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Ten Most Common Causes of Commercial Roof Failure

Ten Most Common Causes of Commercial Roof Failure


Commercial roofing is designed to be tough, but there are measures you can take to extend its lifespan. Preventative maintenance will extend the service life of your roof and protect your investment. Knowing what can cause roof failure is the best way to be proactive in roofing care. Having to replace a roof prematurely is expensive and can be prevented.

Ten Most Common Causes of Commercial Roof Failure

The roof will wear out over the years for several reasons. The environment, foliage, and climate are big factors affecting your roof. Below are the most common factors that cause your commercial roof to wear. Assessment of these factors can help you better prepare and protect your roof for the long term.

1) Exposure

Consider what weather the roof will be exposed to and if there are any pollutants. Are there any chemicals used in the area that may degrade or affect the roof? Were any chemicals used directly on the roof?

2) Structural movement

Roofs are known to expand and contract as the weather changes. This is especially common in areas that experience both hot and cold seasons. Check for defects such as blistering and cracking to identify if this has become a problem.

3) Biological growth

Does your roof have any growth such as algae or vegetation that can wear on the roof?

4) Not fixing problems promptly

When you notice problems in the roofing, do you fix them right away? Leaving them can allow the situation to get worse and more expensive to repair. It is not just the exterior roofing, you have to check the insulation for damage too. Debris collecting can also clog drains and allow for pooling water.

5) Forgetting about maintenance

The number one reason a roof needs to be replaced prematurely is a lack of regular maintenance.

6) Change in the use of the building

Is the building now used for something different? Changes in use can result in changes in condensation on the roof which impacts its longevity.  These 6 factors will wear down a roof over time, and before you know it the roof is in critical condition. In addition to these, there are 4 other culprits that can cause immediate more problems that are just as bad. What causes immediate roofing problems?

7) Extreme weather

Lightning, hail, high winds, earthquakes, snow, and heavy rain.

8) Equipment additions

Adding equipment such as HVAC units, vents, or skylights can cause problems if not installed properly.

9) Trade damage

Problems with the roofing such as punctures, tears, and holes

The Biggest Offenders

Out of all these threats to your commercial roof, the two biggest offenders are damage caused by people on the roof and obstructed drainage. Unfortunately, by trying to make improvements to a roof can lead to unintended damage. Dropping a screwdriver can leave punctures in the membrane. Improper installation of a structure on the roof’s surface can leave a building vulnerable. Both of these threats to your roof are totally avoidable. If you have recognized any of these issues that can cause deterioration or premature commercial roof failure, do not wait. You don’t want it to be too late. These factors can deteriorate your roof before you know it. Start working to prevent long term damage now. Regularly inspect your roofing, uphold a maintenance schedule, and address issues when you find them. Reach out to us if you have any concerns or questions for maintaining the longevity of your roof and investment.

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Choosing the Right Commercial Roofing System

Choosing the Right Commercial Roofing System


When it comes to commercial roofing, there are a lot of questions about how to get it just right.

  • What material is puncture and shrink resistant?
  • What is the right thickness?
  • Do you need strong seams to keep the weather out?
  • Black or White roof system?
  • Is single-ply roofing effective?

Choosing the Right Commercial Roofing System

Let’s take a closer look at each of these so you will know how to get the right commercial roofing for your building.

Material that is puncture and shrink-resistant

Damage to your roof will allow for a lot of heat loss during colder months. The more water gets into your roof system, the more it will damage insulation and roof protection. Depending on the type of insulation you install, this can happen quickly or slowly. For example, fiberboard insulation soaks up water easily making it more prone to damage. Polyisocyanurate insulation resists water much better, so it will take longer for roof leaks to damage the insulation. You want to have a weathertight system that does not leak during wet weather. TPO and EPDM are both reliable and puncture-resistant. These materials will withstand debris damage during bad weather and both are easy to repair.

Thickness matters

The thicker the material, the better it will be at keeping in the heat. It will also help the HVAC keep the building cool during the hotter summer. EPDM and PVC have thickness up to .90 where TPO reaches .80. It may not be a significant difference, but over the lifetime of the roof, this can add up. Most PVC roof systems are known to crack and shrink under cold weather conditions so it will not be the best choice for areas prone to extreme cold.

