As the owner of a business, you know how important maintenance is to your building. Most companies have a maintenance man (or crew, for larger companies) that takes care of the interior and exterior aspects of the building. This is typically inclusive of electrical and plumbing repairs, overloaded gutter systems, paint touch ups and even issues that arise with the heating and cooling system. Commercial roofing, however, is a whole other ballgame. Most states require roofers to be licensed and a traditional maintenance crew leader is not. For repairs and replacements on the roof, a professional needs to complete the job.
Having an unlicensed, uninsured individual doing repairs on a business's roof can be a huge liability. If the individual were to get hurt, you would be held responsible for any and all costs relating to pain, suffering and medical care. Beyond that, if the person makes a mistake, you have no recourse. Everything may seem fine when he leaves the job, but a week later during a downpour you realize that the ceiling may as well be Swiss cheese. What do you do then? Since the person that did the work was unlicensed, uninsured and probably not incorporated, you really have no place to turn. You will end up spending more money to have a pro come in to repair the work that was already paid for and completed, albeit incorrectly.
When you need commercial roofing repairs completed, it is best to do a little fact checking. Get a license number from the contractor and cross-reference that with the state's database. Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure complaints have not been filed. Ask to see a copy of the business's liability insurance policy, and then call the managing agent to make sure the insurance is active and covers the scope of your project. If any of these areas seem a bit muddled or gray, look for a different contractor.
Another good idea is to ask surrounding companies which they have used in the past for their commercial roofing problems, if they would use the same people again and if they would recommend the service provider to others. Also, ask the roofer for references. A reputable businessman has references that can be checked. These may come from previous customers or even GC's. Make sure to ask specific questions so that you are able to recognize if it is a legitimate reference … not the roofer's aunt or brother-in-law.
There is no sense in wasting time or money on commercial roofing by try to take shortcuts. Have it done right the first time. You have a huge investment to protect under that roof. Your maintenance man can be a great help when it comes to repair work, but chances are he will not be crazy about the idea of playing roofer for a day. Moreover, the fly-by-nights without the proper paperwork are obviously used to taking shortcuts, which is exactly what they will do to your rooftop. Have a pro come in to get the job done right.