Perhaps the enduring legacy of the pandemic will be, “clean matters.” I have learned more about washing hands at age 69 than I did from all my personal hygiene classes in elementary school. We have all had to learn or relearn about proper selection and use of disinfectants as well as how to use them to clean surfaces of potentially harmful germs.
For roofing, we may look back and note the numerous changes left in the path of the pandemic and the recession it spawned. There is little doubt that the use of technology in all facets of your roofing business has changed for the better, and for good. I suspect the “Pandemic Recession,” like the Great Recession, will likewise leave behind changes in how you deliver roofing solutions, especially to your commercial clients.
Case in point, I believe the continuing emergence of roof coatings and liquid-applied membrane systems will be accelerated by the Pandemic Recession.
The commercial building market has been changing over the past decade with the explosive growth of mega-buildings to house factories for new-tech products or distribution for online resellers. These trends may continue, but what about the future of brick-and-mortar retail buildings? What will become of leased space that is being vacated by bankruptcies?
These changes may leave building owners with fewer choices when it comes to maintaining their building assets during a time when the cash to maintain the roof is scarce. Liquid-applied solutions can offer everything from temporary to sustainable solutions, and may be deployed in phases much easier than many other roofing systems.
In order for the building owner to get the most and best solution for their buildings, you, the roofing contractor, must be armed with the knowledge of available systems as well as the equipment and trained personnel to properly apply them. There is a wide variety of products and systems on the market; more and better than ever. If you have not been applying roof coatings systems lately, you should consider meeting with your coatings suppliers to catch up on things.
I am no expert on roof coatings, but have witnessed many products and systems that have come and gone over the years. I urge those of you who are just getting started with applying roof coatings to follow the manufacturers’ guidelines in all respects. They are, at least the good ones, well prepared to train you and your troops on all aspects of their system.
While there are many technical aspects of when, where, and how to apply roof coatings systems, the constants are the weather (application temperatures, potential precipitation, etc.) and substrate preparation. Again, I’m not the expert, but I do know that failing to thoroughly clean and prepare the substrate is the shortest route to a failed installation.
The good news for commercial roofing is there are many great solutions you can offer your building-owner clients. Fix, patch, clean, coat, or replace; you must be prepared to work with your client to craft the best solution. They will also need you when it comes time to repurpose their buildings to work for new classes of clients. What used to be a retail mall may soon become an office park or housing for university classes. Set yourself apart now by putting yourself forward as the go-to roofing contractor for roof coatings solutions.