Strong seams will keep the weather out

A roofing system is only as secure as the seams that hold it together. A good, sturdy weld on a TPO or PVC roof system will last and won’t cause any problems by splitting under pressure. On EPDM roofing, seam tape is most typically used. This is much better and more reliable than adhesives that have been used in the past. Properly welded TO or EPDM systems will be the best and most secure roofing systems.

Black or White Roof System

There are often many questions surrounding the benefits of a white TPO or PVC roof system versus the benefits of a black EPDM roof system. It is thought that a white roof system is more effective during the warmer months when the building is being cooled. Black roof systems are better during the colder months when the building needs to stay warm inside. Also, by having proper insulation, the color of the roof system doesn’t matter. The same insulation that keeps heating and cooling inside your building also keeps heating and cooling outside your building. Investing in additional insulation is the best way to approach energy savings rather than focusing on the color of the roofing.

Single-Ply Roofing Systems

Single-ply roofing systems are the most common but not your only option. They are affordably priced and highly durable. They are typically made from TPO, PVC or EPDM. These products are much cleaner to apply than raw asphalt-based products. TPO in particular is rated as one of the best for holding up against water pooling. While TPO and PVC are primarily available in white which is great for reflecting the sun’s light and heat, you can get other colors too.

Final thoughts

No single system fits every building. Reach out to use to provide an inspection and evaluation so as to best determine the system that will work for you. Each facility will need its own roofing system, and we will help you get what works best for you and your investment.


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What You Should Know About PVC Roofing?


PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. This is a type of plastic formed through a gaseous reaction of ethylene with oxygen and hydrochloric acid. This plasticized attributes help strengthen it as a roofing material and can help make the roof more durable and lower maintenance than similar materials. Typically, PVC is used for flat commercial roofing.

What You Should Know About PVC Roofing?

PVC for Flat Roofing

PVC comes in a membrane form and is rolled out onto the roof, then adhered to using nails or adhesive. The addition of the plastics to the membrane makes it resistant to punctures and rips and it is also chemical resistant and fairly low maintenance. PVC is also typically heat welded at the seams because seams are the weakest part of a flat roof. Welding helps to seal these areas and keep them watertight. A good PVC roof is lightweight, durable, and will last up to 20 years when properly maintained.

The biggest drawback to using PVC roofing on a flat roof is the fact that it cannot interact with asphalt materials in any way. Some flat roofs have hot asphalt applied on top of the membrane but this cannot be done with PVC roofing. Additionally, PVC roofing comes in different thicknesses. With PVC, thicker is better and often makes the roof more resistant to cracking or splitting. It is important to note that PVC does not perform well in cold conditions. Most PVC membranes can shatter in cold weather, so you will want to use a reinforced PVC membrane. This will help prevent the entire roof from shattering. Shattering can still occur, even when using reinforced PVC. But, it typically will not spread across the roof. You do not get this problem with cold weather in TPO and EPDM membranes.

PVC Repair and Maintenance

PVC formulations differ across manufacturers. This means that some PVC membranes are not compatible with other PVC membranes. You will not be able to weld them together. In some cases, if a manufacturer goes out of business or makes significant formula changes, the membrane you install today may become useless later on. PVC is also not compatible with a lot of peel and stick or self-adhered patching products. A white EPDM or TPO self-adhered patch will typically not adhere properly to a PVC membrane and is not ideal for repairs. The only way to patch a PVC roof is to weld it with compatible PVC. It is also worth considering that PVC shrinks over time, especially when thinking long term. The membrane pulls away from the surrounding walls and outlets on the roof. When welds spilt, you will end up with leaks into the building which can add up to very costly repairs down the road.

Final thoughts

Not much is known about PVC and it is not widely promoted in the roofing industry. So it is not among the popular choices for roofing. However, it has many benefits such as being lightweight, chemically impervious, and resistant to tears and punctures. As the benefits and uses of PVC become more known, you will likely start seeing more of it out there as a roofing membrane option.


