A flat roof is an invitation to the powers of nature. It signals your willingness to subject the roof to rain, wind, harsh sunlight, and the damaging effects of hurricanes. Low-slope (flat) roofs do not shed water well unless they are maintained or restored well. Flat roof restoration is an economical answer to whole roof replacement. Yet, how do you know if the quoted price for low-slope restoration work is fair?
The first method of ensuring a fair and reasonable price quote is to solicit at least three bids from local, vetted roofers. One bid will be low, no doubt; the other two will be similar, in most cases.
Examine the two similar bids for the scope of work described. A flat roof restoration should involve these steps:
- An initial survey of your commercial building’s current condition
- Documentation of any problem areas
- Suggested repairs for trouble spots
- Inspection and remediation of ponding areas (low spots where insulation has become depressed)
- Roof cleaning
- Primer application
- Application of a brush or spray-on protective, waterproof coating
If you see an item in one bid that is not echoed in the other bid, ask questions. Probe the contractor to get clear language on what, exactly, the restoration will involve.
Examine the bids, also, for evidence of a complete restoration. Experts at Facilities Net point out that surface preparation is vital to the success of any flat roof restoration. Does the bid accommodate repair of open seams, cracks, blisters and other deficiencies before any coatings are applied?
A fair roof restoration price should include accommodation to your schedule, not the roofer’s. You run a business and the disruption and distraction of roofing work may discourage customers or foot traffic.
Depending on the nature of your business, weekends or late afternoons may be the right time for roof work. In the Florida climate, late afternoons into evenings may be ideal. A roofing contractor may place a premium on the timing of the work.
Some businesses can afford to shut down for a day or two, with little advance notice, while roofing work is completed. If that is your situation, you may be able to negotiate a discount for being flexible.
Flat roof restoration is not the same as a re-roofing. It does not replace annual inspection and maintenance. It is intended to offer an economical alternative to complete re-roofing, by extending the life of your commercial property’s roof.
This means the way you think about the cost of roof restoration should include the added years of life the work will offer. Suppose a new TPO roof costs $10 a square foot (based on national estimates from Improvenet.com). Your 100,000 square foot warehouse roof would, then, cost $1 million to reroof.
You probably do not have $1 million in a capital expense account, but you may have a fraction of that. Costs vary, of course, but suppose the cost to restore the flat roof is only five percent of that, or $50,000. For your company’s $50,000 investment you are able to add 10 years of life to the roof, at an annual cost of only $5,000 plus ongoing inspection and maintenance.
Thought of as an economical alternative to a new roof installed this year, a roof restoration price is fair if it buys your company time and assurance that the roof will last. With that extra time — five, seven, or even 10 years — you can focus on saving money to afford the new roof. A planned roof replacement is far better than emergency roof repair or replacement.
You can verify the fairness of a roof restoration bid by evaluating the contractor. Make sure all the fundamentals add up:
- Local and state licensing as required
- Workers compensation protection
- Liability insurance
- Customer testimonials
- A local, physical address
Ask for references for recent jobs that match as closely as possible your own company’s roof. Take into account square footage, roof material (PVC, TPO, etc.), and age of your roof.
Avoid a contactor who offers a price quote over the telephone or through email without ever seeing your roof. Avoid a contractor who is reluctant to bid competitively.
Check a roofer’s credentials with the leading manufacturers of roofing materials, too. Flat roof restoration involves knowing the material, since the protective coating must adhere to the surface. A spray coating intended for an EPDM roof may not be ideal for your ballasted built-up roof, as discussed by roofing experts at Facilities Net. A good roofer knows how to work with all the major commercial roofing systems and products.
Including Imperial Roofing Contractor among your three bids is the surest, simplest way to get a fair price. Contact us today for more information about our flat roof coating system, low-slope roof maintenance, and more.