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Category : Commercial Roofing

Impact of the Coronavirus on the Roofing Industry

Corona Virus Roofing

COVID-19 is a global threat. It is affecting health, living, and the economy. It is also affecting the roofing industry, so contractors need to be ready.

As with the medical field, prevention is the key. As the virus spreads, employers need to take preventative measures. The number of cases is rising which means you need to be prepared. Employers must have procedures in place for their workers to maintain health and well-being. The trouble is there is not much case law to go by for guidance, as dealing with pandemics is not a common issue.

OSHA has taken initiative to remind employers of their existing standards, focusing on OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment standards. The Bloodborne Pathogens standard does not apply to coronavirus but it can serve as a helpful framework to put standards into place. There is also an OSHA webpage that provides employers with all current information on the virus. This is to help them establish guidelines and procedures for their workplace.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s advisory is also a great resource. This features a “Pandemic Preparedness” guide for employers. One key feature is that employers have a broader scope for questioning their employees on health issues. This is normally prohibited. They can request information about travel or when employees are showing flu-like symptoms. They can request for employees to have their temperature taken and can send them home at their discretion.

These measures can only be taken however when an employer feels the employee is a direct threat. There has to be a risk of substantial harm to the health of the individual or the other employees. Employers have to be careful not to violate employee rights and these guidelines are provided. Any information gained cannot be shared and adverse actions such as termination cannot be done.

The Impact on the Supply Chain

The impact of the virus in China is impacting the world in terms of production. Global markets and supply chains are feeling the strain. Mass quarantines, curfews, and travel restrictions are crippling Chinese shipping. This is affecting the roofing industry too. Specifically, the most drastic effects can be seen in the supply of solar roofing. Production has almost come to a stop as China is where 70% of these panels are produced.

Other materials are also seeing a decline in production. Aluminum, plastic, timber, and rubber have all declined. The lack of workforce has been the driving reason. Currently, manufacturing plants in China are believed to only be operating at 30%. This will continue to hit the roofing industry until the situation improves. U.S. roofing companies can expect to begin feeling higher costs and price fluctuations, material shortages, logistics breakdowns, order cancellations, and extended delays in product fulfillment and shipping.

Ultimately, project completion will slow which affects suppliers and project managers. Roofers are advised to begin preparing for these effects now by evaluating their own supply chains from end to end to pinpoint vulnerabilities. You need to identify potential alternative supply sources, preparing for costs to soar, and making sure you have adequate provisions to protect against increased costs, supply chain delays and interruptions.

Include Force Majeure Clauses

This needs to be in your contracts. This allocates the risk of performance if performance is delayed indefinitely or stopped as a result of circumstances outside of a party’s control. It also provides notice to the parties of the types of events that would cause a project to be suspended or that would excuse performance such as coronavirus and supply issues.

The party impacted by the force majeure is protected by temporarily suspending or terminating the contract due to unexpected and unavoidable events. The event must be beyond the control of the contracting parties, it cannot be anticipated, foreseeable, or expected, and the event must be unavoidable. At this time, the coronavirus pandemic and its global economic impact are covered under this.

The following elements should be addressed in a force majeure clause:

  • What events are considered force majeure?
  • Who is responsible for suspending performance?
  • Who is allowed to invoke the clause?
  • Which contractual obligations are covered by the clause?
  • How is the inability to perform determined?

What happens if the event continues for an extended time period?

If your company already has this clause in place, it would still be wise to review those provisions to make sure they are clear. Make sure terms such as “widespread epidemic,” “pandemic,” and/or “public health emergency” are added. Since courts will interpret the clause based on the wording, these key phrases need to be included.

Price Acceleration Provisions

Contractors need to consider adding terms to their contracts to protect themselves from labor and material price increase. A price acceleration provision allows the roofing contractor to adjust the contract price to reflect the revised actual cost of the labor and materials. The price acceleration clause is usually limited to increases in materials over the course of a single project.

The contractor also needs to provide the prime contractor or owner with evidence supporting the claim for additional compensation. Price acceleration clauses also sometimes contain a termination for convenience provision. This will enable the contractor to escape a contract if the cost of materials has increased too much.