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UV Radiation and Your Roof: What You Need To Know


UV radiation is known to damage the skin, but did you know it can damage your roof too? Most of your roof, if not all of it, is exposed to the sun all day and this can change the components of the roofing material.

UV Radiation and Your Roof: What You Need To Know

The Effects of UV Rays

Shingles are durable and look great, but this will not be the case after overexposure to the sun. Deep within the shingle, the UV light alters the chemical makeup. Typically shingles have a protective coating but the hydrocarbons in this coating deteriorate as they contact the air. The heat from the sun accelerates this deterioration. The result over time is cracking and peeling. You may not always see the long term damage but it will be there. As cracking expands, any water and moisture from other seasons will only make the situation worse. The heat is just as damaging as the light because it increases expansion. When the asphalt cools at night, even more cracking can occur. This thermal shock is the number one cause of shingle destruction. Even though asphalt is more susceptible to sun damage, all types of roofing can be damaged by excessive sun exposure.


So what can you do? Regular inspections of your roofing can help to prevent serious damage. Hire an expert to check your roofing at least once a year. Remember that rain and wind can loosen shingles leaving the roof more exposed to the sun. If your shingles are in good shape, applying a protective coating can help preserve them. By reflecting the sun’s light and heat away, you can give a little more life to your shingles. You can also install a metal roof that is better able to withstand expansion and contraction and does not get changed at the molecular level. Rubber roofing is also impervious to UV rays.


With summer approaching, we are here to help you protect your roof from UV light and heat. Call us today with any questions or to schedule an inspection. With the right prevention, you can protect your roof and preserve its longevity for many summers to come.


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Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles

Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles


For the most part, roofing techniques and materials have remained the same over the past decade. There have been small changes due to the development of solar power cells, but this technology has been integrated into the roofing industry relatively smoothly. This is thanks to the contractors who chose to work with the top roofing talent for proper solar installations. Contractors are constantly looking for ways to cut costs while still increasing the structural integrity of every project. With regards to roofing, it can be difficult to decide which materials are best for your project. Shingles and metal roofing are top options and you need to weigh the pros and cons of both.

Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles

Cost and Lifespan

Asphalt is one of the most affordable roofing materials. The average lifespan of asphalt shingles is 15 to 20 years. Asphalt was one of the first roofing materials and has remained an important roofing material despite industrial changes and technological advances. The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) suggest replacing asphalt shingles after 20 years. Metal roofing is much more expensive than asphalt and one of the priciest materials in roofing. Metal roofing does last up to 50 years, which more than justifies the initial cost. Alternatives to asphalt and metal roofs include tile, slate, and shake, and they each have their own pros and cons too. They are not as popular as asphalt and metal roofing though.


Asphalt shingles are for function rather than aesthetics. However, because of their popularity and affordability, the market has abandoned traditional three-tab shingles in favor of laminated designer shingles. Laminated designer shingles can resemble more expensive roofing materials like shake and slate without costing you a fortune. This is one of the most popular roofing materials. Laminated asphalt shingles also add dimensionality to your roof because of extra layers of fiberglass mat. This also creates a slate-like appeal. Laminated shingle styles are also typically offered with longer warranties and better wind ratings. Metal roofing has also improved its aesthetic appeal with the use of stamped-panel metal shingles. These look more like the aesthetically appealing slate, shake, and tile. A metal roof also doesn’t have to be silver or gray as metal roofing is now available in a wide variety of colors and styles.


A resilient roof is one that can recover quickly from challenges. It is essentially how tough the roof is. A resilient roof can handle severe storms without buckling under the pressure. SBS-modified or “rubberized” shingles are responsible for the resilience of asphalt shingles. It improves impact resistance and ensures that shingles stay put during strong weather. New advances have resulted in asphalt shingles that can protect homes from nearly everything, even algae. Metal roofing can withstand winds exceeding 140 miles per hour and has an amazing ability to resist fires. With wildfires burning through the country each year, builders are turning to metal roofs to give new and existing homes a fighting chance. Metal roofing is typically given a Class A fire rating, which means it is “nearly impenetrable” to moisture while resisting impacts from hail and debris. With improved coatings that help resist corrosion, metal roofing is safer than ever before. The resilience and durability of metal roofing is another reason it is worth the initial cost.

