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13 Questions to Ask a Commercial Roofing Contractor

Roofing contractors coating a commercial roof

Are you in the market for hiring a commercial roofing contractor?

Knowing what questions you should ask will lead you to hiring a trustworthy company for the project. Commercial roofing contractors need to follow a certain set of standards to work on your building’s roof. There are a few qualifications that set companies apart when it comes to roofing, but there are other questions that, when answered, will provide you with peace of mind coming into the start of the project.

Commercial roofing is quite different from residential roofing, so you want to ensure that the roofing contractors you hire are up to par for this big project. Keep a checklist of these questions to ask the roofing companies you are looking to hire; whoever answers more appropriately to the majority of the questions will be the best solution for the job.

1. Can You Provide Proof of Insurance & Licensing?

Though this question seems quite obvious and perhaps a bit trivial, it will save you from huge liability issues in the future. All roofing companies and contractors should have insurance and licensing to work in your state. A roofing company should have Commercial Liability Insurance to cover their work, workers, and negligence in case of damages or a safety hazard. What this means for you is your business won’t have to pay for damages or address safety concerns, but can hold the roofing company or contractors as responsible.

Along with having these credentials and financial coverage, being a roofing company with licensing and insurance means they are trustworthy and have a high understanding of your property’s city and building codes.

2. Are Subcontractors Working on the Roofing Project?

Subcontractors work with a roofing company if they need extra hands on deck or need assistance with specialty services such as venting or dealing with electrical units. You should be in the know of everyone that works on your roofing project since subcontractors need to be licensed and insured as well.

On another note, the roofers themselves may not carry the ES-1 certification from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) that qualifies materials for withstanding high winds and storms. Subcontractors might be brought on board with this certification since it is difficult to acquire and will help with the materials gathering process.

Liability for hazards and damages during or after the roofing project shouldn’t be held against your business, but rather those working on the project or the materials manufacturing company.

3. How Much Previous Experience Do You Have With Commercial Roofing?

Sadly enough, not every company that claims to be a “commercial roofing company” has actual experience with commercial roofing. This could be their first project for commercial roofing if you hire them. Unless you want to take a risk, we suggest that you ask them about their previous commercial work experience. The more positive experience with commercial roofing projects, the better.

4. Do You Have Relevant References?

To further prove the worth and credibility of the roofing company’s experience, ask them for references of other commercial roofing contracts they’ve finished. Relevant references mean commercial roofing references.

Just because they have a plethora of residential roofing references doesn’t mean those are the most valuable references. If you’re hiring a commercial roofing company and care about their work, you need to know if others are happy with their similar work.

5. What Makes You Better Than Your Competitors?

Why should you hire this commercial roofing company? What makes them so special compared to other competitors that could probably do the same job? Asking the roofing company this question provides them with an excuse to show you how valuable they are.

Perhaps their pricing is lower than the industry standard. Maybe they are using environmentally-friendly materials. Whatever it is, make them sell you on why you should choose them.

6. What Roofing System Do You Recommend for My Area and Building?

No one knows better than the professionals for what type of roof your building should have to shield you from the outside world. Roofs are very specific for the type of building you have, the climate changes of the year, and the weather in your region. Do you have a flat roof? Would spray polyurethane foam (SPF) work better than metal roofing?
Go over the list of roofing system recommendations the roofing contractor has for you and your commercial building’s needs.

Commercial building flat roof

7. What Are the Safety Measures for Fire Prevention?

Why should you worry about your roof catching on fire? If there is an accident that causes a fire, your roof should, at the very least, be fire-resistant. If sparks from an electrical unit, a cigarette, or a bolt of lightning hits your roof, the roof should be able to protect the rest of the building from the fire.

How long will it take for the fire to spread to other areas of the building if only the roof was affected? How long does it take for the fire to subside? Ask the roofing company what safety measures they have prepared for emergency fire situations. 

8. Should I Replace or Repair My Commercial Building’s Roof?

Maybe you thought you needed to have minor repairs made to your building’s roof. But what if repairs aren’t enough to keep your roof strong, durable, and weather-ready? A strong roof is a long-lasting roof.