A roofing contractor may find it difficult to include a price acceleration clause in its contract with a prime contractor because both the owner and the prime contractor are looking for fixed prices initially. In this situation, the roofing contractor should consider buying and storing materials prior to construction to avoid any potential increases later on.

Requesting a deposit to purchase the requested materials is also a good idea. The subcontractor should consider requesting that the prime contractor also add a similar provision in its contract. This way the prime contractor can seek additional funds from the owner for any labor or price acceleration that occurs throughout the project.

Conscientious Bidding

Roofing contractors should also be cautious when providing firm bids for projects. Especially, if they will not begin construction for a few months. In these cases, the contractor faces additional exposure for any increases in the costs of labor and materials caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Estimating these jobs thoughtfully, and conservatively can potentially make or break a roofing contractor. Especially since the extent of the repercussions of the coronavirus on the market is not yet known.

Since there is no current vaccine for the coronavirus and the number of infected individuals continues to rise, there is no way to know when the economy will normalize. Roofing contractors need to take steps to mitigate their risks and protect themselves. As the virus remains at large, there will be impacts to the U.S. construction industry, after the shock wave from China’s supply lines spreads.

 

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Increasing the Lifespan of Your Commercial Roof

Increasing-the-Lifespan-of-Your-Commercial-Roof

Any commercial roof is susceptible to damage from the elements and natural wear and tear. With the right amount of care and attention, you can get a long lifespan out of your commercial roof. Every roof is different so depending on the materials used, the installation quality, and maintenance you will get different lifespans. To get the most out of your commercial roof follow the tips below.

Increasing the Lifespan of Your Commercial Roof

1. Material

Often budget is the only thing considered when it comes to choosing material, but this is a mistake. Remember that cheap materials will not last as long. You want to select a material that works best for your budget as well as climate, lifespan, location, and purpose. Built-up roofing is ideal for flat roofing but is not great in areas with heavy rainfall, showing that you need to consider all factors before choosing.

2. Ventilation

Having optimal airflow will help your commercial roofing remain cool during the summer and warmer in the winter. Having good ventilation can prevent moisture from collecting and seeping into the roof structure. Any moisture that gets into a roof causes mold and damage that can be expensive to repair. Mold can get into the interior of the building or the structure, causing even further damage.

3. Design

You want a roof design that compliments the type of business you have and one that can face any challenges of your location. You need to size structural members properly, consider possible penetration details, and select the right roof type. Design impacts the overall lifespan of a roof and is as important as the foundation when it comes to the structural integrity of the building.

4. Maintenance

How well you take care of your roof has a huge impact on how long it will last. Even if you have the most durable materials and the best installation, poor upkeep can destroy any roof. You should be inspecting and repairing any damage to your commercial roofing regularly, at least once a year. Small leaks can develop into serious damage so it is important to stay on top of inspections, maintenance, and repairs.

5. Lifespan

The more durable the roof is, the longer it will last. Metal roofing usually lasts the longest which is close to 50 years. Spray-foam roofing can last just as long as providing upkeep is regularly maintained. Built-up roofing lasts close to 25 years, while rubber roofing and EPDM will last between 10 and 40 years depending on upkeep. You need to remember that warranties only guarantee up to 25 years at max.

6. Warranty

Warranties are designed to cover material defects and workmanship. Make sure you always read the fine print when it comes to warranty information in order to fully protect your investment.

 

 

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The Enemies Of Commercial Roofing

Commercial-Roofing-Enemies

Just like residential roofing, commercial roofing can be easily damaged by the numerous elements that it is exposed to. The weather can weaken your roof which puts your building at risk. It is important to maintain your commercial roofing in order to prevent expensive damage and problems. Regular inspections and routine maintenance can help you spot damage before it is too late. It also helps to know what can potentially cause damage to your roof so you can be prepared.

The Enemies Of Commercial Roofing

Neglect and weather can damage your roof over time, significantly reducing its lifespan. You cannot control the weather but you can ensure you prepare your roof and regularly inspect it for damage. Understanding what can potentially damage your roof can help you be prepared and take necessary precautions to prevent these elements from destroying your roof and your investment.

