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Protecting Commercial Roofing from Mold and Algae

Protecting Commercial Roofing from Mold and Algae https://pbroofingco.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Mold-vs-Mildew-Whats-the-difference-and-what-should-you-do-San-Antonio-Roofing.jpg 1920 1200 PB Roofing PB Roofing https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/ee28a6949ea6af745b0ddec55b8b9ce1?s=96&d=mm&r=g

When leaves, dirt, and other natural debris accumulate on your commercial roof and water collects, it provides an ideal environment for the growth of living things. Some roof coatings and membranes contain biocides (used to kill or control the spread of harmful microorganisms like bacteria and viruses) that prevent the growth of mold, mildew, moss, and algae.

Excessive moisture can cause problems, especially in areas of the roof that receive little sunlight, they are more likely to reproduce. Not only does this cause wear and tear on the roof, but it can also threaten the safety of roofing workers because algae is naturally slippery.

  • Spot the Difference: Algae appears as green or black slime that covers the surface of flat roofs uniformly. In contrast, mold initially spreads out in patchy areas before connecting and fully covering the roof. Mold growth is less common than algae, and its presence on the underside of a flat roof indicates a severe leak.

Health and Interior Property Threats

Mold and algae on roofs can speed up deterioration and create health risks. Mold growth can lead to indoor air quality problems, potentially causing respiratory issues and other health problems for people in the building. It’s crucial to tackle mold and algae growth to prevent damage and maintain a healthy indoor environment.

  • 5 Signs of Mold Growing on a Commercial Roof
    1. Water Stains on Ceiling
    2. Musty Smells
    3. Crumbling Drywall and Peeling Paint
    4. Dark Spots
    5. Drafts

3 Ways Commercial Roofs Contribute to Mold Growth

The importance of factors like rainfall, humidity, and regional climate emphasizes the necessity of specialized drainage systems for effective mold and algae prevention. Flat roofs often have low areas and negative slopes, making it difficult for even the most effective drainage systems to prevent standing water. This standing water places additional strain on your commercial roof and, when combined with the damaging effects of mold, can lead to significant damage, potentially requiring a premature roof replacement.

  1. Roof Slope: Flat roofs pretty much have no slope. They do have a bit of a pitch to help the water run towards the drainage system. If there was not enough pitch created upon installation, it would lead to pooling water.
  2. Insulation Systems: These are often used on commercial flat roofs to help direct water to the drainage system. When they are installed correctly, they prevent the growth of mold and other forms of fungus.
  3. Roofing Materials: While commercial roofs are made to be water-resistant, they cannot stand up well against pooling water for long periods.

Where is it Coming From?

Identify the source of moisture that may be promoting microorganisms or plant growth. Have your commercial roof inspected by professionals for signs of water intrusion. Also, plumbing leaks or interior condensation can be possible causes.

Addressing plumbing issues, ensuring adequate ventilation, or investing in a commercial-grade dehumidifier can help alleviate the musty odor commonly found in buildings with mildew problems. If you spot mold on a wall or wooden surface, it’s important to research the most effective solutions for addressing this issue.

3 Effective Solutions for Mold and Algae Prevention

  1. Moisture Control and Environmental Management: Proper moisture control is essential for preventing mold and algae from growing on commercial roofs. Unregulated humidity can cause moisture issues, which create an environment suitable for mold and algae growth. Therefore, managing the environment is crucial in prolonging the lifespan of commercial roofs and reducing these risks.
  1. Fungicide: The only way to effectively remove mold from your commercial roof is to kill it with a fungicide. Bleach is effective but must be applied thoroughly. Bleach can also damage surrounding landscaping and attack certain building materials. For this reason, you should consider disinfectant products that are safe to use and non-corrosive. Regardless of which product you choose, leftover spores can become another mold problem, so professional application is always recommended to ensure complete removal.
  1. Dehumidifying: If your environment is particularly humid, or if moisture has built up from a water leak, you may need a dehumidifier to prevent mold from forming. This is not a solution to eliminating existing mold, but it can slow mold growth by drying the area.

Regular Maintenance is the Key

It is crucial to conduct regular roof inspections and maintenance to prevent the growth of mold and algae. Key aspects such as addressing low spots, and negative slopes, and ensuring proper drainage functionality are important in controlling the spread of mold and algae.

PB Roofing’s THREATCheck

One enhanced visual inspection to identify deficiencies and provide recommendations for repairs or replacement. Our Plus Package shares the same features but with an added bi-annual inspection plan. Photo report included.

Any existing issues with your commercial roof will be identified and effectively repaired. Even minor concerns have the potential to escalate into significant challenges. Prioritizing the maintenance of your flat roof after the forces of winter can reduce the likelihood of significant damage.

Resources

Top Things You Should Know About Mold in Commercial Buildings (Sanalife)

Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings Guide (US EPA)

A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace (OSHA)

Wind Effect on Commercial Roofs

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Wind Effect on Commercial Roofs

During periods of sustained, powerful winds, it is important for building managers and owners to recognize that their roofing systems may go through significant stress. The strong winds typically associated with transitional weather events and winter storms have the potential to cause severe damage to flat roofs. Wind creates negative pressure that exerts an upward force on flat roofs, causing structural stress.

To assess the extent of wind damage to flat roof structures, it is essential to consider six key factors and four primary wind threats, along with the likely damage they can inflict on susceptible areas of commercial roofing.

6 Key Factors

  1. Wind Speed: The intensity and velocity of the wind gusts impacting your roof can influence the extent of the damage. Increased wind speed is directly related to the potential for greater damage. Nevertheless, you would be mistaken to assume that only extremely high wind speeds hurt the condition of your roofing system. Wind speeds as low as 40 to 50 mph can generate sufficient force to dislodge or damage edge flashing or fascia. “Wind has a variety of considerations to take into account. It can knock a person over, blow supplies around, and cause a job-site to be highly dangerous. Flying projectiles can do some damage to workers and structures in the area. Debris can impact vulnerable systems by damaging wires, railings, anchor points, and more.” (Simplified Safety).
  2. Wind Duration: The possibility of roof damage is not solely determined by the wind speed but also by its duration. Sustained low wind speeds have the potential to cause significant damage to a roofing system over an extended period.
  3. Wind Direction: The severity of damage to your roofing system is also influenced by the direction of the wind. When the wind is blowing in the opposite direction of a roofing material, there is a high chance that, over time, the wind will successfully lift the material.
  4. Roof Condition: When a roof is in a state of disrepair, even a moderate amount of wind can generate damage. A roof that is inadequately maintained is significantly less likely to withstand extreme weather conditions compared to one that is regularly and properly maintained.
  5. Material Quality: Durable roofing materials are more likely to withstand strong winds compared to less expensive materials.
  6. Expert Installation: It is crucial to engage the services of skilled professionals when undertaking a roof replacement or new roof installation project. The workmanship level directly influences the roof’s performance in withstanding environmental elements, particularly wind.

