Servicing Northern California | Call: 510-347-5400

Category : Roofing Tips

Contractor Hiring Tips for HOA Boards

Contractor Hiring Tips for HOA Boards

It is important for HOA Board members to take their time when hiring a contractor for roofing projects. Any potential contractor needs to be researched to ensure that the association is not put at risk. The roof is an important aspect to any building and poor quality roofing can cost you in damages and lawsuits. Roofing work done must be performed by reliable and experienced contractors to protect the Board’s interests and the HOA properties. To hire a roofing contractor you can trust the following tips that can guide you through your selection process.

Contractor Hiring Tips for HOA Boards

  • Consider multiple contractors: Sending out RFPs (Request for Proposal) to multiple contractors is recommended so you can compare pricing and qualifications. Do not automatically accept the lowest bid. All proposals need to be reviewed and compared, taking time to interview the contractors as well.
  • Take your time: When researching contractors, do not hire the one offering the best price or biggest promises. Ask for recommendations and confirm they have the experience so that you get a high-quality contractor. You want to hire slowly, but when it comes to firing, you will move faster. You want to remove an unqualified person performing poor quality work before any real damage is done.
  • Pay attention to references and reviews: Checking references of the contractors under consideration is advised. You want to verify their reputation and quality of previous jobs. Reviews and comments on the contractor’s site as well as those left on blogs and online boards are also important (although, we recommend to read Yelp reviews with a grain of salt). By checking online and within the community you can collect the information you need regarding the performance of contractors before you make your decision.
  • Licensing: Contractor licensing will vary by state, so it is important to ensure that the contractor has current licensing and is in compliance with California state laws. A licensed contractor minimizes the risk of being taken advantage of and ensures a quality roofing job. It is also important to verify the location and phone number of the contractor to confirm that the business is legitimate before you hire.
  • Verify insurance: California law requires that contractors carry worker’s compensation insurance. There is also industry required insurance mandates that ensure all contractors are fully licensed to perform the jobs they are hired for. Always get the proof of the license when you request a proposal and do not forget to ask about commercial liability insurance.
  • Get everything in writing: Having a contract is important to this process so put all the details in writing to avoid any miscommunication. This needs to be put in place before any work is carried out. The work done, material required, costs and timelines need to be established before doing any work. Anything that is not clear needs to be clarified before signing and it is best to have a legal counsel review the contract beforehand too.

Final Thoughts

Not every project will need to go through the same process. For minor repairs, a contractor you have used before that has proven quality work can be used. Having a reputable contractor around is invaluable because they can become familiar with the property and will take extra care to ensure an on-going relationship. Regardless of the size of your roofing project, you want a trusted and experienced roofer doing the work. By planning ahead and doing research first, you know exactly what you are looking for. Communication is essential to the success of roofing projects to ensure that the HOA property manager and owners are all involved in the process.

contact us

The Potential Health Risks from Water Damage

(A-One) The Potential Health Risks from Water Damage

For most areas, a wet season can be unusual but for others, it can be pretty bad. Water entering your building is never a pleasant experience. If water or any accumulated dampness is not fixed quickly, it can cause potential health risks. Here are some precautions and remedies to consider if leakages and intruding water have made their way inside.

The Potential Health Risks from Water Damage

Your Health is Important

Quick and proper clean-up is important for your health. If materials are not cleaned up properly or discarded quickly, poor air quality can result. Microorganisms can contaminate indoor air in the presence of excess moisture and cause respiratory problems and allergies. Floodwaters can contain microorganisms such as bacteria, molds, and viruses and can contain raw sewage too.

Long-Term Damage Caused by Water

You must immediately dry out anything that came in direct contact with the water, such as drywall, and any equipment. If clean up does not begin quickly you may be at risk for long-term damage and ruined equipment as well as damage to the integral structure of your building. The most critical part of the cleanup process is drying out the area completely. Moisture can hide in drywall and sub-flooring and may go undetected. Signs of damage can include odors from mold and mildew on walls, bucked floors, peeling paint/wallpaper, and weakened sub-floors. It may be necessary to remove portions of walls, ceilings, and floors to completely dry everything out. Consider removing and replacing those materials to avoid future indoor air quality problems, especially if the drying process did not begin within 48 hours which is the recommended time.

When To Bring in a Professional

There are many different situations where water damage may occur, and depending on the source, water that causes damage that can be categorized into three basic types: clean water, gray water, and black water. Professional restoration companies will use different techniques to remove the water depending on its classification.

