Can You Use Your Building During a Commercial Roof Replacement?

July 16, 2021
Commercial Roof Replacement

Can You Use Your Building During a Commercial Roof Replacement?

Business owners will naturally have many questions when the time comes for a commercial roof replacement, with the most pertinent often being, “Can I keep my business open during the roof replacement?” While it may depend on precisely what type of business it is, generally speaking, the answer to this question is a simple, “Yes!”

Of course, a one-word answer doesn’t cover everything business owners need to know about their commercial roof replacement. For starters, it’s essential to know this type of roof replacement could take up to a month to complete, depending on the size and type of building and how extensive the replacement will be.

Another factor that significantly contributes to the timeframe is scheduling work hours for the roofers. If the commercial roof replacement is for a 24/7 operation like a factory or hospital, the roofers will have to work when the building has people inside it. If it is for a retail space, restaurant, or school, it might be best to schedule their work hours early in the morning or late at night to avoid disturbances.

Even with the most efficient schedule set up on paper, other things can get in the way of the process, including inclement weather and time for various components and materials to cure, dry, or settle into place.

How to Prepare for a Commercial Roof Replacement

Whether your commercial roof replacement is estimated to take a few days or a month, there are certain things you can do as the business owner to prepare for the process. Going through the list below beforehand will not only help the roofing company when they arrive, but it will also alleviate stress and inconveniences for employees and customers.

1. Understand the Process

As the business owner or property manager, it’s good to have a list of questions ready for the roofing contractors when you first go to discuss your commercial roof replacement. It helps to know information such as:

  • How will the workers access the roof?
  • What will the working hours be?
  • Where can the workers park and store supplies?
  • What noises, smells, or debris should you prepare for?
  • Will the HVAC system be affected?
  • Are there indoor areas that need to be marked off-limits?

And, of course, knowing the timeline for the job will help you inform employees, customers, and anyone else who may be affected by the work.

2. Ensure Building Access

While most roofing work takes place outside the building, speak with the roofers and see if and when they may need access inside the building. For example, they may need to use elevators or stairways to get to and from the roof or send supplies up.

If possible, request that your roofers use light-traffic areas such as back entrances, service elevators, or, if they have one, a hydraulic lift. Also, let the roofers know your peak business hours in advance and see if there are ways they can work around them. For example, if you own a retail space that’s closed on Sundays, let them know. On the other hand, if your commercial roof replacement is for a church, Sundays may be off-limits for the roofers.

3. Plan for Parking

It’s a good idea to cordon off a specific parking lot area, away from entrances and exits, where the roofing contractors can place dumpsters, materials, and vehicles. That way, you know their presence won’t negatively affect traffic in and out of the building, and everyone else will still have space to park as they usually would. Also, ensure the area the roofers need doesn’t come close to blocking a fire lane or any fire exits.

If your building’s parking lot is small or shared with other properties, you may want to consider asking employees if they can carpool or find another area nearby to park for the project’s duration.

4. Prepare for Dust and Odors

There are no two ways about it—your building will get dusty and smelly during a commercial roof replacement. If the building has an HVAC system or something similar, it’s usually best to turn it off during the project. It may seem like circulating the air would help, but in most cases, it just throws the dust around more and spreads the smells to more spaces.

Instead, ask the roofers to do their best to place the roofing kettle downwind of the building and keep the temperature low. Also, explain to employees and customers that they may experience some discomfort. If anyone is concerned about exposure to certain chemicals, don’t hesitate to ask the roofing company about the products they use or any other health and safety questions.

5. Find Ways to Minimize Noise

Completing a commercial roof replacement is a noisy affair that involves drills, hammers, and other loud noises that the roofers cannot avoid. However, there are ways to reduce noise for building tenants, for example:

  • Request that the roofers do not play loud music while working
  • Ask about installation materials that require less hammering
  • Ask roofers to minimize yelling; they can use walkie-talkies or cell phones instead

In most cases, a quality roofing company will happily oblige to such requests and understand the importance of keeping everyone inside the building comfortable and productive.

6. Other Safety Concerns

Depending on the type of building, additional details may be important to share with tenants or employees. If there is an array of information to share, consider having a meeting to go over the particulars and give people an opportunity to ask questions.

Some everyday items to share with tenants regardless of the type of commercial roof replacement include:

  • Stay away from dumpsters as debris may be falling from above
  • Read all signs and warnings carefully before proceeding
  • Assign (or remind) others of who their health and safety officers are
  • When in doubt, ask for help or clarification

At times it may feel over the top to review or remind about safety protocols, but it can help prevent accidents or issues with the roofers, ensuring everyone on the property is safe at all times.

7. Double-Check the Clean-Up

When the time finally comes for the roofers to be on their way, have the property manager or another trustworthy and knowledgeable individual ensure the roofers complete the clean-up process correctly.

Essentially, it should be as if the roofers were never on the premises. That means all garbage and dumpsters have been hauled away, any leftover materials were returned or stored correctly, and all tools and other equipment are picked up.

Any respectable commercial roof replacement company will do all of these things, but it’s still helpful to have someone on hand to keep an eye out. Each worksite is different, and it may be easy to overlook something during clean-up.

If it’s time for your next commercial roof replacement, contact Four Season Kanga Roof for commercial roofers near me. We can provide your business with whatever roofing needs it may have, such as maintenance, repairs, or a complete replacement. We will be honest and upfront regarding what services your roof needs and won’t add on unnecessary expenses.

Our family-owned and operated roofing company has been in business for over 15 years, and we consider ourselves a part of the southeast Michigan community. That’s why we always answer the phone, show up on time, and guarantee our work. If it’s not good enough for our home or business, we won’t put it on yours.



Call our team today to learn more about current specials for your roof.