4 Primary Wind Threats

Various classifications of strong winds can cause damage to your flat roofing system. Although hurricanes and tornadoes account for a considerable portion of the damage, more than half of the severe wind-related damage is attributed to the powerful winds generated during intense thunderstorms.

  1. Hurricane Winds: Hurricane winds are winds exceeding 74 mph. Elevated wind speeds at lower levels frequently result in widespread destruction, leading to the airborne dispersal of various objects such as tree branches, paper, and packaging. The maximum wind speed of the most powerful hurricanes generally reaches approximately 200 mph. As a result of the extended duration of these storms, they can continuously impact commercial buildings and facilities.
  2. Tornado Winds: Tornado winds are highly destructive natural forces. A tornado is a swiftly moving and intense storm that can span several hundred miles. It has the potential to generate powerful winds, reaching speeds of up to 300 mph in the most severe storms. Although prolonged high hurricane winds can result in extensive damage, tornadoes can destroy sturdy structures within a matter of seconds.
  3. Straight-Line Winds: Straight-line winds emanate from thunderstorms and encompass wind gusts of 100 mph or greater. These winds have the potential to cause significant damage to roof systems and building structures.
  4. Derecho: A derecho is a prolonged and extensive straight-line windstorm that lingers over vast regions. This phenomenon is frequently linked to rapidly moving thunderstorms. A derecho is characterized by wind-related damage that spans over 240 miles and involves wind gusts of at least 58 mph.

Vulnerable Roof Areas

With a flat roofing system, the corners and edges of the roof are the most susceptible areas to wind damage such as perimeter flashing. “Roof flashing refers to the strips of metal or other material installed around the roof edge where the roof cover meets the wall. When the flashing is compromised, it leaves important building systems including the roof cover vulnerable to the elements (such as wind-driven rain) which can cause significant damage.” (Disaster Safety).

The vulnerability of these areas becomes apparent when damage to the perimeter of the roof causes it to peel back and lift. In extreme circumstances, the wind pressure has the potential to infiltrate beneath the roof and effectively dislodge it from the structure.

Wind Uplift

One significant issue that impacts flat roofs is wind uplift. This phenomenon occurs when strong air gets beneath the roofing material and lifts it. This prevalent issue can cause the formation of wrinkles or bubbles on the roof’s surface, caused by the inadequately firm and secure attachment of the membrane or material.

It is important to consider that when a loose or detached roof membrane lifts from the surface, rain or moisture may seep into the system, leading to the deterioration of the underlying materials and rendering the entire roof ineffective. To prevent wind uplift, roof flashing must be properly installed and in functional condition. In the event of loose fascia boards or their dislodgement by strong winds, there is a risk of the metal flashing also being torn off.

Wind Scouring

Besides wind uplift, flat roofs frequently encounter another wind-related issue known as scouring, which refers to the phenomenon in which strong winds remove snow from windward slopes. This phenomenon occurs when the force of the wind is sufficiently strong to dislodge the protective granules from the roofing membrane or to displace the gravel that has been applied as a surface coating on Built-Up Roofs (BURs).

Although there may not be an immediate or clear sign of damage caused by wind, wind scouring can have a hazardous impact on the longevity of commercial flat roofs. The roofing system may exhibit signs of wear and deteriorate more rapidly than expected. The occurrence of partial or complete roof failure may cause the immediate installation of a new roof.

PB Roofing’s THREATCheck

THREATCheck: one enhanced visual inspection to identify deficiencies and provide recommendations for repairs or replacement. Our Plus Package shares the same features but with an added bi-annual inspection plan. Photo report included.

Any existing issues with your flat roof will be identified and effectively repaired. Even minor concerns have the potential to escalate into significant challenges when subjected to strong winds. Prioritizing the maintenance of your flat roof before the onset of winter can reduce the likelihood of significant damage caused by strong winds.

Resources

Disaster Safety: Business Protection Guidance to Reduce Hurricane Risks

Nationwide Insurance: Protecting Roof-Mounted HVAC Units from Severe Weather

National Weather Service: High Wind Safety Rules

PB Roofing Blog Back Issue (September 2023) “Connecting the Top 4 Ways to Understand, Identify, Prevent and Fix Freeze-Thaw Damage”

Head to Head: TPO vs. PVC Roofing Systems

Head to Head: TPO vs. PVC Roofing Systems https://pbroofingco.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/figure6-2.png 900 918 PB Roofing PB Roofing https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/ee28a6949ea6af745b0ddec55b8b9ce1?s=96&d=mm&r=g

The Basics

TPO and PVC are both single-ply roofing membranes that offer distinct advantages. TPO is highly resilient against weather and has exceptional strength, while PVC also boasts exceptional weather durability with added UV resistance and flame-retardant properties. TPO and PVC can be mechanically fastened or fully adhered, depending on the building structure and client preference.

What’s the Difference? 

For over 60 years, PVC roofing membranes have been utilized, with TPO roofs being introduced about 30 years ago. PVC roofs offer exceptional chemical resistance due to their non-reactivity to most chemicals, while TPO membranes may react to oil or exhaust from grease traps. Both PVC and TPO roofing systems meet the fire resistance standards set by FM Approvals and UL Listings. When installed and maintained, both roofing types can last well beyond the average lifespan of 20 years for commercial roofs. While price should not be the sole determining factor when selecting a commercial roofing system, it’s worth noting that TPO roofing systems are generally lower in cost than PVC roof membranes. Other factors such as usage and regional climate should also be considered.

How do they Stack Up?

