Solar Power & Roof Coatings – the PB&J of the Industry

Everyone wants to “have it all”.  It is in our nature to want the best of all worlds. Unfortunately, we usually have “pick or choose” options.  Such is not the case when it comes to generating electricity via solar power while increasing energy savings. 

While neither solar power nor roof coatings are new to the market, we have not seen much activity or marketing of combining the two together.  How would that work out?  Let’s look at what we know.

Solar Power

Solar power panels have come a long way over the years.  From the initial heavy clunky panels to the development of solar roofs, where the photovoltaic cells are built directly into roofing materials, solar keeps getting better.

In 1954, solar power efficiency was around 6%.  New technology has increased efficiency near 40% in some of the highest-efficient designs!

Cost is dropping phenomenally as well. In fact, the price of solar has dropped 70% just since 2010!  For the first time, solar power is reasonably priced for many residential or commercial buyers.

The U.S. has enough solar power installed to meet the electricity needs for over 12.3 million homes, yet solar energy only accounts for 1.6% of the electricity generated annually.  There is HUGE potential in this market, and the demand is there.

Residential roofing not your focus?  Then you might be interested in knowing that the SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) recently reported U.S. corporate solar investment increased more than 20-fold since 2010.  Corporate giants like Apple and Amazon are leading the charge, but good marketing, with sound data supporting it, can make a strong argument that solar is a good investment even for the smaller mom-and-pop owned commercial building.

Roof Coatings or Membranes

We all know (or should know) about the heat-reflecting properties of bright-white roof coatings.  Just in case there are a few out there that don’t, here are a few statistics that should interest you.

  • Reflective roof coatings or membranes can reflect up to 85% of the heat from solar rays away from the roof of the building. Traditional roofing materials reflect 5% to 15%.
  • Reflective roofing material can reduce the cost of cooling a building by 30% to 50%, depending on location.
  • Depending on the system, these coatings or membranes may last 20 years or longer and can easily be renewed with another coating application to avoid tear off.
  • Cool roof installation is anticipated to grow at over 5.7% annually over the next 5 years.
  • Single-ply membranes and coatings account for almost 25% of the cool roof market.

Roof coatings/membranes are best installed on low-slope or flat roofing structures, as are solar power systems.

The Combination

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Here’s the kicker.  A recent study out of Ghana, combining both reflective roof coatings with solar power production noted that the roofs remained cooler, while electrical production was not affected.  In fact, overall electricity consumption was reduced in all buildings studied.

Some industry leaders who have tried the cool roof/solar power combination report that the presence of a reflective roof coating increased the output of a solar power system as much as 10%!  As solar power systems work optimally at temperatures below 90°F, reducing the temperature of the roofing structure improves the overall efficiency of the solar panels and the entire system benefits.

Another benefit of this combination is that the interior of the building is kept cooler by the reflective coating.  This reduces the power load necessary to run the air conditioning, again increasing the efficiency of the combination overall.

Plus, maintenance couldn’t be easier if you go with a roof coating / solar panel combination. Essentially, you will never have to remove the racks that hold the solar panels since you can renew the roof repeatedly by putting on another coat. As long as maintenance is held up and nothing unexpected happens, you will never have to dismantle and reinstall the structure supporting your solar panels.

Consider offering your environmentally focused customers a truly climate-conscious option, by combining the thermal efficiency of a reflective coated structure with the energy producing power of a solar power system. 

For more information, feel free to reach out to our team. Call the Choice Roof Contractor Group at (800) 670-5583.

Getting Your Commercial Roof Ready for Winter

Are you prepared for winter? Like it or not, winter is coming in many regions throughout the United States. For some, it might already be here. If you haven’t had your facility properly prepared for the cold, ice, and snow, it’s time to take some steps to keep you properly protected.

Step One: Schedule a Roof Inspection

The first step is the most important step. Before the winter season, it is vital to have a professional commercial roofing contractor assess your roof. During these inspections, the contractor will walk your roofing unit, inspect the interior of your property, and your entire building envelope. They will assess areas of concern and provide you with solutions to address them.

A few things of what your contractor will look for include:

  • Loose or separated seams
  • Ponding water
  • Cracked caulking
  • Blisters, punctures, or cracking
  • Loose roof perimeter
  • Drainage problems

When snow and ice hit, a small problem can quickly expand into a major headache. A regular inspection before the winter season can make or break a roofing budget.

