Hiring a Handyman vs. a Contractor For Minor Repairs

Small businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs on operations. A more efficient piece of equipment, a simpler closing process, or a cheaper repair can all help toward keeping a burgeoning business afloat. However, there are some places where cost-cutting simply isn’t the best solution.

Hiring a handyman may be tempting if your facility needs a minor repair and they’re cheaper than calling in a specialist. A friend or your home handyman may be able to cut you a deal, but will that deal cost you in the long run when the repair doesn’t last?

There are some times when cheap maintenance service is the right decision and other times when it can lead to ongoing problems at your facility. Here’s how to tell which situation you’re in:

Does the service technically require licensing?

Some services – such as roofing repair, electrical maintenance, and plumbing renovation – require licensing to be legally provided by a company. If your service typically requires some sort of license to perform, you need to hire a contractor. This is especially important for commercial facilities as not hiring the right person may lead to troubles with your own permits and licensing.

Does it require special equipment?

Contractors invest in high-quality equipment to provide service that a handyman may not have on their truck. Even if the handyman is able to complete the repair, they may put themselves at risk or not be able to complete the service properly without this needed equipment.

Does the handyman list this service on their website or brochure?

Typically, a handyman will have a list of provided services that you can select from. If the service you’re looking for is not explicitly listed, you should look for a contractor to make sure the job is done right.

Was previous work done by a licensed contractor?

If you’re having trouble with your HVAC system and a previous contractor has already done work on the unit before, you should call a licensed contractor to finish the work, especially if you think something was done wrong. A handyman may not be able to accurately diagnose problems or work on a piece of equipment that has had previous faulty service. Prevent the problem from getting worse by hiring the right help.

MaintenX helps small businesses find affordable and quality work for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and roofing repair across the U.S. If you need work done by a specialist, contact us to connect with the best subcontractor network in the U.S.

Why Choose Polymer Roofing for Historic Buildings?

Historic buildings are some of the trickiest sites for us to work on as commercial contractors. While we want to preserve the historic integrity of these buildings and keep them as true to their original form as possible, we also want the best in technology for our customers. Finding the right balance of modern technology with historic preservation efforts can be tricky, but is well worth the effort. 

Historic roofing is one sector in commercial construction that has made great strides in this area. Historical preservationists often want to keep the natural slate or wood shake roofing on historic buildings for as long as they can, but this can pose safety hazards for the building and leave it less energy-efficient for modern appliances. The lack of proper insulation can make these roof types struggle to cope with modern heating and cooling needs, and can even become a greater fire risk. But, there is an alternative on the rise that is becoming more and more popular with historical preservationists. 

Polymer roofing is a new option for historic buildings that preserves the structural integrity of the building itself while maintaining the same look of different periods throughout American architecture. Polymer roofing can be designed to look like natural slate or wood shakes, but provides a much more durable installation with modern flashing that will ensure the roof is well-insulated, safe, and built to last as long as other modern roofing options. Other benefits of polymer roofing include: 

  • Decreased fire and natural disaster hazards as compared to original historic roofing
  • Increased roofing lifespan
  • Comparable aesthetic appeal to wood shake or slate roofing
  • Reduced risk of water damage due to improper insulation
  • Increased energy-efficiency
  • Value-add option for commercial property

Historical sites across the country are using polymer roofing to create the look and feel that old stone and wood shake roofing had, but with every bit of durability, that modern roofing provides. If you’re interested in restoring a historic commercial building with this modern roofing tech, contact MaintenX today! We offer expert roofing repair and restoration services from coast to coast. 

 

What is a Cool Roof System?

As businesses become more and more environmentally conscious, energy efficiency has become one of the biggest selling points in commercial real estate. Sustainability tech is the hottest trend for property owners and managers and can make a bigger difference to your clients than aesthetic choices or rent prices. If you’re interested in creating a more eco-friendly commercial building, a cool roofing system can help your facility stand apart from the rest. 

Most property owners don’t think about their roof as an opportunity to reduce energy costs, other than solar paneling. However, solar panels are still out of the price range for many and have a slow payback as opposed to other energy-efficient upgrades. A cool roofing system, however, can reduce your interior energy costs which makes a bigger impact on your tenants.

What is a Cool Roofing System?

Cool roofing systems are coated with a light-colored acrylic coating that helps reflect light away from the building. Like wearing a white shirt on a hot day, this helps your building to stay cool on hot days as opposed to black or dark-colored shingles which absorb the heat. Cool roofing systems are typically applied with a spray-on coating and can be easily added to your existing roof. 

