RoofViews

Commercial Roofing

Tips for Managing a Commercial Building's Maintenance Budget for 2022

By Karen L Edwards

December 06, 2021

Binder for Maintenance Budget

When managing a commercial building, making space in the budget for regular maintenance and repairs is critical. However, it can be tough to gauge exactly how much money to set aside.

Plenty of variables come into play as you think about budgeting for building maintenance and repairs. An understanding of both how the facility is used and what state the building is in can help you shape a smart budget that protects your building from foundation to roof.

How Is the Property Used?

Does the building house professional services or retail space? If so, expect to see people coming and going frequently. The parking areas may need frequent attention, including landscaping in warmer seasons and snow removal in winter. The interior spaces may also require more upkeep to maintain a professional appearance and ensure that features such as automatic doors stay functional.

If the building is used for more industrial applications, however, then your top maintenance priorities are more likely to be electrical and power needs, machinery repairs, or attention to loading areas and dock doors.

Current Condition of the Property

If you're uncertain how much to set aside for ongoing maintenance expenses next year, contact an expert. A professional contractor can assess the current condition of your property and help you estimate the remaining service life for the different areas of the building.

Consider also bringing in a talented general contractor or multiple contractors for specific areas such as the roof, electrical system, and HVAC system. Check to ensure you always work with contractors who are licensed and/or certified in their particular area to ensure you get accurate information.

Don't Forget Your Roof

As you navigate managing a commercial building throughout the year, one of the most important parts to include in your 2022 maintenance budgeting is your roofing system. Often, a building's roof is "out of sight, out of mind"—until there's a problem. The roofing system is your building's first line of defense against the elements, and even a small leak can result in losses and damages.

Former roofing contractor and current GAF National Accounts Manager Tim Botkin can't stress enough the importance of planning and budgeting for semiannual roof maintenance and inspections.

"In today's environment, I am seeing more building owners turn to proactive maintenance," says Botkin. That means nipping small issues in the bud before they turn into costly work orders.

"Contractors will inspect the roof and can make proactive repairs like repairing punctures, clearing out clogged drains, and removing debris that could cause problems," explains Botkin. "Inspecting and repairing roofs before heading into the winter or the summer months can help prolong the life of the roofing system."

Budgeting for the maintenance of your roof can vary anywhere from an average of five cents to eight cents per square foot, says Botkin. A professional commercial roofing contractor will perform a thorough inspection and can alert you when your roof may be nearing the end of its service life so you can begin planning your replacement budget.

Botkin points out that when it's time to replace the roof, choosing a robust system can save money and maintenance over time. For example, he says that "instead of a standard 60-mil TPO system, I am seeing a lot of owners opt for an 80-mil membrane that is going to perform better."

Add Coatings to Your Maintenance Checklist

Botkin adds that more and more building owners are considering roof coatings to extend the life of their roofing systems, especially since the products often can be obtained with just a few weeks' lead time.

"With coatings, it's all about the dry mils of the system -- that will determine how long your coating system will last," explains Botkin. "Once you have coated the roof, it should be inspected twice a year. Your contractor can let you know the condition and when to expect to need to recoat the roof."

If you're unsure of the condition of your roof or what options are available for your building as you prep your maintenance budget, the experts at GAF are here to help. Contact GAF today to get started on your maintenance budget planning.

About the Author

Karen L. Edwards is a freelance writer for the construction industry and has a passion for roofing, having worked in the industry for 20 years.

Related Articles

A roofing contractor uses the GAF ScopeConnect servie to prepare an insurance quote
Residential Roofing

