Ch Ch Ch Changes

July 7, 2011

I just wanted to write a quick post here to let you know that we have moved this blog over to our web site .  I hope that you will continue to visit us there at www.heidler.com.

Joe Heidler, J. V. Heidler Roofing, the best roofers anywhere, roofing services

 

THANKS!

Joe Heidler

aka @ bestroofer

It’s About Freakin Time

June 29, 2011

While at the local permit office the other day, my estimator called with some awesome news.  In our area several “contractors” had recently been fined for breaking the building codes (some of the fines were up to $10,000.).  Some of them never applied for a permit at all.   Now I have to admit that I am not a big fan of government interference in business, but what these “contractors” were doing was not only wrong, it was life threatening.

Section 1510 of the International Building Code covers re-roofing applications. It states that “ Roof system removal and replacement, instead of re-cover applications, are required if an existing roof system is wet or has been re-covered.  ”  There are several reasons for this, but the main one is the additional weight that it adds to the structure.  Most structures are not designed for this additional load.  This can lead to building collapse under some circumstances.

Core Cut of Existing Roof

We try to get a “core cut” of an existing roof when doing an evaluation.  This is very important to determine what are the components of the existing roof.  The weight of the roof can vary greatly depending on the components and whether or not they are wet.  Wet roofing should ALWAYS be removed.

During the economic recession it has often been difficult to convince building owners that spending several thousands of dollars more, is the right thing to do.  Certain things remain true….You get what you pay for, and if you cut corners, sometimes, You get what you deserve.

Should We Gamble?

June 22, 2011

The weather has been very unsettled this week.  There is a chance of rain every day.  This poses a dilemma for us when we are deciding what to do with our roofing crews in the morning.

Maybe a prayer would help?

Should we send them out to tear off a roof over that very important customer’s house?  If a storm comes while the roof is uncovered it could cause thousands of dollars of damage and a very upset customer.  On the other hand, if a storm never comes, they will wonder why we are not there working on completing the project.  This is sometimes a very difficult decision to make in the early morning hours when we send our crews out to beat the summer heat.

Today the chances are that it will rain in some areas and not in others.  It looked like the weather was clear on the way in to work this morning, but on the radio they were saying that it is raining at the station.  Another tough decision will need to be made this morning.

Should we rip off that roof over the factory line?  It will take several hours to get everything removed down to the deck and cleaned up.  Then it will take several more hours to get it back into a dry condition.  These are the tough questions that our Crew Leaders and Operations Manager are faced with in weather like this.

What do you think?  Should we gamble?

Can’t Stand it Anymore Part 2

June 14, 2011

Property managers, facility managers, building owners, anyone who is in charge of a roof anywhere please pay attention.  I would like to save you some hassles and some money.

If you have an existing building that is going to get an addition or maybe even just a new penetration going through the roof (this could be a new curb, a vent pipe or an HVAC unit) make sure that you use  materials that are compatible to what is existing.  The materials should be of the same type and by the same manufacturer as what is on your existing building.  The company doing the work on your roof should be approved by the manufacturer as well.  If not, you risk voiding any warranty that you may have and the potential for roof leaks and damage increase significantly.

We installed a new roof on a building for a local property management company a few  years ago.  The owner of the building paid for a fifteen year manufacturer’s warranty.  Last year, during our yearly inspection, we noticed that a general contractor had installed a new mansard around the building.  This had to be tied in to the existing roof and the contractor had used a different manufacturer, thus voiding the roof warranty that had been provided.   A reputable contractor would not do this without informing the owner.

We were recently called out to make repairs on a roof that we are not an approved applicator of and had to politely decline the customer.  Most roofing companies are not approved by all of the manufacturer’s.

Keep your warranty in force and don’t risk costly roof leaks.

Proper Care of Old Metal

June 9, 2011

This is just another one of those things that make me go Huhhh?  They did what?

After my estimator, Chris, returned from looking at a beautiful church roof the other day, he had to show me these photos and what they had done to the metal on the building.  If they just would have kept up with the paint this would not have happened.

Rusty metal

Rusty tin ledge

At the same church, they had beautiful copper gutters and downspouts. I love the way that the old copper gets a patina to show the age.  I think that we were told that the building was built in the mid 1800′s.  Someone decided that they wanted to change the look of the gutters and they PAINTED them.

Painted copper

Painted Copper Gutter

Once the copper gutters are painted, they become very difficult to repair properly.  The paint also takes a very expensive piece of metal and changes it to look like something much more common.  In my opinion they were just painting the wrong things.

Let me know if you have any questions about the care of the metal on your roof or spouting.

Can’t Stand it Anymore Part 1

June 7, 2011

OK, I’ve put off writing this post for months, but now I just can’t take it anymore.  Some of my customers are making really bad mistakes with their roofs that are costing them big time.

It really boiled over yesterday, when we got a call about a new roof we had just installed. It hasn’t even been inspected by the Manufacturer yet.  The Manufacturer is going to issue a twenty year roof warranty.  Someone cut a huge hole in the roof to install an A/C unit and move a drain.   I believe that it was someone on their maintenance staff.

New TPO Roof

They thought that they knew what they were doing and were going to patch the roof with new white rubber.  Big problem… It’s not a rubber roof!  They just didn’t know better.  The roof is actually a heat welded membrane called TPO.   This would have completely voided the warranty on a new roof that they just spent thousands of dollars on.  Fortunately the guy didn’t have enough rubber to do the repair, so he called us to get more material.  We are taking care of repairing it properly (with the correct materials) for them today.

