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Saving Money On Commercial Roof Maintenance

Saving Money On Commercial Roof Maintenance

How To Save Money On Commercial Roof Maintenance 


We live in a society where service and maintenance are written with capital letters. Insurance companies give discounts to participants’ in-group plans who promise to get involved in preventative maintenance. We change the oil in our engines routinely to prevent premature engine failures. We periodically paint and clean the exteriors of our buildings, bridges and other structures to prevent rust or wood decay.

When it comes to our roofs, however, we are negligent. We should realize that a roof needs as much or more maintenance than any other building component. The roof is our first line of defense against the elements: sun, water, ice and snow. Despite this, most of us are not willing to routinely inspect and practice preventative maintenance to extend the life expectancy of a roof.

Most of us think of a roof as an asphaltic surface that may get some blisters and some splits and some water here and there – big deal! But a roof is much more than that. A commercial or industrial roof consists of a steel deck, insulation and a waterproofing membrane. Individually, each component will not provide us with the weatherproofing that is needed. But together, they become an integrated roof assembly that can protect your building for many years.

As a commercial roof ages, the waterproofing membrane begins to deteriorate and leak. Without proper maintenance and care, we can also lose the value of the insulation and the physical integrity of the deck, which is the most costly to replace.

The staining of two or three ceiling tiles would signal the presence of a small leak to most, but a greater threat may exist. Insulation on top of the deck may be absorbing water like a sponge, wicking and spreading the moisture into a much larger area.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you have a qualified roofing contractor make routine inspections at least twice a year and perform preventative maintenance services. Maintenance inspections may only require the cleaning of roof drains that are mysteriously clogged with all manner of debris…beer cans, tennis balls, wood and even animal bones. Animal bones are often found on roofs after they have been picked clean by birds. The bones are light and easily flushed with flowing water into the lower areas where the drains are located and can cause immense problems.

The IRS ruled several years ago that a new commercial roof can be capitalized over a period of 30 years. Therefore, it is more important than ever to maintain your roof, so that you can extend the life expectancy and receive the maximum value for your roof.

Questions you should ask before choosing a contractor

1. Can you provide a list of former customers as references?
In addition, ask for bad references. Any contractor can deliver a list of good references – not all projects go as planned. You will find out how the contractor performs when things do not go well.

2. Can you provide me with a current copy of your insurance certificate? In particular, copies of liability coverage and workers’ compensation certificates. Share the insurance certificate with your insurance agent for coverage and validity.

3. Can you provide me with copies of proposed assemblies and details from the manufacturers’ published literature?

4. Will you furnish me with a copy of the proposed warranty?

5. Will you submit a maintenance program for the new roof system?
Most roofing contractors will not offer a maintenance program for your roof once it is installed. Regular inspections of the new roof will allow for potential problems to be caught early and remedied before they cause substantial damage.

6. Can you provide a list of the manufacturers with which your company is a licensed or approved applicator? Most roof systems require special application expertise to achieve lasting quality.

7. What type of safety training do you provide for your workers and what industry education programs have they attended? The best roofing contractor is only as good as the workers who install the roof system. An emphasis on safety ultimately lowers the cost
of doing business, and further assures that your job will go smoothly.

8. Who will inspect your crew’s work after they have installed your new roof? A good roofing contractor should have a quality assurance program. Use third party inspection (RRC, Manufacturer’s representative, etc.)

9. Are you a current member of any local and national roofing associations, i.e. the NRCA, C.S.I., NAHB?

10. Are you an Energy Star provider?
We at Pfister Maintenance will gladly assist you in accomplishing these objectives by providing a cost-effective preventative maintenance program.

Dieter Pfisterer – CEO Pfister Maintenance, Inc., Paterson, N.J

Call: Toll free 1-888-393-0043 (available 24 hours day and night)



When to Use Metal/Standing Seam Roofing

When to Use Metal/Standing Seam Roofing

As a roofer in New Jersey, or even just someone who manages property, you likely already know about standing seams for metal roofs, but simply holding knowledge differs greatly from knowing when you should use it and why. If you’re considering implementing a standing seam roof, you should know that new technology and advancements make this type of roof particularly advantageous.

When Esthetics Matter

Standing seam roofing is beautiful, thanks to its clean, bold appearance. The ingenious design of these roofs often feature raised seams, but they don’t have any exposed screws, giving it a smooth and ridged appearance that looks more decorative than other types of roofing.