Step Two: Clear all Debris

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During the inspection process, all debris will be cleared from your roofing membrane and gutters. This can include leaves, branches, equipment, etc. Anything that does not belong on your roof should be cleared before the winter season. Not only is it a hazard for punctures, having anything sitting on your roofing system allows water to infiltrate your facility.

Step Three: Evaluate Surrounding Areas

During the inspection, an evaluation of the surrounding areas is paramount. If your region regularly receives multiple inches of snow or ice, surrounding trees can cause a hazard for your roof. Tree branches, when weighed down from winter weather, can dump a substantial amount of weight onto your roof. They can also break and cause punctures. It is important to identify these hazards and be prepared.

Step Four: Have Emergency Plan

Even with a fully proactive approach, Mother Nature is unpredictable and can throw hazardous weather your way. If you find your facility is in need of emergency services, try to plan ahead. Know who to call, when to call, and what to do in the event of a roof leak (or worse).

To find a contractor near you, call the Choice Roof Contractor Group at (800) 670-5583.

Record-Breaking Throughout Pandemic

The Choice Roof Contractors are excited to be part of record-breaking roofing history. Even in the midst of a pandemic, contractors throughout the nation are setting records, breaking records, then shattering those records!

As a result of hard work and dedication, Conklin Contractors – the preferred manufacturer of Choice Roof Contractors – broke last year’s record for August orders by a whopping 8.8%! Collectively, more than $12.2. million in product was sold in just the month of August! Not only was the monthly record shattered, the Conklin Company also hit a new record for single-day sales. They achieved a $1.4 million day record on Thursday, August 27th, proving the commercial roofing industry is thriving even throughout a global pandemic.

Choice Roof Contractor Group would like to congratulate all our contractors who took part in setting the pace for this record-breaking month. We are proud of your dedication to not only to Choice Roof Contractor Group and Conklin, but also to your communities.

Setting the Pace – Proving Hard Work Pays Off

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    Looking back to March, business owners throughout the country – and world for that matter – struggled with the havoc that the coronavirus continued to produce. However, the commercial roofing industry would not succumb to the economic hardships that the pandemic created. Instead, it opened opportunities for contractors across the nation to provide their expertise and cost-saving solutions while helping their local communities.

    A key part of this success? The cost-saving benefits of Conklin products.

    That’s right. Business owners across the country are turning to roofing solutions that not only extend the life of their existing roof but also save them money. Conklin’s roof restoration products are just a fraction of the cost of full replacement, reflect up to 85% of the sun’s UV rays – creating substantial energy savings, and provide seamless leak-free protection that will last for years to come! With the world turning to budget-friendly, energy-efficient options, contractors have been able to save their clients thousands of dollars without the need for expensive tear-off.

    Want to be Part of History?

    There’s no better time than now! The Choice Roof Contractor Group is here to help:

    • New commercial roofing contractors establish their reputation in their local markets
    • Residential contractors wanting to make the switch to commercial
    • Established commercial roofing contractors provide restorative solutions to their clientele

    With the help of our trusted members, you too can be part of history. If you’re ready to learn more, call our team at (800) 670-5583.

    Common Mistakes New Commercial Roofers Make

    When you’re starting out as a commercial contractor, whether switching from residential or you’re new to the industry, there are common mistakes that you can make. In order to establish yourself as an expert, it is important to avoid the following:

    #1: Not Understanding the Industry


    While this might seem obvious, commercial roofing contractors need to put in the time and energy to fully immerse themselves in the commercial roofing industry. Attend training events, read literature about the different roofing systems, understand low slope vs. steep slope applications, and select trusted manufacturers.

    If you are not familiar with the industry, joining a group like Choice Roof Contractors can put you on the road to success. Learn from industry-leading experts and those who have proven their success by establishing successful commercial roofing companies (not just for themselves, but for others too).

    #2: Sacrificing Profit to Secure Jobs

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      Being the cheapest priced contractor is not a strategic game plan and is one of the fastest ways to go out of business. Many business owners understand that their roof is a vital investment, and monetary savings usually equals the expense of quality. Therefore, you should price yourself accordingly. If you want your work to be taken seriously, then provide quality work at industry standard pricing.

