A new roof is a steep investment, and its role in protecting the rest of your building means that if it’s not done right the first time, the consequences can be dire.
However, most facilities professionals don't have time to do double duty all day on the jobsite. That's where roof consultants and observers come in, explains Michael Clark, President of Michael E. Clark and Associates.
Each plays an important role in making sure your roof is specified, installed and maintained correctly from the beginning.
The Role of Roof Observers
"The roof observer's vigilance helps keep construction on track with milestones, deadlines and the budget," Clark adds.
Roof observers will commonly provide not just written reports, but also photographs, measurements and even material samples to put your mind at ease about your re-roofing or re-cover project staying within budget and meeting warranty requirements.
“If you were to build out what roof observers do, they observe and report,” Clark explains. “They contribute significantly to long-lived, successful roof installations.”
Roof observers make sure that the requirements of the plans, specification and submittals are met and can often make the difference between an average, good or great project, Clark says.
The Role of Roof Consultants
Roof consultants, by comparison, can be by your side throughout the entire process by helping you make an unbiased decision about determining the best roof for your facility, setting up a maintenance plan, identifying leaks and other performance deficiencies, and planning for the eventual repair and replacement of your roof.
Registered roof consultants typically provide these services:
Investigations: Consultants will study your roof for potential failures and identify anywhere where your roof’s performance is lagging. They can also provide valuable information for your roofing references that can impact future projects, including taking inventory of rooftop equipment, investigating moisture infiltration and taking samples of roofing material to determine whether your next project will have to include expensive asbestos abatement.
Specs: Because roof consultants aren’t affiliated with a manufacturer or installer, they can give you advice on roofing solutions based purely on years of experience with all sorts of roof systems. Roof consultants can help design systems like tapered insulation and perform calculations for important elements like interior drains, gutters and scuppers.
Construction management: Roof consultants can provide valuable advice throughout the construction process.
Maintenance: Many manufacturers will void your warranty if you fail to comply with the maintenance requirements of your new roof. Roof consultants can set up a maintenance plan that meets the manufacturer requirements and ensures your roof’s continued performance.
Repair vs. replacement: There is sometimes a thin line between continuing to fix an old roof vs. replacing it with a new roof. A roof consultant helps you decide which is the best fit for your facility.
Quality assurance: Roof consultants make sure the roof is installed according to the requirements of the manufacturer and the original plans.