Energy Efficiency

One major advancement in asphalt shingles is improvements to the Solar Reflectance Index (SRI). This includes metrics for reflectance and thermal emittance. Asphalt granules are mixed with light-reflecting pigments to increase the solar reflective value of a roof by ten times. This “cool roofing” reflects solar energy rather than absorb it, keeping the home cool and energy bills low. It also reduces wear and tear on the roof as sun exposure can do a lot of damage over time. Comparatively, the highly reflective surface of metal roofing typically also provides savings. You can save up to 30 percent on cooling with metal roofing as light and heat are reflected away.


Both metal and asphalt roofing are top choices for any project. Depending on your needs and your budget, you can get a quality roof. Call us today with any questions regarding roofing materials and we will help you get the right fit for your home.

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Choosing the Right Flat Roof Material



Flat roofing installation is very different from pitched roofing. Shingles and tiles are not appropriate for flat roofing because water can seek below the tiles easily as there is no pitch to force it off the roof. It may seem that flat roofing is less expensive than pitched roofing as there is less challenge to flat surfaces but many roofers report that flat roofing installation is harder than it seems.

Flat Roofing Materials

Flat roofing is more prone to water damage because there is no pitch to drive water away from the surface. So if there’s a potential leak threat, why is flat roofing even used? Flat roofing is beneficial for two reasons; aesthetics and convenience. Flat roofing looks better when you have to add on extensions to a building so there are no uneven pitches and it is a convenient place to store heavy HVAC equipment.

Flat roofing needs to be waterproof in the same way as pitched roofing and this requires special application of adhesives or modified bitumen that can be installed to form a seal. The extra labor and materials can add up with flat roof installation making it just as expensive as pitched roofing. The labor for flat roof installation will depend on the area but you can use average material costs to make a fair estimate.

  • PVC membrane: The membrane and insulation board needs to be installed first to reduce energy costs and these are installed in rows that are mechanically fastened to prevent uplift.
  • EPDM rubber: EPDM membrane is available in large sheets that make it perfect for avoiding leaks at the seams, but the wide rolls are challenging to install. These sheets are like giant stickers that need to be carefully applied to avoid air bubbles.
  • Built-up roof: Multiple layers of ply sheets are bonded over each other to form this roofing. A top layer of reflective coating can be added or gravel for additional durability.
  • Modified bitumen: This is installed in layer with each being torched to the surface below it every quarter-turn of the roll. Installing modified bitumen is a lengthy and labor-intensive process and can only be done by a professional.
  • Spray-on roof: This may sound easy but it needs to be applied evenly and precisely to avoid problems. You can apply spray-on roofing over existing materials making it convenient to use.

Average Lifespan of Flat Roofing Materials

When considering what materials to use for roofing, you need to take into account how often the roof is accessed and the local weather. Frequent weather changes and frequent traffic can wear a roof down quickly, shortening its average lifespan. Before you spend money on installation make sure you get a material that lasts as long as you need it. The average lifespan for flat roofing materials is:

  • PVC: 15 to 30 years
  • EPDM: 10 to 15 years
  • Modified bitumen: 10 to 20 years
  • Built up roofing: 15 to 20 years
  • Spray-On: Up to 20 years

Choosing the Right Flat Roof Material

Flat roofing installation varies by material and labor costs. Before choosing a material you need to consider the costs and the benefits and disadvantages of each material.

  • PVC membrane: This is the most popular flat roofing material as it is strong and durable with a minimum breaking point of 300 pounds per inch. These are heat welded to create a waterproof seam and are usually white to increase energy efficiency. The major drawback to PVC roofing is that they are pricey.
  • EPDM rubber: The main reason EPDM is chosen over PVC is that it is cheaper to install. The seams of EPDM rubber are glued together and are not as strong as the heat-welded seams used on PVC roofing. EPDM also is darker in color which makes it less energy efficient.
  • Modified bitumen: This multi-ply roofing is one of the bigger advantages. The base layer is attached mechanically to the roof deck creating a strong and durable seal. The ply overlap is applied with a permanent adhesive and granules are placed on top to provide aesthetic and energy-efficient properties. Modified bitumen is challenging to install which can lead to costly labor bills.
  • Built-up roofing: These are essentially tar and gravel roofs, consisting of alternating layers of bitumen which are asphalt, coal tar, or other adhesive and a top layer of gravel. Built-up roofing can withstand heavy traffic and severe weather but they are heavy which will require additional support structures.
  • Silicon spray: You get the benefit of seamless installation with spray-on roofing. Despite seeming like it would be easy to spray on the roofing material, this is one of the most expensive materials to install for flat roofing.