  • Clean water comes from a clean source such as an indoor sink. Clean water sources usually do not contain any contaminants.
  • Gray water comes from a source that may contain contaminants, such as snow or rainfall, machine or toilet overflows.
  • Black water includes sewage, floodwaters from rivers or streams, or groundwater. Black water contains pathogenic, fungal, and viral contamination, pesticides, or heavy metals. This can be the most serious health risk to anyone who comes in contact with it unprotected.

Insurance companies recommend and almost always require immediate clean up quickly to avoid long-term damage. A Water Damage Restoration Company can provide you with an assessment to help you determine if you should be filing a claim with your insurance. In the meantime, there are a few things you should be doing.

  • Remove water: Pump, sweep, or drain water from the building, remove any debris, remove all equipment and any items damaged by the water.
  • Remove moisture: Use fans (if it is safe to use electricity), open windows to increase air circulation, ventilation, and drying and use dehumidifiers with windows and doors closed

It may also be necessary to remove portions of walls, ceilings, and floors to completely dry out the inside of the building or rooms. Continue the drying process for days or weeks until humidity levels return to normal (35-55%). There should not be a musty odor if the areas are completely dried.

Final Thoughts

The next thing to do is to determine the source of the water. There are many ways that water can enter your building such as leaky roof, faulty gutter system, or cracks in the foundation or structures. It is important to determine the source and solve the problem after you have mitigated any threats to your health. Call us today if you have any concerns and we can help identify any repairs needed to prevent future problems.

 

contact us

Animals in Your Roof Can Cause Serious Problems

animals on roof

Most animals are cute but when they get in your roofing system they can be a hazard and dangerous. They can leave behind unsanitary messes that can cause health problems and they can cause damage to the system as they settle in. They may also get injured by electrical wires or nails, and the last thing you want is dead animals in your roofing system causing bad odors and health hazards.

Since the animals that get into your roofs (birds, rodents, raccoons) are uninvited, you will likely notice that they damaged the roof exterior on their way in. They can chew their way through weak points in the roof, creating holes for their buddies to get through or gain access through pipes and vents. Before you know it, a collection of animals have easy access to your roofing space. They need to get cleared out before any further damage is done.

Chew marks will be one of the first indications that you have unwanted guests in the roof as well as scratches or small nesting spots. You may also notice chewed wiring or pipes. You can also count on finding droppings everywhere and in most cases, you will see these before you ever see the culprit that is responsible. Fur and feathers can also get snagged or left around or used in nesting spots.

Animal intrusions need to be dealt with quickly because the damage can be costly and dangerous. The presence of wild animals is also a serious health hazard. Gutters are common entryways for small rodents and popular nesting spots for birds, but by cleaning these regularly you can prevent animals from getting comfortable with your roof. The more often you inspect your roof, the less likely animals will stick around.

After any animal infestation has been cleared, you must re-check the roofing system for any access points or weak spots to prevent them from coming back. Work with a professional contractor to inspect your roof fully so that every inch is covered. Animals can cause disease and serious and expensive damage, so get them cleared out today and take the steps to ensure they are not welcome back.

 

contact us

How Cool Roofing Can Save You Money?

How-Cool-Roofing-Can-Save-You.

Cool roofing options are a popular choice for all buildings as a beneficial alternative to more traditional darker-colored surfaces. They absorb less heat and reflect more sunlight because cool roofing typically consists of a highly reflective type of paint or sheet covering.

The Benefits of Having a Cool Roof

  • Reduces your energy bills by reducing the need for air conditioning
  • Reduces roof surface temperature which extends the roof life
  • Improves indoor spaces by making them more comfortable
  • Reduces air temperature by reducing the urban heat island effect in cities
  • Lowers peak electricity demand and power plant emissions used to power cool energy, which benefits the environment

Depending on the surface you have to work with, you can usually make a new or existing roof cool. Cool roof coating is a reflective paint which absorbs heat and reflects light rays away. It protects against both chemical and UV damage and is available for most roof types.  When you decide to install a cool roof, you need to consider if the costs will justify the energy savings. For a new building, this can be considered during the planning stages of construction. For older buildings, you can likely replace the existing system or retrofit it with a reflective material. Green roofing is also an option that works well with flat roofing. Green roofing helps you manage stormwater better and it makes an aesthetically pleasing roof. They provide great insulation which reduces your energy costs and the carbon footprint of your building. These are more expensive than standard cool roofing options, but worth looking into or the overall benefits they provide.