TPO Benefits: The flexibility of TPO roof sheets in colder temperatures (Freeze-Thaw Cycles) and high resistance to Ultraviolet Exposure are the primary advantages offered by a TPO system. The reduced heat absorption during hot summer months may result in lower energy usage and contribute toward LEED credit qualifications. TPO membranes are Energy-Star rated and approved by the Cool Roof Rating Council, highlighting their environmental friendliness.

Not only are TPO roofing systems highly durable against chemicals, mold growth, and physical damage, but they also come with warranties of up to 30 years, emphasizing the strength and longevity of this material.

PVC Benefits: PVC roofing systems come with warranties that range from 10 to 30 years, making them a durable and reliable option for various establishments. Their excellent resistance to chemicals and fire makes them a practical choice for restaurants, airports, and commercial buildings that may deal with grease, oil, and other chemical-related issues. Additionally, PVC membranes are eco-friendly and recyclable, providing an environmentally conscious option for roofing needs.

What’s Right for Me?

Here are a few things to consider before your next roofing project:

Your Current System: By applying certain roofing systems directly onto an existing roof, the process of reroofing becomes a time and cost-effective option. The added benefit is that the older roof system does not have to be removed before the new system can be installed.

Your Commercial Roof’s Condition:  Depending on the condition of your current commercial roof, you may not have the luxury of re-roofing. Although opting for a tear-off will require additional expenses, it will allow you the opportunity to choose the most suitable roofing system for your needs.

Roof-Mounted Utilities & Rooftop Penetrations: When deciding on a roof system, it is important to weigh various factors. For instance, it is crucial to determine if the roof will accommodate HVAC or fire mitigation systems. Additionally, the types and quantity of vents protruding from the structure must be considered. Also, the anticipated amount of foot traffic on the roof is also a significant concern.

Your Property’s Location: The proper choice of roofing system depends heavily on the building’s location. To make an informed decision, a reputable commercial roofing company takes into consideration various factors such as the surrounding climate, potential hazards, and local building codes.

Your Property’s Internal Requirements: Understanding the roofing system requirements for a property with temperature-sensitive inventory or those that need ventilation and exhaust systems is essential. Additionally, buildings that require a comfortable temperature for their tenants require a roofing system that enhances energy efficiency

The Bottom Line

Labor and materials are the key cost components for a flat roof or low-slope roofing system. It is up to you as a property manager or owner to choose what part of the roofing process to invest in. Labor is complete when the job is done, but the material remains to protect your property, equipment, inventory, and tenants within.

Supplemental costs to consider are maintenance and service life. The least expensive roof to own is the one with the lowest annual ownership cost (cost of the project plus annual maintenance, divided by expected service life = cost per year). Also, don’t forget that regular maintenance is required throughout the roof’s life.

A Quick Warranty Refresher

For the purchase of a PVC or TPO roofing system installation, there will be two warranties to take into consideration. First is the manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty will typically cover any defects in the manufacturing of the roofing membrane.

The second warranty is provided by the roofing contractor to cover his workmanship. This warranty should include what items are covered and what actions will void the warranty.

Click here to learn more about making the most of your commercial roof warranty from our PB Roofing Blog Back Issues or download our E-book.

PB Roofing’s Project Team

At PB Roofing, our team of experts is committed to providing you with concierge roofing services. Whether you need a new roofing system for your new construction site or a replacement for your existing one, we’ve got you covered. We understand that a sound roofing system is vital to the success of your business, which is why we ensure that our installation process is conducted with the utmost professionalism and care.

Investing in a new roof is an investment in the future of your property. Our team will conduct a thorough inspection of your roof and the underlying structure to determine whether a re-roof or tear-off replacement method is required. We will then recommend a customized solution that is specifically tailored to meet your needs.

Click here to visit our Projects Portfolio.

3 Ways to Identify & Solve Commercial Roof Leaks

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If you come across a pool of water in your commercial property or notice stains on a ceiling tile, it is important to be concerned about potential roof leaks. Actively addressing a commercial roof leak is crucial, as the roof serves as protection against adverse weather conditions and damage caused by water infiltration. Nobody wants to deal with structural, equipment, or product damage, or put the safety of tenants or clients at risk due to slip and fall incidents.

“70% of commercial property damage comes from water intrusion. In other words, commercial roof leaks matter, a lot.” (Energy Shield)

3 Ways to Identify Commercial Roof Leaks

Roof leaks can occur for several reasons, including storm damage, rooftop activity, rooftop equipment failure, lack of proper maintenance, or simply due to the passage of time. Here are some signs that indicate a roof may be leaking:

  1. Stained Ceiling or Walls: When exposed to water, the appearance of the ceiling or walls may change. Discoloration, stains, bubbles, or blisters, as well as efflorescence (a deposit of salts that can form on the surface of porous materials) on masonry surfaces, are clues of likely water intrusion.
  2. Odor: A musty smell or unusual dampness in the air could be a result of water inside the building. Mold tends to flourish in moist environments, which can create a musty odor.
  3. Inside Puddles / Dripping Water: This is the most apparent sign of a roof leak. However, it’s important to note that other causes might exist as well. For instance, if water is dripping from a roof-mounted HVAC unit or duct, it could be due to condensation or a roof leak that is dripping onto the ductwork. Sprinkler systems or overhead water lines are often mistakenly identified as roof leaks. To identify the source of a suspected leak, take some time and use a good flashlight to thoroughly investigate.

If you’re experiencing a leak in your facility, you are obviously wondering about how it happened. Typical sources of commercial roof leaks include failed caulk or flashing details, punctures, or slices in the roof surface, poorly maintained or malfunctioning rooftop HVAC units, fans, or other equipment, roof movement at parapet walls or expansion joints, or any other details found on rooftops.

“More than anything else, property managers must prioritize safety when a roof leak is discovered. Property managers should never climb onto the roof and attempt to find the source of the leak themselves. This can be incredibly dangerous and potentially deadly, especially if the leak is discovered in severe storms.” (Property Manager Insider).

