“The only constant in life is change.” That quotation attributes to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who lived around 500 BCE. His observation, though more than 2,000 years old, is still applicable today. Construction technology has made a positive impact on reducing costs in the industry for roofing.
Contractors in the roofing industry know that comment rings true, as technology is constantly evolving. Although it may be tempting for them to employ the same processes over and over again, there are so many new technologies to consider. These new concepts can save roofers and customers both time and money.
Advanced roofing technologies can offer better and more durable products, which provide value and environmentally friendly options for customers. These are some options that are both durable and energy-efficient:
Solar roofing has come a long way. These days, solar energy can be captured via panels or shingles. Panels are placed atop roofing materials and contain solar cells, which will convert sunlight to energy. Solar shingles may look like traditional shingles but are more long-lasting. Either option helps homeowners reduce their energy bills.
The concept of metal roofing is not new, but technology has changed over the years. Metal roofs are more durable than some traditional materials, and in the warmer months, they help keep buildings cool by reflecting the sun’s rays. They also provide insulation, which will lower energy costs year-round. Today, manufacturers are offering metal roofs in an eye-catching array of colors and styles.
Synthetic Shingles and Shakes
For years, roofing materials were made from asbestos, but that practice has changed. Modern roofing materials can be created with synthetic components that look like asphalt or cedar, but without using hazardous toxins. Some of these offerings are highly durable, lasting as long as 50 years, and they will never warp, split, rot, or lose their color. In addition, they can stand up to hurricane-force winds.
Also called living roofs, green roofs are plant-covered structures that can increase building insulation and reduce heat. Not only can they lower energy costs, but they also will increase HVAC equipment efficiency, improve air quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A green roof requires careful planning and design. It will need to include a layer of waterproofing, a root barrier, soil or another growth medium, and a drainage system. When properly installed and maintained, it can see twice the life span of a traditional roof.
These roofs are made with sheet coverings, highly reflective paints, or reflective tiles or shingles. They are designed to reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. On a hot day, traditional roofs can reach temperatures of 150°F or higher, but cool roofs can remain more than 50°F cooler. That difference results in building owners paying as much as 15% less for air-conditioning costs.
Additional Technologies that Benefit Roofing
New construction technology can be an asset on the worksite as well. Below are a few options that can make the roofing process more efficient:
Drones have many applications on construction sites. Contractors can use them to collect data and images before their workers enter high-risk areas. In most cases, drones can also provide more thorough information than a standard inspection can—and in less time. Drones are specifically helpful for roofers, allowing them to capture images of damaged roofs while remaining safely on the ground.
There are other practical uses for drones as well. They can do flyovers to help contractors monitor their equipment and keep inventory. Drones can also provide surveillance, which can help maintain site security and prevent theft. In addition, when parts of a roof are ready for inspection, drones can check for stability and locate any imperfections.
3D Visualization Technology
When workers use 3D visualization technology, they can record their job surroundings from various angles, which helps prepare them for performing in that environment. Roofers and other construction workers can use this technology to pinpoint potential hazards and save time on the job. And saving time nearly always means saving money.
Accurate estimates are critical for any roofing project since mistakes can lead to unexpected expenses. Using either desktop or cloud technology, estimating software can help roofing contractors better predict labor and material estimates for their projects. This software, which can range from simple spreadsheets to online collaborative platforms, can also connect to an existing project management system. Some versions offer features such as estimating templates, a supplier pricing database, and valuable formulas for volume, area, and other dimensions. Roofing companies will still require experienced estimators to use the software, but this technology can streamline the process and prevent errors.
Industry Construction Technology Positive Impacts
As technology transforms, it pays to stay current. New techniques and equipment may take time to learn and incorporate, but in the long run, contractors can streamline their processes and reduce costs along the way.