Almost every business maintains at least one facility with a roof. Consequently, many businesses will engage a commercial roofing contractor at some point. Business owners should understand the main challenges of commercial roofing before they start projects. These five issues are common to virtually all commercial jobs.
Even the roof of a commercial structure that's relatively small compared to other buildings is going to usually be larger than the roof of even the biggest of houses. Putting together the supplies, people, and equipment for any job is intensive. Roofers frequently have to reposition materials, hardware, and team members for several days to cover the whole roof. Coordinating them to avoid waste and get the project done on time is also no small task.
Roofs are inherently exposed to the elements. However, the added size and time associated with commercial roofing work amplifies the weather's influence on project management. Also, companies often use hot products like tar or heated rubber. These products don't play nicely in bad weather. One or two days of unexpected showers can push a project back significantly.
Many commercial structures have more infrastructure than you'd see in a residential setting. For example, lots of commercial buildings have rooftop air conditioning units. Roofs frequently have drainage systems, too. Some buildings also have multiple tiers. A commercial roofing contractor has to be careful to navigate these features and not damage them.
On the other hand, there are plenty of flat roofs for structures like warehouses and even some smaller retail establishments. These are often simpler jobs because a commercial roofing crew can start at one end and work toward the other.
Commercial roofing products cut both ways when it comes to maintenance. Generally, maintaining a commercial roof is cheaper because they're easier to patch or seal. However, a contractor has to come back more often than they would with a residential structure.
Commercial operations generally want to get their facilities running as quickly as possible. Even if a commercial roofer can avoid shutting down most of a building, they still have to keep the public away from the work area. The customer and the contractor have to work closely to manage projects over time. This minimizes business disruptions.
In some cases, there are simple solutions. If your business closes for the weekend, for example, you might only have the commercial roofing firm work during those two days. Also, many companies schedule a commercial roofing contractor during downtime, remodels, or refits.