3 Ways to Solve Commercial Roof Leaks

  1. Mark the Area: To assist a roofing leak response team in locating the problem area on the rooftop, it would be helpful if you could either place a mark on the floor, the ceiling, or a structure where the drip can be seen. Doing this while the leak is occurring is ideal, as it will enable the technicians to locate the specific spot even if it dries later. To ensure safety, please inform tenants about the leak and consider roping off the area to prevent slips or falls on slippery surfaces.
  2. Damage Control: To minimize any potential or further damage, it is important to clear the affected area of any valuable equipment or supplies. If clearing the area is not feasible, covering items with plastic or a tarp is recommended for protection.
  3. Keep your Eyes Peeled: Please keep in mind that the visible water entering the building may not necessarily be due to the roof directly above that area. Water can travel a significant distance within the roof, ductwork, or structural members. Please look for any additional details in the leak area that may assist technicians in identifying the underlying problem, such as wet sprinkler piping or conduits, drips from ductwork, or water on structural elements. There is a possibility that the roof has other damage or requires further work, especially if the leak is due to storm damage or other external weather factors.

Commercial property facilities are not just a capital investment but also a valuable long-term asset. To ensure the protection of this investment, it is crucial to engage in consistent and professional roof maintenance.

This proactive approach helps in identifying and resolving roof issues before they escalate into significant damage. By prioritizing proper maintenance, business owners can enjoy peace of mind and dedicate their attention to their core operations, rather than being preoccupied with roof concerns.

PB Roofing’s THREATCheck

Having a great maintenance plan usually goes right along with regular inspections. A professional roofing inspection along with a thorough maintenance plan means that your roof will always be performing at its best. And this may add some years to the lifespan of your roof, saving you quite a bit of money.

Our THREATCheck is one enhanced visual inspection to identify deficiencies and provide recommendations for repairs or replacement. Our Plus Package features the same, with a bi-annual inspection plan. Photo report included.

Blog Back Issues Resource

“The Dangers Above: How to Fight Common Commercial Roof Damage” October 2022

Connecting the Top 4 Ways to Understand, Identify, Prevent, and Fix Freeze-Thaw Damage

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Your commercial roof acts as a barrier, protecting your commercial building and those within it from the elements. Roofs in locations that experience severe weather are manufactured to withstand the elements for 10 to more than 20 years. Extreme conditions can cause a lot of damage, especially if the roof hasn’t been properly maintained and ready for the approaching winter weather.

A worn roof becomes an infrastructure hazard when winter makes its annual appearance. Fortunately, there is a 4 x 4 series of proactive steps to be taken, we’ll connect these best practices and strategies to conquer your commercial roofing winter worries this year.

4 Ways to Understand

  1. Knowing freeze-thaw cycles means knowing thermal expansion. The potential for problems from expansion and contraction exists from the time the roof is first installed. “Thermal expansion is the tendency of matter to change in volume in response to temperature alterations.” (Science Direct). When the roof absorbs heat from the sun, the materials can expand, pushing against its own seams, and causing gaps. This process then reverses during lower night temperatures.
  2. Thermal expansion causes water to seep into tiny cracks in your roof and freeze. Expanding water puts pressure on the surrounding material, causing the cracks to grow. Since this freeze-thaw cycle occurs daily, the damage can be serious. is the same issue that causes potholes to form in your parking lot. Additionally, the cycle can strain and damage your HVAC and electrical systems if left unchecked.
  3. We sometimes have those warmer days in the middle of winter when we can lighten our layers and snow begins to melt. It’s this type of fluctuation that really shocks your roof system because the temperatures will inevitably drop again. When winter temperatures frequently hover around the freezing point, the freeze-thaw process of expansion and contraction occurs like clockwork. An older roof membrane is not nearly as flexible and cannot perform under extreme conditions and drastic temperature changes.
  4. The most vulnerable points of a roof will always be the details, these naturally carry more strain as the roof expands and contracts. Any small defects caused by natural aging can be magnified. Though all roofs go through wear and tear, if left untreated, the effects of the freeze-thaw cycle could leave you with unforeseen repairs.

4 Ways to Identify

  1. Leaks: Small problems can quickly become big problems. Leaks can begin from a range of small hairline cracks to larger, more obvious fractures. Notice discoloration on your roof? Smell any musty odors or spot mold? These are signs you have a leak somewhere or at least some existing water damage.
  2. Ice Dams: Ice dams happen when the heating on your commercial roof is not uniform or when the freeze-thaw cycle happens with greater frequency. In these instances, snow melts and runs down the roof drainage system as water. The water then gets stuck and causes damage when it freezes again.
  3. Blistering: Freeze-thaw cycles can cause trapped moisture within the roof layers, leading to blistering or bubbling on the roof surface. These bubbles may appear soft and easily break when pressed, exposing the underlying layers of the roof.
  4. Increased Heating Costs: Damaged flat roofs can lead to poor insulation, resulting in increased heating or cooling costs. If you notice a sudden spike in energy bills, it may be a sign that your flat roof has been compromised by freeze-thaw damage.

4 Ways to Prevent

  1. Insulation: Adequate insulation is key to preventing heat loss and uneven warming of the roof. Insulating the roof can help maintain a consistent temperature and minimize the potential for freeze-thaw cycles.
  2. Drainage: A clear, unobstructed path prevents the blockages that could likely result in hazardous ice dams and the gradual separation of flashing used to seal and protect the areas around chimneys, vents, and other roof projections.
  3. Inspections: Schedule inspections at least twice a year, before and after the winter season. Look for signs of cracks, pooling water, or blistering, and promptly address any areas of concern.
  4. Rooftop Snow Removal: Clearing snow and ice from your flat roof is essential to prevent excess weight. A single inch of wet snow equals 1.66 pounds per square foot. (FacilityExecutive). Plus, freeze-thaw damage adversely affects the roof’s overall tensile strength, which is greatly reduced after repeated expansions and contractions.

4 Ways to Fix

  1. Patching & Sealing: If there are cracks or fractures on the roof surface, they can be repaired using patching materials designed specifically for flat roofs. These materials help to fill and seal the damaged areas, preventing water from seeping in and causing further damage.
  2. Reinforcement: In some cases, freeze-thaw damage may have weakened certain sections of the roof. To reinforce these areas, additional layers of roofing materials can be applied. This helps to strengthen the roof and prevent future damage.
  3. Replacement: If the freeze-thaw damage is extensive, it may be necessary to replace damaged roofing materials altogether. This can include replacing sections of asphalt or tar-based roofing, as well as any insulation or underlayment that may have been affected.
  4. Regular Maintenance: To prevent future freeze-thaw damage, it’s key to maintain the roof properly. This includes regular inspections, cleaning of gutters and downspouts, and clearing of snow and ice. By staying on top of maintenance, you can catch and address any issues before they escalate.

