A good friend of mine is also a successful roofing contractor. Recently, he needed heart surgery.
At 50 years old, it was a scary time in his life to have invasive surgery performed. He had a referral from his family doctor, interviewed several cardiologists and proceeded to move forward with the required corrective procedure. As he recovered, we would walk together around the local high school track. During one of our walks I inquired about various decisions he had to make and how his outlook on life changed. We first talked about the process leading up to the surgery. I asked how he knew he needed the surgery, how he decided to move forward and how he picked the surgeon for the operation.
The results were interesting. He knew he needed the surgery because he was experiencing discomfort. After blood work, a scan and other tests, his results indicated his heart valves were blocked and not operating properly. Clear and objective criteria was established that dictated it was time to have the surgery.
After determining it was time to move forward, he interviewed several surgeons and, ultimately, decided upon a doctor who was well-known, performed similar surgeries numerous times and was well-respected in his field. All of which were solid criteria for selecting a surgeon to perform such a critical procedure.
When we were walking and talking about his selection criteria, I teased my frugal friend and asked him how price affected his decision. He gave me a strange look, said a few choice words and we laughed about it for a minute. Finally he proceeded to talk about how the quality of the surgery he needed was his number one priority and price was only a minor consideration. He knew this operation would affect his life forever and needed the very best surgeon and overall solution for his health.
Of course, I knew that is what he would say about the cost of his surgery.
I could not help drawing similar parallels to his experience and my customer’s roofing decisions. I found myself thinking about how I can help customers make educated, smart roofing decisions regarding their choice of contractor, price, materials and overall solution?
After all, re-roofing your building is very much like replacing the heart of your building!
When it is time to replace the heart of your building, what is your decision making criteria? Most businesses replace the roof on their building every 17 years. Therefore, most building owners are typically not well educated about roof replacement because it happens so infrequently. As a result, building owners fall back and depend on the only thing they are familiar with - price!
Before you replace the heart of your building, here are the fundamental questions you should ask yourself:
- What is the condition of your roof?
- How do you know you need the procedure?
- What repairs or maintenance have been completed over the past few years?
- Is a new roof necessary?
- What type of roof system has been recommended and why is this the best fit for your building?
- Has an inspection or thermal scan been completed recently?
- Has a pull-out test or other procedure been performed to determine the condition of your structural deck?
- Have items such as code requirements, appropriate insulation values, reflectivity, puncture resistance, compressive strength, drainage, sizing of gutters and downspouts, roof pollutants, climate considerations and other factors been considered?
- How many similar projects has your contractor performed?
- What is the reputation of the contractor and how well respected are they in the industry?
- How financially stable is your roofing contractor?
The answers to these questions should be documented and reviewed between the contractor and property manager similar to how a doctor reviews blood work or other health related tests. Before and after pictures along with a repair log should also be kept about the roof. This is no different from the files doctors keep on their patients!
Replacing your roof is critical to your building. Roofing projects are large and often complicated construction projects. Be sure that you are selecting the right roofing contractor for the right reason. The next time you need to replace your roof ask yourself how closely the decision criteria you have for a contractor parallels the criteria you would use for a heart surgeon.
Roofing Products and Product Development
Perhaps the most significant change in the industry is that over the years, preference for roofing materials has shifted towards white TPO/PVC membranes. The reflectivity and energy efficient roof systems continue to gain popularity.
2015 - Single ply (EPDM, PVC and TPO) are 83% of the non-residential roofing market up from 58% in 2001
2015 - National roofing membrane mix is 47% TPO, 22% EPDM, 17% BUR/Modified Bitumen and 15% PVC.
Source: Carlisle with SPRI data.
Photovoltaic Roof System Costs Decline!
There has been a decrease in the cost of photovoltaic roof installation over the past four years. More and more companies are investing in photovoltaic solutions as viable alternatives to conventional electric power production. Many states and utility companies offer generous incentives to help off-set costs. In particular, Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Arizona and Colorado are experiencing rapid growth of photovoltaic systems. If you are considering a photovoltaic roof system in 2016 and would like to to see if you qualify for a free level 1 photovoltaic analysis to be performed on your building, click below.
Labor Is Expected To Be The Greatest Challenge of 2016
At CentiMark we work very hard to find the best qualified associates from crews to management. Both finding and developing a strong labor force is what truly differentiates one contractor from another. To handle this issue we have aggressively invested both time and money. We began by hiring additional human resource personnel. Secondly, because of the critical nature of our labor force we are moving forward with an additional Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP). The distribution of company stock at the labor level will help attract and maintain the best labor in the industry for many years. CentiMark has also invested millions of dollars in state of the art new equipment and training programs. We have partnered with equipment manufactures to customize products to fit our specific needs. This has proven to result in increased production rates and safer job sites.
