The Most Common Roofing Questions Our Customers Ask

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When is the best time to have my roofs inspected or surveyed?

ANSWER: Most commercial property management companies begin roof inspections and budgeting in mid to late summer so they are prepared and have approvals in place BEFORE the rain season starts. But you don’t have to use that to guide your decision—the best time is NOW! If you aren’t sure what shape your roof system is in or aren’t certain it will remain leak-free during the next rainstorm, please call us to schedule an inspection right away.

Our building’s roof system is leaking—what is the best thing we can do now?

ANSWER: There are many things you can do now as part of a healthy leak-stoppage program, including:

  1. First, try to minimize any further damage within the building by moving anything that can be damaged by water away from the leaking areas. Place a bucket under the active leaks and place plastic over anything that can’t be moved.
  2. Note the areas of leaks on a hand-drawn building sketch and keep for your records while also marking the location of the leak on the floor using a marker (if the floor is concrete or tile) or by making an “X” with blue painter’s tape. This will make it much easier for the roofing contractor to trace the roof leak on the roof. Do this for all active leaks in the building.
  3. Check if your roof warranty is still valid. You may be fully covered against roof leaks by a manufacturer or contractor warranty. Take a few minutes to locate that warranty paperwork and then contact the manufacturer or contractor immediately. You want to make sure the problem is handled as soon as possible to prevent more extensive damage from occurring. Photo document the leak issues.
  4. If there is NOT a current roof warranty in place, make sure you contact your favorite roofer as soon as possible. Remember, if it is raining hard, that roofer (if they are good) is receiving a lot of emergency leak calls from other people as well. It’s best to get your call in as early in the day as possible so that you are on their response schedule.
  5. Once the roofing contractor arrives, they will be able to fully assess your roof issues and locate the leak sources (thanks to your location map and marked floor areas). Once they find the source, they can repair the leak. (Note: when it’s actively raining, the repair made is usually a temporary repair that will hold up well until the next roof maintenance is performed.) If the problem is larger and needs more extensive work, the roofer can usually provide some type of temporary correction to divert the water from entering the building and then provide a cost estimate for properly correcting the problem when the roof is dry. They may even recommend a full re-roof if needed and provide a cost proposal for the work they recommend.

Should I call our insurance agent when we have a roof leak?

ANSWER: Insurance policy coverage and deductibles vary greatly. The best thing you can do is have a conversation with your insurance agent BEFORE the rains start, so you fully understand the coverage you have and how best to deal with any issues. A simple roof leak may be a waste of time if your deductible is higher than the cost of the repair. Simple leak repairs are probably best covered out of pocket rather than filing an insurance claim. If you are a renter, your roof leaks may be covered by the building owner at no cost to you—check your lease.

Do roofing contractors respond after hours for emergency leak repairs?

ANSWER: Yes, most good roofing contractors respond to emergency leak requests, even outside of regular business hours. Make sure you have their after-hours contact information on hand in case you ever need it. Leaks over electrical panels, for example, can be damaging and dangerous. Contractors can work with lights after hours but not all roofs are safe to be on in dark and wet conditions. It’s also worth noting that most contractors charge overtime or emergency rates for working outside of regular hours.

Do I have to replace my roof if it’s leaking?

ANSWER: Not usually. In most cases, a roofing system in fair condition can be repaired to last several more years by fixing deficient or leaking areas. However, if the roof is already in poor condition, replacement may be necessary. If a roof in fair condition continues to have new leaks occurring even after roof repairs and maintenance, the owner should consider a roof renovation system for the roof, such as a waterproofing coating or a liquid-applied roof system. These are usually far less expensive than a full new roof system.

How can I tell if my building needs a new roof or renovation system?

ANSWER: The best answer is to ask a professional roofing contractor like C.I. Services to inspect the roof system closely and provide a detailed report and photo-log of the condition, defects found, and recommendations for repairing, renovating, or replacing the roof system.

What is the best roof system to have installed on my building?

ANSWER: The best answer is to again ask a professional roofing contractor like C.I. Services to evaluate the building, roof deck, building use, and surrounding areas to determine what roof system would solve the current roof issues, deliver the best benefits, and fit your budget. There are a lot of roof types to choose from, including:

All have advantages and drawbacks depending on how they are being used. A professional can identify which option is best for your building and budget.

Do I have to remove my existing commercial roof system in order to install a new one?

ANSWER: If there is only one roof in place now and that existing roof is in fair condition (not experiencing roof deck issues and has no water-saturated insulation in place or other obviously hazardous conditions), it would be wise to consider a new roof overlay on top of the existing roof system. It is economical (avoids the added cost of roof removal), and you can still get a 15- or 20-year manufacturer’s warranty for an overlay roof system. (Note: Two roofs is the maximum number of roofs that can be installed on any one roof structure before roof removal is required.)

What is the cost to install a new roof system on my building?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, every roof system is different and costs can vary greatly. Many factors go into determining the actual cost of a new roof system, including:

Once the roof is fully inspected and the project estimates are complete, you can discuss warranty length and roofing systems to narrow down options based on your budget.

What is the lifespan of a typical commercial roof system? What kind of warranties come with a new roof system?