PB Roofing’s THREATCheck

Having a great maintenance plan usually goes right along with regular inspections. A professional roofing inspection along with a thorough maintenance plan means that your roof will always be performing at its best. And this may add some years to the lifespan of your roof, saving you quite a bit of money.

Our THREATCheck is for new customers: one enhanced visual inspection to identify deficiencies and provide recommendations for repairs or replacement. Our Plus Package features the same, with a bi-annual inspection plan. Photo report included.

Resources

FacilitiesNet

Back Issues: PB Roofing September 2022 Blog

Prepare Your Property for a Stress-Free Fall with These 6 Commercial Roofing Hacks

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As the leaves change over and the temperatures drop, property owners must think about fall maintenance for their commercial roofing. A commercial building is a significant investment, and you want every part of it to last as long as possible. Once the roof fails, you risk damaging other areas of the building. And let’s not forget a roof replacement can come with a hefty price tag. With the right know-how, you can maximize the life of your commercial roofing and protect your property from potentially costly damage. This blog post will provide you with helpful tips and tricks for fall maintenance and upkeep of your commercial roofing, so you can be sure to start the season off on the right foot.

1. Pre-Season Inspection

As the summer draws to a close, it’s key to inspect your commercial roof before the fall season starts. This is a crucial step in ensuring that your roof is in good condition and prepared for the challenges that autumn may bring. “For all low slope and flat roof types, long-term standing water can cause excessive weathering, allowing your roof membrane to become brittle. Signs of long-term standing water are mold and vegetation growth. Check the underside of the roof or on your drop ceiling to see if there are any signs of water damage, which is a sign of damage to your roof cover system.” (Disaster Safety).

With pre-season inspection, you can catch and address any potential issues early on, preventing more extensive damage and costly repairs in the future. Your warranty should give you guidelines to follow regarding inspections and maintenance tasks, each of which can help extend the life of your roof and give you more peace of mind from season to season.

Problem Signs

Look for membrane punctures from roof-mounted utility service, loose flashing, or any other signs of potential leaks or problems. Pay close attention to areas around HVAC units, vents, chimneys, and skylights, as these are common areas for leaks to occur. Weather changes produce contraction and expansion of the roof material. This can cause fractures in the membrane, failed laps, and seams, all of which are points of entry for water to enter the building. The membrane and insulation of your roofing system should be inspected thoroughly for any shrinking, shifted, loose, or soft portions of your roof’s surface.

2. Trim Overhanging Branches and Trees

Fall is the perfect time to assess and address any potential hazards that may affect your commercial roof. One important step is to trim overhanging branches and trees. While those lush, green trees may provide shade in the summer, their branches can become a significant threat to your roof during the fall.

Overhanging branches pose several risks to your commercial roofing. First, falling leaves and debris can accumulate on your roof, causing water buildup and potential leaks. Additionally, during autumn storms, strong winds can cause these branches to break and damage your roof. By trimming overhanging branches and trees, you can mitigate these risks and protect your roof from potential damage.

Consider hiring a professional tree service to trim any branches that extend too close to your roof. This will not only protect your roof but also prevent any safety hazards for your inhabitants. Remember, proactive measures like trimming overhanging branches are essential in maintaining the longevity and integrity of your commercial roofing system.

3. Clean Gutters and Downspouts

As the fall season arrives, it’s crucial to prioritize commercial roofing maintenance to ensure it remains in optimal condition. Next, check your roof’s drainage system and components. Make sure that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris, such as leaves and twigs, which can clog the system and lead to water damage. Check that the gutters are securely attached to the roof and properly sloped to ensure proper water flow.

Start by removing any debris collected in your gutters and downspouts. Use a small trowel or your hands to scoop out the leaves and twigs. Once the debris is clear, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose to ensure they are free of any remaining obstructions.

4. Seal any Cracks or Gaps

With the arrival of fall, it’s essential to take proactive steps to ensure your commercial roof is in top condition for the coming winter. One important task is to seal any cracks or gaps in the roof. These small openings may seem insignificant, but they can lead to major problems if left unattended.

Sealing cracks and gaps help to prevent water infiltration, which can cause significant damage to your roof and the interior of your building. Moisture can seep in through even the tiniest openings, leading to leaks, mold growth, and structural deterioration. By taking the time to seal these areas, you can safeguard your roof and avoid costly repairs in the future.

5. Check and Maintain Insulation and Ventilation

As the temperatures start to drop, property owners need to pay attention to their commercial roofing insulation and ventilation. Check your insulation to ensure it is properly installed and in good condition. Insufficient insulation can lead to heat loss, which can result in higher energy bills and discomfort for your employees or customers. If your insulation is compromised, condensation can occur within your building during colder months. When a cold surface meets the warmer interior air, condensation will form and can cause major mold and mildew problems inside your building in addition to potential water damage.

Take the time to inspect your insulation for any signs of damage or wear. Look for areas where insulation may be missing or compressed and replace or add insulation as needed. Additionally, check your ventilation system to ensure that it is functioning properly. Clear any debris that may be blocking vents and ensure that air can flow freely.

6. Schedule Regular Maintenance with a Professional Roofing Contractor

“The single, most cost-effective way to maximize roof performance and life cycle longevity is to adopt a proactive approach towards preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance minimizes the total and annualized cost of ownership of roofing systems through regularly scheduled inspections and periodic repairs of common problematic components,” (Facility Executive).

Professional roofing contractors have the expertise and knowledge to identify potential issues that may not be immediately apparent to an untrained eye. They can perform a thorough inspection of your roof, checking for any signs of damage, wear, or potential leaks. They can also assess the condition of your roof’s materials and recommend any necessary repairs or replacements.

The Ideal Season for Maintenance

The wintertime presents countless hazards, including snow and ice that can make slips more likely and freezing temperatures that can prevent proper shingle sealing. During the warmer months, extreme temperatures can cause roofers to experience dehydration and heat exhaustion, which can cause delays in project completion. To avoid these issues, consider having repairs performed during the fall since the weather conditions are just right.

