Things to Know When Hiring a Commercial Roofer in Florida
Commercial roofing is a very important component of your building. Poor workmanship can cause expensive water damage and other hazards. In order to repair or install roofing, one must be a licensed roofing contractor in Florida.
Confirm your commercial roofers contractor license with Florida DBPR. If the roofer is certified, he can do business anywhere in Florida. If a commercial roofer is registered with the state, he can do business only in those parts of Florida where he holds a certificate of competency.
When comparing estimates, different contractors will propose different solutions and different products - the cheapest is not always the best choice. An RCI roofing engineer can build your RFP or you can carefully compare estimates yourself.
In any case, make sure that your roofer is experienced and equipped for commercial roofing. Commercial roofing, as opposed to residential roofing must take into account:
HVAC systems on top of the roof
Roof access doors from inside the building
Multiple pipes and ventilation stacking
In Florida's windy environment and especially during hurricane season, these machines and pieces of equipment can cause roofing to tear and lift, causing separation points and leaking. Water damage and mold are problems to avoid.
What Materials are used on Commercial Roofs in Florida?
Here are descriptions of some of the most commonly used commercial roofing materials:
Cement Tiles Roofing are common in Florida. Properly installed, they can last over 30 years. As they are very heavy, this alternative is applicable only if the structure was designed to bear the load.
Asphalt Shingle is the most common type of roofing for commercial and residential properties. In Florida, asphalt shingles last from 8 - 15 years. An upgrade is laminated shingles. The laminated variety of asphalt tiles looks like slate and can have about twice the life span.
Metal Roofing made of aluminum, steel or copper have some of the longest longevities of any roofing surfaces. Even in Florida's heat and humidity, metal roofs have life spans of 20 - 40 years, and copper roofs last even longer.
Single Ply Roofing are flexible sheets of synthetic material. Single ply roofing is only appropriate when the roof has sufficient pitch.
Built Up Roof - BUR - is made up of plies of roof felts. The felts are laminated with bitumen. Gravel, asphalt or granulated sheets protects the roof.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, usually called EPDM, is made from ethylene and propylene.
Slate requires a higher skill level to install. The shelf life is longer and the appearance is very upscale. Due to the cost of the slate itself and the higher skill-level labor, slate usually costs much more than the other alternatives.
Why is it so important that my Commercial Roofing Contractor is insured?
If you are thinking of hiring a roofer who is not both licensed and insured, give your head a shake. Roofing is a dangerous occupation. OSHA reports that 115,000 injuries occur due to falls in construction each year. Workers Compensation due to these falls runs about $718 million. Commercial roofers withstand a lot of injuries. If an uninsured commercial roofer or one of his workers gets injured, you could be on the hook.
Property damage caused by commercial roofing happens even with the best roofers. If a property owner is not named as additional insured, the owner's insurance carrier may have to unnecessarily share a claim with the roofer's carrier. Practice good risk transfer:
Make sure to have the roofer's insurance agency name you as additional insured.
Get waivers of subrogation before start date.
If you are not already practicing good risk transfer, ask your Insurance Agent what to require from the roofer.
Do Florida roofers need to be licensed by Tallahassee in order to work throughout the state?
Roofers need to be licensed with Florida DBPR. A Florida roofer can be certified as a roofer to do business anywhere in the state of Florida, or simply registered, in which case, a roofer can work only in the cities or counties where he holds a certificate of competency.
How do I avoid misunderstandings with my roofer about what he will do?
A contract needs to be prepared that outlines:
Start and completion dates
Roof cover material including manufacturer name
Thickness of Wood being used in case of new roof
Gutter work if applicable
Cost of pulling permits
Who pays in case of damage caused by work, i.e. landscaping, siding, machinery and ventilation points on top of roof
Exact warranty terms
The number of workers that will be committed to the job - large commercial roofing jobs can take a lot of time if the roofing contractor doesn't have enough workers.