West Roofing Systems Inc.
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: April Reeves
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
For more than 37 years, West Roofing Systems Inc. has been installing commercial and industrial roofs that are flexible and versatile enough to hold up against extreme elements. Located in LaGrange, Ohio, West Roofing Systems provides award-winning, high-quality roofing projects on time and within budget throughout the United States. Universities, hospitals, schools, government buildings, retail outlets and theaters illustrate the variety of architecture and projects in the company’s portfolio.
Established in 1979, West Roofing Systems specializes in spray polyurethane foam (SPF) and coated roof systems. With the complexity of the products used, West Roofing Systems has many well-trained technicians who are recognized within the industry for project quality and volume. “The most important part of what we do is knowing how to perform a number of different tasks,” says Chris West, vice president of West Roofing Systems. “You’ve got to know what product to put down and how to put it down properly.”
West Roofing Systems’ approach to installation begins with training each employee from day one. The company does not seek out experienced foam roof applicators, but instead chooses to train associates who have been with the company for a significant amount of time. “All of our applicators start with the company as a laborer,” says West. “They come up through the ranks and after five or six years of being on the job, they learn the process of installation.”
Once West Roofing Systems feels an employee is ready to begin installing, the associate works side by side with one of the master technicians who oversee the integrating process. The company also provides an annual in-house training program, which takes place at an indoor, climate-controlled facility. “It’s a much different situation when you are applying the product in cold weather versus warm weather,” says West “Our applicators need to know to adjust and recognize what the product is doing in those different settings.”
Due to the high level of training West Roofing Systems provides its technicians, the company has established many longstanding, working relationships with clients. Repeat clients and referrals account for 60 percent of the company’s business.
A win-win situation
The SPF method that West Roofing Systems provides creates numerous benefits compared to a traditional sheet metal roof. With its consistency, the product weighs less than a pound per square foot and therefore does not add much structural weight to the building. Once applied, the product expands as it solidifies, easily adapting to nearly any shape. SPF roofs are seamless, preventing the potential for water damage.
The process of installing a SPF roof is much less labor-intensive than traditional applications. “When you install a non-SPF roof on your building, you pay about 70 percent for labor and 30 percent for materials,” says West. “With our system it’s the opposite. 70 percent of what you pay for is staying on your property.”
The investment that a customer makes in a SPF roof has proven to produce a return, often before the warranty is up. West recalls a situation where a local school district needed to reroof the entire school system but lacked the funding to do so. “Their business manager did some research on us and felt that the roof would be able to pay for itself through energy savings,” recalls West. “He took that angle to the bank and got the loan for the roofs and they ended up paying for themselves through energy savings within six years.”
West Roofing Systems also recently completed a roofing project for a municipal ice rink in Parma, Ohio. The project, which was implemented in two stages, followed an energy audit that illustrated how the energy efficiency of a SPF roof would enable the facility to achieve its required 32-degree temperature, while lowering operating costs.
The West Roofing Systems team vacuumed and disposed of the existing gravel built-up roof and applied 1.5 inches of SPF, base coat, topcoat and granules. After cleaning and prepping the remaining roof section, a 2-inch layer of SPF was installed over the granulated cap sheet roof assembly, followed by a base coat, topcoat and new granules. The city-owned ice rink now has a new seamless, SPF roofing system with a 10-year warranty.
West Roofing Systems will eventually expand its operations with the addition of one or two more offices. Through these growth avenues, the company will be able to increase sales, reach out more to customers of particular regions and present opportunities to employees to move up into management roles. “We don’t want to do anything just for the sake of expanding,” says West. “There are a lot of families that depend on this company for a living so we will grow very methodically.” As long as West Roofing Systems Inc. remains on its current path, the company will soon find itself in a position to expand and create those opportunities.
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