PB Roofing’s THREATCheck

Now that you understand the many potential hazards to a commercial roof, you can be assured that protecting your structure is worth the investment. Our THREATCheck is for new customers: one enhanced visual inspection to identify deficiencies and provide recommendations for repairs or replacement. Our Plus Package features the same, with a bi-annual inspection plan. Photo report included.

PB Roofing is a dynamic company serving the East Coast and headquartered in northern New Jersey with a satellite location in Massachusetts. Our committed and capable team is available on-demand to fulfill any request. Our elevated service exceeds the expectations of even the most discerning client.

6 Ways Teamwork Produces Better Results in Construction

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The necessity of teamwork has been accelerated by the influence of new technology, materials, and processes in the roofing industry, making it a requirement to complete any large task. Sharing knowledge and experience makes a good construction team great. Here are the six ways teamwork can bring any commercial construction team (roofing included) to exceed expectations.

1. Common Purpose

The defining characteristics of any successful team are support, trust, accountability, and respect. To support engagement, individual members need to have challenging, realistic targets. To reach these targets, people need to join forces to quickly solve problems that arise in commercial roofing. That’s where the value of teamwork shows its advantages.

On any commercial roofing project, tasks such as planning, estimation and material sourcing, logistics, scheduling, and safety must work together seamlessly.

2. Collaboration

Collaboration works best with a positive team spirit that supports working well together. “If you are surrounded by people of high ability, you strive to show your potential. However, in creating and managing a team, you should not look for only technical skills or abilities, but also individuals’ sense for coordination and interpersonal skills.” (LetsBuild).

Collaborative work is valuable within a commercial roofing team and with the client. Realizing the client’s vision is critical to the success of any organization. Working alongside clients is needed to know the project requirements and for them to feel part of the team. This approach helps in generating new and progressive ideas, creating better results.

3. Leadership

Leadership is the foundation of exceptional teamwork. A commercial roofing team leader ensures their team works together to achieve their goal and promotes the cooperation required for their team’s peak performance. The team leader must also confirm that the team has the resources and information necessary to complete its objective.

“Strong teamwork is an excellent way to promote learning. When you encourage employees to share thoughts and ideas as a team, they can experience new perspectives and information.” (NeuroLeadership Institute). A confident and effective team leader looks to the team for solutions and welcomes constructive criticism. The team leader must make difficult decisions that will affect the team in the interest of the best possible outcome for the client.

4. Diversity

A positive culture is supported by celebrating diversity. The roofing industry must embrace these gifts and immediately make processes for them. When people are empowered, they use their voices to help influence change. Forming a diverse team will make employees feel accepted, increasing engagement and performance. “If you just expand your horizons and make yourself more appealing to under-represented groups, you have a whole new demographic to appeal to.” (Roofing & Exteriors).

5. Conflict Resolution

Conflicts typically originate from misunderstandings and clashing of opinions. As team members build a better understanding of each other’s personalities, conflicts can be minimized and more easily resolved. The team will move forward with more respect for one another and their work.

With effective teamwork, roofing technicians can feel comfortable asking for help rather than taking unnecessary risks and shortcuts.

6. Safety

Safety management is a complex task that requires solid planning and training and, most importantly, effective collaboration of all people working on a commercial roofing site.

“The more cohesive and communicative your team is, the easier it is to ensure everyone on the job site is safe and on the same page.” (National Center for Construction Education and Research). When roofing technicians, team leaders, and safety managers work together, they can identify and assign safety roles to different accordingly. Team members are accountable for their own actions and safety and also those of their teammates.

A close-knit team where opinions and ideas are freely shared will identify more actual and potential safety risks simply because team members are not afraid (and care enough) to make their voices heard.

The Results

Maximizing the role that team building plays for a commercial construction project provides the best value and highest return on the client’s property investment. Given the ever-competitive nature of the roofing industry, teamwork is crucial in building accountability, reliability, support, and trustworthy professional relationships, that translate into exceptional results.

About PB Roofing

PB Roofing is a dynamic company serving the East Coast and headquartered in northern New Jersey with a satellite location in Massachusetts. Our committed and capable team is available on-demand to fulfill any request. Our elevated service exceeds the expectations of even the most discerning client.

We have developed the PB University Learning Platform. The PBU program is a hybrid model that utilizes competitive, gamified online learning supported by a points system with prize redemption. Each level of PBU builds our team’s depth of practical knowledge from the ground up and provides career advancement opportunities within the company. To reinforce continuous teamwork within our organization, we have appointed PBU Ambassadors to keep each other motivated and engaged.

Commercial Roofs under the Summer Sun

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Introduction

Every year as summer approaches, the cold and harsh weather that preceded it is easily and quickly forgotten. It is only natural for thoughts to wander towards summer vacation, recreation, and the prospect of beautiful weather. Far from the minds of many, property managers and owners included, is what impact even a single season of hot weather can have on a commercial roof. Not surprisingly, as with any other seasonal weather scenario, heat can have a significant adverse effect on a commercial roof. It is valuable to realize these effects and how to counteract the potential damage they cause.

Excessive Heat

High roof surface temperatures accelerate the molecular decay of chemicals used in roofing materials, damaging them, and making a roof vulnerable to damage. “Conventional roofs can reach temperatures of 150°F or more on a sunny summer afternoon.” (Energy Saver).

As a commercial building’s roof endures the full force of intense and sustained summer temperatures, it will also affect the temperature of the building interior.

Overhead Utilities

Commercial HVAC expenses will naturally rise in the summer to keep the building cooler and the tenants comfortable. There temperature difference between the cool air inside a building, and the hotter, moisture-laden air outside of it causes moisture to condensation. Too much moisture can be a breeding ground for many airborne pathogens.

Ultraviolet (UV) Exposure

“All radiation is a form of energy, most of which is invisible to the human eye.” (FDA). When sunlight shines on a commercial roof, it also exposes it to the UV radiation that the sun produces. UV exposure is not only harmful to the human body, but also to an array of synthetic materials.

“During the summer months the sun is in a more direct angle, resulting in a greater amount of UV radiation.” (FDA). The rays evaporate oils and resins that roofing materials are made of. The effects of this radiation include faster ageing, cracking, and eventually deterioration. With prolonged exposure, a roof tends to bleach. This is a called photodegradation, and it happens through chemical reactions. This isn’t critical, but can be unsightly, which is something to consider for retail, residential, or office property management.

