Roofer builds, inspects, repairs, and replaces roofs on homes, commercial buildings, or construction sites. They use a variety of roofing materials.
Roofers often gain experience in other areas of construction before specializing as roofers. These skills may prepare them for positions such as project manager or estimator.
The roofing material is the outer layer of a building’s roof, covering and protecting the structure from the elements. Roofing materials can vary from natural products, such as thatch or slate, to commercially produced tiles and sheeting. The type of roofing material used on a house depends on the climate and the desired appearance. The longevity of a roof also depends on circumstances and maintenance, with some materials lasting hundreds of years.
Shingles, either asphalt-based or wood-based, are a common roofing material. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors and are generally easy to install. They can be long-lasting, but require regular maintenance to ensure that they stay watertight. The best shingles are made of cedar or other natural woods, which are long-lasting and resist rot and insect infestations.
Rolled roofing consists of long rolls of a mineral-impregnated and asphalt-based roofing material topped with mineral granules. It is used on low-slope residential roofs or on outbuildings such as sheds and workshops where aesthetic value is not important. It can be heat-welded, hot mounded with asphalt or adhered with adhesive and has an average life of about 20 to 25 years.
Rubber shingles are an alternative to shingle, slate or shake roofs that are made of recycled tyre-derived rubber and may contain binders, UV (ultraviolet) inhibitors and color. They are easy to install and last 30 to 50 years or more.
Tiles are another long-lasting roofing material. They can add an elegant touch to a home and are often seen on Mediterranean, Southwestern or Spanish-style houses. Clay tiles are made of earthen clays molded into rolled or interlocking shapes and fired for hardness. They are expensive and heavy, but they provide a long service life in most climates. Concrete tiles are less costly but also are heavy.
Metal roofs feel like a modern choice, but they were first used in the 1800s. They are available in shingles and sheets that can lock together or are connected with a standing seam, and they are available in a wide variety of looks to suit any style. They are highly durable, resistant to adverse weather and can be recycled at the end of their service life.
As roofing is such a dangerous job, roofers use a variety of techniques to perform their work safely. The most obvious technique is the use of ladders, which enables them to access the roof and install or repair shingles. They also use a wide range of tools, including power equipment like saws and drills, shingle removers or shovels, a roofing nailer, a hammer or a crowbar, utility knives, and a pair of construction gloves.
Roofing is often messy, so the ability to keep the area clean is critical for a roofer’s success. They must also prepare the site before beginning work to minimize the likelihood of damage to surrounding structures and plants. This includes identifying underground and overhead hazards, relocating vehicles, covering shrubs and other vulnerable plants, and removing wall hangings and loose shelf items from the inside of the house.
Once they reach the roof, roofers have to make sure that all the shingles are properly aligned. To do this, they typically mark the shape of the roof with chalk markings. Then they use a Framing Square and a Speed Square to precisely cut metal sheets, shingles, or flashing.
For residential roofing, roofers must be able to interact with customers and address their concerns. This requires a high level of customer service and the ability to build rapport. It is also important for them to be able to answer questions and explain technical details of the roofing process.
Marketing strategies vary by roofing company, but the best ones are those that promote the value of the roofing services offered. A well-thought-out and targeted social media campaign that highlights positive reviews, jobsite check-ins, and other forms of proof can help to humanize a business and establish trust in potential customers. While it may take time for social media to produce results, it is a great way to generate traffic and convert that into sales. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are another option for quick responses, but they can quickly drain a roofing company’s budget. The better strategy is to develop a long-term branding plan that encompasses SEO and other traditional marketing methods.
Roofing is a dangerous job, and safety precautions are crucial to prevent accidents. Roofers must ensure that they are properly supervised and trained to carry out tasks safely. They also need to identify other considerations to control threats and hazards. This includes making sure that their equipment and materials are safe to use, identifying potential hazards, and providing training on the risks associated with certain types of work. In addition, they should monitor weather conditions and halt all work if there is an imminent risk of rain or strong winds.
One of the biggest dangers in roofing is falls, which are the most common cause of death for construction workers. To reduce this risk, roofers should wear a harness and hard hat when they are working on the roof. In addition, they should use ladders that extend at least 3 feet above the ground and be fastened with rope or wire to stakes or other anchor points on the roof. They should also avoid walking on the edge of the roof if possible.
Other common roofing risks include the use of chemicals, electrical hazards, and heat. When using chemicals, it is important to follow all safety instructions and never leave a torch unattended. They should also use a fire extinguisher, keep it close by, and designate someone to watch for fire risks. Likewise, when using a nail gun, workers should only pull the trigger when the tip is firmly against the material.
To reduce tripping hazards, workers should clear the work area of any debris or obstructions. They should also secure tools and materials to prevent them from falling off the roof. In addition, they should use a tool tether or lanyard to prevent themselves from becoming entangled in their clothing. They should also wear clothing that is comfortable and does not impede movement while on the roof. Finally, they should always wear footwear with good traction and support to prevent slippage or falls. This includes closed-toed shoes and leather work gloves.
When it comes to insurance policies, roofers need a variety of options. General liability insurance is an essential policy for any business, protecting against third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage. This can include accidents that occur on-site, such as a passerby getting hit by falling debris or a worker slipping and falling on a ladder.
Roofing insurance may also include professional liability coverage, which can support legal fees in the event that your business is sued for mistakes or service issues. It’s a great backup plan in case your clients feel they have been mistreated, and it’s an important part of any small business insurance program.
A surety bond is another type of insurance that helps protect a roofing company in the event that a client doesn’t receive the work they paid for or if they experience damage to their property as a result of your services. This is a form of guarantee that you will complete the work and is usually provided on a contract-by-contract basis.
If your roofing business relies on company-owned vehicles to get from one job site to the next, New York commercial auto insurance is a necessary policy. Personal auto insurance won’t cover business use of your vehicles, so this is a crucial add-on for any roofing company.
For companies that have a large amount of equipment and supplies at various locations, inland marine insurance is a good option to consider. This type of policy covers items like cranes, tools and equipment that are moved between sites while in progress or after completion of a project.
While some roofers claim that they are exempt from carrying insurance or that their homeowner’s insurance will cover them, this is not a wise move. Even a single lawsuit could devastate a roofing business, so it’s essential to take the necessary steps to safeguard your business. Speak with a specialist in small business insurance for more information about the policies that are most appropriate for your roofing company. An experienced agent can help you make the right choices and find affordable rates.