Stretching Your Dollar by Coating Your Commercial Roof

Apr 3, 2020Blog, Commercial Roofing, Roof Coating

A commercial roof is a significant financial investment so it’s no wonder that the building owners we speak to would often do almost anything to avoid a complete replacement.


One of the best ways an owner can protect their investment is by having a professional crew install a commercial coating over their existing roof.


Commercial coatings create a seamless barrier that keeps the elements out and precious utilities in, while also extending the lifespan of the roof by up to 30 years.


Conklin Logo


The History of Commercial Coatings

Building owners that are unfamiliar with commercial roof coatings may balk at the idea of trusting their investment to an unknown product but commercial coatings have been proving their value for the last 40 years, with stellar results.


The first elastomeric roof coating was developed in the 1970s by Conklin Roofing Systems and was such a success that it launched an entire product segment devoted to restoring, rather than replacing, commercial roofs.


Today, these formulas have been further refined, making commercial coatings the most cost-effective option on the market for stretching your commercial roofing dollar.


Here’s why:

roofer coating a commercial roof


Quick and Easy Application

Commercial coatings can be rolled or sprayed over your existing roof with minimal disruption to your daily operations. The process is much quieter than a full replacement and far quicker too, averaging 4-5 days for a 20,000 sq. ft. roof. The average replacement time for the same roof is 2-3 weeks!

freshly coated commercial roof


Energy Savings

The reflective properties and airtight seal of commercial coatings translate to additional energy savings on your monthly utility bills and reduced heat island effect for the building’s surrounding area. Damaging UV rays are reflected back into the atmosphere instead of being absorbed by your roof and costly heated or cooled air stays where you want it: inside. It’s not unheard of for a commercial coating to pay for itself in saved utility costs over time. Often in as little as 7 years!

freshly coated commercial roofing system


Added Protection

Commercial coatings are an ideal solution to the wear and tear that threatens the integrity of your roof. Problems like leaking seams, rusted or rotted fasteners, and roof membrane deterioration can all spell disaster for your commercial roof if left unaddressed.


By restoring your roof with an elastomeric commercial coating you’ll not only avoid future trouble from these issues but reinforce every square foot of your roof, providing it with protection from the elements for years to come.

Environmentally Friendly

The environmental benefits of commercial coatings don’t end at simply reducing your building’s energy usage and the subsequent heat island effect it may cause.


Environmental advocates recommend using what you already have when aiming to reduce your ecological impact. Applying a commercial coating over your existing roof makes the most of the roof you’ve got. By saving a building from at least one (if not several) reroofings, commercial coatings prevent (literally) TONS of waste from ending up in landfills.

Reapplication and Warranty

Conklin’s commercial coatings are designed to allow for multiple applications over time. They’re more than a simple stopgap between your commercial roof and the full replacement you’re trying to avoid. With proper maintenance and reapplication, commercial coatings can help your roof outlive the building it covers!


Conklin also backs their coatings with non-prorated warranties, something that’s practically unheard of in the roofing industry. These warranties protect your investment and sometimes result in the coating paying for itself! How’s that for value?


Conklin’s outstanding warranties are a large part of why River Run Roofing partners with them.  Their commitment to their customers, along with their leadership and innovation in the commercial roofing industry, gives us the confidence to recommend them without hesitation to our own clients.


If your commercial roof is showing signs of wear and tear and you dread the thought of replacing it altogether, consider asking your contractor about applying a commercial coating. It could be the perfect way to buy your roof another 20-30 years, at half the cost of a complete replacement and installed in half the time!

9 Questions To Ask Potential Roofing Contractors 

Hiring a contractor can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of roofing contractors in  Eastern PA alone. How are you supposed to choose one? 

We can’t decide for you, but the following 9 questions will help you pick a competent contractor and avoid ending up with a bad one. 

  • Are you licensed and insured? 

It’s essential to ask about insurance for several reasons. For one thing, when a contractor has all their papers in order, it shows they care enough to follow proper procedures. 

And secondly, having proper paperwork protects both you and your roofer should anything go awry. 

The requirements to become a licensed roofer differ from state to state. In PA, contractors must meet the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act requirements and register at the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. 

Regarding insurance, PA law requires roofing companies to provide their employees with worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s compensation protects you, as the homeowner, from being financially responsible for any injuries that might occur on your property. 

Your contractor should also have general liability insurance. This protects you from being responsible for any damage or injury to non-employees that might occur on your property, such as a bystander being injured on property damage.  