Cool roofing systems offer a variety of benefits other than energy efficiency for your building, including: 

  • Cost-effective coating: A cool roof coating can lower energy costs, extend the service life of your roof, and is highly cost-effective to install. 
  • Durability: Cool roof coatings will often last several years or even decades if properly cared for and retouched. 
  • Compatibility: Most roofing systems can be renovated with an acrylic coating to become cool roofing systems, making them one of the easiest energy-efficient upgrades you can make to your facility. 

If you want your building to stand out as an energy-efficient and sustainable facility, ask your MaintenX team about cool roofing system upgrades. We can help you make your building a forward-thinking facility that is lower cost and easier to maintain than other buildings in your area. 

To learn more, contact your local MaintenX contractor today!

 

Tips for Better Roof Maintenance Management

Roofing is one of your building’s biggest assets and one that is under the most duress from the outside elements. In Tampa, where MaintenX is headquartered, we understand the importance of quality roofing due to our turbulent hurricane season. Clients who take care of their roofing systems don’t have to worry about water damage and structural issues during the summer months, because their roofing is prepared for the worst. 

Regular maintenance can save you thousands of dollars by preventing damage and emergency repairs. By making a few simple changes to your roofing maintenance plan, you can become a more proactive facility manager and help your maintenance team improve the quality of service along the way. 

Proactive vs. Reactive Roofing Maintenance

Proactive roofing maintenance is the less popular approach because it seems more expensive. Regular roof inspections and cleanings will increase your annual spending slightly, but it will save you from shelling out for major roofing repairs and renovations. Preventative maintenance can also add 10 to 15 years of service life for your roof, making the yearly inspection and cleaning well worth the effort. 

Do you know what your roof needs?

Do you know what service your particular type of roofing needs, or how to identify early signs of problems? If not, you should have a talk with your maintenance team to better understand your roofing system’s needs and maintenance schedule that will best suit the material type. Some roofing materials like concrete need less maintenance, while stylish roofing options like wood shakes will need a strict maintenance routine to preserve their look and utility. 

What about maintenance goals? Do you know how to tell when your roof maintenance plan is working? If your roof is well cared for, you can expect lower energy costs because the interior will be better insulated. You’ll also have no visible signs of damage, mildew, or algae growth if your roofing is regularly inspected and cleaned. 

Roofing maintenance is easy with the MaintenX team by your side. We can help you curate a preventative maintenance plan that will ensure your roof reaches its maximum service life and can withstand the elements no matter where you’re located. To learn more about roofing repair, maintenance, and installations, contact your local MaintenX team today. 

Ask A Roofer: Five Most Frequently Asked Questions

MaintenX specializes in roofing repairs, installations, and preventative service throughout Florida and the U.S. We believe this is one of our most important services, as often commercial roofing maintenance is neglected in favor of other maintenance services. Roofing maintenance, however, protects your entire building from water damage, structural problems, and other maintenance disasters you’d much rather avoid. 

Below are our most received roofing questions from clients, and how you can better service your facility with roofing maintenance: 

Are solar panels worth the expense?

More and more businesses in Florida are utilizing solar panels on their roofing to cover part of their energy cost. Commercial roofing is often made flat, which is ideal for solar panels, but the initial cost of investment can drive some property owners away from the installation. However, over time the solar panels can reduce your energy bill by more than half, paying for themselves over several years. They are also a great value-add to the property itself when it comes time to sell, as new buyers are more concerned with their real estate’s environmental impact than ever before. 

How often should I schedule roof inspections?

Commercial roofing is typically built to withstand harsher conditions than residential roofing, so it only needs to be inspected every two to five years to prevent damage. Commercial concrete roofing may need fewer inspections as it will need very little repair throughout the years. 

What’s the best way to replace my roofing?

When replacing a commercial roof, you have two options. You can tear off the existing roof, or you can build on top of it (assuming the old roof is in good condition). The ideal option of the two depends on the condition of your existing roof, its texture, and what you want to put down to replace it. 

How long does commercial roofing last?

Most commercial roofing will last a minimum of 20 years, with more durable materials like metal and concrete lasting 40-50 or more with good care. More aesthetically pleasing options like TPO and shingles do not have as long of a lifespan but are ideal for smaller businesses with low roofing. 

What is the biggest concern for roofing maintenance? 

Most people assume that weather is the biggest threat to roofing. While this is true for Florida businesses during a hurricane, the most consistent predictor of roofing failure and leaks is a lack of maintenance. A storm may be able to damage your roof, but neglect will ensure your roof has a much lower service life. Be sure to care for your roofing system so it can withstand years of wear and tear. 

For more information about roofing maintenance and installations, visit our Resource Center or contact your local MaintenX team today!

