How Technology is Affecting the Roofing Industry

The days of a bunch of guys piling into a truck and heading off to a construction site with little or no planning for the job are long gone. Technology has arrived in the building trades, and nowhere is this more obvious than in commercial roofing contracting.

DK Haney Roofing uses an innovative, web-based software system to manage every aspect of their business.

“I think it’s important to note that we don’t just use this custom software to drive our business,” said Will Riley, the director of business development for DK Haney Roofing. “Our software was developed to enhance the way we serve our customers, and it has enabled us to grow quickly. Sure, most everything we do for our customers could be done manually, but our system allows us to consistently deliver the best service every time.

“Because of our use of technology, we have been able to successfully focus on client retention. This has allowed us to have long-term relationships with our customers.”

Using Technology in the Inspection of Commercial Roofs

According to Roofing magazine, “Commercial roofs should be inspected at least twice a year, typically in the spring and fall. Roof inspections are also advised after major weather events, though contractors may already be deluged with repair requests.”

“The most important task we perform for our clients is gathering data,” Riley said. “Typically, construction is a ‘clipboard’ industry. Employees take their pens and pencils out to a job site, make measurements, take notes, take this data back to the office, generate a bid and send it back to the customer. That’s the norm within the industry.

“Our approach is different.

“Every roof we step on is an opportunity for us to take ownership of that roof. Our focus becomes gathering as much of the data as possible about that roof. This involves using technology to leverage that effort.

“For example, our trained specialists all use mobile devices as a kind of ‘barcode scanner.’ These experts use these devices to scan in data about that roof. They take photos of a deficiency, an open penetration or leak, and with one keystroke this data is loaded directly into our system under the customer’s profile. This data includes the severity level of the problem, the description, price and its location.

“We also capture observations and video of the site, grade the roof and calculate its life-expectancy. From all of this collected data, we put together a recommendation for this roof, and this is permanently stored in our web-based system. This allows the customer to log-in and get current information on/about this roof in real time.

“This process, based on technology, allows us to find the facts, present them and, together with the client, ascertain what the next steps are.”

How DK Haney Uses Technology for Service

Many commercial building owners and managers rely on DK Haney Roofing to fix problems that might lead to leaks. Some of the most common sources of roof leaks include:

• Cracks in or around flashings and penetrations
• Breaks in and around gutterways and drains
• Poor drainage or debris-clogged drainage systems
• Storm damage, tree branches, ice dams, etc.
• Incidental damage by other trades during construction or maintenance
• Excessive foot traffic at rooftop access points and around HVAC units and other rooftop infrastructure
• Old or deteriorating roofing materials

For service calls, computer and web technology are extremely important.

“Whenever our roof specialists are requested to deal with a service issue – such as a roof leak – we keep everyone involved apprised of the status of this call,” Riley said. “We start by tracking our team’s arrival and notifying the building manager, who is often in a different city or state, that we are on the way.

“Once we arrive, we check in using our mobile devices to notify all concerned that we are on the location and working on the problem. We document the ‘before’ and ‘after’ descriptions of the job with photographs. Once the issue is corrected, we check out with the building representative who is on site, by presenting the findings and repairs and having the building rep sign-off on the job. This is then fed into our system for billing and future reference. When the customer invoice is generated, it includes the service call summary, which explains everything that was done.

“Our service techs are really the ‘rock stars’ of our company. While everyone at DK Haney is trained to make inspections and gather this data, our service team can inspect AND make repairs on the site. I like to think of them as our ‘Swiss Army Knives.’ This saves our customers a great deal of time and expense.”

Expediting Warranty Claims by Using Technology

DK Haney is known for its use of such building materials as Duro-Last. These products are some of the best in the industry, but devastating storms can cause any roofing material to be damaged. This is when adequate documentation for a manufacturer’s warranty is critical.

“From the time any roof is installed, we are constantly monitoring the life cycle of that roof,” Riley said. “This is because we’re not really interested in selling the customer just one job. If possible, we want to have a customer for the life of the building.

“In order for a roof to be warranty compliant, it must be inspected at least once a year. Our team makes in-person inspections at least two times a year or after storms. We document the status of the roof and store this data in our system. If a manufacturer ever audits that building to see if the roof has had regular inspections, it is easy for the building owner to retrieve that proof.

“Our status as a ‘Platinum Duro-Last’ contractor is also a big benefit to our customers. This allows us to forgo the time-consuming process for filing a warranty claim, which can take from two to three weeks to complete.

“Our customers simply call us, we check to see if the problem is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. If it is, we complete the repairs and submit the costs for this directly to Duro-Last. In addition to having a roof that is repaired on a timely basis, the customer does not have to deal with the hassle of processing the manufacturer’s warranty claim.

“Finally, we close out a project by having a drone fly-by in order to document the completed work. This allows the building owner additional proof for insurance and warranty claims. Plus, it’s a great way for us to record our finished product, of which we are very proud!”