Storm season is always unpredictable as no one knows when the next hailstorm or tornado will strike. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic will only add to the uncertainty of storm season. Roofing contractors must face the challenge of managing staff and staying organized to keep up with the growing volume of work while also prioritizing the health and safety of workers, customers and communities.

The 2020 storm season is already underway and will be one of the busiest years to date. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be more active than usual, according to an outlook released by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project. The group also anticipates an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.

Here are some best practices you can follow to succeed in a volatile storm and COVID-19 climate.

1. Set Safety Guidelines

While some states are beginning to slowly reopen, others remain under “Shelter-in-Place” orders. In states where roofing is deemed to be an essential business, roofing contractors must understand how to operate within those confines. If stopped and questioned by authorities, contractors may be required to show validation that they are an essential worker. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) provides a template on its COVID-19 resources page that roofing contractors can use to create letters stating they have the authorization to be out working during shelter-in-place orders.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging organizations and individuals to follow best practices, including practicing good hand hygiene, being mindful of meetings and travel, safely handling food and staying home if you feel sick. It’s important to practice safe social distancing and limit person-to-person interaction. 

The roofing industry presents a lower risk of COVID-19 exposure than other occupations. However, below is a list of some of the important basic measures to take to minimize the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 or other viruses to help you, your co-workers and family members remain safe and healthy:

  • Wash your hands regularly for a minimum of 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60%. Try to avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a cloth surgical mask or covering for your nose and mouth to prevent spreading respirable droplets.
  • Use an EPA disinfectant, described on List N, Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, to clean and decontaminate door handles, tools, equipment, common surfaces, toilets, vehicle interiors and other surfaces that workers or the public touch to minimize the spread of the virus. Check with the manufacturer of electrical or other powered tools and equipment for cleaning and disinfecting procedures so those procedures will not harm the tools or equipment.
  • Do not share tools unless absolutely necessary to do your work and use common tools only when disinfected between uses by various workers.

2. Utilize Touchless Tools

Utilizing technology will not only allow you to practice safe social distancing, but it will also increase your efficiency and give you the ability to work anytime, anywhere, enabling you to provide the best customer service possible. With technology, all facets of your business can be touchless. It will also help you manage projects quickly during the busy storm season.

Contractors can implement a virtual, no-touch sales process with the help of platforms that can create an accurate 3D model of a property. Technology allows you to transform smartphone photos of any home into a fully measured, customizable 3D model.

With an online platform, you can effectively manage accounts safely and remotely, as well as run your business more efficiently. With 24/7 access, you can place orders after hours or during the weekend. Additionally, an online platform allows managers to connect with their staff and keep them safe while practicing social distancing.

3. Partner with the Right Provider

With an increasing demand for supplies during storm season and COVID-19-related delays, it’s more important than ever to have a stocked inventory of supplies and products. According to an April 7, 2020 NRCA survey, about one-fifth (22.2%) of roofing contractors said their business was experiencing trouble with material delivery, trucking, or other material sourcing interruptions.

Thanks to Beacon Building Products’ extensive nationwide network and relationships with manufacturers, Beacon customers know they have access to what they want when they need it.

Plan Now to be Prepared

With a busy storm season ahead and the continuing COVID-19 crisis, contractors must be prepared for anything. Beacon Building Products’ customers have access to Beacon PRO+, a unique digital platform like no other in the industry. With Beacon PRO+, contractors can utilize STORM+ maps and analysts to help them plan ahead and connect with customers. Additionally, the ability to offer homeowner financing can help you sell the job. Beacon PRO+ allows you to effectively manage your account safely and remotely, and using Beacon’s PRO+ suite of efficiency tools, you can track business anywhere from estimate to order.