Roof repair feedback

9 Replies

Has anyone had any experience with a flat roof repair product called Uniflex?  Curious of a rough cost per 5 gallon bucket and the amount of coverage.  

Having some repairs performed on an older flat roof building and having a hard time reconciliation the cost with the amount of work performed. 

Flat roofs are expensive to get replaced and do work on.

On a 10,000 sq ft pharmacy building cost to replace is about 20k to 25k all in.

Some of the older membrane materials dry up and crack causing leaks. Another point of water entry is if you have the heating, cooling units on the roof. Where they are bolted in and installed tends to leak. Even though roof is flat it is supposed to have a mile pitch to it for draining of water so it doesn't sit in the middle.  

Just a thought -- any roofing supply/wholesale companies you could visit or call?  (ABC Supply is one we have here locally in Wichita) -- not sure if you have any close to where you live, however would think there'd be a few to call in Denver which doesn't appear too far east of you.  Maybe pick their brains?

I googled Uniflex and quite a bit of info popped up - didnt drill down too far, however nothing stood out on cost.  I'd think a place like ABC or another supplier could shed some light on the product cost if that's what you're looking for.

I've looked at places with flat roofs, however have always been fairly leery...are you just having normal maintenance performed, replacement, repairs?  Much experience with flat roofs? Interested to hear your experiences.  I have friends in the roofing business, however typical residential roofs are their specialty.

Thanks for the feedback.  It is a bit of a non traditional situation, which may result in me obtaining an expensive education.  The long and the short of it is that I have two office buildings next to each other that are both older (1980 and 1950s).  Both buildings have flat membranes and then the old school shingle look on the outer and upper portion of the exterior  as can be seen in the photo.  

The older of the two buildings pictured has a funky roof.  I am more of a residential investor, but have some experience in commercial real estate valuation, so took a chance on this building a couple of years ago.  Bought it from a brother / sister team that inherited it and were not very proactive property managers.  Most of my value add items have play out, such as:

1. Lowered the property tax by about 20%

2. All tenants paying higher rent

3. Lowered operating expenses, particularly utilities

4. Implemented a gradual maintenance and repair plan to resolve inherited deferred maintenance.  

I was having trouble lease a vacant space when a roofing company that bid on some of the repairs saw the space and asked about trading rent for roofing work plus some additional money on certain phases.  The plan is to work on the two flat roofs to extend the life by 10 to 15 years and then redo the shingles.  The amount of work performed on the flat roof seems to not match the value, which is obviously subjective.  The timeliness of the work is good and the quality of the work is good, but it just seem really expensive.  For example $1,000 or less of material and 40 labor hours for $5,900. 

Where I failed was not obtaining more bids on the work to get a better idea of cost range.  I did have them sign a formal lease and have a separate work agreement, which is seeming to be smart at this point.



In commercial for future deals anytime a roof comes into question we have the sellers replace or they offer a roof warranty for XX number of years.

I have a close friend who owns a urethane roofing company that does all flat roofs. The margins are about 30%. Their material costs and workers comp rates are very high. You also have to pay fairly well to keep competent employees that are willing to work on a hot roof all summer in 100 degree Central Valley heat spraying foam in tyvek suits and respirators. It is expensive for a reason.

@Mark Spidell I have a couple of residential properties with flat roofs. I had one roof replaced when I purchased the building as it was leaking. I did a good bit of learning about flat roofs so I am familiar with your situation. A few thoughts

1) basic landlord tenant rules of engagement. NEVER trade work for rent (I realize that cow is out the gate). Applies to commercial as well as residential. 

2) If you do choose to for whatever reason allow a tenant to work for you or on your property. They operate like any other contractor. They provide a fixed price up front along with a schedule. Their price is compared with other prices for the same work (at least 3 others). They are paid directly with no change in the rent amount.

3) Ask them for their hourly billing rates and compare with other companies doing similar work in the area. Use those to back out the costs based on the manhours and challenge them if necessary. Labor is not cheap in your market. 

4) Finally, with repairs and work you are sometimes paying for knowledge as well as the work and materials. Knowing where and how to apply the material can be significantly more valuable than just the actual labor to do the work. 

@Bill S.

I see you live in Denver.  I was trying to find forums re roof repair/installation companies in Denver but couldn't.  I was wondering if you might have some companies to refer to me that are good quality for rental I have out there?  thanks for any help you can lend.

@Cody Jackson I had a roofer but was not pleased with the outcome of the last project so I am looking.

After learning some hard lessons, my top suggestions when getting roofing quotes:

  1. Ask them to quote the cost on a per square basis.  
  2. Also ask them to separate the bid between the tear off and the install.  
  3. Be sure the shingles are of the same quality.  
  4. Watch the cost of "repairing" the decking of the roof.  Lot of roofing companies see that as a way to increase the bill once you have committed.
  5. Ask to see their proof of insurance
  6. Ask if the labor doing the actual work is their own employees or a third party.  If it is a third party.  Be careful of latter.  

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