Thermal Shock

While there’s no better feeling than experiencing thermal shock for yourself with a refreshing swim on a hot summer day, the opposite is true for a commercial roof. Realizing that no roof is completely damage-resistant, especially with unpredictable weather will help you understand why certain roofing problems happen.

Thermal shock is the frequent expansion and contraction of roofing materials due to temperature fluctuation. Commercial roofs endure daily high temperature peaks that cause their materials to expand. When the sun sets and temperatures drop, the reverse process of contraction occurs. The repetition of this process reduces a commercial roof’s structural integrity and weakens the roof’s ability to perform its intended function.

The trifecta of summer heat, UV rays, and thermal shock lead to burst roof seams and loose screws. Penetrations like skylights and vents are most susceptible to this damage.

Summer Storms

As the heat lowers, it’s often followed by heavy precipitation. Only after a heavy downpour does it become obvious just how much summer damage has occurred. The ideal commercial roof is as waterproof as possible. At the forefront of this protection is the sealant used to bond together the roofing seams.

Rainfall collects in standing ponds on the roof. The weight of this water will eventually cause the roof to sag. If water gets underneath an unattached seam, it will seep into the interior of the building and soften it. Soft spots occur when the roofing structure below the surface is infiltrated by water and weakened. Softened materials leave commercial roofs even more defenseless against further weather damage and threaten the entire property’s structure.

When a roof eventually leaks, it results in structural damage to walls and floors, as well as damage to insulation, and mechanical and electrical systems. Another major concern is roof-water leakage seeping into walls and other areas, creating mold.

Drainage & Debris

Because of their low-slope, flat roofs sometimes do not offer the appropriate drainage for sudden rainfall run-off. Most flat roofs are built with a minor slope to allow for drainage, but the lack of a significant natural slope can produce challenges. “There are roof coating products available if there isn’t enough slant or slope to accomplish this.” (RoofSlope).

Leaves, branches, and other debris carried by the wind and blown about the roof surface, easily clogging the drainage systems. This creates areas of standing water, where weight can suddenly weaken the roof’s surface.

Preventative Maintenance

The positive news is that the damage caused by heat and other factors during summer is a cumulative effect. If a commercial roof is under ten years old, there isn’t much to be concerned about, especially if well-maintained.

Each type of roof system has its own potential for failure. Understanding these potential influences and the overall type of failure provides understanding into developing corrective actions to maintain or extend the life of a commercial roof.

With older roofs, knowing the warning signs, paying attention to any developing issues, and addressing them quickly will protect your investment in the long-term.

PB Roofing’s THREATCheck

Now that you understand the many potential hazards to a commercial roof, you can be assured that protecting your structure is worth the investment. Our THREATCheck is for new customers: one enhanced visual inspection to identify deficiencies and provide recommendations for repairs or replacement. Our Plus Package features the same, with a bi-annual inspection plan. Photo report included.

Resources

My Roof Hub

Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Inspectapedia

Why Safety Matters

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Introduction 

As roofing is the 6th most dangerous job in America, creating a safe working environment is critical for those who perform roofing services. “A lack of fall protection, damaged equipment and improper setup are all common risk factors that result in injuries every year” (OSHA)

2023 National Safety Stand Down Week

May 1st – 5th, 2023 was the 10th Anniversary of the National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction. “A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on ‘Fall Hazards’ and reinforcing the importance of ‘Fall Prevention’”. (OSHA). Together as an industry, we raised fall hazard awareness and reinforced standard safety policies.

Safety Essentials

Safety precautions go far beyond some of the well-known items associated with a construction or roofing project. Accessories like safety vests and hardhats are commonly regarded as project critical, but here are some things you may not realize that are part of a safe jobsite and utilized by safe roofing technicians:

  • Fall Arrest Restraint Harnesses: Every technician working on a height-sensitive job (defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] as 6-feet or more) is outfitted with a personal fall arrest and restraint harnesses with shock-absorbing lanyards. These systems utilize roof anchor points, rope lines and pole straps in the personal fall arrest setup. A full-body harness has the power to stop even the most serious falls. The fall arrest line is attached to the point on the harness that will provide the most suitable protection for the situation.
  • Site Inspections: Every member of a roofing technician team depends on one another’s experience and training to create a safe jobsite. Site inspection, education, and communicative collaboration are essential in delivering the safest jobsite experiences for both the technicians and clients.

On the Jobsite

A priority on every roofing project is a site-specific safety plan. This will identify potential hazards and how to neutralize them. OSHA puts forth a regularly evolving list of regulations that commercial roofers must follow. OSHA inspectors will conduct random assessments of jobsites, and will issue fines and shut down operations if they find violations:

  • Safe roof access
  • Safe work materials transport
  • Secure walkways
  • Roof opening protection (skylights, vents, shafts, stovepipes, etc.)
  • Hazardous material removal and disposal
  • Working in adverse weather conditions
  • Proper placement and use of work materials
  • Proper ladder and lift operation
  • Hydration and nutrition

When everyone knows exactly what their job is and what equipment they should be prepared to use, the incidence of on-the-job accidents is significantly reduced.

Operational Benefits

The primary safety-affected operational benefit for a commercial roofer is the positive influence it has on completing projects in a timely and orderly manner. It is not beneficial for the health and safety of roofing technicians for companies to take on projects that will forego safety for increased profit or an expedited result.

Commercial roofing technicians are more productive in workplaces that are committed to proactive health and safety practices, which further reduces downtime caused by accidents or illness means a less-interrupted jobsite.

“To complete a quality and profitable project on schedule, you must eliminate jobsite hazards and risks, deploy a workforce that follows all rules and regulations and invoke a relentless, always improving, safety culture. Any firm that invests in safety practices is going to experience a positive return on their investment (ROI). Injuries lead to higher insurance premiums and potential OSHA fines, which can be detrimental to a company’s viability. Your safety culture will allow you to achieve a high level of productivity and competitiveness that is crucial for success.” (TradeSource).

A Trustworthy Relationship

Why would any property manager or owner expect roofing professionals to operate in an environment that does not put safety at the forefront? This is a sad reality for many companies that fail to provide safe conditions for their team. The penalty is a steep one, though, it means that they will be unable to retain their team and lose credibility in hiring future members to their organization.