With the GAF ScopeConnect Service, Insurance Restoration Work Becomes Easier

If you're like many roofing contractors, you might avoid insurance restoration work due to the expense, hassle and complication of creating an estimate. That is, until now. The GAF ScopeConnectSM service simplifies the creation of an insurance scope of work so you can take on restoration work with more ease.Using Cutting-Edge Technology to Facilitate EstimatesGAF is committed to making tools available that help roofing contractors succeed. The GAF ScopeConnectSM Service addresses some of the challenges many contractors face with insurance restoration work.The service delivers a complete insurance scope of work prepared by Symbility trained and Xactimate certified estimators. Any contractor—GAF-certified or not may use the service and receive an estimate within 24 hours*. You don't need specialized training, dedicated personnel, or a subscription.Putting Insurance Restoration Work within ReachAs the country continues to see more severe weather events, contractors have the opportunity to expand into the insurance restoration market. The GAF ScopeConnectSM Service removes some of the barriers that typically have made it difficult to enter this space.To use the service, you simply provide a property's address and answer a few questions. Within a day, you'll receive the scope of work needed for the job in an insurance industry standard format (e.g., Xactimate or Symbility).The GAF ScopeConnectSM Service has enabled GAF Certified Contractor* Owen McKinney, who owns Rodger That Home Improvement LLC in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to do more insurance restoration work. He had previously walked away from these jobs due to the complexities involved with estimates.Leveling the Field for Roofing ProfessionalsSince preparing estimates in an industry-standard format yourself requires special software and training, McKinney was at a disadvantage. He didn't have the budget to pay for the license or the spare time to learn the program. As a result, he resorted to searching for specialists familar with the software on social media and paying them to develop the estimates. While this method worked, it was inefficient and not cost-effective for him.McKinney's GAF territory manager first showed him the new service over lunch. On the day it launched, McKinney happened to be working on an insurance restoration job, so he decided to try it. McKinney shared that on the first project that he used it on, the GAF ScopeConnectSM service accurately estimated the job.Removing Barriers through Ease of UseThe intuitive design and functionality provided by GAF ScopeConnectSM impressed McKinney right away. He notes that it feels difficult to make errors while using the service."Essentially, you just type in the property address, note that it's got X amount of pipe boots, X amount of vents, one or two layers of shingles, and it gives you a breakdown."McKinney says that, in his opinion, the accuracy has been spot-on. And thanks to the success he's had, he plans to use the GAF ScopeConnectSM service for future insurance restoration jobs. "And the fact that they can do it within 24 hours,** that's fantastic."Growing Your Business's Restoration WorkloadIf you've been thinking about expanding your operations and adding more jobs through insurance restoration work, now is the time. The GAF ScopeConnectSM service provides the detailed estimates you need to succeed so you can take on these jobs with confidence.Curious to learn more? Visit gaf.com/scopeconnect to see a sample scope of work.*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products. Your dealings with a Contractor, and any services they provide to you, are subject to the Contractor Terms of Use. Visit www.gaf.com/gaf-contractor-terms-of-use for details.**Terms and restrictions apply. Visit gaf.com/scopeconnect for details.

By Authors Karen L Edwards

June 17, 2024

Roofers install a GAF EverGuard PVC roofing system.
Commercial Roofing

How PVC Experts Can Help Design Specialized Roofing Projects

With the growing popularity and versatility of PVC roofing systems, GAF has responded by building a team of PVC experts to aid architects, specifiers, and the design community in project success. These highly trained and experienced professionals offer 1:1 support to help answer customers' questions and unique needs when working with PVC on roofing projects, and are here to help you!PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a single-ply thermoplastic roofing membrane. The material's characteristics help it thrive in particularly challenging applications. In fact, PVC roofing systems have a proven track record in the US, first introduced in the 1970s after making their debut in Germany a decade earlier.Here's a look at the benefits of PVC roofing systems as well as the guidance and support offered by the PVC experts at GAF.PVC Roofing Advantages and ApplicationsWhile several materials are available for use in roofing systems, PVC has been identified as a particularly long-lasting option. Accordingly, it's steadily grown in popularity nationwide.David Allor, senior area PVC specialist, joined the GAF team in 2022 as a PVC expert. His role was created specifically to support roof designers. Allor has an extensive background in the commercial roofing industry and extensive knowledge about PVC as a high-performance roofing solution."The industry refers to it as a very spec-driven product, and I believe what they're speaking to is a specifier's preference to work with a product that's been well established in the market and field tested," Allor shares. "It has the ability to provide protection against chemical exposure* and stand up well to challenging environments."While PVC may be a spec-driven product, it's also application-driven. Allor explains that PVC roofs may help provide protection for restaurants, food manufacturers, and packaging plants—any facility using animal fats where oils may be exhausted.* He also says that even if the building itself isn't exhausting gases, grease, or chemicals, it's important to consider the buildings and structures that surround it, as their exteriors may be subjected to exhaust that could degrade roofing systems.*Supporting the Design CommunityAs North America's largest roofing materials manufacturer, GAF has equipped teams with the resources and specialists needed to supply customers with more than just products. In recent years, the company built a solid team of PVC specialists that cover the entire US. These specialists assist customers with PVC specifications, roof system designs, and whatever else designers need to ensure successful project outcomes.Whether your project or design firm is based in the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, or West Coast, a PVC specialist is positioned to help. Allor explains the team of GAF PVC specialists is active in the organizations specifiers belong to, including the American Institute of Architects, the Construction Specifications Institute, and the International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants.Allor describes the team's role as supporting the customer and connecting them to other GAF project support teams that can help. For instance, he said he called on a leading architectural design firm in the Boston area—and two months later, someone reached out for assistance with a specific project needing a tight turnaround."Literally within 12 hours of them reaching out to us, we replied and committed to three pertinent deliverables, those being a Tapered ISO Design Package, an Assembly Letter confirming all FM Requirements, and last but not least, a conference call the next day with the Building and Roofing Science team to go over three critical transitional details." Allor says.Committing to Successful Project OutcomesThe PVC specialists at GAF are focused on one goal: helping architects, specifiers, and the roofing design community achieve successful project outcomes through a high-performing PVC roofing system. With professionals like Allor providing insight and guidance, you can rest assured your PVC project will be in good hands.Ready to get started on your next PVC roofing project? Explore the different PVC roofing solutions available, and visit this page to find your local PVC roofing specialist who is ready to assist you.*GAF warranties and guarantees do not provide coverage against exposure to chemicals, grease, oils, animal fats or exhaust. Refer to gaf.com for more information on warranty and guarantee coverage and restrictions.