The biggest trend in commercial flooring is the continued preference for polished concrete that creates a heavy duty, reliable, scratch resistant floor surface that is appealing to the eye. This can be accomplished with QuestMark’s trademarked DiamondQuest concrete polish process that is backed by our exclusive aesthetic warranty. QuestMark is the only company to provide an aesthetic warranty. This warranty is a Single Source gloss and dust proof warranty that covers all material, labor and tooling used to maintain your gloss.
Additionally, DIY (Do It Yourself) products are increasingly popular. Many businesses use internal maintenance staffs to clean floors, repair damaged concrete, floor joint and crack repair, fix trip hazards and remove stains. QuestMark can train your staff and provide hands-on maintenance support. QuestMark also sells these DIY products and materials online - Click here to purchase materials
Code changes are very complex, some take years for compliance and all are best left to discuss with your professional roofing contractor. Roofing codes are found in Chapter 15 of the International Building Code which is part of a family of codes from the International Code Council (ICC). Each of these codes are revised every three years before being promulgated. It is up to each state to decide which version of the code they wish to adopt and the adopted version may vary from state-to-state.
Brief summaries follow:
- Hot off the presses: Congress extended the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar and wind for three years. This legislation passed on 12/18/15 will extend the ITC for solar and wind for three years. Incrementally, it will decrease through 2021 and remain at 10% permanently in 2022.
- Minimum R-value requirements for various climate zones have increased. R-value is an insulating material's resistance to conductive heat flow measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density.
- New requirements for the building envelope to include an air barrier to better manager air in- and ex-filtration. An adhered roofing system is “deemed to comply” with this requirement.
- FM Global continues to change the guidelines for enhancing existing steel deck attachments as they indicate that steel deck attachments are potential roof system weak points. By enforcing the enhanced steel deck attachments, it may add as much as 15% to the overall cost of the installed roofing system.
- Adhered systems that require a field uplift rating of 1-90 or greater are now being required to install a roof system that has been tested to the uplift requirements of the corner areas of a roof. This also translates into a much more costly roof installation for such jobs which are overwhelmingly located in hurricane-prone coastal areas.
- Wind design mandated code requirements for compliance will effect the cost of roofing. What this means to you is a roof that was formerly calculated to have a field uplift pressure of 60 psf will increase closer to 90 psf and the perimeter enhancements will be extended as well. This will also make roofs more expensive for compliance but they will perform better under high wind conditions.
- One other change that has increased roofing system costs is the change to the methodology for testing polyisocyanurate insulations Long Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) R values. The new methodology for establishing the LTTR means that greater thickness of iso is now required to meet the IECC-mandated minimum R values.
2016 NRCA MVP Award Recipient - Pedro Melendez
CentiMark is proud to announce that Pedro Melendez, Houston, TX , has been chosen by the NRCA’s Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress to receive a NRCA MVP (Most Valuable Player) award on February 17, 2016 in Orlando, FL.
Pedro has worked for five years at CentiMark. For four years, he worked as a crane driver and coordinated with the foremen, warehouse team and field superintendents to work on roofing jobs from start-to-finish. Currently he is a Branch Safety Inspector and a Field Supervisor. His work ethic, leadership abilities, bilingual skills and reputation as a team player have made him an incredible asset to the Houston, TX office.
2015 NRCA Foreman of the Year Award Recipient - Scott Luck
CentiMark was proud to announce that Production Foreman Scott Luck, Canonsburg, PA, was honored by the NRCA’s Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress on February 25, 2015 in New Orleans, LA. He was presented its Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award to honor outstanding roofing workers - one of four award-winners. In addition, the NRCA’s Professional Roofing magazine honored Scott Luck with its Best-of-the-Best Award.
2015 Roofing Industry Recognition of CentiMark
CentiMark was proud to be listed as the #1 Roofing Contractor with revenue of $508,245,000 in the August 2015 Roofing Contractor Magazine. CentiMark has been recognized as the #1 roofing contractor for the past four years. Since 1991, CentiMark has been listed either #1 or #2 in the roofing industry since the lists began in 1991. Again, in the October 26, 2015 issue of ENR Magazine (Engineering News-Record), CentiMark was listed as the #1 Roofing Contractor with revenue of $455.5M (excluded flooring revenue).
2015 Safety Recognition
CentiMark is committed to safety for our crews and our customers. Safety and injury prevention is our responsibility. We provide our customers with the latest safety products and advancements to protect your building and the people inside it. Prior to the start of any roofing project, we review all safety plans with our customers and crews.
Our goal is for all associates to return home safely to their families every evening. All roofing and flooring crews participate in mandatory, written training programs conducted by our full-time safety specialists. Ongoing training and both scheduled and random job-site inspections are routine. Our goal is not only to meet but exceed all OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements.
Our Safety Incidence Rate of 2.3 has consistently been below the national average of 4.9. Our Experience Modification Rate of 0.419 is also below the industry average of 1.0.