BUILDING ENVELOPE CONSULTANTS – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I don’t have any issues with my roof. Why would I need a consultant?
A: Not all roof issues make themselves apparent before failures occur. If you are following the roof manufacturer’s maintenance plans, performing inspections at least twice yearly and after each service call to rooftop equipment, and having no issues, you may not choose to call in a consultant. But an inexpensive visual inspection by an independent registered roof consultant can detect developing problems before they require expensive repairs, protect and even prolong the expected life of the roof, and hepo ensure warranty compliance.
Q: I know I will be replacing the roof in a few years. Why call a consultant now?
A: If your roof is aging, an independent registered roof consultant can assist with repair and prevention plans that meet your budget and protect the roof deck, the building envelope and interior assets until the time the roof is to be replaced. This service is very cost effective, and more importantly, prevents the cycle of on-going quick fixes that expose the core business of the building occupants to major disruptions.
Q: I have a good relationship with my contractor. Why would I need a consultant?
A: Terrific! There are many good contractors who value relationships and work integrity. You may not need a roof consultant if your contractor is performing the inspections, keeping records and helping ensure that your maintenance costs over the life of the roof system are as you expect. However, in the event of high traffic roofs, renovations, equipment replacement or additions, repeated repair history, weather events, etc., an independent consultant is your best resource for fact-based non-biased assessments and recommendations.
Q: There are no records of the envelope system, warranty or plans at my facility. How can a building envelope consultant help?
A: A building envelope consultant can identify your system and can usually track down the manufacturer, installation date, your warranty, and even the installing contractor. He can create critical data reports along with photographs and drawings, develop maintenance or repair plans to ensure performance and life-span of the envelope system, assist with warranty issues if needed, and more.
Q: I am replacing my roof. I have an architect, why do I need a roof consultant?
A: Architects employ the services of structural, electrical and mechanical engineers in designing and constructing a new building. The roof is as critical to the building performance as any other component, and utilizing a specialist in roof design who understands the strengths and weaknesses of ever-changing roof systems and components is logical. An independent roof consultant can also review and confirm construction documents, serve as quality control for the materials, improve communication between the numerous parties, perform project management and other tasks required to ensure that all aspects of the roof system meet or exceed the expectations of the owner. Shared liability is also a plus!
Q: I have a warranty. If something goes wrong, isn’t it covered?
A: A warranty is written by the manufacturer’s attorneys. Always review your warranty prior to roof installation to ensure that you understand the limitations and any actions that will void the warranty. There can be many reasons a roof fails – weather, trade damage or improper maintenance issues are pretty obvious. Poor design, improper installation or defective materials are trickier. Failure is often due to a combination of factors. This makes your warranty claim more complex, and easier to be denied. Finger pointing and quick fixes can drag on for years. An independent roof consultant can sort through the details and present the facts as they occurred so that liability is recognized by all of the proper parties, avoiding litigation if possible, and restoring the roof to full performance.
Q: Are roof consultants cost effective?
A: Absolutely! There is a bounty of evidence proving that proper planning and design in conjunction with quality control reduces maintenance costs and improves system performance over the long term. You also save by reducing change orders!