The Client Reaps the Rewards

Commercial roof management is a vital part of building management that requires professional expertise and knowledge. A professional roofing company provides safety, cost-effectiveness, warranties and guarantees, time-savings, and ensures building codes and regulations compliance. Property managers and owners should consider contacting a professional roofing company for commercial roof asset management support to ensure it remains in good condition and avoid long-term expensive repairs.

About PB Roofing

PB Roofing is a dynamic company that evolves and grows with the needs of the industry, and the client.  Our committed and capable team is available on-demand to personally fulfill any commercial roofing request. Our elevated service seeks to exceed the expectations of even the most discerning client.

Always aiming to put the right people in the right seats, we have also recently structured a Client Experience Team, with a singular focus: “such attention to customers requires a closed-loop process in which every function worries about delivering a good experience.” (Harvard Business Review). Every experience a client has with PB Roofing is collectively shaped by our depth of industry and service knowledge, our vision, our culture, and our results.

About PB University

We have developed the PB University Learning Platform. The PBU program is a hybrid model that utilizes competitive, gamified online learning supported by a points system with prize redemption. with a variety of practical, hands-on education events throughout each year. Each level of PBU is designed to build our team’s depth of practical knowledge from the ground up, but to also provide career advancement opportunities within the company. To reinforce continuous teamwork within our organization, we have appointed PBU Ambassadors to keep each other motivated and engaged.

Resources 

OSHA Training Institute Education Center

National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)

SafetyCulture

American Society of Safety Professionals

PB Roofing Project Portfolio

 

Nourishing Diversity in the Roofing Industry

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Prioritizing Inclusion 

A diverse workforce conveys that an organization recognizes and values differences amongst groups. Diversity can relate to age, race, gender, faith, disability, and orientation as well as skill, personality, education, and experience. The prioritization of continuous diversity & inclusion efforts is essential to the long-term sustainability of any workforce, and the construction industry is no exception.

Currently, a majority of the construction industry’s workforce is still behind in its diversity efforts, with 88.6% of workers identifying as white, and over 90% as male. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)  While this may have played little effect in years past, it has critically impacted today’s crisis-level labor shortage.

Leading by Example through Women

Diversity and inclusion initiatives can only begin to take shape through forward-thinking leadership teams’ visions, trickling down to influence their teams. The ability to include underrepresented groups offers fresh outlooks, innovation, and growth. Overcoming long-standing societal perceptions of bias is vital in creating a genuinely inclusive future.

Forming a diverse team will make employees appreciative and feel truly accepted, increasing engagement and performance. A recent article in the Washington Post, pointed out that the 14% of construction workers that are women is at an all time high. The surge began in 2016, as recruiters and labor unions worked to remove barriers to get women hired and keep them retained in the industry. Experts advise that employers should continue to support this trend through focusing on inclusion and safety. Women may not know that a career in construction is an option for them, so inclusive language on job postings and recruiting materials is critical.

With half of its executive leadership team comprising of women, PB Roofing emphasizes the need of a diverse team through its organizational structure. These women are part of peer support groups such as National Women in Roofing (NWiR) and Professional Women in Construction (PWC) that provide a community of support, mentorship, and vast networking opportunities.  

Taking Aim with Veterans

Another important and underrepresented group is the military veteran community. Although there are currently more than 500,000 veterans employed in the construction industry, this number represents only 5.9% of the industry in its entirety. (Construction Employers Association)

Veterans bring their previously developed leadership, management, and technical skills with them into their civilian life, and regardless of their rank, they inspire confidence and solidarity within their peer groups. Their military experience has empowered them to become true experts in adaptability. Each veteran is conditioned and comfortable with the need to think outside the box, as they were often forced to utilize their complex problem-solving skills in a pressured environment.

“To retain military talent, companies should provide career progression training throughout a veteran’s employment, and particularly, at milestones, like new-hire training and annual performance reviews.” (Construction Dive)

PB Roofing values its employees by prioritizing safety, education, and career development. Our training includes industry standards and protocols, safety guidelines, leadership development, and more. Our online learning platform, PB University provides professional development and personal growth as we strive to lead the next generation of roofers and entrepreneurs.

Reaping the Rewards

A positive culture is supported through celebrating diversity. The industry must embrace these gifts and immediately implement processes to support them.

Our roofing technicians often need to make quick decisions and construct creative solutions. Utilizing a diverse group of individuals such as women, veterans, and minorities produces unique viewpoints that often lead to quicker resolutions. “Research demonstrates that firms with more diverse talent benefit from greater innovation, better problem-solving and stronger creativity and insight than homogenous crews. The answer to a host of challenges our industry faces lie in developing the cultural literacy to successfully recruit, train and retain non-traditional workers.” (Amy James Neel quoted within National Association of Home Builders)

Fighting Labor Shortage

When an organization actively demonstrates they are hiring underrepresented groups, it establishes a modern, optimistic view of the company with potential candidates. The boost in reputation appeals to new talent comprised of like-minded individuals who also seek to end the prevalence of traditional stereotypes.

Supporting underrepresented parties may just give companies a competitive edge they need to grow effectively. “If you just expand your horizons and make yourself more appealing to under-represented groups you have a whole new demographic to appeal to.” (Roofing & Exteriors).  

Recruitment & Retention

Openness in underrepresented groups allows PB Roofing to find the right talent, regardless of any prejudice. Whether we build our team with 2nd or 3rd generation roofers or those new to the industry, we widen our possible candidates by completely removing bias.

We believe it’s critical to facilitate an inclusive workplace, where our people are empowered to use their voices to help influence change. Through our four core values: resourcefulness, coachability, growth-mindedness, and compassion, PB Roofing’s goal is to set a new standard for thought leaders in the industry and welcome an ever-evolving workplace.

PB Roofing has an awareness of the next generation workforce’s needs by supporting flexibility and honesty. Visit our careers page if you have what it takes to challenge yourself and be part of our growing team! We also offer a Partner Contractor Program, presenting small businesses the opportunity and support of an industry leader. Together, we share our collective knowledge and experience on top-tier projects to get the job done right.

Resources & Organizations 

PB Roofing Co.