  • Heat: Prolonged exposure to extreme heat and sun can cause more damage to your roof than any other factor. The heat causes expansion and contraction which stresses the seams and fasteners in your roofing. This weakens the structure of the and causes damage. If your roof has asphalt to help with waterproofing, the heat can dry this out, reducing its protection and increasing your risk for water damage.
  • Wind: High winds and storms can damage the roof. Not only can heavy winds throw objects like trees or heavy debris against the roof causing denting, cracks, and tears, but winds can rip roofing materials away. This leaves your roofing membrane exposed which is an increased risk of more serious damage.
  • Rain: Rain can cost you a lot of money, if you have not installed waterproofing and if you are not regularly performing inspections. Pooled water ages your roof quickly and causes deterioration. Water can seep through any deteriorated seams causing structural damage and internal leaks. Debris is common with rain which can collect in the drains and gutters causing clogs, Any clogs prevent water from flowing away from the roof and rainwater can pool on the surface.

Conclusion

You need to know these top commercial roofing enemies. You also need to know that they can easily be dealt with. Depending on the climate in your area, prepare your roof ahead of time. Invest in waterproofing for wet areas and sun protection where it is very sunny. With prevention and routine maintenance, you can keep your roof safe and prolong its life and value.

 

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Fire Resistant Roofing

Fire-Resistant-Roofing

 

In light of the recent devastation caused by wildfires over the last few years, the roofing industry has placed great importance on fire-resistant roofing. You should consider fire resistance when considering re-roofing options no matter where you live. Wind can sweep embers from neighborhood to neighborhood in seconds. Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed when the predominant roofing material was wood shakes, which is nothing more than a tinderbox on the roof. With the danger of wind-blown embers, fire-resistant roofing options are readily available today and you have a number of options to consider.

Fire Resistant Roofing

Metal Tiles are made of a material that does not ignite. They are made with fire-resistant barriers with a Class A protection. Most metal roofs are made of steel, copper, zinc, and alloys that are best for the dry environments and those prone to wildfires. Metal tiles are also non-corrosive and can even be designed to look like cedar shake or other more-attractive materials if you have the budget to do so. Slate is indestructible but expensive. Selective contractors have the skills to install it so you need to hire a qualified engineer or contractor to look at the load-bearing of your roofing structure before it can be installed. Slate requires braces or beams to be installed on your roof to hold the additional weight of the material on top of your building.

Concrete and Clay are common on both commercial and residential properties. Residential homes typically use clay over concrete tiles because the material is heavy, durable, and fireproof. The style can be designed to fit any architecture (Spanish, Southwest, or Mission) depending on your preference. The resistance to fire of roofing materials is based on a series of tests that are defined by a fire rating. We can help you find the right fire-resistant roofing option to match your style and budget. Roof fire ratings refer to how your roof performs in a fire on the exterior of your property. The rating is determined by a set of fire tests in a simulated fire. The three rating categories you need to know are listed below.

Class A Roofing Materials

Class A roofing can withstand severe exposure to fire and has the highest rating. It is recommended in areas where wildfires are common and include the following materials.

  • Concrete or clay roof tiles
  • Fiberglass asphalt composition
  • Shingles
  • Metal roofs

Class B Roofing Materials

Class B refers to any type of roof that can withstand moderate exposure to fire. Some areas ban the use of Class B roofing materials and blow, for safety reasons so be sure to check this with local authorities before making a roofing decision.

Class C Roofing Materials

Class C roofing materials are only able to survive light fire damage and include:

  • Wood shakes and shingles
  • Plywood
  • Particleboard

The difference between Class A and B roofing is how well they perform in the fire-resistance testing. One test measures how much a fire spreads on the tested material within 10 minutes. Class A roofs spread the fire 2 feet less than Class B roofs do as they are typically non-combustible. Class B are combustible materials that have been treated with chemicals to make them more fire retardant but these chemicals pose a risk.

Conclusion

The resistance to fire of roofing materials is rated based on a series of tests that are defined by a fire rating. If you are concerned about choosing fire-resistant materials, knowing the roof fire ratings can make all the difference. Call us today and we can discuss all the options with you so that you know exactly what materials fall under which class. We will help you find the right fire-resistant roofing to keep your building safe at a price you can afford.

