Today’s commercial roofing systems are a complex, sophisticated part of the energy-efficient building envelope. Advanced roof membranes, coatings and insulation material technologies are continually evolving the roof system design and construction process. Roofing technology expertise and experience play an even greater role today in selecting a commercial roofing contractor.
Here in the Ontario region, selecting a commercial roofing contractor is made even more challenging because the roofing industry is unregulated – almost anyone with a truck and a ladder can claim to be a roofing contractor. There is a significant number of so-called “contractors” who are not certified roofers and therefore pose an increased risk to organizations who hire them to protect the assets and operations in the buildings they are covering.
Here are five tips to help you select a commercial roofing contractor/consultant in Ontario:
1. Check references
It’s one thing for a roofing contractor to say they’re experienced in commercial roofing projects and knowledgeable in the latest materials and construction techniques – but it’s quite another to have a third party confirm it. That’s why it’s so important to always check references, especially for projects similar in size and scope to yours. Do they have proof of past successes with solving the same problems that you face.
2. Confirm how long they’ve been in business
Inept or unscrupulous roofing contractors have a track record of disappearing after a project, with little or no warranty and no commitment to back up their work if a problem surfaces later. As a result, they tend to go out of business fairly quickly. An established, reputable commercial roofing firm more often than not has been in business for years, if not decades.
3. Look for materials certification and training
Commercial roofing systems are part of a sophisticated building envelope and often demand the use of materials that require training and certification for proper installation. In addition to ensuring a more efficient and effective roofing installation, a certified installer can usually offer a stronger product warranty that will further reduce potential risk to the building owner.
4. Does the company carry adequate liability insurance and is it registered with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board?
An established company should have current liability insurance and be in good standing with the WSIB which provides workers’ compensation to Ontario workers and no-fault insurance for Ontario’s employers. A reputable, qualified roofing contractor will carry a minimum of $5 million in liability coverage and name the client as “additional insured” with coverage for Hot Works if torching or another flame source is present during the project.
5. How does the firm qualify its workers?
Most commercial roofing contractors employ a variety of workers as needed to have the flexibility and versatility to handle a wide range of projects. But how do you know they’re qualified to work on your project? Ask about the process the firm uses to vet their project partners and ensure that every worker has the experience and qualifications needed to properly install the roofing system and materials being used on your building. Check to make sure they’re health and safety certified as well.
Selecting a commercial roofing contractor with confidence requires doing some research. Today’s modern roofing systems rely upon a variety of sealants, coatings, adhesives, polymers and other materials to create a tight, weatherproof seal on one of the most critical components of your building – the roof.
In addition to considering the five tips discussed here, it’s important to ask for appropriate references, specify how bids and proposals should be submitted, and review contract requirements and a host of other details that will help ensure a successful, cost-efficient project. A little due diligence goes a long way.
If you have a commercial roofing project you’d like to discuss, call us at 1-800-567-0842 with details for an estimate. If you want to know more about energy-efficient building envelopes, download our eBook. It is full of excellent information on reducing monthly expenditure due to energy loss, and helping out the environment at the same time!