      #3: Not Being Properly Licensed and Insured

      If you’re considering skipping the paramount licensing and insurance requirements, you are taking a financial shortcut that could cost you tremendously in the long run. Business owners and property managers will check for your licenses and insurance. If you don’t have it, you will not be qualified for the job and everything it took to enable you to bid that job will be wasted. However, if they do not ask for it and you proceed, you can be at risk of a lawsuit if something goes wrong. Lack of license, lack of insurance = lack of future. If you want to establish a long-lasting commercial roofing company, properly license and insure your company from the get-go.

      #4: Not Marketing Your Company

      Marketing is a complicated project to tackle, and with many options available, it can be overwhelming. The best way to start is to ask yourself the following question:

      >> If I were looking for a reputable company, how would I go about finding one? <<

      Your own searching habits should help guide you to what a business owner will be looking for. Websites, social media, print material, and more should all be considered. If you skip having professional marketing items, a red flag may be raised by the business owner. It’s all about their peace of mind and being able to show them clearly that you do things right.

      Learn How to Become an Established Roofing Contractor

      While it might seem daunting, becoming a trusted commercial roofing contractor is ready for the taking. To learn more about how the Choice Roof Contractor Group can help, call us today. You can reach us at (800) 670-5583.

      Conklin Reformulates EQUINOX Acrylic Coating with Improved Cool-Weather Roofing Technology

      As the fall season approaches rapidly, so does declining temperatures. What might be a respite from the warm summer months quickly changes into an inopportune time to install a roofing system. In the past, business owners had to face the tough decision of addressing roof repairs in too cool of temperatures for roof coatings, or risk further building damage.

      However, that worry is now a thing of the past! Conklin Roofing systems reformulated their EQUINOX acrylic roof coating that can be used in temperatures at low as 36°! Extending the roof application season is a benefit business owners throughout the country can enjoy. After all, your roof doesn’t just need attention during the spring and summer. Mother nature is unpredictable, and with EQUINOX you are covered when needed during the cool fall season.

      Durability with Cutting-Edge Technology

      commercial rooferEQUINOX was the first acrylic roof coating formulated by Conklin Roofing Systems with the intention of extending the application season. The product allows contractors to complete roof restoration projects during a time that was once too cool for coatings.

      The new formulation significantly increases the evaporation time from the acrylic coating. As a water-based product, cold temperatures traditionally limit the application season in many locations across the U.S. However, with the redesigned technology that speeds up the water evaporation, building owners receive all the advantages of a strong, durable membrane in cooler temperatures.

      EQUINOX features many great benefits including:

      • Designed for application on metal, SPF, and single-ply membranes
      • Energy saving top coat that is 85% solar reflective
      • Due to higher solid density, EQUINOX required 20% less coating to cover the same application as traditional acrylics
      • Flexible and durable membrane is known for superior waterproofing
      • 10-year, non-prorated warranty options

      More on Conklin Equinox Roof Coating

      Since the 1970’s, Conklin has been providing industry-leading coating products. The Equinox system was formulated to be applied as a base coat and a top coat. The quick-dry formula can extend the life of a roofing unit for 10+ years! It provides flexibility that can withstand movements of the building and is durable enough to withstand the elements of nature.

      To learn more about EQUINOX and find a member near you, call 800-670-5583.

      Our COVID-19 Response

      The team at Choice Roof Contractor Group would like to start by saying we are praying for the safety of all our contractors, team members, and clients. Amidst the global pandemic, construction has been rightfully deemed an essential service, and it is our duty to continue to serve our communities.

      The Choice Roof Contractor Group staff has been practicing social distancing long before it became a common practice this year. Our team has been 100% virtual from their home offices across the United States since the company was founded. We have teammates in Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Utah, and beyond – all just a click or call away. Everyone here has been able to continue helping contractors and building managers from home throughout the pandemic.

      When the world returns to normal, our staff will still be utilizing technology from home – benefiting from the work/life balance provided.

      How COVID-19 Has Changed the Commercial Roofing Industry

      Construction services have been, and always will be, an essential service. Each member of the Choice Roof Contractor Group continues to service their communities, while taking precautions to protecting their employees. Many have been able to utilize technology to their advantage and are able to:

      • Provide virtual appointments
      • Utilize drone technology to assess the roof
      • Provide proposals and take payments through the internet

      Please note that Choice Roof Contractor Group does not require members to follow blanketed health-related procedures. Instead, we defer each member to follow the safety guidelines recommended by OSHA and their local governments.