Three Things Your Roofer Wants You To Stop Doing at Your Business

Roofing repair is one of the most important services we offer at MaintenX. Oftentimes, roofing problems are what get businesses in trouble when left untreated, as they can lead to major water damage, pest infestations, and worse. Our best tool is education when it comes to roofing service, as an informed customer can make a better decision on when and what they need for their roofing system. 

 

While we do our best to arm our clients with knowledge on their roofing system, we often see them make these same mistakes over and over. If you want to avoid costly roofing repairs and maintenance later down the line, avoid making these common roofing errors: 

 

Getting on the roof without safety equipment. 

Unless your commercial building is made for foot traffic on the roof, never climb up there without safety equipment. This puts you at severe risk, and should never be necessary without a licensed roofer present. Even if it is for something as simple as hanging company Christmas lights, you should always use safety equipment when getting on your building’s roof. 

 

Ignoring minor roof leaks. 

Modern roofing is made to withstand leaks. It is built in layers including waterproof membranes, flashing, and durable exterior roof material, all of which are designed to minimize water damage. If you notice a leak coming from your roof, that means something has gone seriously wrong. Contact your MaintenX team immediately to address the issue and avoid further roof damage. 

 

Neglecting to clean your roof and gutters. 

One of the worst parts of a roofer’s job is having to clean severely neglected roofing and gutter systems on a commercial building. It may be a pain to schedule cleanings every six months to a year, but it is much better for your roofing and will help you avoid costly repairs later on. Talk to your MaintenX roofer about a cleaning schedule to ensure your roof looks great and stays strong for years to come. 

 

MaintenX offers professional roofing repair, preventative care, and installations for commercial facilities. If you are looking to clean or repair your roofing, give us a call today to learn what MaintenX can do for you!

Three Smarter Roofing Designs For Your Facility

MaintenX specializes in roof construction and repair and is always on the lookout for better technologies for our clients. While most commercial roofing is either designed with concrete or an affordable shingle, there are many other options property owners should consider before remodeling or beginning new construction. 

 

Below are three smart roofing systems you should consider that break expectation and will provide lasting value to your building: 

 

EPDM Rubber

EPDM rubber is a relatively new commercial roofing option with many benefits for larger facilities. It is cheap and easy to install, making it ideal for industrial sites where costs are scrutinized down to the dime. EPDM rubber is also highly durable and can withstand weather, rooftop maintenance, and years of direct sunlight. EPDM rubber provides a smooth surface, and though it is not as aesthetically pleasing as other roofing options, it is much safer for things like rooftop HVAC maintenance and other building repairs. 

 

Built-up Roofing (BUR) systems

BUR roofing consists of a semi-flexible membrane constructed in many layers (hence “built-up” roofing). This design maximizes durability and water resistance which is ideal for buildings that face harsh weather conditions throughout the year. In Tampa, Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, we often use BUR roofing systems to protect buildings from hurricane damage. This system can be more time-consuming and expensive to install but will provide your facility with a roof that is meant to last. 

 

Solar paneling

Though not a roofing system on its own, the installation of solar panels can make your entire building and roofing system work more efficiently. Sunlight is a common problem for the insulation and maintenance of a roof. Why not transform it into something useful for your facility instead? Solar panels are becoming more efficient and affordable every year, and many states offer subsidies for installation on commercial sites. 

 

If you are in the process of building or remodeling your roof, talk to MaintenX about these options today! We’d be more than happy to help guide you in the right direction for your roofing repair and installation.

Four Hacks for Easier Roof Cleaning

Roof cleaning is a necessary burden for all commercial maintenance. Typically, it is neglected until visible signs of wear and tear are present on the roof. However, with a few simple tricks, you can make your roof cleaning much simpler, and in turn motivate you to schedule it as recommended. 

 

Use these four tricks to make your commercial roof cleaning easier for both you and your maintenance team: 

 

Schedule it in advance. 

Roof cleaning is a pain, so many facility managers avoid it until it’s absolutely necessary. However, if you schedule roof and gutter cleaning every six months, you’ll see it becomes easier and easier every time. Frequent roof cleanings can also protect your gutters and roof surfaces, making them last longer and need fewer repairs. 

 

Install a gutter guard. 

Gutter cleaning is time intensive and often unpleasant, but you can make it much easier with a rain gutter guard. This allows your gutter to effectively redirect water without gathering as much debris over time. While you’ll still need to clean it for buildup of dirt and smaller leaves, it won’t clog with large leaves, moss, or other debris nearly as badly. 

 

Use the right cleaning solution.

The cleaners you use will likely end up in the grass down below, do choose roof cleaners that won’t kill your surrounding greenery. Natural cleaners or simply a water hose can typically do the job and won’t cause brown spots in your grass. 

