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How architects can tap into the expertise of their metal roof manufacturer, part 2

Here are three things metal roof manufacturers can do to help the architect

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May 11, 2015 |
Ken Buchinger

This is article is part of a series. Visit the Latest in Metal Façades blog page on bdcnetwork for more.

In my last post, I discussed a couple of things roof manufacturers can do to help the architect make sure the finished standing seam metal roof is properly designed, installed and provides long-term performance. In this post we’ll look at three additional, specific things roof manufacturers can do.

  • Roof manufacturers can train the roof contractor on the in­stallation of the standing seam roof system to be used on the project. Hands-on training for roof contractors on how to install a product the manufacturer knows so well is invaluable. This knowledge will make the installation process smoother, quicker and ultimately more successful, which is what the contractor, architect and end user all want.
  • Roof manufacturers can provide periodic inspections during roof installation. It’s one thing to train someone to do the right thing; it’s another thing to make sure the right thing actually gets done. The account­ability that comes from inspections is key to ensuring a roof is properly constructed. Having the manufacturer on hand to spot check provides not only the ability to identify deficiencies, but also to recommend appropriate remedies before the problem is too far gone.
  • Roof manufacturers can provide a viable weathertightness warranty. The best warranty—one that will truly benefit the architect and the end user in the long run—is one in which the manufacturer inspects the roof to ensure compliance with approved drawings AND warranties the roof from the date of substantial completion. This differs from the standard warranty that is based solely on a review of the shop drawings, without requiring an inspection. Again, specs of what should happen do not guarantee what will happen.

In a standard warranty, the architect or general contractor has to make sure all details of the shop drawings are fol­lowed, because if they are not, the warranty is invalidated. Furthermore, the roofing contractor would be responsible for any leaks that occur within 24 months of completion. If the roof leaks after only 23 months, the roofing contractor’s 24-month period starts over. As Richard L. Cook Jr. mentions in his article (with the purposely misleading title), Standing Seam Metal Roofing: The Next Big Disaster in the Roofing Industry?” it is not uncommon for reported roof leaks to “disappear for a period of time after ‘repairs’ had been completed, then reappear at a later date.” If these repairs don’t last at least two full years straight, the manufacturer will never bear responsibility under the standard warranty.

Whew. Now, armed with this knowledge of what is needed, the architect is in pretty good shape, right?  Well, not so fast. The architect has to ensure that he or she gets all the aforementioned items from the manufacturer on every project. How does the architect do that? For the answer (drum roll please)….stay tuned for my next post.

Ken Buchinger | The Latest in Metal Facades

Ken Buchinger is the General Manager of Technical Services for MBCI. He began working at MBCI in 1988, and throughout his tenure he has been responsible for handling field problems, developing weathertightness warranties, erector training, research and development certifications, and the creation and management of the MBCI installation manuals and catalogs. Buchinger is actively involved in several trade associations and has written numerous articles for various trade magazines and gives presentations for various organizations. Prior to working at MBCI, Buchinger was part owner of Whitehouse Construction Company and erected metal buildings for Brown Erection Company.

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