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What is the True Cost of a Poor Roofing Project?

Roofing is simple, right? It’s a simple concept: keep the water out. From that point, however, it becomes very complicated. What are you trying to achieve? A cheap roof? A roof with a long service life? A roof with little maintenance? There are many, many factors to consider.

Do you wish to make these decisions on your own? Knowing what you are trying to achieve, do you know what type of system you want to use? What kind of vapour barrier? What type of insulation and R value? To fireproof or not to fireproof? What about the roofing membrane? Single ply? Two ply, four ply or five ply? What about a warranty, is that important?

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Pinnacle Group Inc. has seen many architectural specs that specify roofing materials that are obsolete or no longer available. These specifications have been cut and copied, and not updated. Is this the type of expertise you are looking for? This is where an experienced consulting company that fully understands the market and technical details really comes in handy.

We often find that owners/property managers who have experienced a bad roofing job in the past become our best customers, because they have learned the value of relying on the experts.

So, what is the true cost of a poor roofing job? Well, initially, it is less expensive than a good one. It is common for owners/property managers to start the re-roofing process by calling in a few roofers to quote, without the benefit of a specification. Often, roofers will provide a minimal specification, without thoroughly detailing the materials they plan to use, and each contractor could spec different materials, often based on their own experience and comfort, and sometimes, what is in their warehouse. This normally results in a project that benefits the roofer more than the owner.

A poor roofing job may not even be discovered for several years. If you are using a four-ply roofing system, essentially only one membrane out of four has to remain watertight to keep the inside dry. Should this be considered a good roof? If the roof only lasts 15 years instead of 20, is that a successful project? If the quality of the work demands maintenance after the two to five year roofing warranty has expired, is that acceptable? And if the roof leaks, water has had to pass through the insulation, defeating the R value, and making the repair much more substantial.

Consider costs like interior and/or material damage, tenant inconvenience, cost and difficulty of having the contractor come back, warranty issues, and (if necessary) legal processing.
It is much cheaper to install a roof once rather than twice. The true costs of a bad roofing job are hefty, not to mention the time and the inconvenience involved. Get the job done properly, on time, and on budget the first time.

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Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) member Canadian Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) member Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) member Green Roofs For Healthy Cities member Sealant and Waterproofing Association of Ontario member Ontario Building Envelope Council member Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association member Roof Consultants Institute member International Facility Management Association member