The beauty doesn’t end here; there’s much more to see. You’ll also appreciate the ability to choose from a wide array of standard and customized colors. Coils are also available in matching shades. You may pay a premium or wait a little longer to access them. Choose the right match, and it will add to your home’s and or factory curb appeal—something that’s important for sellers.

When You Want to Avoid Leaks

The fact that standing seam roofs don’t contain any screws is beneficial in another way—it also reduces the risk of leaks. When spring rains or bad weather arrives, you’ll stand a better chance of getting through it without costly repairs.

When you Don’t Want to Install a New Roof Again Next Year

Another positive detail about this type of roof installation is that it’s dependable. Expect most installations to last for at least a decade, if not more. This is because these roofs are commonly constructed from higher grades of steel and paint than your typical corrugated steel roof.

Most corrugated steel roofing is crafted using 29-gauge steel, but standing seam roofs are made out of 26-gauge G-90 galvanized steel called Galvalume, instead. These roofs can also be produced from aluminum, which is remarkable if you live near a coastal zone; it won’t deteriorate or rust from the high concentration of salt in the ecosystem. A mid-panel stiffening technique makes these roofs even hardier, especially when compared to corrugated or ribbed metal roofs.

When Going Green Matters

In today’s world, many individuals are “going green.” Thanks to standing seam roofing, they’re ready to enjoy even better energy efficiency. Standing seam roofing prevents ice dams all throughout the cold winter months by providing an extra insulating layer against ice and snow.

When Longevity Is Important

Roofer New Jersey

While you will pay more to install a standing seam roof—expect it to cost between 25% and 35% more than metal shingles, or about $8.00 to $13.00 per sq. ft.—it will pay for itself when it comes to longevity. By the time you factor in items like building permits, components, labor, and workmanship warranties, as well as the benefits listed above, you’ve made an investment that’s well worth every penny you put in.

The extra investment goes to features like non-standard lengths, assorted colors, and the fact that it isn’t made out of low-end, thin galvanized steel. This robust construction keeps your roof in place and in one piece for much longer than a traditional roof. It’ll stand up to whatever the environment throws at it through the years.

This blog contains just a few of the very best reasons to use standing seam roofing, but it certainly isn’t exhaustive. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide when it’s right for your project. Need more information? Contact Pfister Roofing today for a quote on your next project.

The Evolution of Solar Roofing Technology

The Evolution of Solar Roofing Technology

You might be surprised to discover that solar panels can be installed on any type of roof. In fact, you can even install discreet-looking solar panels tiles on your roof even if you’re doing a historic roof restoration project. The fact is, solar panel roofing has evolved quite a bit over the past decade or so. Today, installing solar panels on your roof really benefits both you and the environment.

The concept of using solar power as a source of energy has been around for centuries. Even ancient Roman bathhouses in the first century had massive south-facing windows that maximized the amount of sunlight entering the area. However, the first photovoltaic cell, which could convert solar power into enough energy to run household appliances, wasn’t invented until much later, in 1954. Since then, solar panel roofing has increased dramatically in both popularity and use.

Some of the first solar panel roofs featured massive solar panels that could be tilted to catch the sun’s rays. Modern versions are much more discreet. The design has also improved; today’s solar tiles blend in so well with your existing roof that they are barely noticeable from the ground. The well-known Tesla company revolutionized this further by creating solar panel roofing tiles in four distinct designs:

  • Terracotta
  • Rugged slate
  • Smooth
  • Distressed wood

Each version lets customers install tiles that blend in with their roof regardless of the type of roof they have.

Benefits of Solar Roofing

Solar panels and tiles for your roof can be a bit pricey to install. You can expect to pay approximately $20,000 for a 350-square-foot solar-shingle layer and a bit less for a large solar roofing panel, but the long-term benefits of installing solar technology on your roof are immense.

First, using solar energy to power your home helps minimize your household’s carbon footprint. Solar power is a renewable energy source, so we can’t effectively use it all up and run out. It allows you to power your home without creating pollution that contributes to global warming.

Solar energy is also a lot more reliable than other sources of energy. The sun rises and sets on a daily basis. Even though the amount of clouds in the sky can affect how much energy the panels collect, it’s fairly easy to project how much sunlight you’ll get in your location during each season.