      When you reach out to your local Choice Roof Contractor, feel free to ask what safety precautions they have implemented. We understand that the protection of your company is required during the pandemic. Your contractor can help put your mind at ease by detailing how they will continue to provide roofing solutions while keeping you and your staff safe.

      The goal of Choice Roof Contractor Group is to continue being the pillar of trust that your company needs, while providing transparency in this uncertain time. As the global crisis continues to evolve, so will each contractor’s safety measures. We look forward to finding more opportunities to serve you and the commercial roofing community as a whole.

      Having a Commercial Roofing Safety Plan

      When you established your company, you likely put together standard operating procedures. Among those should be an adequate safety plan. However, if you are new to the industry, you likely don’t know where to begin when it comes to creating a safety plan for your team, your crews, and your clients.

      Where to Start

      The roofing industry is a lucrative industry, but without proper safety, you will set your company up to fail. Your employees are your greatest resource. Without them, your company could not exist. This also goes for your clients, without them, you would be out of business sooner than you started. Your safety plan should focus on keeping both your employees and your clients safe.

      To provide a safe work atmosphere for everyone, develop a safety plan that establishes policies and guidelines. Include workplace practices, safety equipment, personal protective equipment, hazard communication training, emergency, and any other procedure needed to maintain safety in your workplace.

      It is also important that your safety plan comply with all federal, state, and local guidelines.

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        Instead of having to reinvent the wheel, there are many resources that can provide you with a base safety plan that you can customize to your unique needs. Choice Roof Contractor Group provides a generic model that our contractors can customize based on their company and local requirements.

        Follow OSHA Guidelines

        It is well understood that OSHA is there to protect everyone. While some of their policies might seem nit-picky, each one was established for a reason.

        Think of it like touching a hot stove. You know not to do it, but at some point as a child you had to be told NOT to do it. OSHA guidelines are created from the need that someone needed to be told. As you set up your company policies, it is recommended that you get to know the ins and outs of OSHA and what is expected from your company.

        Third-Party Safety Solutions

        If this all seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. There are teams of people dedicated to providing contractors with safety solutions and assessments. We live in an age of technology, with information right at our fingertips. You can find safety trainings online or in person that go over fall protection, safety hazards, OSHA regulations, and more.

        Safety Plan Goals

        The goal of your safety plan is to eliminate injuries and health hazards. You must recognize that there are potential safety issues on each jobsite and provide your team with solutions to handle them with caution.

        You should also understand the human component to safety. Most people feel invincible; until a safety event happens. Your team is likely to remember the detailed safety plan if you practice what you preach and preach often. This means having daily safety conversations, safety plans for each project, and leading your team by example.

        Keys to a Starting a Successful Commercial Roofing Company

        There is no time like the present to break into the commercial roofing market. The economy is booming, business owners are continuing to look for trusted contractors, and no matter what happens to the economy in the future, roofs still must perform.

        The most important aspect of your roofing company will begin with sales. To maximize success, start with these tips.

        Always Bring Your “A Game”

        commercial rooferThe most important tip to running a successful business is bringing in sales to keep everyone employed. When you visit a business owner to provide them with a quote for their roof, your first step is to exude confidence. Your confidence in your business and product offerings is what will help lead you to your potential client having confidence in you. Without this, it is difficult to convince business owners to partner with your company.

        A few other tips include:

        • Always appear professional from the beginning
        • Focus on educating your client, not closing them
        • Provide multiple options for roofing solutions
        • Listen to your client’s needs and address any concerns
        • Offer information about warranty options

        Once you begin to close sales consistently, you’re on your way to having a successful career in the commercial market.

        Running Your Business

        Contractors join our network to receive:

        • Support from Fellow Roofers
        • Shared Marketing Strategies
        • Group Discount Purchasing
        • Assistance with Projects

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        Operating a roofing company is more than just sales. In order to be successful, you need to create a plan to succeed. The main areas to also consider include:

        • Marketing – How are your clients going to find you? What is your professional image?
        • Operation – Are you handling the services yourself? Are you trusting technicians?
        • Administration – What is your CRM, accounting, and other software needs? Do you require office staff?

        Set aside time to address all these different business areas before you begin. Lay out a plan to create and implement each one. These will be your foundations to success. Be sure to reach out to other contractor networks, like Choice Roof Contractor Group, who are filled with knowledge that they are willing to share to help your success.