 

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Is there a Connection Between Ponding Water and HVAC Units?

Is-there-a-Connection-Between-Ponding-Water-and-HVAC-Units

Having more than one HVAC unit on your roof increases your risk of ponding water. Flat commercial roofing is known for having ponding issues, especially when multiple HVAC units are positioned on the roof. Many people do not realize that the HVAC units themselves could be contributing to the ponding problem along with a lack of drainage on the flat roof. Roof top units like HVAC units, skylights, and cooling towers can cause ponding if they are not protected by crickets. Crickets are triangle-shaped structures that are designed to divert water away and without them, water can accumulate. HVAC units also regularly produce condensation which additionally should drain away but cannot if there is no cricket, this does not happen.

Is there a Connection Between Ponding Water and HVAC Units?

The weight of the HVAC unit also contributes to the problem of deck deflection. The presence of any low spots around the unit as a result of poor or aging insulation can damage the roof membrane. The structure of HVAC units can also pose as obstacles that trap debris and accumulated debris interferes with water flow into the gutters causes ponding. Rooftop HVAC units are ideal because it keeps these bulky items out of sight but with the risk of ponding water being high, there are things you should know to effectively prevent this from happening. You first need to make sure that no interior damage or structural damage has occurred before repairing any low spots. Then, make sure all gutters and downspouts are cleared of debris so water can flow without interference.

Keeping Your Roof Dry

Once the flow of water has been corrected and there is a minimal risk for ponding, you need to look for ways to prevent future ponding. The best way to avoid low spots is to fix smaller problems before they turn into larger ones. When there is any rain, be sure to schedule inspections right away to check for ponding. The sooner you find and address issues, the fewer problems you will have in the long run.

Conclusion

Having your HVAC units on the roof keeps the noisy and unsightly equipment out of the way, but they can contribute to low spots and accumulating water. Ponding water causes serious damage to the interior and exterior of your roof and building but can be prevented with proper maintenance and regular inspections. If you have a rooftop HVAC unit, be sure to inspect the surface regularly and take care of all repairs right away. Preventative care is the best way to keep your roof dry and free of ponding-related damage.

 

 

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Why Commercial Roofs Should have a Slope

commercial-sloped-roofFlat roofing is thought to be completely flat, but a slope is beneficial to these roofing systems, even if it is only small. Roofing needs slopes to prevent the accumulation of water on the surface. Ponding, or the accumulation of water, can happen anytime there is rain and without a slope to lead water away, you end up with pools. It has become more accurate to refer to commercial roofing as ‘low-sloping’, rather than flat. The pitch of a roof determines the materials you use as well as what is best in terms of building design. The ability to effectively shed water and prevent ponding is important to the longevity of any roofing system. The slope of a roof determines how well a roof will perform over time and how long it will last because preventing ponding protects the roof for longer.

The Problem with Low Spots

A low spot can cause problems and can threaten the integrity of the roof and building if ignored. There are several factors that contribute to the development of a low spot.

  • Settling of the building
  • Expansion and contraction of the roofing materials
  • Expansion and contraction of the ground beneath the building
  • Compressed or failing roofing insulation
  • Inadequate drainage that allows water to accumulate

Ponding or the collection of water happens in low spots, and the water can sit for days and even weeks. This invites mildew and mold to grow and can damage the roofing membrane the longer the water sits. Water can also penetrate through cracks causing damage to the internal structure of the roof and building. Low spots and ponding cause sagging, leaks, and serious internal and external damage.

Why do Commercial Buildings have Flat Roofs?

If low spots and ponding are common on flat roofing, then many people wonder why it is used. Flat roofing is useful despite this and they have economic value. They easily accommodate HVAC units and other bulky equipment that can take up valuable real estate and these systems are more economical to build because they reduce the overall volume of the building and save on energy costs. It is important to regularly check and maintain flat roofing to avoid low spots and ponding. With regular inspections, you can identify these problems before serious or permanent damage is caused. You also need to maintain the components such as the scuppers, gutters, downspouts, and internal drains to ensure water flow away from the roof is unhindered.

Conclusion

Adding a slope to a flat roof is an effective way to ensure proper drainage and prevent the development of low spots and ponding. Contact us today to discuss the options available for adding a slope, or repairing any low spots.