 

Use a garden hose over a pressure washer.

Unless your roof is concrete or another hard, flat surface, you should never use a pressure washer for roof cleaning. This can cause damage to the shingles and flashing and cause them to come off prematurely. Use a garden hose instead for removing dirt and debris.

 

Want to make roof cleaning even easier? Contact MaintenX to schedule a professional cleaning service! We offer roof repair, maintenance, and cleaning services to make your maintenance routine easy and affordable. Call your local MaintenX team today to learn about your options.

Five Commercial Roofing Terms You Need To Know

When working on repairing or installing a new roof, it is easy for clients to get lost with all of the jargon and acronyms thrown at them. Terms like TOP, R-value, and roof substrates are very important to us but often fall on deaf ears when talking to a manager who simply wants their leak fixed. 

 

MaintenX believes that education is the first step to a productive technician-client dialogue. If you’re curious to learn more about your roofing service, below are a few of the common terms you may hear, and how they pertain to your roofing service: 

 

Roofing systems: EPDM, BUR, TPO, and PVC 

The roofing “system” used simply means the type of material used for your rooftop. While some systems you may be familiar with – such as concrete or asphalt – these less common systems are important to understand for commercial applications: 

 

  • EPDM – A single-ply hardy rubber material that is common for walkways and roofing. 

 

  • Built-up Roofing (BUR) – A semi-flexible roofing membrane that is constructed in layers to achieve maximum durability and water resistance. 

 

  • TPO – A single-ply roof membrane made of synthetic compounds to increase durability and water resistance. 

 

  • PVC – a double-layered roof material where polyester is added between the layers of PVC to support the system.

 

Roofing coatings: elastomeric or acrylic

Roofing systems are not constructed in a single layer. They have materials underneath and coatings to protect the material from sun and water damage. The two most common types of roofing coatings are elastomeric and acrylic, both different kinds of plastic which provide a waterproof barrier. 

 

Flashing 

Like the roof coating, flashing helps protect the roof from water and weather damage. Flashing is placed underneath the edges of the roof to prevent leaks and debris from entering the interior of the building. 

 

R-Value 

The R-value of a roof is its rating for the ability to resist conductive heat. This is especially important for determining the energy efficiency of roofing in sunny areas like Florida and can determine whether a roofing system is safe for commercial or industrial applications.

 

Substrate 

The substrate is the foundation of the roof. It is the layer upon which everything else is built, including insulation, flashing, and waterproof barriers. 

 

With this knowledge at hand, you can better communicate with your MaintenX contractor and prepare for roofing maintenance for your facility. To learn more about the roofing industry and services we provide, visit our Resource Center.

Ensuring Safety Compliance for Your Roofing Contractors

Roofing is one of the most dangerous contract jobs in America. Because roofers must climb to the top of buildings, fall accidents are the number one concern when planning or implementing a roofing service. As the building owner or manager, you are just as responsible for providing a safe working environment as the roofer is responsible for following relevant laws and safety requirements. 

 

If you want to reduce liability and provide a safe working environment for your roofing contractors, there are several steps you can take to prepare before the service. OSHA provides simple guidelines for roofing work that can help both you and your contractor prepare.

 

OSHA’s Plan, Provide, and Train Model

OSHA recommends a three-step process for roofing safety compliance, including proper planning, providing adequate safety equipment, and training roofers as needed through licensing programs to ensure they are ready for the job. While you don’t need to train the roofers yourself, as a business you are responsible for several parts of this safety protocol: 

  • Plan a safe working surface by removing surface hazards, holes, and impalements. OSHA requires a safe working environment for roofing work, so be sure to inspect the roofing prior to maintenance service. If you see a place where a roofer could easily trip or get hurt while walking on the roof, you must either warn them or remove the surface hazard yourself. 


  • Plan the work site ahead of time to keep work materials close and on hand. Climbing up and down to the roof is the most dangerous part of a roofer’s job. To minimize fall risks, OSHA requires work materials to be close by while repairs or maintenance are being performed. Ensure your roofers follow this guideline and provide them with adequate materials for the job as needed. 


  • Provide fall safety equipment. Most roofing contractors will provide their own safety equipment, so make sure your contractors are following guidelines and not skipping any steps. This liability can fall on you if you’re not careful. 


  • Train anyone on the worksite on fall prevention strategies. Roofers are required to complete a licensing program before they can work on commercial sites, but training doesn’t solely fall on their shoulders. If anyone is on the worksite with them, be sure to go over safety protocols and ensure they are prepared for any part of the roof maintenance process. 

 

Roofing safety is critical for both contractor and business owner to understand. If you want to learn more about safety compliance for roofing or other maintenance work, visit our Resource Center.