Top 10 Tips for Rubber Roofing Installation Businesses
While some of the more straightforward EPDM rubber roofing systems can be installed by a competent DIYer, many installations require the skills of a professional. If you are a company who installs rubber roofing for your clients, this blog will offer some great tips and advice from a rubber roofing specialist who has worked in the industry for over 12 years.
You may be thinking that a simple set of tools is sufficient to install rubber roofs properly and you're not wrong, but installing EPDM is not just about using the right tools. It requires patience, skill and knowledge. Failure to get the basics right and not only will you lose time but you'll also waste valuable materials and resources too.
As a skilled installer who has been in the industry for many years, I am familiar with the tools, techniques and strategies that work.
Top Tip #1 Leaf Blower
Save time and labour with a leaf blower. Roof surfaces should be clean and free from debris. A petrol powered leaf blower is much more effective than a manual broom, not to mention the time that it saves. This is particularly useful if you have ground out the lead chase which produces a significant amount of dust. Adequate deck preparation is vital.
Top Tip #2 Membrane Scissors
Use good quality membrane scissors. Heavy duty tailor’s scissors which are sold for roofing are an essential piece of kit for any rubber roofing installer. They are also great for fast and accurate shaping of flashing tapes.
Top Tip #3 Adhesive Roller
Using a good quality adhesive roller will help significantly. Don't be tempted to opt for poorer quality rollers as they won’t offer the strength that you need for rubber roofing installations. A ridged fibreglass handle which screws together is the best one to use.
Top Tip #4 Trimming Knife
Always select a trimming knife with a quick blade changeover facility which will facilitate the cutting process. Roofing membranes are designed to be strong so the right cutting tools are vital and will make the work much easier.
Top Tip #5 DPM
We always recommend that you carry a full roll of 1200 gauge DPM to each project. With the typical British weather you may face an unexpected rain deluge mid way through the installation and you will need to ensure that the deck space is sufficiently protected. Never attempt to remove a flat roof without having a temporary cover in place even though it is the customer’s responsibility to remove any items of value which are in the room below. Customers won't thank you for water blowing up their state of the art home entertainment system because of inadequate roof coverings! To make matters worse you may have difficulty obtaining payment for the roofing work that has been carried out!
Top Tip #6 Waste ManagementDuring a flat roofing refurbishment there will be a considerable amount of waste. Correct waste management is essential not only for safety purposes but also to increase efficiency. The best waste removal for roofing is either a skip (or two) or you can hire a tipper van. In the majority of cases tipper vans can pull up close to the roof, all of the waste easily thrown in and then removed. Always avoid double handling waste as much as possible as felt tooting is extremely heavy and roof decking boards bulky. Tipper tricks can save you a lot of time and resources, making the waste removal quick and hassle free.
Top Tip #7 Sufficient Resources
Ensure that you have an adequate supply of materials. If you can build up a business float as this will make things much easier. If you are working on a project it is much quicker to replenish your supplies from your own sticks rather than having to wait for new supplies to arrive. Although the majority of retailers like ourselves offer next day delivery, there is always a chance that there could be delays in the transport system. The last thing you want is to leave a project half finished or have several roofs to finish off because you didn't have enough materials.
Top Tip #8 Quotations and Contracts
Before starting any work ensure that you have provided an accurate quote and you have a signed contract with the customer. Contracts should protect both parties and outline factors such as payment information, timescales and what happens if something goes wrong and the customer needs to make a complaint.
Top Tip #9 Warranties
When ordering your supplies check that they provide a membrane warranty. The majority of local merchants who stock rubber roofing supplies will only provide the materials and not provide the warranty.
Top Tip #10 Customer Service
It may seem obvious but take pride in your work and deliver exceptional quality for your clients. The roofing industry in some areas is a little murky with stories of poor workmanship or unscrupulous firms occasionally featuring in the news. Poor business practice will spread more quickly than good work ever will so you need to demonstrate your ability and build a strong reputation. Great customer care is crucial and it certainly pays to look after your clients.
Keeping your customers happy, delivering high quality work and using the right tools can go a long way to helping your rubber roofing installation business thrive and ensuring its continued success.
The Team at Rubber Roofing Direct