The right material for your flat roof will depend on your budget, roofing needs, and issues that your roof will face such as weather and traffic. Each type of flat roofing comes with carrying benefits and disadvantages as well as different installation costs. Call us today to discuss your flat roofing options and we can help you find the best fit for your budget and needs.


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Why Should You Choose Metal Roofing?

Why You Should Choose Metal Roofing

More and more buildings have metal roofing these days. What is the reason for this increase in popularity? There are several benefits to going with a metal roof. If you are looking to replace a roof or are building a new home, see below for the top reasons you need to choose metal.

Why Should You Choose Metal Roofing?

  • Longevity: Most roofing materials will last between 15 and 20 years. Metal can last 50 years or longer. You get a longer life from metal roofing, no matter what the weather conditions are. If durability is your priority, metal roofing is the way to go.
  • Energy-efficient: Metal roofing typically comes with sun-reflecting paint. This allows for increased energy efficiency, no matter how hot the weather gets. This paint is typically under warranty for 25 years, so you likely will not have to re-paint.
  • Water-resistant: Metal never allows for water penetration. Unlike asphalt and other materials, metal is resistant to most weather. Any water simply runs off. Metal roofing is also heat resistant and can withstand high winds. If your climates are prone to change, the metal roofing is a better fit.
  • Increased value: The longevity and easy maintenance of metal roofing add value to your home. It is a more desirable roofing option so it is often preferred by potential buyers. A new buyer will know they do not have to worry about replacement any time soon, if ever. Purchasing a home with a metal roof is a good deal.
  • Cost: Metal roofing is more expensive than other materials. But, with metal roofing, you save money in the long term. Most other materials need repairs every few years which are time-consuming and expensive. The initial amount you spend will be an investment that is more than worth it.
  • Environmentally friendly: Metal can be recycled and has a longer lifespan. This means there is less waste each year. With 11 tons of shingles ending up in landfills each year, metal is a much greener choice.


There are a number of reasons that you should consider metal for your roof. It is easy to see why it is such a popular choice. You get more from a metal roof and this makes up for any cost in the beginning. Consider getting metal for your new roof or replacement. This way you and your roof get nothing but the best.



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How to Keep Animals from Living in Your Roof?

Animals deserve a cozy place to spend the cold nights. But, what if that cozy place is your roof? Rodents, birds, bats, and squirrels are just a few of the animals out there that like to live in roofs. The problem is that they can cause a lot of damage to your roofing system. The wiring, trim, and insulators can all become damaged. Not to mention, wild animals can spread diseases and infections to your family.

How to Keep Animals from Living in Your Roof?


Luckily, there are a few tips to eliminate and prevent critters from making a home in your roof.

  • Trim the trees: Trim your trees back away from the house. Branches make perfect walkways from a tree to your roof. Without easy access, critters may find somewhere else to go.
  • Set traps: If you already suspect that small animals are already living in your roof, set a few traps. These are effective at eliminating animals when placed in areas where they have already been seen.
  • Keep food away: Garbage attracts critters, so make sure bags are tied up and bins are secured. Your pets’ dishes can also bring attention to the yard so keep them inaccessible by covering them when not in use.
  • Renovate gaps: Regularly check your roof for gaps and holes. Patch up any that you find as these small openings are the perfect invitation for little critters.
  • Schedule inspections: To get the best from your roof, you should be scheduling regular inspections. The contractor can also identify areas where animals can get in. They will also tell you if any have already moved into the roof. A professional roofer will seal up holes for you to keep animals away and keep your roof safe.