Roofing contractor insurance
  • Are you local? 

Some roofing companies like to move from town to town following storm damage. These companies may not be familiar with local laws and regulations, and if there is a problem with your roof after installation, they wouldn’t be available to help you. 

We aren’t saying this is a bad or dishonest business model. Just keep in mind that these companies won’t be around long-term.  

Hiring a local company is normally better, so ensure your contractor has a local address and phone number. Then if complications arise, they’ll be around to assess the situation. 

  • How long have you been in business? 

The longer a contractor has been in business, the better they understand their trade. And while it’s not wrong to hire a new company, it’s more risky. A roofing company that has “been around the block” understands all the ins and outs of a roofing system and will likely do a better job. 

Plus, the longer a business has been around, the more likely they are to be in business for years to come, and that means they’ll be around if you need them in the future. 

  • Do you offer a warranty on your products? 

Roofers may offer warranties for 1, 5, 10, or 25 years or even for life. Normally the roofing company’s warranty covers the work, and the materials manufacturer offers another warranty for the materials, so there are two separate warranties. 

Roof warranties typically last a year, and an extended warranty may add to the overall cost of your project. 

understanding roofing warranties
  • Do you use subcontractors? 

Some companies use subcontractors to help them get the work done. You should know if your contractor uses subcontractors for several reasons. 

  • One, you don’t want to be completely surprised and confused when trucks with an unknown company name on them show up at your place and strangers start working on your roof.
  • Two, you should ensure that all subcontractors have adequate licensing and insurance. 
  • And three, sometimes disreputable contractors neglect to pay their subcontractors, and in such a case, you could be held financially responsible. You may want to consider getting a lien waiver for the project to protect yourself from this. 
  • Do I need a full roof replacement or just repairs? 

You don’t want to fork out the money to replace your entire roof if you could fix your issues with some simple repairs. Alternatively, you don’t want to put a bandaid on a broken leg by replacing a few shingles when the problems go deeper. 

Knowing the extent of your roofing damage will allow you to make the best possible decision for your home. 

know the extent of your roof damage
  • Will you remove the old roof?

When fixing a roof, there are two options: tear off the old roof and completely replace it or install new roofing materials over the old roof. 

Roofing over old materials is faster and cheaper since you save the time and labor to tear the old roof off. However, if you go for this option, you won’t see your roofing system’s actual state as clearly. If there are underlying issues you missed, you may need to replace the roof a few years down the road anyway. In that case, the money you spent on roofing overtop would be wasted. 

An expert contractor can help you make a wise decision about repairing or replacing your roof. 

  • Do you have a cleanup policy once the installation is complete? 

Installing a roof is a messy project that leaves a lot of scraps and debris. You don’t want to be left in the lurch with a huge mess in your yard. 

Ask your contractor what their cleanup policy is before you hire them–a quality contractor will have policies in place. 

Will there be a dumpster sitting in your yard? Or do they hire a trash removal service? Some trash removal methods may have implications for your property and yard, and it’s best to ask about them so you aren’t surprised. 

  • How will you protect my property and yard during construction? 

During a construction project, there may be scraps lying around, large vehicles driving through your yard, and strange people in your home. Your contractor should have policies to protect your property, so it’s left mostly the same as before.  

Some companies enforce mandatory foot traffic patterns so your flower beds and grass don’t get trampled. Some use large magnets to pick up any nails that might have fallen in your yard so your children and pets don’t get injured. 

You should make sure your contractor is conscientious enough to treat your property like their own.  

Tips For Hiring A Competent Contractor 

Those are a few questions you should ask your roofing contractor before signing anything. As a bonus, here are a few miscellaneous tips for hiring a good roofing contractor: 

  • Ask for some references or previous jobs you could look at. Talking with previous customers and asking about their experience with a contractor is one of the best ways to learn more about them. 
  • Request roofing price estimates from several contractors in the area and compare them. That gives you a good idea of a reasonable price. 
  • Know your needs. Do you need to complete the project by a specific time at all costs? Or do you have a specialized roofing system requiring unique expertise? If so, these things affect what contractor you should hire. 

There are lots of good contractors out there! These questions and tips should help you make a good decision for your home. 

tips for hiring a roofing contractor

We hope this article has been helpful for you, and we wish you luck with your roofing project. 

If you want to hire a contractor in Eastern PA, contact us at River Run Roofing! We would be happy to help with your project. 

We specialize in residential roofing, light commercial roofing, and siding.

Give us a call today to get an estimate on your project! 

We look forward to hearing from you.