By Authors Karen L Edwards

April 22, 2024

A moss-covered roof.
Your Home

Does Moss on a Roof Die in Winter?

As it gets colder, you might wonder: does moss on a roof die in winter like other pesky plants? It's a common myth. However, while you might hope winter weather will eliminate the moss, this isn't the case. Even if the moss looks dried out when temperatures drop, it goes dormant and absorbs water like a sponge. Before long, it will continue growing and become more difficult to get rid of as it spreads across your roof, even after the winter season.Why You Should Remove Moss from Your RoofIf you don't remove moss from your roof, it can wreak havoc on shingles, eating away at their protective coating. Moss roots also grow in between shingles and underneath the structure. This can degrade the shingles and push them apart as temperatures drop, allowing water to penetrate and leak into your home.Moss growth can also prevent proper water drainage and result in bacteria or mold growth, rotten underlayment, and damaged framing. It compromises the roof's ultraviolet protection, too. Left to grow into a thick layer, moss can reduce your roof's lifespan.The Difference between Moss and AlgaeIt's also important to know the difference between moss and algae, and how to prevent or remove both to extend the life of your roof. Moss is a herbaceous plant that absorbs nutrients and water through its leaves, producing spores to reproduce. It spreads across your roof as it grows. Algae are flat, slimy, green aquatic plants that lack leaves, stems, or flowers. They tend to grow on moist areas of your roof, causing dark stains. Algae are usually found in areas where water drips overhead. If you suspect algae on your roof, consider installing algae-resistant shingles.How to Remove Moss from Your RoofSince the answer to 'does moss on a roof die in winter?', is no, now's a good time to hire a professional roofer to get rid of it. Moss is resilient, and you can't simply remove it by hand. They'll remove the moss using a chemical solution, and they can replace any damaged shingles to restore your roof's integrity.It's best to rely on a professional who can eliminate the moss while also inspecting your roof for damage. Don't try to use a pressure washer or any weed killers not designed for moss, as these can stain or damage your roof.How to Prevent Moss GrowthSince moss thrives in damp, shady spots, trimming trees to allow more sunlight onto your roof can help deter its growth. Also, regularly clear away leaves, twigs, and other debris, which helps moss grow, and clean your gutters frequently to prevent water buildup. In addition to these tasks, scheduling regular roof inspections can help you catch any issues early.You can also install a zinc strip, such as GAF Master Flow® Zinc Moss & Mildew Preventer, near the roof ridge to help protect your roof against moss, algae, and mildew growth. The metal strip oxidizes over time, and as water washes over the roof plane, it creates an undesirable environment for moss.By proactively removing moss and preventing its return, you'll protect your biggest investment: your home. Contact a GAF-certified roofing contractor* to ensure it's removed effectively.*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products. Your dealings with a Contractor, and any services they provide to you, are subject to the GAF Contractor Terms of Use.

By Authors Wendy Helfenbaum

March 09, 2024

Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!

Subscribe now