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4 Roof Replacement Planning Mistakes You Need to Avoid

It can be a major challenge for facility managers and commercial propery owners to replace the roof of their buildings. This major endeavor, after all, requires careful planning and coordination. No matter how hard you try to keep everything on schedule, you’re bound to encounter several hiccups along the way.

Anyone familiar with roofing in the local area will inform you that dealing with roofing delays is sometimes unavoidable. You try your best to stay on schedule, but there will always that inevitable situation – sometimes, through no fault of your own – that can get in the way of the entire process.

Roofing delays can have a drastic effect on all parties involved. For the property owner or manager, it can impact project costs, leading to higher expenditures than what has been anticipated. For the roofing contractor, it can lead to a considerable decrease in annual revenue figures. Not only that, but it has the potential to give clients the impression of being disorganized. There’s also the risk of the pros ruining their reputation, especially if the work delay results in business or financial losses to the customer.

For your roofing project to be successful, you shouldn’t just plan for it. You must also respond well to unexpected situations along the way so you can keep everything on track. Here are some ways you can manage and prevent delays in your commercial roofing project.

Staying on Top of Roof Installation Permits

Part of planning a commercial roof replacement involves figuring out what permits you need and submitting the applications for them. However, you must know that permits aren’t approved right away due to strict guidelines. It will likely require building inspections, which may be dependent on the availability of the inspector. You don’t have any control of these, which means that your project’s completion date may be pushed back days or even weeks.

Even if this is the case most of the time, being prepared will help you a lot. Permit processing is complicated, but if you consult with experienced roofing pros, you’ll have a better understanding of how long it may take. They are the local experts who are well-versed when it comes to specific building policies. Once you meet all requirements and have the requisite documentation in hand, you can help speed things up with even the most intractably finicky building officials.

Conducting a Thorough Inspection

A thorough inspection is a helpful tool for you and your contractor to anticipate repairs and make certain adjustments to your project timeline. As the property owner or facility manager, this also allows you to gain access to indoor areas where problems might arise, including the source and location of leaks. Delays often occur from the unexpected so planning ahead is imperative so you won’t encounter any surprises during the project.

Before a roofing company can proceed with the project, the workers must first assess and properly address any issues not just on your roof, but also on your entire property. The roofing pros may discover a hidden problem on your roof. It could be in the form of moisture damage, compromised structural components or installation mistakes that the original installer tried to cover up. These require immediate repairs, extending the project timeline to up to several days.

When performing an inspection, be sure to tackle the various areas of your roof and building, including the following:

  • Flashings – These are strips of metal that protect roof terminations and edges against water infiltration. During the inspection, make sure to examine them and determine whether or not they are performing as expected. Dislodged or missing flashing must be fixed as soon as possible.
  • Interior – Inspect your building interior for any signs of water damage. Check for water stains, mold and mildew growth, and blistering or peeling paint. If you have a sloped commercial roof, see if the roof deck has clumped insulation, which is another sign of water damage.
  • Roof Surface – Punctures on the roof surface are a result of dirt and debris, including sharp twigs, unattended tools and gravel. Mark them if you find several of them. They won’t be patched during replacement, but they need to be inspected for signs of water infiltration. Also, when designing your new roof, be sure to incorporate paths and designated areas. In doing so, you can minimize roof surface damage resulting from heavy foot traffic.

Planning for Poor Weather

Roof replacement delays can happen due to poor weather like rain or snow. Unfortunately, this can impact your budget. Even the slightest rain shower is enough to halt the project temporarily as it is essential for the roof’s substrate to be completely dry before roofing layers can be installed.

However, avoiding roofing delays caused by weather can be as simple as following these suggestions:

  • Evaluate seasonal weather patterns for the approximate timeline of your project. In doing this, you can get a clear idea of which time of the year is the most suitable for your roof replacement project.
  • Anticipate the roof’s expected service life. If your commercial roof is the single-ply type, and it has a 10-year lifespan, plan your roof replacement a year before the last. This should give you enough time to search for contractors, obtain quotes and compare them, and establish a budget. Doing it at an earlier time gives you more chances to hire a roofer you want at the best possible time.
  • Create a contingency plan for bad weather conditions that might occur while the project is underway. Ask your chosen contractor to add a day or two to the project’s timeline. Make sure to have this clause included in the contract before you sign it.

Similar to planning for potential permit issues, you won’t always have control over the conditions of your jobsite. Taking into consideration possible weather issues during the planning process is integral to reducing weather-related delays.

Maintaining Clear Communication With Your Contractor

The importance of clear communication between you and your contractor can’t be overstated. During the days or weeks leading to the actual roof replacement, you must see to it that everyone is on the same page. This way, you can ensure the project goes off without a hitch and within your desired timeline.

Coordinating materials delivery is one of the many aspects of your commercial roofing project where communication is of the utmost importance. Installing a new commercial roof, to begin with, requires materials that need to be sourced from various suppliers, vendors and manufacturers. The more required sources, the more likely the supply line may hit a snag. Delays range from material shortage to transportation issues, but with proper communication, these can be mitigated, if not prevented.

It also helps that you work with a manufacturer-certified roofing contractor. It can offer you roofing systems composed of materials sourced straight from the manufacturer. With them, you’d be less likely to encounter delays.


There are many causes of delays in commercial roofing projects. Fortunately, these can all be addressed by managing expectations and ensuring proper planning. Focus on establishing and maintaining constant communication with everyone involved in the project while keeping an eye on things you cannot control, including the weather and permit applications. Of course, working with an experienced roofer like Orion Home Improvements LLC helps ensure the success of this project.

Our company has been in business for over a decade, and we have a reputation for exceptional results, honest communication and dedicated customer service. Aside from roofing services, you can rely on us for your exterior home improvement needs, including siding and replacement windows.

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