Request an inspection from the roofing contractor company to inspect your entire roof. Roof inspectors will essentially checklist damages and necessary repairs that they recommend. If there are too many of these repairs or restorations included on the checklist, they may suggest removing the old roof and installing a new roof. They could also recommend a roof replacement if they believe the roof damages would cost more when compared to just installing a new roof.

Some roofing companies offer free inspections, so do a quick review of their website first to acquire the cost of the inspection.

9. Do You Offer a Roof Maintenance Program?

If you end up appreciating the work put into your roof repairs, replacement, or new roof installation, then you’ll want to stick with the company you know and can trust will do a good job. Commercial building roof maintenance programs are sometimes offered by roofing companies. They will regularly come out to maintain the structure and durability of your commercial roof.

These roof maintenance programs might come at a discounted price depending on the previous projects of the roof or they might come as a bonus for a period of time after a new roof installation. Ask the roofing contractor if they offer a roof maintenance program, how much it will cost, and how long it will last.

10. What is the Estimated Time for the Project?

If you have a timeline for when you’d like the roof repairs or roof installation to be started and completed, then you should set a start date. Confirming a start date with the roofing company allows them time to review the logistics and acquire the appropriate materials.

When a start date is chosen, ask the roofing contractor how long they assume the project will take. They will have a better understanding of the estimated start to finish dates after a full roof inspection.

There are a great many factors that a roofing contractor must take into consideration when concluding an expected finish date. They have to create a logistics report, acquire materials, work with the weather, gather their contractors and possibly subcontractors, and review building safety codes and regulations.

Roofing contractors will have to remove debris or old roofing materials, which can be difficult to calculate a finished time for. On top of this, they will have to clean up the excess materials, debris, and other safety hazards that ensued during the process.

You want the commercial roofing project to go quickly because of safety, noise, and possible disruption with your employees or customers. However, you also want a quality job. That’s why asking for multiple bids is super important not only for budgeting, but also time spent on the project.

11. Can You Provide the Manufacturer’s Information?

Roofing contractors work directly with roofing material manufacturers. Typically, they have a list of manufacturers that they work with in your area. You may request them to provide you with information regarding the manufacturer(s) they will be purchasing materials from. Information you might need to know includes:

  • Are they an ethical company?
  • Do they use environmentally-friendly materials?
  • Is the roofing contractor certified with the materials manufacturer?
  • Where is the manufacturer based? – If the contractor is ordering from a manufacturer that isn’t local, it may cost more to ship the materials.

12. Can You Provide a Copy of the Roof and Materials Warranty?

You want to know the warranty for the commercial roof and materials and all that it covers. Ask the contractor to provide you with information and copies of the warranty policies for the contractor’s work on the roof and the manufacturer’s materials. These warranties protect you from defects and damages with the roof materials and the work provided by the roofing company.

Roof-related warranties can last anywhere from 10 to 50 years. It’s best to choose a roof warranty that lasts anywhere from 20-50 years so you don’t have to continue installing new roofs every few years.

Commercial roofing contractor on flat roof with materials

13. Who Will Inspect and Supervise the Roof Project?

The final question to ask is “who will be in charge of overseeing the entire roofing project?”. This project manager will ensure your needs are met and the entire project is moving smoothly from start to finish. Why do you want to know who the project manager is for your commercial roof? They will be in charge of budgeting, timing, contractors and subcontractors on the grounds, and other logistics. They are the point of contact that will answer all of your questions moving forward.

14. BONUS TIP: Hire a Local Commercial Roofing Contractor

It should go without saying, you want to hire a local commercial roofing company. Local companies will understand more about the difficulties that could aspire during the project and will prepare your roof for a lasting duration. They are familiar with similar roofing projects and have dealt with the brunt of working through the weather conditions.

If you’re hiring a commercial roofing company in Denver, Colorado or other cities in the state of Colorado, ask 970 Services how we can help you today! We offer commercial roofing services such as repairs, restoration, replacement, installation, and clean up. We are an insured and licensed commercial roofing company that is ready to take on any roof slope and conditioning.

We are more than happy to answer any other questions you may have about your commercial roofing project!


Contact us today to schedule your FREE commercial roof inspection.

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