A LARGER UPFRONT INVESTMENT IN YOUR ROOF CAN SAVE MONEY DOWN THE ROAD
Many building owners and facility managers have a mentality that any money they can save on the cost of materials and installation on their roof is a “win” for the company. If they can choose a material that costs 10 cents less per square foot, they will save their company money in the long run. However, what they are failing to consider is the long-term cost of the roofing system they chose vs. the cost of the more expensive roofing material they passed up.
You have probably heard the phrase before, “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” This is a phrase that is generally true; if you want to succeed in business you often have to invest in equipment, technology, infrastructure, etc. The upfront investment is what allows you to make money later.
This phrase can be modified and adopted in the roofing industry: “You’ve got to spend money to save money.” At first, this may seem counter-intuitive, but by purchasing a roofing system or roofing contractor that is top of the line versus going with the cheapest alternative, you can reap benefits from that investment later. There are benefits to be gained from both a good roofing material, and a good roofing contractor that can save you money in the long run. Let’s look at the benefits of each.
Benefits of Better Roofing Materials: Spray Foam
We consider the best roofing material available to be sprayed polyurethane foam. Foam is a material that is a good fit in many different situations, and provides excellent long-term ROI. Foam is not right in every situation, and occasionally another material is a better fit in a given scenario. However, in most cases we believe foam is the undisputed best roofing option. Because we believe foam is the best, we will look at the benefits that sprayed polyurethane foam provides when installed on a commercial roof.
The main benefit that foam roofs provide all most other roof types is their insulation capabilities – their R-value. R-value is a measure of a material’s ability to prevent heat transfer, and sprayed polyurethane foam has the highest R-value available on the roofing market. When you install a foam roof, you can expect to save significant amounts of money on your energy bills.
In some cases, the cost-savings provided by foam can completely recoup the cost of the material very quickly. Check out this case study by Texas A&M, they recouped their cost in 5 years! After their break-even point, Texas A&M is essentially making money from their roof through cost savings. Now that is spending money to make money!
Sprayed polyurethane foam roofs have a life expectancy upwards of 40 years. The main reason their life expectancy isn’t longer is that they haven’t been around much longer than 40 years! This is still a product in its infancy, and yet many foam roofs have lasted over 40 years. If the roof is properly coated and protected, it is completely reasonable to expect a foam roof to last more than four decades. In that time, you may replace a single-ply or metal roof twice! The benefits of a longer roof life are many: Less money on installation/removal, less downtime in the plant, fewer headaches, and fewer safety mishaps due to construction.
Foam roofing products also tend to “hold up” better and require fewer repairs. They are a seamless system, so there are no seams that can fail and require repairs. They are also self-adhered, so there are no fasteners to back out or fail and require repairs. Both of these factors make foam a roofing option that requires fewer repairs than most other systems.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, foam has no seams and no fasteners, both of which are common points of failure on roofs. Because foam doesn’t have these features, there are fewer opportunities for leaks to appear. On top of that, foam roofs are simply stronger than other systems. They don’t fail when tree branches fall on them, they can withstand heavy foot traffic, and if a careless worker drops sharp tools, it usually won’t completely puncture the roof. Bottom line, when foam roofs are installed correctly, they should not leak for 10-15 years, until they are recoated. At the time of the recoat, the clock resets on expected leak resistance.
Foam roofs provide superior protection from the elements. They withstand hail, rain, snow, wind, and sunlight better than other roofing materials while keeping the inside of the building safe, dry, and at the correct temperature.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, there was devastating damage to the entire area. This was indeed a tragic event in our nation’s history. However, the buildings in the area that were covered with spray foam roofs remained intact through the storm and were nearly unscathed by the storm.
Finally, as all of the previous benefits interact together, foam roofs require less downtime to building owners than other roofing systems. They can be installed without shutting operations down, they last over 40 years before replacement is needed, they require very few repairs, they don’t leak as often as other roofs which can halt operations, and they survive storms that would cripple other roofing systems.
All in all, if you want a roofing system that is dependable, headache-free, and will be a valuable investment for your company, sprayed polyurethane foam is a great option for you to consider. The benefits greatly outweigh the cost, many times very early in the roof’s life.
Benefits of a Great Roofing Contractor: Insulated Roofing Contractors
Good roofing materials can save you money when installed, which is probably obvious to most of us. Likewise, a great roofing contractor can save you money when compared to the cheaper options that are available. Sure, they often cost more money to hire, but you very quickly recoup those costs. If they weren’t worth the premium price, why would people pay them for it, and how would they still be in business? They must be doing something right. So what is to be gained from hiring a premium roofing contractor? Plenty.
Contractors Notice Items Needing Repair
That is, a good contractor will notice items needing repair. If you get a quality contractor on your roof, be it for repairs, old roof removal, or new roof installation, if they see something is damaged on your roof, they can fix it. If they have a quality reputation, you can pretty well trust them without fear of being scammed. They may be on your roof to work on one thing, but can see something else that would have been a major repair in the future and go ahead and fix it.
Contractors Do It Right the First Time
You can try to make repairs yourself, or hire a cheap contractor to work on your roof for you, but how do you know the work is being done correctly? That’s right, you don’t. Fly-by-night contractors are everywhere, and they love to take your money, do a terrible job, and run. If you hire a quality contractor with a good reputation, however, you can put more trust in them and count on them to do it right, the first time, the way they would want it done on their own house. Quality contractors provide more security and peace of mind for your money.
Contractors Develop Ongoing Relationships
Again, one of the greatest advantages of using a high quality, premium contractor is the trust you can develop and peace of mind they provide. They have a strong reputation which you can bank on as being dependable, and they care about recurring business with you so they are most likely interested in doing good work. Both of these factors work together to ensure that contractors of this caliber are typically in it for the long haul. The relationship you build with them allows you to streamline your bidding process, allows them to become familiar with your roof, and allows both of you to understand what the other wants. Relationships are a great tool to promote quality work on your roof.
High quality roofing materials and premium contractors can cost significantly more than their cheaper counterparts, but there are many reasons to pay the extra money. They provide you great peace of mind, help you to know you are getting a great product the first time, and in many cases can actually save you money. We never recommend ruling out any roof system or contractor based on price alone, as there are reasons for the premium prices you will pay.