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Common Mistakes Made in Roof Bidding

A-One-Construction-Roof-Bidding-Mistakes

Roofing replacement and large maintenance projects can be expensive but they are necessary to protect your investment. It is important to avoid complications where possible because of this. There are common mistakes that you can make and know what these can help you to take care of your roofing and bidding projects more efficiently.

Common Mistakes Made in Roof Bidding

  • Soliciting Bids without Specifications: This causes bids to be created that cannot be compared which affects decision making. A specification can be as small as one page, but it must be complete and detailed for large projects. Larger projects are typically prepared by an architect or roofing consultant. The job specifications should not be prepared until after the final product selection is made.
  • Accepting Lowest Bid Too Early: Associations try to save time by just selecting the lowest bid. Not all contractors are the same quality and lower bids are likely missing important costs that will cause increases to the final cost. You need to meet with several contractors to accurately evaluate the strengths of the companies and their experience.
  • Large Deposits: It is a common mistake to give contractors large upfront deposits for materials. All successful contractors have credit accounts with their suppliers, so this is not necessary. If a bidder cannot fund their payroll until the first payment is made, the association should reconsider moving forward with that contractor.
  • Measurable Work: You should only pay for measurable work on these projects. Measuring progress as a percentage is difficult, so it is better to pay only for pre-agreed benchmarks of construction once they are completed.
  • Failure to Plan in Advance: Early and efficient planning can help to limit or eliminate emergency assessments, disruption to daily lives and unnecessary costs. Planning ahead for a major roofing project is best done at least five years in advance to avoid these problems.
  • Believing that City Inspectors Ensure Proper Work: City inspectors make sufficient job-in-progress visits to verify the work is done per code or manufacturer’s specs.
  • Making Final Payment without Closeout Documents: Closeout documents include permit, warranty, and lien releases. You need to get these right away and if necessary withhold final payment until they are in your hands.

Conclusion

Knowing the common mistakes that are made when it comes to roof bidding can help you avoid them. This ensures a more efficient process when it comes to getting your roof projects taken care of and protects you from unnecessary financial loss.

 

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Roofing Contract Checklist

Roofing Contract Checklist

It is important to consider some facts before entering into a roofing contract. You should always have the agreement reviewed by legal counsel first. In doing so, the following factors need to be considered and reviewed.

Roofing Contract Checklist

  • License: All contractors need to have their license reviewed and it must be current and appropriate for the work required. The use of unlicensed contractors can cost avoidable expenses and damages.
  • Insurance: Make sure the contractor carries worker’s compensation as well as any other insurance that is necessary for the project. Have the contractor provide proof of insurance and the names of those insured before entering the contract.
  • Governing Documents: Make sure the contract does not violate any limitations with regards to the association’s governing documents.
  • Problem Provisions: Legal counsel needs to review all contracts before they are signed. It is not a good idea to sign a contract or work order prepared by the vendor as they are not written in your favor. The issues and clauses that need to be reviewed in all agreements include:
  • Parties: The opening paragraph of a contract will name the parties to the agreement. The party to the agreement should be the association and not the director. This protects the directors from being named personally in any litigation that may occur. The contracting party is the corporation which the directors sign on behalf of the corporation.
  • Scope of Work: The scope of work needs to be clearly stated and understood by all. If the definition is incomplete, this can give rise to disagreements and will make it challenging to hold the vendor accountable for his work.
  • Payment Schedule: Define the payment schedule in the contract. You do not want to issue full payment upfront since this can expose you to a significant risk of loss if the contractor does not perform. If necessary, you can pay money upfront for the contractor can purchase materials. You should also keep a percentage of the contract amount until everything is inspected and signed-off.
  • Insurance: Define the types of insurance and a minimum limit the vendor must carry has to be listed.
  • Time for Performance: If completion dates and times are important, they must be included to ensure you get things done as and when you need them.
  • Permits and Licenses: You need to confirm that all permits and licenses are in order. Pull permits whenever appropriate and provide the association with copies of both.
  • Warranties: If there are promises to stand behind the work done, be sure to put it in the contract to enforce accountability.
  • Mechanics Liens: These provisions should be included to protect the association in the event the vendor fails to pay his subcontractors or material suppliers.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: Having this provision helps to keep litigation costs to a minimum and can speed the resolution of any disputes.
  • Termination Clause: If work is not performed satisfactorily, there should be a provision for terminating the agreement.