Following these simple steps is the best way to make your roof a no-go zone for animals. Always give us a call if you have any questions or need assistance in dealing with animals in your roof.


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How Cool Roofing Can Save You During Heat Waves?



As the climate continues to change globally, heat waves are becoming more frequent in the summer months. Increased air temperatures are becoming normal and this is increasing the risk for sunstroke and organ damage. You may think that staying indoors can protect you from the excessive heat, but in many cases, the inside of a building can get too hot. Without efficient cooling, inside temperatures can exceed those outside during heat waves.

How Cool Roofing Can Save You During Heat Waves?

A move towards cool roofing is becoming the way forward for energy efficiency and health protection. As heat eaves are predicted to continue and become more frequent by mid-century, cooler roofing is one option we have to consider. Reflective roofing can reduce the number of exposures to heatwaves on people of large cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. It is estimated that cool roofing will lead to 35 million cases per year of heat exposure as compared to 80 million that can be caused without cool roofing.

Those that live in the city are more vulnerable to heatwave danger due to the urban heat island effect. Air temperatures are recorded to increase by several degrees in cities as compared to the surrounding vegetated areas. Built-up surfaces also absorb heat during the day and release it at night which keeps cities warmer through evening hours too. This phenomenon does not happen in natural and undeveloped areas with vast vegetation. When the body is not able to cool down at night, it never recovers from the high temperatures of the day negatively affecting human health.

Studies have been ongoing to predict future heatwaves and their duration. What has been discovered is that heat waves with air temperatures over 35 degrees Celcius that last three or more days are between two and ten times more frequent with these predictions. AS urban centers across the state become more populated, heatwave exposure is going to increase significantly.

Final thoughts

Cool roofing seems to be one of the best and most viable options to help reduce dangerous heat exposure in the future. Cool roofing consists of white colors or reflective materials that can reflect heat and light away from buildings. This not only keeps buildings cooler, but it reduces energy expenses for cooling. By installing cool roofing on all buildings in California, the number of heatwave exposures could be cut in half.

The climate has been changing and will continue to do so and it is important to be prepared. Studies show that the future is going to hold intense heat waves, with air temperatures at dangerous levels for human health. Installation of cool roofing is one way we can reduce this risk for human health. Start protecting your building and your health now by calling us to discuss the options you have for cool roofing.


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How to Choose the Right Roofer?

How to Choose the Right Roofer


Building and roofing maintenance is an important job for building managers. There is much to know when it comes to roofing to ensure it is maintained properly. Having the right roofer on hand to take care of the roof is essential. Having a reliable roofer can help you focus on the main tasks at hand and ensure the roof is well taken care of.

How to Choose the Right Roofer

There are a few important things to keep in mind. When it comes to finding the best roofer to take care of your projects.

  • Company history: You want a company that has been in the industry and the local area for a while.Someone that has a solid reputation. A well-established organization will offer quality, reliability, and have the knowledge and tools to best serve you. A solid organization is also not likely to go out of business any time soon.
  • Specific expertise: Choose a roofer that has experience with your roofing style and design. Industrial roofing is different from residential roofing and there are a number of systems out there. To get the best service, you need a contractor that knows your roofing style and materials.
  • References: Always collect references first and thoroughly check them. You can get references from other people who have used a particular roofer or through website review platforms. Knowing what previous customers have to say is important. Ask people you know and trust if there is a roofer they would recommend.
  • Consider the costs: Price will always be a factor in your final decision. With roofing, pricing is important but is not the sole factor. Overly low prices may be appealing but could indicate low-quality work. You also don’t need to go for the highest prices either. Collect estimates and choose based on price, quality, experience, and reviews. You do get what you pay for, so a higher price can mean better quality. Remember that it is about quality just as much as it is about the price.
  • Think long term: You want a roofer that you can work with for years to come. This serves the quality of your roof better. Having the same contractor means you will get reliable service.
  • Trust your instincts: Do not choose a contractor on pricing and reviews alone. Always meet with them and ask your questions directly. Trust your instincts when you talk with contractors and do not ignore the red flags. You are looking to build a relationship so make sure it is based on qualities that will last and that you are comfortable with.


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