The Evolution of Solar Roofing TechnologyAdditionally, using solar panels to power your home provides you with a bit of extra security. Solar power isn’t something that can be purchased or controlled; it’s free for anyone to use.

Using solar could also save you a lot of money in the long run. It’s estimated that installing a solar-shingle layer on your roof can cut your electricity bill by as much as 40 to 70 percent.

Whether you have a historic home that needs to meet specific exterior requirements or a home with custom metal roofing, it’s easy to find a solar roofing option that fits your needs. Before you have your roof repaired or have a new roof installed, take the time to consider the benefits that solar roofing provides. For more information on the innovations in solar roofing, feel free to reach out to Pfister Roofing today.

Roof Damage You Can’t See: When to Bring in a Professional Commercial Roofer

Roof Damage You Can’t See: When to Bring in a Professional Commercial Roofer

When you think about the roofing materials used over the roof on your commercial building, it is not uncommon to expect them to last a long time. Depending on the product used, most building owners expect a high-quality commercial roof to last a minimum of five years and, sometimes, as many as twenty-five years.

However, roofs are exposed to all sorts of elements, from rain, snow, and ice to high winds and extreme temperatures. Mother Nature can put a dent into the expected lifespan of all sorts of roofing materials and could shorten it. In addition, certain types of roof damage can be difficult to notice if you do not know what you are looking for to determine the current condition of the roof.

To illustrate, after strong thunderstorms and high winds you do a visual inspection of the roof and everything appears to have survived the storm without any damage. However, what you do not know or cannot see is a small crack in caulking or void around the roof vents and other penetrations, where some water has already gotten inside.

Then, a few months later, after several rain showers, you notice discoloration on your ceiling tiles and realize you have a leaky roof. As you can see, even the smallest areas on the roof could easily be missed when there has been actual damage.

To identify roof damage, you need to perform regular inspections after any major weather system. Take a look at the roofing materials and look for signs of cracks, peeling, blistering, curling up, damage to caulk/roofing tar, and so on. Pay careful attention to areas around the perimeter, as these areas are where most difficult-to-see damage begins.

Other signs there could be damage to a roof include:

  • Signs of mold, mildew, or moss growing on the roof. This indicates excess moisture under roofing systems.
  • Standing pools of water on the roof. When water cannot drain away and sits on top of roofing materials, it can cause damage.
  • Loose roofing tiles, membranes, or other materials. If you notice various areas of the roof is loose and slide easily, there is a problem.
  • Missing sections of roofing materials. If pieces of roofing materials are missing or it no longer looks uniform, the roof has been damaged.
  • Blisters/bubbles forming under roofing materials. Roofing materials are meant to remain flush and, when they start to form blisters or bubbles, this means there could be water damage.

Commercial Roofing NY

If you notice any damages during your visual inspection, you need to get them repaired immediately to prevent further damage, which can lead to more costly repairs. If you have suspicions there might be damage but are not entirely sure, contact one of our professional commercial roofers to arrange a detailed inspection.

Fixing damages sooner, rather than later, not only saves you money but also prevents costly interior damages. Call Pfister Roofing at 973-569-9330 today to schedule your commercial roof inspection!

Seven Must-Dos to Prepare Commercial Property for the Winter

One way commercial property is just like residential property is that it has to be properly prepared for the winter months, especially if it is located in an area prone to harsh winters.

Cold temperatures and winter storms can severely damage commercial property, resulting in costly repairs and possible disruption of tenant business or decreases in the property’s value. Even your vacant properties need to be properly winterized to protect your investment and keep it in top condition for showings.

For commercial property owners who need to ensure their stores, offices, and other buildings are protected during the winter months, these commercial property winterization tips can help:

  • Even if your property is vacant, keep your heaters on a low setting. Leaving your heater off during the winter months can cause the pipes to freeze and break. A small winter heating bill is a lot less expensive than the cost of repairing broken pipes.
  • Check your roof and make sure there are no problems. Winter storms can often loosen tiles or shingles and cause other damage to your roof. Loose or damage shingles can result in leaks that can cause severe damage to your property, including mold damage threatening to human health. If you have roof damage to your commercial property, get in contact with a commercial roof repair company immediately.
  • Regularly inspect your property. Catching damage early will allow you to repair it before it worsens and becomes much more expensive. Being on good terms with the neighbors can help, as they can call and alert you if damage has taken place.
  • Eliminate drafts. Gaps around windows and doors let cold air into your property during the winter, running up heating bills for your tenants or you if you occupy your commercial property. Making sure all exterior doors and windows have weather stripping and caulking, and sealing gaps can help eliminate energy-wasting gaps.
  • Shut down irrigation systems. If your commercial property has sprinklers, you’ll need to properly winterize them to ensure damage doesn’t occur during the winter. Drain the irrigation system of water and shut down the control box until spring arrives.
  • Clean your gutters. Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and other debris that may have fallen during the autumn months. Clogged gutters can lead to water accumulating on your roof, which can cause leaks and expensive water damage.
  • If your commercial property has a parking lot, head off accidents by keeping it clear of snow, and sprinkle salt or other material on it to increase vehicle traction and prevent accidents. A clear, safe parking lot is more appealing to customers and potential tenants.

Pfister Roofing is a family-owned roofing business specializing in commercial roofing and roofing renovation for churches and historic buildings. For roofing projects that require a high level of skill and planning, Pfister Roofing is the choice generations of customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut have trusted.

Four Church Roof Maintenance Tips Every Congregation Needs

Even the Lord’s house needs a little work from time to time. Religious organizations can improve the longevity of their roofs with a little preventative maintenance, and when the time comes for extensive repairs or replacement, or historic roof restoration, hiring a contractor with specialized experience is the right call.


Historic roof restoration

Church roofs are a lot different than standard residential roofs, making repair and installation work quite complex. Church roofs often have architectural features like steeples and parapets that pose challenges to roofers. Historic buildings may pose even more difficulties, as contractors may need to use specialized materials to maintain the church’s appearance.

While it takes an experienced roofer to perform extensive repair and roof replacement services for a church, just about anyone can do basic maintenance tasks that will help prolong the life of a church roof. The following tasks can help churches better maintain their roofs:

  • Get to know your roof – Church roofs typically come in two types: water-shedding roofs and waterproof roofs. Waterproof roofs are typically flat or low-pitched roofs that are built to withstand water. Standing water on these roofs can eventually cause damage, however. Regular inspection of your roof can allow you to identify and get rid of pools of standing water. Water-shedding roofs are designed to ensure water runs off the roof at an angle into gutters. Water-shedding roofs are often made of waterproof materials, but, if shingles go missing, the roof may be damaged. Again, regular inspection and maintenance is necessary.
  • Know your shingles – Roofers use a variety of types of shingles for church roofs. Common roofing materials include metal, asphalt, slate, and clay. Some inexpensive roofing materials such as asphalt shingles may have a useful life of just 15 years, while other more expensive materials like slate shingles can last for decades. When describing your needs to a roofing expert, it pays to know some basic facts about your roof.
  • Know the warning signs – Regular inspection of your church’s roof and its gutters can help you catch many problems early. For example, discoloration or dirty streaks appearing on interior or exterior church walls can indicate a clogged or leaky gutter. Up on top of the roof, dislocated and broken shingle tiles indicate roof damage, as do nails that have deteriorated. Vegetation growth can also be a sign of a problem.
  • Clean those gutters – Regular gutter cleaning is perhaps the most important thing you can do to extend the life of your church’s roof. Keeping gutters clean helps prevent water from accumulating and damaging your roof. Repainting pipes and metal structures is also important to prevent rust.

Commercial roof repair

If the roof of your church shows signs of substantial damage, get in contact with a professional.. Church roofing repair contractors can provide the expertise needed for complex church roof restoration and replacement projects, especially jobs involving historic buildings with very specific requirements.

Pfister Roofing has more than 30 years of experience in commercial roof repair, including church roof repair and replacement. Our roofing experts are knowledgeable concerning the techniques and materials used in historic church buildings, and can provide expert workmanship in repairing and replacing roofs for these architectural treasures.

Six Reasons Why Fall Is the Season for Roof Repair

Roof work is no easy task. Temperatures, weather conditions, and height all work together to make fixing or replacing a roof a dangerous, difficult job. If you’re considering replacing or repairing your roof, fall is typically the best time to hire professionals for roof installation or repair services.

