system training and experience, you can’t make assumptions about their safety practices. Inquire about their incidence rates (TIR, LWDIR, EMR) and get an explanation of any recent OSHA citations. Find out about what kind of formal safety program they have and how often they provide training to field workers. And once you feel confident in the programs they offer, ask what process they’ll undertake to identify job hazards and prescribe countermeasures for work on your roof. You can even require that a short list of projects be supplied, where the hazards encountered, and countermeasures required were like those at your facility.

Check References

Don’t hesitate to call the contractor’s references. Speaking to past customers at similar types of facilities could be very insightful; their experiences can help you predict how the project will be executed (e.g. housekeeping, communication, and project management) at your own facility. You can also ask your peers or contacts at local association meetings (e.g., IFMA, BOMA, etc.), if they have any experience working with the contractor or are familiar with their reputation.

five dc taylor co employees smiling for a picture on a flat roof

Pros Pass on Knowledge

When you find the right roofing contractor, you’ll know. They’ll deliver more than just quality workmanship. The partnership can deliver knowledge that better helps you manage your roofing assets, determining whether maintenance issues are urgent or can be deferred, providing a budget for repairs, and assisting with long-term maintenance planning. Peace of mind is an added benefit!

Contact D. C. Taylor Co. today at 319.731.4118 to schedule a roofing service.

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