If you own or are responsible for buildings, like a property manager, facility manager, or work in building maintenance make sure that you are familiar with the materials that are used on your roof and the related warranties.  If you have any question, give me a call and I’ll see if I can help.

Disruption

April 29, 2011

Due to all of the severe weather that we have been experiencing in the country and the world, I wanted to let you know about a couple of things that we are seeing and a few things that I expect.

  • We are already seeing some disruptions in delivery of materials.
  • Price increases have been announced for most of the materials that we use.  Some have been attributed to oil prices, some have been attributed to the devastation in Japan, and some to the storms in the South.  Pretty much any excuse that they can find.
  • Some companies are saying that we might even start seeing  FORCE MAJEURE “the price is whatever it is when it is shipped”!!  I actually saw that in a price increase notice last week.  Now how do you plan for that??!!
  • I expect that we are going to continue to see rising materials costs through the summer months.
  • Longer lead times for materials are definitely on their way.
  • Relationships between contractors and suppliers are going to be extremely important.
  • I also expect that we may see some real material shortages.  These will mostly be due to reduced capacity after the prolonged recession and companies being slow to ramp back up.

Things will get back to normal eventually.  In the meantime, if you have a project that needs to be done this Spring or Summer, plan ahead and work together with your contractor to minimize any disruption.

Solar Nightmare

March 1, 2011

I love the concept of Solar Energy.  What’s not to like, we get energy from the sun instead of sending more dollars to the Middle East.  Sustainable, less pollution, save the planet…all of the wonderful things that we love.  What can drive you crazy though is the implementation.  Take a look at these pictures.

Right through the roof!

You are looking at a rack for a solar system that is being installed on a rubber membrane roof.  They are screwing these frames down through the roof to the plywood deck before they mount the solar panels.

Oh and they installed this in the wrong place.  They had to move it, after they had already placed several holes through the existing roof.  OOOOPS!

This roof is not really in very good shape.  It is over 15 years old and it should have been replaced before any solar system was installed on top of it.   Then, brackets should be used that can be properly flashed into the roofing system.

I can't believe someone would do this!

The solar installers plan here is to caulk the top of the screw heads after he screws down through the existing roof membrane.  This is a recipe for disaster.

The installer pressured the roof owner to get this done quickly so that he would not lose his tax incentives last year.  This year end rush is going to end up costing the owner major dollars.  The entire solar system is going to need to be removed so that the roof can be replaced in the near future.  This is going to significantly raise the cost of the roofing project.  Then the solar system is going to need to be re-installed correctly.  In his attempt to do the right thing, this owner is causing himself major headaches.

 

Before anyone considers installing solar panels on their roof, they should have their roof checked by a professional roofing contractor.  Save yourself the hassle and do it right the first time!

Roofing Capitalization vs. Repairs

December 29, 2010

I was thoroughly pleased last week, when an accountant told me that our customers could be writing off as an expense the cost for replacing their roofs.  I knew that repairs could be written off as an expense.  I was under the understanding that new roofs had to be depreciated over 39 or 49 years or some other outrageously long time that would be well past most roofs useful lives.  Now, if you have a slate roof installed, it should last much, much longer.  But most commercial/industrial buildings go with your typical roofing system, which may come with a  15 or 20 year warranty(others are available, but not typical).

So, I thought great news!  Someone has finally wised up in our government and made some adjustments.  The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has been trying to get this changed for years.   But I wanted to look into it a little further.  I asked Norm (my controller) to do a little bit or research.  He went to a fairly well authenticated source  IRS.gov. where he dug up this little guide

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/article/0,,id=231440,00.html

After thoroughly reading this, I had to read it again. (OK , I really had to read it several more times and ask hey what do you think this means?)

On page 5 after reading the requirements, I thought oh yeah they can definitely expense this. (Good news)

Then I got to page 13 again and saw “….some taxpayers claimed deductions for installing new roofs,……” (ummm OK)

“…..the courts have utilized inconsistent approaches.”  (Now that’s not very helpful)

It goes on to cite two specific cases that seem the same to me, but in one (Oberman Mfg. Co. v. Commissioner) expensing was approved and in the other (Tsakopoulos v. Commissioner) it was determined to be a Capital Expenditure.

How anyone can figure out these IRS regulations is beyond me.  My best advice is to rely on your trusted professionals, but hey, it may be worth looking into!

 

 

Thankfulness

November 24, 2010

Today seems like an appropriate time to let you know a few things that I am thankful for.

First of all I am very thankful for our customers.  Without them we would not exist.  I appreciate each and every challenge that we work with them to solve, even the difficult ones.

I am very thankful for our field employees.  What a terrific bunch of roofing professionals.  The quality of the work you do and the safe manner in which you do it, allows me to sleep well at night.

Thank you to all of the distributors who work with us.  From the people at the counter, the sales people, managers, credit departments, and the delivery drivers.

I also work with a great group of professionals that I am thankful for.  The accountants, lawyers, and insurance professionals.

Thanks to all of the Sales reps.  Your product knowledge is extremely helpful in allowing us to bring the best solution to our customers needs.

We also could not do what we do without the manufacturers of the products that we use.  And we use only the best, so we appreciate the quality that you put into the products that we install.

Thank you to all of our vendors, those that service our trucks, equipment, computers, and every other item that we use in our business.

Thanks to the associations that we belong to, especially those that do so much to help our community.  Speaking of our community, I feel truly blessed to be able to work in the City of Lancaster.  It is a beautiful and vibrant city.

A very important thank you goes out to my office staff.  They are the best group of people that I have ever had the privilege to work with.  Norm, Mel and Chris…..you are fantastic.

Thank you to my family for being there to support me.

Finally, thank you for reading the ramblings of on old roofer!


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