Commercial roofing companies should be specialists in all types of commercial, agricultural, office, and industrial roofs which are totally different, in the main, from smaller domestic tiled roofs. The skillset is totally different, and a commercial roofer will need to have qualifications in extra aspects of roofing to be called a commercial roofer. In this article, we will look at what you should look for, or check on before you instruct a commercial roofer to carry our works for your company.

First, we should look at some of the most common types of commercial roofing jobs. They are sheeting, cladding, waterproofing, flashings, lead work, felting, insulation, guttering, and asbestos removal and inspection. Due to the nature of the commercial side of this work please remember that most of this will be done at heights higher than a normal domestic roofer would work at so the commercial roofer will need specialised insurance and equipment to allow them to work at height.

Before starting any commercial roofing work for you it would be wise to ask to see a copy of the insurance coverings they have for liability, damage, employees, professional indemnity insurance. You can be liable on your property if something happens, even if it’s an error made by the roofer, if they do not have the correct cover so make sure you check before you let them on your roof.

The next item I would check is to see if they are licensed to deal with asbestos. If your roof was built before the mid-90s then there is every chance that it contains some kind of asbestos, and you don’t want any Tom, Dick or Harry pulling it apart without them knowing what they are doing.

Asbestos inspection or removal must only be done by a licensed commercial roofing contractor if it includes any of the following.

Where a worker’s exposure to asbestos is not sporadic and of low intensity or where the risk assessment cannot demonstrate that the control limit will not be exceeded i.e. 0.1 asbestos fibres per cubic centimetre of air (0.1 f/cm3) (averaged over four hours) or on asbestos coating or on asbestos insulation or asbestos insulating board where the risk assessment demonstrates that the work is not short-duration work.

Some examples of what types of work are licensable can be found on the HSE website.

I would also be ensuring that my commercial roofer of choice would be able to demonstrate working at height qualifications and knowledge. Employers and those in control of any work at height activity must make sure work is properly planned, supervised, and carried out by competent people. This includes using the right type of equipment for working at height. Low-risk, relatively straightforward tasks will require less effort when it comes to planning.

Employers, and those in control, must first assess the risks and demonstrate a complete knowledge of work that is to be taken on.

All roofers, not only commercial roofers, should belong to the CORC which was established in 1985 and is now the most respected and widely known Roofing Trade Association within the industry by the public.

Well, we do hope that our little article on how to choose a commercial roofer has been useful. In summary, it’s all about the professional set-up of the company. There are plenty of cowboys out there who claim to know what they are doing, but only the professional commercial roofers will be able to demonstrate that they work within the above guidelines we have set out. If you cannot get the right answers to the questions above, then I would walk away pretty quickly. Thanks for reading.

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