Final Thoughts

Whether you have low-sloped or high-sloped roofing and regardless of the materials, there are ways to make your roofing system cool. You can just add to the roof surface you already have or replace it completely. Reach out to us today to discuss your cool roof options and we will find the right option for you to keep you cool and saving money.

 

contact us

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.

 

contact us

Checklist for Hiring 3rd Party Contractors

Roofing flat roof

As a building owner, your building is an investment that you work hard to protect. This means that when it comes to maintenance, you don’t want to just hire anybody. The roof is an important aspect of any building and poor quality roofing can cost you. You need to ensure that any roofing work done is of top quality and that the contractors providing the work are reliable and experienced. This checklist below can help you identify the best roofing contractors so you can hire one that you trust.

Checklist for Hiring 3rd Party Contractors

  • Go slow: Take time when searching and researching contractors and do not hire the one offering the best price or biggest promises. By taking your time to research roofers, ask for recommendations, and confirming they have the experience, you are likely to get a high-quality contractor. You want to hire slowly, but when it comes to firing, you need to move fast. You want to remove an unqualified person performing poor quality work before any real damage is done.
  • Conduct interviews: Part of taking the hiring process slow involves interviews. Despite the reputation, you still need to meet with a contractor face-to-face so you can with them first to form your own opinion and ask about your own specific project needs.
  • Avoid bidding mistakes: Large roofing projects will be costly so you have to make sure that your money is well-spent. Go through all bids carefully and check that all your specifications are met before deciding on a roofer.
  • Protect from any loss: Always get verification of licensing and a certificate of insurance before officially hiring a contractor. You also want to confirm that they carry worker’s compensation insurance. Full coverage protects all parties involved in the event any damage or injury occurs during the course of the project.
  • Get everything in writing: All job specifications, timelines, and pricing need to be fully documented in writing before you sign a contract. It is also advised to have all contacts looked over by legal counsel before signing.

Conclusion

Regardless of the size of your roofing project, be it small repairs or a full replacement, you want a trusted and experienced roofer doing the work. Be prepared and plan what you need and what you expect so you know exactly what you are looking for. Using this list can help you narrow down your search and find you a roofer you can trust.

 

contact us

Spray Foam Roofing Maintenance

Spray-Foam-Roofing-Maintenance

Summertime is a great time for roofing installation and maintenance. Both homeowners and commercial facility owners take advantage of the better weather to get their roofs repaired, restored or replaced. When it comes to fixing spray polyurethane foam roofs, or full replacement of existing roofs with a spray foam system, there are some important guidelines to remember.

Spray Foam Roofing Maintenance

Spray Polyurethane Foam on the Roof

Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing is a high density, rigid and closed-cell spray foam which is applied over new and retrofit roofing substrates. SPF acts as a protective roofing layer, a thermal insulator, air barrier, vapor retarder, and a waterproofing solution. These systems are cost-efficient and can be applied to any shape and substrate in roofing. When applied professionally, spray foam roofing locks every portion of the roof into place and creates a monolithic membrane which eliminates the need for mechanical fasteners. The material is durable and lightweight while delivering a compressive strength of 40 to 60 pounds per inch.  As one of the most affordable roofing options, spray foam protects the structure from water intrusion, hail and wind uplift. It also acts as a high-performance insulator, preventing heat transfer through the roof deck, which minimizes the escape of conditioned air, resulting in reduced energy bills for the life of the roof.

Ideal Applications

Spray polyurethane foam systems are ideal for a wide range of commercial, agricultural, industrial and residential applications. It is especially useful when the roof is an unusual configuration or shape or when a sloped application is required for controlled drainage.
Because of its material characteristics and ability to adhere and seal during the application, spray foam works well in situations when the substrate includes numerous penetrations. The foam’s resiliency also makes it ideal for regions where significant rain or wind occurs.

Protective Coatings

Spray foam roofing must be coated once the installation of the SPF is complete. The elastomeric reflective roof coating serves as a protective barrier over the SPF to help maintain the integrity and improve the performance of the roof by protecting it from UV radiation and the elements.

Replacement vs. Restoration

Existing roofs in total disrepair require either total replacement or restoration. Two common factors, weight and cost, determine the choice made. Full replacement is cost-prohibitive which makes restoration a more appealing option. Because spray foam may be directly applied over an existing roof there is no need for removal, making it a cost-effective solution to the problem. It is lightweight and is thus ideal for structures unable to bear excessive loads.

