Commercial Building with trees displaying their red, autumn colors
Commercial Building behind trees displaying autumn colors

The calendar says that Autumn is still here, but commercial building owners should already be looking ahead to winter, according to Alliant Roofing owner Jeff Sitton.

Commercial roofs are typically out-of-sight, out-of-mind, says Sitton, but responsible owners recognize that preventive maintenance can save thousands of dollars. In other parts of Central Washington, when commercial roof inspections and repairs are not completed by Thanksgiving, it is too late in the season. Snow and cold temperatures keep us off the roof. Tri-Cities is unique, because we can repair commercial roofs year-round.

Even a mild winter puts wear and tear on a roof. The cumulative effect of slight annual damage will add up eventually to a worst-case scenario. When things get bad, a roof can be devastated by leaks, and the potential for a costly disruption in service is always there.

Business owners do not always know what they are looking for, Sitton says. That is where we come in. A smart owner is really paying for one thing — experience. They want to hire a company that knows where the leaks are and can foresee future problems.

Alliant Roofing always tries to look ahead. When you get the wrong roofer, it will not be long before you are spending good money after bad. For example, when an inexperienced contractor repairs a TPO roof with hot tar, it will hold for about a year. Then, the tar eats through the membrane roofing material. You end up with a worse problem than with what you started. A simple repair turns into an expensive replacement. Every flat roof is different, and a good inspection will recognize those differences.

Jeff Sitton, Alliant Roofing Company

That sounds simple enough, but turnover in the roofing industry is startlingly high. The only requirement for a new company is a business license. It is a transient industry, with as many as 30% of roofing contractors closing up shop every year.

The way you establish yourself in this business is to provide positive experiences for customers,” says Sitton. “Otherwise, it is just buyer beware. Experienced business owners figure out who the good roofers are. In truth, there are only a few roofing companies in Tri-Cities equipped to do things the right way. We are one of them.

A typical commercial roofing repair will start at around $1,000. Even a more expensive repair is an investment that will save tens of thousands of dollars in the long run, preventing further damage to the roof, the building interior and its costly contents.

A business owner is wasting his money when he hires somebody who does not know what they are doing, Sitton concludes. We have experienced, knowledgeable people from top to bottom at Alliant Roofing. I have foremen with more than 30 years in the roofing industry, and all my roofers have been with me for eight to ten years.

Any final tips for business owners heading into the winter of 2014?

Yes. Just because you do not see damage on a flat roof, does not mean there is none. There were several significant windstorms during the summer, and they caused a lot of roof damage. Business owners need to have an inspection to determine whether they have an insurable claim, before winter starts.

Finally, while 300 days of sun a year make the Tri-Cities a great place to live, membrane flat roofs deteriorate much faster in heat and direct sunlight. I hope folks take that into consideration.

Is Your Building’s Roof Ready for Winter?

Call Alliant Roofing at (509) 735-5065 to schedule your commercial roof inspection. Our experienced commercial roofing teams will inspect and repair your roof, before winter arrives.