        To read more about starting a business, visit the many blogs we’ve posted over the years in this category: Blogs about Starting a Commercial Roofing Business.

        To learn more about how we can help you begin your successful roofing career, call 1-800-670-5583.

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          Protect Your Investment, Understand Your Warranty

          Commercial business owners don’t always read the warranties before selecting a service provider and their recommended roofing system. Years later, when problems begin to arise, a call to the manufacturer or contractor can end with headaches.

          Many things can void a warranty and understanding the ins and outs of what is covered should be a top priority. It is always recommended that you understand the coverage you have, and understand what responsibilities are required.

          More than “Set it and forget it”

          commercial roof guidanceOne of the biggest pieces that many commercial and industrial business owners overlook is the clause about preventative maintenance. Each manufacturer will have their own wording, but all will have some sort of language that expresses the following: you must have regular inspections and maintenance, as well as paperwork showing these records.

          There are usually more details provided about how often you should have these inspections performed, and who is allowed to perform them. Reading your warranty and setting reminders should done promptly after your roofing work has been completed.

          Why Maintenance is Required

          Without proper maintenance, your new roofing asset can decrease in value. By preserving its proper condition, you are able to continue to receive the top protection your facility requires.

          Other Warranty Exclusions

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          There are many other things that can cause your warranty to be void. These include:

          • Monetary Limits – Some warranties cap the amount of repairs at a certain cost. These warranties generally do not fully cover the cost of replacing the roof if a problem arises. Ask your contractor if NDL (No Dollar Limit Warranties) are available.
          • Abuse to the System – If you have regular foot traffic on your flat roof, the manufacturer may void your warranty due to what they consider abuse.
          • Natural Disasters – In the event of a natural disaster, your warranty would not cover needed repairs. Your insurance company would need to step in at that point.
          • Failure to Pay for Materials, Installation, Etc. – If you have a roof installed, but do not pay your contractor, your warranty will not be considered active until all bills are paid in full.
          • Repairs not Executed in Time – If your roofing system is in need of repair, but those repairs not handled in a timely fashion by an approved technician, your warranty could be void.

          The best way to determine everything that is and is not covered is to begin with reading through your warranty. If you have any questions, you are always welcome to reach out to the manufacturer and contractor.

          As always, the Choice Roof Contractor Group would be happy to help you find the proper roofing and warranty solutions for your roofing asset. Call us at 1-800-670-5583.

          Sustainability Continues to Boost Restoration Market

          When business owners are faced with the challenge of roofing projects, it can be an undertaking. With many different product offerings, it’s hard to determine which is the correct material that can reinforce your structure while protecting you from the elements. The good news is pretty much all roofing manufacturers from across the nation are providing solutions that are environmentally friendly.

          What is Environmentally Friendly Roofing

          commercial roof guidanceWhen defining sustainability in the roofing market, our goal is to meet the needs that are facing us, while utilizing resources that do not compromise future generations.

          To start, there is more than just the roofing material that makes a roofing solution “green.” The first piece to the eco-friendly puzzle is how the material is manufactured. The next step is how the materials perform with heat reflectivity, helping to lower energy consumption. The final piece is the amount of waste that is disposed of when applied as well as after the roof’s life is fully spent.

          Restoration Systems: An Eco-Friendly Choice

          Since the 1960’s, roof coatings have been slowly increasing in popularity. With the recent boom of eco-friendly solutions, it is now one of the most sought-after solutions for commercial and industrial property owners. They are known for providing the following benefits, including:

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          • Reflecting up to 85% of the sun’s UV rays
          • No tear offs required, equaling no landfill waste
          • Applied directly over current roofs surface
          • Seamless, waterproof membrane provides leak protection
          • Extends the life of your existing roof
          • Viable solution for all regions in the United States

          Because only a small amount of materials and labor are required for a roof coating system, they are one of the most sustainable roofing options on the market. Even after they have met their service life, they can continue to be recoated to provide more sustainable roofing options for business owners.

          Conclusion

          As a building owner, considering the sustainability of your facility should be a priority as you continue to develop in this current economic climate. At Choice Roof Contractor Group, we’d be happy to help you turn your roof into a sustainable, energy-saving, eco-friendly asset. To learn more, call us at 800-670-5583.