ANSWER: It depends on what type of roof system you now have, the amount of foot traffic, equipment, and penetrations on the roof, and the location. Roofs near the coastline and near airports tend to wear out sooner due to salt and aircraft fuel contamination on the roof surface. Some roof systems handle heat and chemical attacks better than other roofs, and dead flat roofs tend to pond water more than a sloped roof. Standing water on a roof system causes premature breakdown of the membrane since the water acts as a magnifying glass for the sun, and sun or UV exposure shortens a roof’s lifespan.

Assuming the same deck slope, penetrations, and building location, you can expect these average lifespans:

Note: Longer life expectancies can be achieved depending on the quality, thickness, and number of layers for the roofing system. Improving reliability increases the installation cost but may come with extended warranties to protect your investment.

Will annual roof maintenance extend my roof’s service life? Is it necessary to protect my manufacturer’s roof warranty?

ANSWER: Yes! Yearly roof maintenance is the best use of your property maintenance budget. Statistics show that maintaining your roof system from year one will actually increase your roof’s life by as much as 25%. That is a huge advantage for you as a building owner. Also, most manufacturers require proof of ongoing maintenance to honor long-term warranties.

How do I find the best commercial roofing contractor for my properties?

ANSWER: Like any essential trade, having a quality-minded and trustworthy professional roofing contractor on your team is a must. The right contractor is responsive, provides detailed proposals and resources when needed, and solves your roof defect issues within the budget limits you have. Contractors like this are not difficult to find.

Look for contractors that are:

  1. Recommended by other owners you know
  2. Members of (and involved with) national and regional roofing associations
  3. Listed with the Better Business Bureau and have zero or very few complaints
  4. Carrying a proper and current state contractor’s license without a list of violations
  5. Recommended by roofing manufacturers and suppliers
  6. Certified to install the roofing system of your choice
  7. OSHA certified with a strong safety record
  8. Employing trained and certified workers as members of their construction crew

At CIS, we train and OSHA certify our workers every year to keep them safety conscious and up to date on any industry changes and roof system upgrades. We belong to and are involved with the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), the Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA), and the Roofing Contractors Association of California (RCAC). We are also certified by many major roofing manufacturers to install and provide extended warranties to our customers. We have been serving the Southern California region for over 25 years and have a loyal following of customers we enjoy serving.

What is the Econo-Shield Roof System?

ANSWER: Econo-Shield is a proprietary, hybrid roofing renovation system that combines asphalt emulsion and polyester (as a strengthening and waterproofing component) with sprayed polyurethane foam (acting as the flashing and pond-filling component) in a system that is topped off with a solid acrylic roof coating that’s poured at 4 gallons per 100 square feet. The system is built over your existing roof system over a three-year period to provide 100% waterproof protection from year one and complete the application with a manufacturer-backed warranty for a total of 12 years of leak-free roof protection.

Will my Econo-Shield Roof System be watertight during year one?

ANSWER: Yes! The Econo-Shield Roof System application spreads installation costs out for the customer, but during year one, the roof appears 100% complete and, more importantly, is 100% watertight, but there is still additional coating work to be added over the next two years. Your new Econo-Shield Roof System provides 100% waterproof protection against leaking from the day we finish the first installation.

What is the advantage to having my roof system installed over three years?

ANSWER: There are many advantages to the three-year application method. The Econo-Shield Roof System application provides a unique renovation approach to your roof system. First, of course, you spread the cost of your roof installation cost over three years. This is a great way to manage cash flow and control budgets.

Next, each year of work can be considered a “maintenance approach” to your existing roof system. By classifying our work as maintenance, you should be able to claim these expenses for tax benefits. Discuss this with your tax accountant to discover what those numbers would look like.

The Econo-Shield roof system combines some of the most trusted and historically proven quality roofing products into one system to create a seamless, waterproof, long-lasting and renewable roof system.

Lastly, by having our crew on your roof system cleaning and applying more material each year, we guarantee that every portion of that roof application is correct. No other roof system installation delivers as much care, detail, and quality as Econo-Shield!

Is the Econo-Shield Roof System backed by a manufacturer warranty?

ANSWER: Absolutely! During the first three years of the initial application process, CIS backs the system with a leak-free warranty (which is standard for all roof manufacturers), but after the third application is complete, the manufacturer (POLYGLASS) provides an additional 10 years of leak-free labor and material warranty protection for a total of 12 years of protection!

I may be selling my building soon—will the warranty transfer to the new owner at any time during the three-year application?

ANSWER: Of course! This program is designed in two ways. First, you can contract for the full three-year system warranty and be billed each year as the work progresses until the roof system is completed. You may transfer your warranty at any time during or after that work to another owner. Alternatively, you can purchase a year-by-year agreement. This approach costs more in the long run but gives you the flexibility to only contract one year at a time.

If you cancel the contract after year one or two is complete, your whole roof will still have a one-year warranty for each year you contract, but that warranty will end after that year. If you sell your building after year two and the owner wants to pay for the year three work, we will write a new contract for that owner and complete the roof system as planned, backed by the full 12 years of warranty protection for the building. Call us and we can design an Econo-Shield Roof System that works for you!

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