Maintenance of Your SPF Roof

The roofing industry standards recommend that SPF systems undergo roof inspection two or more times per year. Gutters, scuppers, and drains should be reviewed during inspections to ensure dirt and debris are not restricting drainage and that there are no cracks in the coating.

Final thoughts

Rooftop units and penetrations also need to be checked to ensure flashings are all properly sealed to protect against weather. Condensation from HVAC units should be piped to drains, skylights should be checked for a proper seal, heater stacks must have rain caps and seams in the units should be sealed with caulk. The surface area of the roof system must be regularly inspected for damage caused by objects, vandalism, foot traffic, and blistering. Finally, inspection best practices call for a review of any defects potentially present in the roof, such as erosion of the coatings of the spray foam, moisture penetration, cracks or pinholes. Spray foam is a self-flashing membrane that is cost-effective and easily maintained. Repairs are generally easy, so long as you watch for are collecting debris, drainage issues, foot traffic damage, and the degradation of the reflective roof coating. With regular inspections and preventative maintenance, your roof will give you long life and return on your investment.

contact us

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.

 

contact us

Types of Drains for Flat Roofing

(A-One) Types of Drains for Flat Roofing

In reality, flat roofing is not entirely flat. There is always a slight slope towards the drain. Gravity allows the drainage system to work, so the water needs to have a natural flow away from the roof. Despite this, common drainage problems can occur associated with flat roofing.

Types of Drains for Flat Roofing

  • Foundation problems
  • Infiltration of water into living spaces
  • Water damage to walls and casings

These problems may be common, but there are still numerous advantages to having flat roofing and each type of drain system has its own pros and cons.

Inner drains

These sit away from the edge towards the center of the roof. A pipe system below the drain that shuttles the water away. Often these can form pools of water on the surface if there are any clogs to the system and the heavy water can eventually find a way into the building. These are also more expensive and repairs can be costly but they are great for colder climates as the pipes do not freeze.

Scuppers

These are small boxed drains that exit through the parapet wall. The slight slope of the roof allows water and debris to move along the roof and out the scupper. These too can become clogged and if water pools near the roof edge and if they are not connected to a downspout, then water can damage your foundation as it falls. These drains are not very expensive and are easier to maintain and prevent clogging.

Gutters

These metal structures sit along the edge of the roof, collecting water as it flows down the slope. This help protects your foundation and helps to control the flow of water away from the roof. They are inexpensive and are the best way to protect your foundation, basement, and soils from erosion.

Final Thoughts

Flat roofing is a great choice for any building, just be sure you have the appropriate drainage system in place too. There are pros and cons for each choice so be sure to discuss all options with an experienced roofer. Call us today and we will help you decide which drainage system is best for your needs and your commercial flat roof.

 

contact us

Why Your Commercial Building Needs a Cool Roof?

(A-One) Why Your Commercial Building Needs a Cool Roof

 

You may live in a generally mild climate, but there will always be times where the weather can get unpredictable. There can be days where it gets so hot, you feel as though you could cook on the roof of your building. Planning ahead is the best way to prepare for such unexpected changes and to protect your roofing and building. The changes in weather from day to day can have big effects on your roofing surface, even if the heat only varies by a few degrees.

Why Your Commercial Building Needs a Cool Roof?

The majority of commercial buildings have dark-colored roofing surfaces and this is not good when the sun is out all day. These dangerous surface temperatures have allowed for cool roofing to be developed and it is becoming more popular for commercial roofing. Thanks to durability, reflectivity, and better energy efficiency, cool roofing systems are the best way to cut down your bills and increase the longevity of your roof. Cool roofing absorbs less heat than standard granulated roofing which means better inner temperature regulation. This reduces overall maintenance and energy costs and also ensures your roof will last longer by reducing the extent of any heat damage. Cool roofing also reduces carbon emissions and the overall “urban heat island” effect commonly found in large cities. This is especially important in today’s “greener” society. A fluid-applied cool roofing system is the best option. It can easily be applied over modified bitumen, metal, and single-ply roofing that is already in place. By avoiding re-roofing, you save a bundle as this can be a very costly process. Once you experience the more comfortable building temperatures and energy savings, you will realize the change was more than worth the initial investment.

Final thoughts

If you have a standard dark-colored roof and want to cut down on energy usage and carbon emissions as well as increase the longevity of your roof, do not wait. Call us today to discuss your cool roof options so we can help you keep your building temperature low and your energy bills even lower.

 

contact us