Final Thoughts

Contracts are a way to keep all members of a project informed. Every party has its terms addressed and once in writing all parties can be held accountable. A contract is binding, so it is essential to have any paperwork reviewed by legal counsel before signing to make sure all parties are protected fairly.

 

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Checking if Your Flat Roof has a Low Spot

low spots on flat roofing

Low spots in flat roofing are common and can cause damage and expensive repairs if not taken care of. But how do you know if you have any low spots? There are signs to look for to identify a low spot, so you can contact a roofer to help get it taken care of before it causes too much damage.

Checking if Your Flat Roof has a Low Spot

Pooled water: Flat roofing is not completely flat and has a small incline. This allows water to drain off to the gutters away from the roof. Water that has pooled or accumulated is one of the first signs that you have a low spot, as it prevents water from its natural flow down the gradient. These pools will weaken the roof and eventually cause leaks and even structural damage to the roofing system.

Clogged drains: When drains or gutters are clogged, they collect water. The strain of the backed-up water weight can cause a low spot. You need to check your drains regularly and clean them out if you notice clogs. You should then check to see if water runs off, if not, then you may have a low spot.

Collected dust: Low spots provide protection from the wind for leaves and debris so piles on the roof could indicate a low spot. Collected dirt and debris can also become heavy like water causing damage to roofing materials. You need to clear these out and get the low spots repaired right away.

Concentric sediment circles: Unless you are on the roof directly after it rains, then you may not see any puddles. They do leave tracks though. Puddles will leave concentric circles after the water has evaporated that indicate there was once a pool there. These circular deposits let you know that you have low spots.

Moldy smells: Pooled water can collect bacteria which can increase chances of mold growth and odd smells. Black mold growing on your ceiling or strange musty smells can indicate that water is collected on the roof in a low spot.

Changes in the ceiling: If your ceiling is sagging, stained, or dragging, then you have a low spot in the roof. Low spots collect water which becomes heavy and causes leaks into the building. The signs will be apparent on your ceiling before you even identify the spots on the roof.

If you know what to look for and you check regularly, low spots are easy to identify. Once identified contact us right away to help get them fixed. We use a number of different methods to fix low spots so we guarantee to find a way to get your roofing repaired right away.

 

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Commercial Waterproofing Can Save Your Business

The Benefits of Reflective Roof Coating

Waterproofing your commercial building is one of the best ways to protect your investment and your building. It helps to save money as water damage can be expensive especially if water leaks to the inside of the building. The tenants in your commercial property rely on you to keep the building safe and this means roofing needs to be secure and waterproof.

Commercial Waterproofing Can Save Your Business

When it comes to waterproofing your building, to get the best security you need to look beyond the roofing. The integrity of all outdoor structures is important so be sure to invest in waterproofing decks, walkways, parking garages, and elevator pits.

  • Decks: Water leaks can damage and stairs which can potentially injure someone. Water can also leak into balconies causing injury and structural damage.
  • Walkways: These are often made of concrete which means they are not immune to cracks and leaks. Waterproofing walkways prevent damage to the foundation and injury.
  • Elevator pits: Water can seep into elevator pits because they are below grade. Flooding in these pits can cause electrical as well as mechanical damage and serious injury.

Waterproofing the roofing and building helps to protect your investment and the building tenants. With this proactive action, you can prevent damage that can lead to serious problems and even lawsuits. You need to hire a professional and experienced contractor to waterproof your building so that it is done correctly and safely. Waterproofing systems are available for both above grade and below grade structures. Contractors work with coatings for decks and floor systems and a number of sealants depending on the structural material in your building.

Final Thoughts

The best contractors also have access to the latest technology and materials to ensure that any waterproofing jobs are done right. Call us today as your local waterproofing and commercial roofing expert, and we will inspect your property and help design and develop the best waterproof system for your building. We want to keep you safe, your building in top shape, and protect your investment.

 

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