Roof installation

If you’re considering replacing or repairing your roof, it’s best to wait for the autumn season for the following reasons:

  • End of the stormy season. Severe weather events that damage roofs are far more likely during the spring and summer. Fall is the ideal time to assess any damage that may have occurred during the stormy months and determine what roofing services are necessary. Drier weather during the autumn months makes them ideal for roof work, as rain can cause delays in roofing work and impact its quality.
  • Conditions are perfect. Experts agree that roofing is best installed when the temperature is between 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is particularly true if your roofers are installing asphalt shingles, the most commonly used type of roofing material. Temperate temperatures help facilitate better thermal sealing of asphalt shingles, ensuring that they firmly adhere to the roof. Also, cooler fall temperatures make work more comfortable for the professionals installing or repairing your roof.
  • Cold winter temperatures make shingles more difficult to work with. When temperatures are cold, shingles tend to become brittle and more likely to break when roofers are nailing them to the roof. They often have to put aside their roofing guns and hand nail shingles, causing delays and higher costs.
  • Proper sealing. By getting the work done in autumn, new shingles have enough time to adequately bond to the roof before wet winter weather arrives. This helps them better insulate your home from cold temperatures and moisture.
  • Storm season may start back up in winter. Winter storms can exacerbate existing damage to a roof, causing holes to get larger or leaks to worsen. If you live in an area prone to snow, the weight of snowfall on an already-compromised roof can cause expensive damage.
  • Save on heating. By reroofing in the autumn, you’ll be able to reap the benefit of a better insulated home in the cold winter months. A new roof can help reduce heating bills, helping to offset a small part of the cost of renovations or repairs.

Repairing your roof

While some homeowners may think that waiting for the winter or spring will result in lower prices and greater availability, that may not be true, as many roofers switch to other work during those months or take vacations.

Pfister Roofing provides residential and commercial roof installation and repair in New Jersey and surrounding areas. Whether it’s a slate roof, a tile roof, or a metal roof, Pfister Roofing will ensure your repair or new installation will be of the highest quality. The company has 30 years of experience in providing quality custom roof work, and it specializes in historic roof restoration.

Help! My Commercial Roof Is Leaking. Should I Get It Replaced?

When a roof starts leaking, it’s time to be concerned. Even “small” leaks can cause serious problems if left untreated, as the water getting through will eventually cause serious damage to the building’s interior, compromising the structure’s integrity and possibly leading to the growth of dangerous mold, along with other problems.

For many businesses and historical sites, the cost of replacing an entire roof, even if it’s leaking, is an investment they can’t afford to make. How do you know when a leaky roof can be repaired, or if it needs to be replaced entirely?

Commercial roof leaking

Contact the Professionals

Commercial roofing can be made from a wide variety of material and constructed in a wide variety of ways, which means there’s no “one size fits all” way to spot assess whether or not a roof needs to be repaired or replaced due to leaks. If a building has insurance, then contacting the insurance carrier is the first step – not only will they be able to tell you what’s covered under the policy, but they’ll also have a listing of the materials the roof is made from, which will help with the professional assessment.

Once the insurance company has been contacted, it’s time to speak with a repairman. Contacting a repairman isn’t a commitment to either repairing or replacing a roof. The first thing a licensed roof repair specialist or engineer will do is come out and assess the damage. This will involve visual inspection, as well as taking core samples of the roof to get a look at how much damage has been done to the roof’s interior or conduct an infra red scan to detect moisture.

More Than Meets the Eye

When it comes to roof leaks, it’s important to remember that not all damage may be visible to the eye. A leak that has just recently appeared on the inside of the building may not be new – it may be a small leak that has existed for some time, and which has caused water to collect inside the interior of the roofing material. If this has happened, the damage may be extensive and may not be able to be fixed with just a simple repair.

Roof Repair Tips

Another thing to remember is that many repair options are only short-term solutions, or are not compatible with every type of roofing material. For example, roofing cement can stop leaks in the short term and is fairly easy to apply, but it also shrinks over time and becomes brittle when exposed to ultraviolet radiation (like that found in sunlight).

In order to make sure you find the right solution, it is very important to consult with a professional who has experience working with a wide variety of commercial and historical roofs, and who has the expertise to know which solutions work best for the kind of roof your building has since many repair products may not be compatible with most roofs.

Want more information? Pfister Roofing’s commercial roofing installation and repair specialists are here to help. Contact us today at 973-569-9330.